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AIG EQUIPMENT REVIEWS

Totem Model One B [From the Archives]

Totem Model One B (small)“Last reviewed in Winter 92, this small speaker has since set a kind of standard for its size, as well as being the progenitor of a line
of compact speakers notable for their bass extension. Hallmarks of the Totem Model One are veneer on both inside and outside of
the cabinet (to equalize interior stresses in the wood; see the Linn review), “multilayer borosilicate damping” inside the enclosure, “lock mitre cabinet joints”, a “full plane crossbrace for extreme rigidity and increased damping”, and WBT 5-way terminals…”

YBA Integre DT Integrated Amplifier [From The Archives]

YBA Integre DT (small)“It was four years ago that the notion that all electronics, or at least, all amplifiers sound pretty similar was given a major jolt by a component. Not that I’ve ever thought this, but as products improved, they did start to sound more similar, if, indeed, they were more accurate reproducers of the signal fed into them. But the component that made me sit up and listen once again was the YBA Integre, a 50-wpc integrated amplifier of utter simplicity, made almost completely (that is, most of the internal components are created in-house) by Yves Bernard Andre of France…”

Infinity Modulus II Home Theater Speaker System [AIG Archives]

Infinity Modulus (Small)“Here we have a compact combination of four identical satellites, a centre channel, and a subwoofer, all compact and stylish, the sub remarkably small for its bass extension. According to the manual, “With their versatile design, the satellite speakers can be placed virtually anywhere on shelves or stands, or mounted on a wall using the supplied base…”

Reel Acoustics RS-1 Home Theater Speaker System [AIG Archives]

Reel Acoustics System - Thumbnail“This system from a relatively new Canadian manufacturer combines value and performance in a very special way. Stylish in a contoured cabinet, the four satellites (6 1/2″H x 5″D x 4″W) are very small and attractive in silver or black, and the centre channel is almost identical except for its 10″ width to accommodate an additional 3 1/2″ woofer/midrange. The tweeter is a 3/4″ soft dome that is slightly recessed with an anti-diffraction plate around it to optimize imaging. Mind you, there wouldn’t be all that much diffraction off a baffle this small…”

Sinclair Brighton Series SB 3600T Loudspeakers [AIG Archives]

Sinclair Brighton“Sinclair is a relatively new name in speakers, developed in Canada by Erikson Consumer, who also distribute Harman/Kardon, AKG, and several other brands, including Sirius satellite radio receivers and accessories and numerous iPod-related items. The speakers are designed in Canada, and manufactured in China to Sinclair’s exacting specifications…”

MJ Acoustics Reference 100 Subwoofer [AIG Archives]

MJ Acoustics Subwoofer

“The 8 inch long throw driver faces downward, with quite large feet setting the optimum distance for effective radiation from a sealed cabinet using floor loading. The fourth side contains the control panel and inputs and outputs. There are a pair of RCA ins, plus a single XLR connector which none of my available males would fit into; it is the combined type that also accepts 1/4″ stereo phone jacks…”

Klipsch Reference RVX-54 Home Theater Speaker System [AIG Archives]

Klipsch Reference RVX-54 Home Theater Speaker System

“This speaker system from Klipsch puts together several models from their Reference Series with similar or identical drivers, and makes for a floorstanding front pair, with compact surrounds and a matching centre channel, along with a quite compact subwoofer. They’re designed to match the new generation of flat screen video displays, including, plasma, DLP and LCD rear projection, and other variants of compact, less deep monitors…”

XLO Signature 2 Type 2.2 Balanced Interconnect [AIG Archives]

xlo signature interconnect

“I have always recommended long interconnects, as opposed to long speaker cables, since less degradation can happen at line level than when cables are driven by an amplifier. That’s why the Signature 2 2.2 pair was 6 metres long as reviewed. Such a length is a real test for an interconnect, though, ideally, short is better for both. But before I talk about the Signature interconnects, a little background on XLO…”

Mirage Omni 250 Loudspeakers [AIG Archives]

Mirage Omni 250 (small)“Omnidirectional loudspeakers have been a mainstay of Mirage over the years, and have evolved under their design team from large panel designs to compact towers like the Omni 250. With a tweeter mounted under a dispersive lens and over a slant- mounted woofer/midrange, this design is intended to disperse sound much like a musical instrument. An additional front-mounted woofer is used, with a port below…”

Paradigm Reference Seismic 12 Subwoofer [AIG Archives]

Paradigm Seismic 12

“The new Seismic Series of subwoofers from Paradigm is the result of years of research into high excursion driver technology and a host of other related concerns. It used to be that a sub had to be big to go deep, but that’s been less and less the case in recent years, as Sunfire has shown in leading the way in compact models. The Seismic 12 has “tremendous peak-to-peak cone excursion (over 2 inches in our SeismicTM 12)”, producing “incredibly deep bass response with equally incredible speed and power.”

