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Martin Logan Theos Hybrid Electrostatic Speakers

Martin Logan Theos Hybrid Electrostatic Speakers

At the CEDIA Expo in 2010, Martin Logan was giving one of the first demonstrations of their new Theos electrostatic speakers (ESLs) for the press and dealers. Though the conditions at shows are often less than optimal, when seated in the sweet spot of the room, the experience was nothing short of amazing. Sounds came from all around, causing me to check and make sure that there were no surround speakers setup in addition to the Theos.

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Magnepan Magneplanar MG 1.7 Flat Panel Quasi-Ribbon Full Range Speakers

Magnepan Magneplanar MG 1.7 Flat Panel Quasi-Ribbon Full Range Speakers

Probably 99% of the speakers in the world have drivers in a box, aka, an enclosure, either ported or sealed. Flat panel speakers don't have enclosures, other than the frame. The drivers consist of thin metal ribbons, or thin metal conductors attached to thin plastic ribbons (called "quasi-ribbon"), thin plastic sheets (i.e., larger than ribbons) with conductors running in narrow loops up and down, and thin plastic sheets suspended between perforated metal sheets called stators (electrostatic speakers). In the case of ribbons, there are permanent magnets close to the ribbons, and the music signal passes through the ribbons, creating a magnetic field that pulls or pushes the ribbon back and forth to create the music. Magnepan is a manufacturer of flat panel speakers, and in the past, at least one of the drivers was a large surface with the conductors running in loops. Perhaps their most popular model of recent years was the Magneplanar MG 1.6. At $2,000/pair, this was nirvana for flat-panel speaker aficionados. They now have announced the MG 1.6's replacement, the MG 1.7, which is the subject of this review.

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Boston Acoustics RS 326 Floor-Standing Speakers

Boston Acoustics RS326 Floor Standing speakers

The Boston Acoustics RS 326 represents the top model in Boston Acoustics' Reflection series, which includes numerous floor-standing, bookshelf, and center channel speakers along with a matching subwoofer. Second only to the VS line, the Reflection series was designed to create an "elegant fusion of technology, performance, and stylish good looks (to quote the Boston Acoustics website)."

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B&W CM8 Tower Speakers

B&W CM8 Bookshelf speakers

Bowers and Wilkins (B&W) recently made the bold move to sell their products through Magnolia and Best Buy. Adding big box retailers in addition to specialty retailers is quite a step from a brand surround by "audiophile" credentials. Few speakers have as much universal respect as B&W speakers. One of their new models is the CM8 Floor-stander (tower), which is reviewed here.

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MartinLogan Ethos Hybrid Electrostatic Speakers

MartinLogan Ethos hybrid electrostatic speakers

MartinLogan has recently expanded its line to include the Ethos, which is a hybrid electrostatic speaker, meaning that it has not only an electrostatic panel, but a cone woofer. Using woofers to handle the bass is necessary in smaller electrostatic speakers because the surface area of the panel is not large enough to move much air at the lowest frequencies. In the case of the Ethos, the woofer has a built-in amplifier to drive it.

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Anthony Gallo Acoustics Reference 3.5 Speakers

Anthony Gallo Acoustics Home Theater Reference 3.5 Loudspeakers

In 2007, I reviewed the Gallo Reference 3.1 speakers along with Gallo's Reference AV center, A'Diva rears and the Reference SA subwoofer amplifier. I liked them so much I bought the entire system. Recently, Gallo has released the new Reference 3.5 speaker, replacing the venerable Reference 3.1.

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Earthquake Titan Tigris Floor-standing Speakers

Earthquake Titan Tigris Floorstanding Loudspeaker

Earthquake Sound is a company best known for producing knock your socks off subwoofers and amplifiers for home theater. They also manufacture several lines of speakers, including the Titans. The Titan Tigris weighs 89 pounds each and stands nearly 5 feet high, with an MSRP of $9,500 per pair. They are certainly imposing speakers that look the part, and are priced to compete with the crème-de-la-crème of tower speakers. In this review we'll see how they perform.

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Usher Dancer Mini Two Floor-Standing Speakers and BE-616 Center Channel Speaker

Usher Dancer Mini Two Floor-standing Speakers and BE-616 Center Channel Speaker

Usher Audio is a brand long known around the audiophile community for making speakers of stunningly good build quality and excellent sound for the price. Often mentioned in conversations with speakers costing much more, Usher has remained a more niche company, providing its speakers slightly under the radar. That under-the-radar reputation changed somewhat with their release of the highly regarded BE-718 bookshelf speaker, which we reviewed some time ago. The current review details the Usher Mini Dancer Two Floor-Standing Speaker and the BE-616 Center Channel Speaker.

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Magnepan MMC-2 Speaker Blind Review

magnepan-mmc-2-teaser

Magnepan hosted a "Blind Review" event in on October 16, 2010, in Seattle, Washington. The Magnepan event was held at Definitive Audio, which is located just north of the University of Washington. Several dozen people heard a new product that is just now being released by Magnepan.

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THIEL SCS4T Floor-Standing Speakers

Thiel SCS4T Speakers

The late Jim Thiel and company have been making speakers in the heartland of Kentucky for over 30 years. THIEL has amassed a staggering 55 accolades from international press, including the high performance audio industry's most prestigious publications. The SCS4T is part of the J.E.T. series and offers the most affordable line of speakers that THIEL currently manufactures.

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PSB Synchrony One Floor-Standing Speakers

PSB Synchrony Ones speakers

Paul Barton has been in the loudspeaker game for over 35 years and his latest iteration of speakers shows that his experience has been put to good use. The Synchrony Ones are his top of the line 3-way (5 drivers) towers that use some interesting design twists. At nearly 61 pounds apiece, they make an elegant statement of curved wood and aluminum surfaces that blend together in a flawless fashion.

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