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AIG EQUIPMENT REVIEWS

PMC OB1 Loudspeaker

PMC OB1 Loudspeaker

“A company best known for its pro monitors, PMC (short for Professional Monitor Company) has been more recently seriously addressing the consumer market. The OB1 is the latest model in this evolution, a 3-way floorstanding design using a transmission line for bass loading with an effective length of 3.3 metres (11 feet). The drivers, according to the literature, are a low-frequency driver that is “doped [paper] with cast alloy chassis”, a “doped, 75mm fabric soft dome” midrange, and a “27mm, silk soft dome, ferrofluid cooled” tweeter…”

Totem Dreamcatcher Home Theater System

Totem Dreamcatcher Home Theater System

“I first heard this system, Totem’s first dedicated home theater system, at a CEDIA show a couple of years ago. And it wasn’t just that designer Vince Bruzzese was playing Ray Montford’s music through it that impressed me so much. The sound was clean, dynamic, spacious, and very involving musically. I don’t know whether it was a case of demand, but it wasn’t until this spring that I could coerce a review sample out of Totem…”

Paradigm Cinema Home Theater Speaker System

Paradigm Cinema Series Home Theater System

“When Anthem sent me their AVM-20 and PVA-7 home theater separates for review awhile back, Paradigm, Anthem’s parent company, followed up by sending a set of home theater speakers to go with them. And what did they send to complement over $6,000 worth of home theater front end? Paradigm’s entry level Cinema series, as it turned out; the five speakers and sub costing a small fraction of the gear driving them…”

Newform Research R58 Loudspeaker

Newform Research R58

“This new model from Canada’s ribbon specialist, combines an 8″ ribbon driver with a pair of 5″ Vifa mid/woofers in a moderately sized sealed box. The ribbon, which could be called a “quasi-ribbon”, is a unipolar mylar diaphragm with voice coil imprinted on it, large magnets on either side, and absorptive material behind. It provides, wide, even dispersion, something I’ll expand on in discussing the measurements, and crosses over to the lower-frequency drivers at 1000 Hz…”

Monitor Audio Silver 6S Loudspeaker

Monitor Audio Silver six S

“The Monitor Audio Silver 6S has its work cut out for it. Any slim, floor standing speaker with a price hovering in the sweet spot of the mid-market (around US $1000) does. While not as cluttered as the home theatre in a box segment, this is a very crowded part of the market and a speaker had better do more than look pretty if it expects a ride home from the shop…”

Anthem AVM-20 Surround Processor/PVA 7 Ampifier and Aperion Audio Home Theater Speaker System

Aperion Audio 512D

“So much for entry level. With a combined price approaching seven grand, not to mention 7.1 surround channels on tap, “small” was no longer part of the equation. Now I needed speakers. Lots of speakers, as it turned out. Ever since hearing that Edge Audio was one of the first adopters of the Diaural crossover developed by Kimber Kable I’d wanted to review their speakers. A trip to their website revealed two things: First, that they had changed their name to Aperion Audio, and second that they had packaged systems ranging up to 7.1 channels: Just what the doctor ordered…”

Amphion Athene Loudspeaker

Amphion Athene

“Amphion is a speaker line from Finland that has now entered the Canadian market, with some stylish models that claim to be “phase linear throughout the whole hearing range”, with “perfectly aligned voice coils”. They also are designed for “controlled directivity for minimizing room reflections. The Athene is a D’Appolito-configured 2-way system in a tall slim cabinet using a 4″ polypropylene woofer/midrange driver pair and a titanium tweeter, which is contained within a circular lens in the front baffle which helps even and control dispersion…”

Soliloquy 6.5 Loudspeaker

Soliloquy 6.5

“North Carolina based Soliloquy, which has been gaining attention for impressive sound and luxurious build quality over the past several years, has recently capped off the top of their range with a new speaker. A heavyweight in the literal sense, clocking in at 130 lbs per channel, the new 6.5 is Soliloquy’s attempt at taking their high value approach significantly up-market, creating a speaker they hope will duke it out successfully with established contenders costing far more. Glancing across the spec sheet quickly reveals that the folks at Soliloquy, most notably designer Phil Jones (formerly of Acoustic Energy, Boston Acoustics and Platinum Audio), are taking their assault on high-end speakerdom most seriously indeed…”

Klipsch Reference RB-3 Loudspeaker

Klipsch RB-3

“Klipsch has a new baby in the RB-3, their newest and smallest model in the Reference range. It’s a two-way, with their “Titanium dome compression driver tweeter with a 5″ (12.7cm) square 90 x 60 degree Tractrix Horn and one 6.5″ (16.5cm) magnetically shielded, aluminum cone woofer” (this comes from their excellent, if slow loading, website, with its socko animated GIF graphics). The woofer has a “Cerametallic” cone and cast polymer frame…”