Dynavector DV-20X H Moving Coil Phono Cartridge [AIG Archives]

Dynavector DV-20X H Moving Coil Cartridge

“I installed the DV-20X H in a SAEC headshell, and with its real weight and tracking weight being very close to that of both the Ortofon MC-3000II and the Kontrapunkt b, I could easily swap it in and out of the arm for comparisons, though its much higher output than the former necessitated substantial level reduction to match. The cartridge comes in a clear plastic box, with a set of colour-coded leads, a nice broad white-bristle stylus brush, and screws and bolts…”

Yamaha RX-V1400 7-Channel Receiver [AIG Archives]

Yamaha RX-V1400 7-Channel Receiver“It was London Audio’s Rick Ho who commented to me, in a phone conversation, what a good value and innovative receiver the RX-V1400 is. Its main claim to fame is automatic self-calibrating of all main functions for 7 channels of audio. This system is called “Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer for Automatic Speaker Setup”, otherwise acronymed as YPAO…”

Harman/Kardon DPR 1005 Home Theater Receiver [AIG Archives]

Harman/Kardon DPR 1005 Home Theater Receiver

“Harman-Kardon is a longtime audio brand, largely associated with higher end products, and, like everybody else in the audio/video business, has ventured into home theatre. This receiver, in their Digital Path group, is an elegant device with lots of inputs, and component, SVideo, and composite RCA outputs. Its analog audio inputs include CD, DVD, Video 1, 2, 3, and 4, with a Tape output in addition to the main output pair. These are mirrored on the video side with 3 sets of component inputs, and S and composite inputs to match every audio input…”

NAD L53 DVD/CD Receiver [AIG Archives]

NAD L53 Small

“This DVD/CD receiver feeds only two speakers with its 50 watts rms, but adds SRS TrueSurround two-speaker enhancement for quasi-surround sound, something I’ll comment on below. It plays DVDs, of course, and, naturally CDs (it also plays CD-Rs and variants, MP-3, JPEG, and WMA discs), and can be the centrepiece of a reasonably priced home theatre system…”

Tascam HD-P2 Portable Stereo Recorder

Tascam HD-P2“The TASCAM HDP2 represents the future of location recording in as cogent and well-thought out a way as I have seen. It’s simple, elegant, and affordable, but also versatile. The main selling point is the ability to record in stereo from 44.1 to 192 kHz sampling rates at 16 or 24 bits using line or microphone inputs onto solid state media: flash cards or microdrives. These capabilities bring to it a whole new set of possibilities and operational options…”

Monitor Audio Gold Signature Home Theater Speaker System

Monitor Audio Gold GS-FX Surround (small)

“Once known best for its cabinetry, Monitor Audio has come quite a distance in recent years to become notable for the audio quality and manufacturing consistency of its loudspeakers of all sorts, without losing that leading edge in furniture fashioning. The beefing up of their engineering in recent years has resulted in some speakers that both look and measure very well…”

ELAC FS-207.2 Loudspeakers

ELAC FS-207.2 Loudspeakers (pair)

“You may recall the recent review of the quite expensive Adam Compact loudspeaker which uses an ART tweeter, designed by Oskar Heil, and here we see another variant from ELAC in this beautifully clad speaker design. This time it’s called the JET tweeter, “developed to perfection on the basis of the famous ‘Air Motion Transformer’ by loudspeaker pioneer Dr. Oskar Heil. Its principle: a concertinaed foil membrane is driven by a strong magnet system of neodymium rods.”

Paradigm Reference Studio 20 V.4 Loudspeakers

Paradigm Reference 20

“Gosh, I can remember when the Reference Series was new and hot, but I guess that was back when we were recording the Chuck Israels Quartet out in Bellingham with a pair of Studio 20s as monitors. They were awfully good then, and the v.4 successors aim to be better. Here’s how: “1[inch] (25mm) G-PALTM Gold-Anodized Pure Aluminum Domes (also developed for our award-winning Signature Series) chosen for their exceptional rigidity and improved internal damping. The reduced radius of curvature on the tweeter diaphragm has also brought about significant improvements in sound dispersion. Ferro-fluid cooled and damped…”

KEF KHT-3005 Home Theater System

KEF KHT-3005“Round, organic, egg-styled, baby-like, modern…there are so many things you can call KEF’s current series of home theatre loudspeakers, the main adjective being, of course, small. Available in glossy black and sleek silver, they definitely make a modernist statement. But, unlike other B-system brands affecting style out there which I shall not name for fear of incurring the wrath of the Dreaded “Mark” (that’s a Tronna joke), these actually make nice, high fidelity music and have some very credible and genuine engineering behind them…”

Totem Tribe Home Theater Speaker System

Totem Tribe Subwoofer (small)

“We have before us two wall-mountable speakers slightly different in size (with a larger Tribe III also newly available), and a subwoofer that combines a front active 8″ driver that also moves a pair of side-mounted passive units. The Storm is quite compact, especially considering its radiating area from three of four vertical sides. Totem has some quite interesting things to say about this HT system in their literature and on the web site: “All Tribe models are designed to match any application or flat panel display…”


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