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AIG REVIEWS

NAD/PSB Alpha Home Theater System

PSB Alpha C

“Here’s a system designed and assembled in Canada, though the origins of the components lie far to the east. Since being bought by Lenbrook Industries, NAD has done all product development at its international headquarters in Pickering, Ontario, while PSB loudspeakers are designed by founder Paul Barton and his team in the same facility…”

Anthem Pre 2L Preamplifier

Anthem Pre 2L

“After having worked through reviews of Anthem’s Pre 1L phono stage and Amp 2 hybrid power amplifier, I’m finally getting around to writing about their Pre 2L line level preamp. Like the other separates in the Anthem line, the Pre 2L is a big, stylish, slightly retro looking, silver faced piece of gear (also available in black) with tubes at its heart and value on its mind…”

Bryston 14B ST Stereo Power Amplifier

Bryston 14BST Power Amplifier

“If power corupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then I guess I’d better watch myself as long as I have the 14B ST in my system. The traditional Bryston spec sheet (measured specs) shows on the left channel 573 watts at 8 ohms and 560 on the right, all distortion figures under .005%, and noise at 114 and 112 dB, left and right, respectively. And all this power is in one 85-pound chassis with a bright silver faceplate. …”

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…”

Bryston SP 1 A/V Processor / Preamp

Bryston SP1

“These days movies get made in 6 months, often in 6 weeks, and the phrase, “years in the making” hardly applies any more. However, it can refer to the design and manufacture of today’s digital home theatre processors, or, at least, the high end ones. For the past 3 years my first question to at least three Canadian electronics manufacturers has been, “How’s your A/V piece coming along, eh?”

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…”

Anthem Amp 2 Power Amplifier

Anthem Amp-2 Power Amplifier (small)

“An equally important contributor to the excellent sound in the new room has been the Anthem Amp 2 power amplifier. A hybrid design the Amp 2 is an attempt to combine “the musicality and finesse of vacuum tubes, with the solidity and control of solid state.” It may sound like brochure copy (probably because it is) but, based on what I’ve been hearing over the past couple of months, it rings amazingly true…”

Assemblage D2D-1 Upsampler and DAC 2.6

Rotel RCD-991

“There’s been both misunderstanding and skepticism about the process of upsampling digital data. In recent months several DACs have appeared which do this data interpolation and bit creation, which is said to provide better sound by creating a 96-kHz/24- bit signal from a 44.1-kHz/16-bit source…”

Paradigm Stylus Indoor/Outdoor HT System

Klipsch Synergy Quintet Home Theater Speaker System

“It seems everybody’s making very compact home theater speakers these days, and in looking at and measuring these from Paradigm, not to mention listening to them, I saw many possible configurations. Now, not many people would want to have an outdoor home theater system, especially those with neighbours, though over the years there’ve been a few people living next door…Ah, let’s not pursue that one….”

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….”

FT Audio Passive Preamplifier

FT Audio LW1

“Passive preamplifier is a kind of oxymoron, passive devices not being able to amplify, which is perhaps why this device is described by its makers as a “passive controller”. The FT Audio LW1 switches 5 inputs, marked CD, Tuner, Video, Aux, and Tape, providing 2 output paths, with an additional switched tape out…”

Waveform Mach Solo

Waveform Mach Solo

“The Waveform Mach Solo is a smaller version of the mighty Mach 17, with only one woofer, and a passive crossover. The 17 comes with an electronic crossover made for Waveform by Bryston, and costs $12,000. The egg midrange/tweeter module is the same in all models, though a different woofer/midrange driver is used in the MC. The Solo woofer is a 10″ treated paper cone driver with a rolled rubber surround. The crossover is a 4th order Linkwitz- Riley type (14-dB/Octave) at 575 and 1850 Hz. Low end response is said to extend to 35 Hz in a normal room…”

PSB Image 4T Loudspeaker

PSB Image 4T

“PSB has just introduced its Image series of speakers that promise “high-impact performance with a low impact on your lifestyle and on your budget”, according to their brochure. There are 10 models in the group, including a subwoofer and two centre channels. The 4T is pretty close to the middle of the group, a tower model that uses a pair of polypropylene coned 5″ woofer/mid drivers and a 1 1/2″ aluminum dome tweeter that is ferrofluid damped in a front-ported reflex enclosure…”

Blue Circle Audio BC 22 Stereo Power Amplifier

Blue Circle Audio BC22

“The thing that sets the BC22 apart from the numerous amps at this price point is a product of its very nature. The BC22 is a broad appeal product built by a niche market company in a category where the inverse is generally the rule; a dressed down exotic rather than a gussied up generic. Whether this is better as a rule is impossible to say, but it certainly has some advantages in this case…”

Newform Research R645

Newform Research R 645

“A veteran internet merchandiser, Newform Research’s John Meyer (pronounced Mayer; he’s of Norwegian background) has been selling his speakers without any dealer network for years. He has weathered the drop-step slam dunks of the courier known as “Oops!” to sell his ribbon loudspeakers all over the world; recently the first order came in from Australia…”

Paradigm Reference Studio/40 v.2

Paradigm Reference Studio/40 v.2

“It’s almost a year since we reviewed the Reference Active/40 (Wtr 99), and I thought it would make some sense to follow up with a look at its unpowered sibling, the Studio/40. This speaker uses the same drivers, but with a passive crossover, and it doesn’t have the flexibility of level and frequency contour adjustments. However, it does have the potential of sounding better when driven by a superior amplifier to that provided in the Active/40… “

AIG Talks with Film Sound Designer Steve Munro

Steve Munro

“Sound Designer is the credit Steve receives on this film, and it is a technical and artistic activity, one that has interested AM since he first started making voice recordings on a Philips mono recorder in the late 50s. In the production of a film Steve Munro both makes original recordings (usually 6-track) and takes those already done and creates a context and meaning for them in the film…”

Mirage Reference Monitor (MRM-1)

Mirage Reference Monitor

“This small monitor has been an unusual project for Mirage in that most of their flagship products are large, like the M-1si. But chief designer Ian Paisley took it upon himself to design and build a small monitor that was neither bipolar nor Omnipolar, and recruited young engineer Andrew Welker to work with him to complete the project. Both of their names are on the gold-plated plaque underneath the binding posts on the rear of each speaker…..”

Verity Audio Fidelio Loudspeaker

Verity Audio Fidelio

“Verity Audio is a Quebec City manufacturer that bases its claims to high quality loudspeakers on very fast, accurate drivers and extremely inert and solid cabinets. The Fidelio is quite heavy at close to 60 pounds. Though a single unit structure, the cabinet is in two parts joined by alternating layers of rigid and absorptive materials to keep bass energy away from the mid/treble unit on top…”

Totem Arro Loudspeaker

Totem Arro

“Perhaps it’s unfair to characterize the Totem Arro as the Kate Moss of speakers, but it is a thin little waif of a thing, with a 4 1/2″ woofer/midrange and a 1/2″ dome midrange. It’s also cute, nicely finished in rosewood, with just about the smallest footprint I’ve seen. It sits on a 7 3/4″ by 8 5/8″ base that fits spikes, and is rather tippy; I’m inclined to want to use some Bluetac to secure it to the base. The Arro should not go into houses with rambunctious children or dogs, not to forget exploratory cats…”


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