Studiolab Reference One Loudspeaker

StudioLAB Reference 1

“There are a lot of excellent speakers in the price area below $1500, but few that qualify as high end reproducers. But here I think we’ve definitely got a contender. The Reference 1 is a small tower speaker finished in a nice blonde veneer, using a SEAS silk dome tweeter, the pair mirror offset arrayed on the baffle, and a surprising 4 1/2″ Peerless woofer midrange…”

PMC AML1 Powered Monitor Loudspeaker

PMC AML-1

“There’s a lot more to this compact speaker than meets the eye, especially if you look at it only from the front. The AML1 is not only a powered loudspeaker, it is bi-amped, with a sophisticated electronic crossover built in. In fact, it’s a truly hybrid Bryston/PMC product, with the all the circuitry of a 3B ST driving the woofer/midrange (140 watts rms), a 2B ST driving the tweeter (70 watts rms), and a modified 10B providing the driver integration after the balanced XLR input (pin 2 hot)…”

Monitor Audio Silver 8i Loudspeaker

Monitor Audio Silver 8i

“Since coming under new ownership and management in recent years, Monitor Audio has embarked upon an extensive program of research that has resulted in redesign of all of their speaker models. The newest in the Silver series is the 8i, which pretty much sums up their design brief, which was outlined in a recent white paper: “to combine knockout dynamics, loudness capability and power handling with superb subtlety and finesse…”

Paradigm Monitor 7 v2 Loudspeaker

Paradigm Monitor 7

“Having updated its Reference series of speakers, Paradigm has now turned to the Monitor series, and the Monitor 7 v2 is perhaps the most popular result. It’s a floorstanding slim tower featuring a pair of 6 1/2″ poly-coned woofers with an improved aluminum alloy dome tweeter. The grey baffle remains, but finish around it in our review pair was an attractive cherry laminate that is very veneer-like, and much nicer than most vinyls in its softer sheen…”

B&W CDM9 NT Loudspeaker

B&W CDM9 NT

“The latest CDM iteration adds tweeters from the Nautilus series, and the 9NT is a completely new top of the range, using 2 paper/Kevlar bass drivers, a woven Kevlar FST (Fixed Surround Technology) midrange, and the aforementioned NT alloy dome tweeter. The cabinet is front ported, and a plug for the port of cylindrical foam is supplied. In the manual this plug is described as a “bung”, so I guess we’d have to describe the port as a ‘bunghole’….”

Energy Veritas 2.2 Loudspeaker

Energy Veritas v2.2

“It’s been some years since the first Energy Veritas models appeared, the v1.8 and the larger v2.8. At the time these represented what designer John Tchilinguirian knew about loudspeakers, and were widely hailed for their accuracy and musicality. The former have been my reference since then, so it was of considerable interest to have the first of a new Veritas series come into my listening room…”

Klipsch Reference RB 5 Loudspeaker

Klipsch RB5

“The baby of the Klipsch Reference series, the RB-5 is a quite compact bookshelf model that uses an 8″ aluminum-coned woofer with Tractrix-horn-loaded titanium tweeter crossed over at 1950 Hz in a rear-ported enclosure. The cabinet is made of MDF, and comes in various wood veneers: mahogany, medium oak, and black oak. The review pair was in the mahogany, and a very nice finish it was, with a subtle sheen that can be seen in the photo opposite….”

Mirage OM-7 Omnipolar Loudspeaker

Mirage OM-7

“What is Omnipolar you ask? Here’s how the Mirage design team (Ian Paisley, Andrew Welker, and Stefan Hlibowicki) put it: “Mirage research and development centers on how the ear/brain processes sound. To realistically portray a recorded sound, a loudspeaker must control both direct and reflected sound within the listening space. The reflected sound must be optimally shaped by the off axis dispersion qualities of the drivers and the form of the enclosure….”

Acoustic Energy Aegis Two Loudspeaker

Acoustic Energy Aegis Two

“Just as the regular Acoustic Energy speaker line, led by its famous AE1, seems overly expensive, paradoxically, the new Aegis line seems almost too inexpensive, when you actually examine what is offered in the Aegis Two. The first indication of this is the finish, which is a very oak-like vinyl. These little towers are solidly made at about 30 pounds each, with front and rear panels of over-an-inch-thick MDF, with sides, top and bottom of 3/4″ MDF…”

Quad ESL 989 Electrostatic Loudspeaker

Quad 989 ESL

“Rip Van Winkle would have owned Quad loudspeakers. Awakening after a 20 year nap, he would find that while much has changed some things have not. He would not be shopping for new Quads since the ones he went to sleep with are still the current models. Has there ever been a speaker manufacturer who in its more than 40 year history has introduced, until now, only two models? Think back to the late 50s (some of us were alive then) and the introduction of the first Quad speaker which came to be known as the ESL-57…”

Wharfedale Loudpanel NXT Loudspeaker

Wharfedale NXT

“A revolutionary way to go about reproducing sound, NXT panels have some significant advantages over traditional, pistonic transducers. Among them are wide and very uniform dispersion characteristics, reduced room interaction, no need for an enclosure or crossover, and the practicality of a smooth, flat surface which can sit on the wall or even be integrated right into it..”


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