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Speaker Reviews

KEF XQ10 Bookshelf Speakers

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Founded by Raymond Cook in the 1960's on the premises of Kent Engineering & Foundry (from where the name KEF is derived), KEF speakers have been a popular loudspeaker brand in Europe for many years. With interest in expanding their presence here in the States, KEF is introducing their XQ series which ranges from the XQ10 bookshelves to the XQ40 towers. What I consider to be their most innovative design is the Uni-Q, a point source that consolidates the tweeter into the mid range driver.

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Totem Mite Bookshelf Speakers

Totem Mite Bookshelf Speakers

A couple of years ago, a friend and I were on a quest for the perfect bookshelf speaker. With a budget of $1100 a pair this quest certainly had its challenges. Although our needs were slightly different, I was geared more towards hometheater and he towards two channel, we did agree on one thing; the little speaker had to sound "big".

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ARE Audio Light Roast Speakers

Are Audio Light Roast Speakers

ARE Audio consists of two East Coast Canadian childhood friends who have created interesting speakers with a twist. They currently produce two models, the bookshelf Light Roasts and a floor stander called the Grinder. These guys do more than just build speakers; they also customize the speakers to your taste.

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Dynaudio Excite Home Theater Speakers

Dynaudio Excite home theater speakersLong before I ever dreamed of owning a genuine set of Dynaudio speakers, I’ve lusted after their raw drivers. Dynaudio speaker components have always been highly regarded in the do-it-yourself (DIY) community for their exceptional fidelity and bullet-proof construction. Notably, the DIY crowd isn’t exactly known for their extravagance or pretentiousness, so the huge popularity of Dynaudio is quite telling.

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Dynaudio X16 Bookshelf Speakers

Dynaudio X16 Book shelf speakers

The Excite is Danish manufacturer Dynaudio's second least expensive speaker line, comprised of five different models: two towers, two bookshelves, and one center channel. The X16 is the larger of the two bookshelf speakers, with a 1" hand-coated silk dome tweeter and a single 6.5" mid/woofer configured in a classic two-way ported design.

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Canton GLE 490 Floor-standing Speakers, GLE 455 Center Channel, GLE 430 Bookshelf Speakers, and AS 105 SC Subwoofer

Canton GLE 4x0 SpeakersAmidst the many dividing lines in the world of audio and video is the line between those that believe speakers must be single purpose, and those that believe speakers can be multi-purpose. The purposes in question are often music and home theater (alternatively music or home theater depending on what side of the line you are on.) A more pertinent question for this review might be: "How well Canton goes from Pure Music to surround sound in one package?"

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ZVOX Z-Base 550 Surround Sound Solution (Sound Bar)

ZVOX Z-Base 550 Surround Sound Solution

ZVOX is an e-tailer based in New England. They currently manufacture and market seven different models of sound bars. Their products are available on-line direct from the manufacturer. All purchases carry a 30-day no-risk guarantee.The low profile Z-Base 550 is one of their products. It is designed to support a stand-mounted flat panel display. Will a compact 20-pound single box surround system prove worthy of recommendation?

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Energy CF-70 Floor-standing Speakers

Energy CF-70 Speakers

I first encountered the Energy line of speakers in the late 90's when I helped a friend setup her new Take 5 system paired with a Denon receiver. My recollection of the event is of some skepticism as to the sound quality given the small size of the speakers but I ended up being grudgingly impressed with them. They certainly blew away any HTiB solution! It was perfect for her condo.

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Velodyne SC-600 In-Wall Subwoofer

Velodyne SC-600 In Wall Subwoofer

The name Velodyne is practically synonymous with subwoofers. They have been creating innovatively designed subs since the 1980's with such features as high gain servos, anti-clipping, dynamic driven control systems and digital drive accelerometers to produce high volume, low distortion sound. Their latest product is part of their SubContractor Series. The SC-600 IW and SC-600 amp are a smaller, more affordable version of their SC-1250 in-wall design. Does this sub live up to its slogan of "Cut, Plug and Play"? Can a subwoofer that is less than 4 inches deep produce powerful bass?

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Emotiva ERT-8.3 Tower Speakers, ERM-6.3 Monitor, and ERD-1 Surround Speakers

Emotiva ERT-8.3 Tower SpeakersEmotiva has been recognized as a value/performance leader in amplifiers for quite some time. Recently, they have ventured into the speaker arena with several models. In this review, we cover the new ERT-8.3 Towers, ERM-6.3 Monitor (used as the center channel), and ERD-1 Surrounds. I enjoyed these speakers about as much as any I have ever had in my system. They are well-designed and solidly constructed. They represent an excellent value as well. Learn more about these exciting new speakers by clicking on the photo to read our review.

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Cadence CSX-15 Subwoofer

Cadence CSX-15 Subwoofer

I remember building my first home theater system many moons ago. I can still feel the agonizing pain of shopping for a subwoofer. Of all the components in my system it was the one item I obsessed over the most. Being the newbie that I was I had two basic requirements, big and loud. Over the years as my tastes refined I started to care less about size and subwoofers that go "boom" and began to care more about detail, finesse and accuracy.

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