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AudioControl Maestro M2 7.1 A/V Surround Sound Processor

Part II

March, 2006

John E. Johnson, Jr.

 

In Use

I set up the M2 with the Savoy power amplifier that was still here, along with a Denon DVD-5900 universal DVD player, Final Sound electrostatic speakers, Velodyne subwoofers, and Nordost cables. A Panasonic PT-AE900U projector and Stewart Grayhawk screen were used for the video.

 

This new Telarc SACD, Great Film Fantasies (Telarc SACD-60664) was a fun way to start out the listening tests. Most of the tracks are from Star Wars, but there are some nice ones from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings too.

Telarc tends not to compress the audio at all, and the M2 handled every channel beautifully. The Savoy was the perfect match as well for such thunderous music.

The sound of the M2 tends towards the laid back rather than in your face, which is what I prefer these days.

 

The Lost Angeles Guitar Quartet has released this SACD, Spin, recently (Telarc SACD-60647).

Guitar makes an excellent test, because the transients that occur at the leading edge of the plucked strings are very demanding.

The M2 did this so smoothly, it was hard not to just forget about the processing and simply enjoy the music.

 

I am not really a Bartok fan, but his music is extremely demanding, such as in this new Telarc SACD, Concerto for Orchestra (Telarc SACD-60618).

The various movements offer differing challenges, such as a quiet introduction and separation of oboe and bassoon, but the M2 held fast.

On this disc, there is also music by Witold Lutoslawski, including the "Fanfare for Louisville". It contains very loud combinations of brass, which must be kept distinct, and the M2 did so, admirably.

 

Reese Witherspoon won the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of June Carter in Walk the Line.

The movie turned out to be as much about the music as the characters, and the M2/Savoy combination was terrific here.

One of the things I remember as a youngster (I was about 11 years old I think), was Johnny Cash appearing on the Jackie Gleason Show in the mid fifties, singing his big hit, I Walk the Line. It is just one of those early memories that has stuck with me to this day. That song made him a huge star.

The movie was a big hit too, and the music sounded golden using the M2/Savoy combination. The M2 sound is detailed, neutral, and very enjoyable.

 Click Here to Go to Part III.

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