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Mirage MX 5.1 Speaker System

Mirage MX 5.1 Speaker System

I've always been intrigued by Mirage speakers. Their brand and styling are unmistakable. Having never owned a pair and only partaking in a few brief demos, I was eager to spend some time with the MX 5.1 speaker system. I knew the MX speaker system was compact but when the shipping company arrived with a box that was smaller in diameter than my reference subwoofer I started to feel a little disenchanted.

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Revel Performa F52 Tower Speakers, C52 Center Channel Speaker, S30 Surround Speakers, and Concerta B120 Subwoofer

Revel Performa F52, C52, S30 and Concerta B120

In 1996 an announcement was made about a new speaker company being formed under the very large umbrella of the Harman brand. One could say a perfect storm was created when Harman committed their considerable resources, and Kevin Voecks; a protégé of legendary audio engineer Dr. Floyd Toole, was brought on as Head Engineer. Harman wanted a speaker brand to match the quality of its Levinson electronics. These speakers would be designed using pure science and only released to market when proven to out-perform the competition in double-blind listening tests. We know that brand today as Revel.

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Paradigm Reference Studio Speaker System

Paradigm Reference Studio Speaker System

The speaker business has got to be a challenging one.On the one hand, unlike most other CE devices, speakers don't have any inherent rapid obsolescence to them. In fact, good speakers by definition should be viable, literally, for a lifetime. Paradigm's Reference Studio Speakers fit such a definition.

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Onkyo HT-S7200 HTiB (Home Theater in a Box)

Onkyo HT-S7200

My first Home Theater in a Box (HTiB) was a Sony unit about 10 yrs ago that went into a 500 sq/ft college apartment and, I thought for the time, sounded pretty good (I bought it on clearance from for $200 including DVD player, receiver, satellites and passive sub).

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Focal Dome 5.1 Speaker System

Focal Dome 5.1 System Many loudspeakers today are marketed more for their ability to blend into a space or make an aesthetic statement than to provide high performance.  Since they are the most visible AV component after the television, sizes and styles vary as much as colors of the rainbow.  With many lifestyle products come compromises in audio quality; not so with the Focal Dome system.

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Paradigm Reference Millenia 300 Tower Floor-standing Speakers, Millenia 30 Center Channel Speaker, Millenia ADP Surround Speakers, and Studio Sub 15 Subwoofer

Paradigm Reference Millenia System

Talk about mixed feelings! I need to unload all of my biases first since they are sufficient to taint this review. First, I'm a longstanding fan of Paradigm speakers and over the years, I have either owned or listened to a wide range of their products, right from the diminutive Atoms to their flagship Signature models. In this review, I tested the Millenia series.

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Paradigm Millenia 20 Hybrid In-Wall speakers

Paradigm Millenia 20 Hybrid In Wall speakersAhh summer time. Time for pools, get togethers with friends and tearing apart walls in search of audio and aesthetic excellence for your flat screen TV. While this may not be the average summer activity for most I'll wager more than a few Secrets readers are in the midst of their own audio-video inspired renovations. Here's my story of an in wall audio adventure courtesy of the new Paradigm Millenia 20 Hybrids.

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Atlantic Technology 4400 Speaker System

Atlantic Technology 4400 Speaker System

Addendum to Atlantic Technology 4400 system review - 642eSB THX select subwoofer

I was having trouble getting good performance from the 444SB so Atlantic Technology was kind enough to send me one of their THX Select certified 642eSB subwoofers. Upon arrival, I immediately noticed the size difference. The 642 is quite a bit larger! It also weighs quite a bit more. It was a decent workout getting it unpacked and moved. To me, this is a good sign when it comes to subwoofers. I set the crossover to bypass and cranked up the gain to about 40% then turned on some music. (Read more at the end of review)

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Revel Concerta 5.1 Speaker System

Revel Concerta Speaker SystemRevel is the upscale speaker division of Harman International, which includes Infinity, Harmon Kardon, JBL and Lexicon. Revel has been making speakers since 1996 and makes the Ultima2 (~ $26K/pair) and Performa series from which the Concerta gets its lineage. The chief designer of these speakers is Kevin Voecks who also has had a hand in developing speakers for Snell and Mirage. With an audio testing facility built by Harman International in California, all Revel speakers go through a rigorous testing process for voicing and timbral accuracy.

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Energy RC-Micro 5.1 Home Theater in Box Speakers

Energy RC-Micro 5.1

Do you fault a Mini Cooper for being a Mini and not a Honda Odyssey or a Porsche 911? In evaluating product, a question that is often unasked is "What is the reference?" Often times, particularly in audio or video, the question is unasked because the answer invariably is reality.

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"Imagine" (NAD Blu-ray Player and Receiver, PSB Speakers)

Imagine System ReviewWelcome to the inaugural Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity system review! We are planning to publish a series of similar reviews to highlight system packages in the Low (up to $2,500 MSRP), Medium ($2,501 - $5,000 MSRP) and High (over $5,000 MSRP) price categories. The systems will all include a source component, receiver (or prepro and amp), speakers and sub (optional). We will also evaluate products in the burgeoning soundbar category. We will strive to select balanced systems that will offer the best value in their respective price ranges. These reviews will be focused on helping readers select turnkey systems for new installations or upgrades.

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