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B&W VM6 Floor-standing Speakers, M-1 Surround Speakers and PV1 Subwoofer

B&W VM6 speakers, M-1 Surround and PV1 Sub system

B&W have a long history in the speaker biz since their formation in the 60's and the company as a whole probably needs little introduction to most Home Theater and Hi-Fi fans. With Rotel and Classe in the corporate stable there are components for everyone. While B&W is probably best known for its evolving 800 series speaker line and its range topping Nautilus flagship the company has branched out significantly over the last 20 years into in wall / in ceiling speakers (Custom Series) and speakers that compliment the emergence of flat screen TV's (FPM and VM6). Here, we review their VM6 floor-standing speakers, M-1 surrounds, and PV1 subwoofer. See our Demonstration Video on the B&W M-1 Speakers here.

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Velodyne MiniVee Subwoofer

Velodyne MiniVee subwoofer

When you think of subwoofer manufacturers—and we're talking about companies that pay the bills making and selling subwoofers—Velodyne is one of the first names that comes to mind. Since 1983, Velodyne has produced an extensive range of highly regarded subs, including its Digital Drive series and "1812" subwoofers. They also make small subs, in this review, we cover their MiniVee, which uses an 8" driver.

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Pioneer S-2EX Monitor-sized Speakers

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My first introduction to high end audio was back in college. During my freshman year (1975) I came into contact with a kid across the hall from me who owned a Pioneer tape deck. I remember well the wooden side panels and dancing dials. Even though I can not remember the model, I remember that it was able to record on CrO2 tape for the highest fidelity. Does anyone else remember those tapes? Over the years, I have owned a Pioneer CTF-650 tape deck and at least one Pioneer CD/SACD player. But even back then, I knew that Pioneer was really only mid-fi. In fact, Pioneer was competing with JVC, Technics, Sansui and others in the entry to mid level equipment market place. Sure, today the Elite series is pretty good, but I still can't shake the feeling that it is just on the upper end of the mid-fidelity crowd. Pioneer makes speakers too, and they are very good. Here, we review their model S-2EX, which are monitor-sized, which means they are too big to go on a shelf, but not floor-standing.

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Paradigm Rock Speakers

Paradigm Rock Speakers

I admit, I've always been a little cynical about outdoor speakers. What better chance for a manufacturer to knick you a little extra for the ability to leave them out in the rain. Just walk into any big box store and you will see models of outdoor speakers from ho-hum manufacturers that command at least twice what their comparable indoor speakers cost. In this case though, Paradigm is the source, and they are definitely not ho-hum. And, making them waterproof does add to the cost. But, it is the sound that matters most, and Paradigm delivers. Read our review to see what I am talking about.

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Earthquake CP-8 Subwoofer

Earthquake CP-8 subwoofer

Is there a more apropos name for a manufacturer of subwoofers than Earthquake? True, they now make a fine line of speakers and their power amplifiers have won many awards, but their real claim to fame has always been their subs. During my recent trip to CEDIA last fall, I had the pleasure of meeting with Abraham Sahyoun, Earthquake's marketing director. He encouraged me to attempt to lift the Super Nova Subwoofer off its display pedestal…he grinned while I attempted and failed…and then told me that it weighed in excess of 300 pounds. He then introduced me to a new sub, the CP-8, a subwoofer that is designed to fit behind or under your couch. The CP stands for "Couch Potato."

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MartinLogan 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System

MartinLogan Home Theater System

I remember the first time I saw a pair of MartinLogan electrostatic speakers. It was 1993 and I was still in high-school, shopping for a new car stereo. And then I saw them, a pair of tall ominous black panels. I was immediately intrigued by the strange looking panel. Asking for a demonstration, I was politely refused, who would think a teenager with a scratched rap CD fresh off the car audio demo system could afford (or even appreciate) such a speaker? Here, we review a 5.1 set of MartinLogans, consisting of the Summit X as the front speakers, Vista as the rear surround, Stage as the center channel, and Descent i subwoofer.

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BG Corp Z-92 Planar-Ribbon Speakers and 210i Subwoofer

BG Corp Z-92 Planar-Ribbon Speakers and 210i Subwoofer

BG Corp is a speaker company known for their innovative designs incorporating planar-ribbon drivers of their own design. The company was founded in 1994 and has headquarters in Carson City, Nevada. BG Corp is sometimes referred to as BG Radia. In this review, we take a look at the Z-92 floor-standing speakers as well as their 210i subwoofer.

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Kef IQ Series Speakers and HTBSE-W Wireless Subwoofer

Kef IQ Series Speakers and HTBSE-W Wireless Subwoofer

KEF is the venerable British-based loudspeaker company founded in 1961 by former BBC electrical engineer Raymond Cooke. The company first became famous for its monitors and Reference series speakers. In 1988, KEF introduced the revolutionary Uni-Q system, which mounted a neodymium-based tweeter in the center of the woofer voice coil. Since then, KEF has expanded its product line to include the ultra high-end Muon down to the entry level C Series speakers. The subject of this review, KEF's Q Series speakers, is the next step up from the C Series. As the name implies, it offers the Uni-Q technology in each of the five main speakers.

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Mixing and Matching: The Paradigm Reference Signature C5 Center Channel Cone Speaker vs. Electrostatics

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In most A/V publications, they will tell you to stick with one brand and line of speakers so that the tonality will be the same across the entire soundstage. That's true. But, if you look for neutrality in sound, you can mix and match with no problem. I have used electrostatic speakers (ESLs) in our home theater lab as a reference for years. The problem has always been the center channel. The front left and right ESL are 6 feet tall, and the center channel ESL was only 4 feet, and even then, the motorized projection screen would come down in front of it about a foot. Secondly, ESLs cannot be driven to high SPLs like cone speakers.....So, I decided to use a conventional (cone) speaker for the center channel, the new Paradigm Reference Signature C5 center channel speaker.....Was I disappointed in the results? Read our review to see.

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Klipsch Icon W 5.1 Speaker System

Klipsch Icon W system

Klipsch designed the Icon series of loudspeakers for smaller rooms and spaces. They also wanted the Icon speakers to blend well with contemporary decors. The system I reviewed here incorporated speakers from the Icon "W" line. These speakers have a sweet real wood veneer with a furniture-grade finish. Was Klipsch able to produce a compact, horn-loaded speaker system which epitomized these design goals while delivering the Klipsch signature sound? Read our review to see what we found.

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Canton GLE 5.1 Speaker System

Canton's GLE 5.1 system

This 5.1 speaker system by Canton hails from Germany, a country famous for the design and manufacturing of all manner of precision products: cars, medical devices, tools, and so forth. So I was really looking forward to seeing if the German engineering, manufacturing and QA/QC tradition would benefit this speaker system.

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