Floor Loudspeaker Reviews

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Julie Mullins  |  May 20, 2022  |  4 comments
Great hi-fi can give you goosebumps. And it relates to another source of horripilation: live music, and its recordings. I've also always been a live music junkie—ever since I was a kid.

I was fortunate to have grown up attending the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra's "LolliPops" children's concerts. I'd seen some tepid live acts as a kid (ie, Donny and Marie). But nothing prepared me for my first rock concert. It, um, rocked my world.

J. Gordon Holt  |  May 12, 2022  |  First Published: Feb 01, 1968  |  4 comments
The idea of a loudspeaker system whose frequency response could be tailored to suit room acoustics and/or personal taste is one that has always appealed to the high-fidelity perfectionist. Ideally, such a loudspeaker would allow you to raise or lower the level of any part of the audio spectrum to correct for, say, a sharp 370Hz room resonance or a mild absorptive condition that weakens, say, the 800Hz–3kHz range. Obviously, though, this kind of flexibility would require an infinite number of bandpass networks, each with its own volume control—which is an obvious impracticality.
Alex Halberstadt  |  Apr 13, 2022  |  36 comments
One day in the mid-1990s, my friend J and I sat sprawled on the carpeted floor of a hi-fi shop in lower Manhattan, playing records. J, who was employed there as a salesperson, had dimmed the lights and locked the door of the listening room behind us to make sure we wouldn't be disturbed by actual customers. Earlier, he had lugged in a pair of homemade speakers that an elderly woman brought to the store, hoping to sell some of her late husband's gear.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Mar 10, 2022  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1966  |  4 comments
The Z-600 is the latest of the "console" (as opposed to "bookshelf") systems made by Neshaminy Corp., and using Janszen electrostatic tweeters (footnote 1) and a Neshaminy-designed 11" woofer. The nominal crossover frequency is 1500Hz, with a broad overlap between the woofer's top and the low end of the paralleled tweeters. Tweeter level is not adjustable (footnote 2).
John Atkinson  |  Feb 21, 2022  |  0 comments
One reason Stereophile publishes a FollowUp is when the original review leaves an issue unresolved or where further thoughts would be useful. Such was the case with the magazine's March 2022 issue, which had followup reviews on the iFi ZEN CAN headphone amplifier and ZEN DAC Signature V2 D/A processor ($599/pair). the Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 phono preamplifier ($1999), and the Canton Reference 7K loudspeaker ($6995/pair).
Robert Schryer  |  Jan 20, 2022  |  51 comments
When I learned that I was to review the new seventh generation of Monitor Audio's Silver 500 loudspeaker ($3200/pair), descendants of the original Silver-series products launched in 1999, I thought back on what I knew about the company and then refreshed my memory. Monitor Audio was founded, in 1972, in Teversham, England, a town bordered by farmland located some three miles from the epicenter of its more famous neighbor, Cambridge.
John Atkinson  |  Jan 14, 2022  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1988  |  2 comments
So far, as part of my quest to find good affordable box loudspeakers, I have reviewed 20 models, in the August, October, and November 1987, and January and February 1988 issues of Stereophile (Vol.10 Nos.5, 7, & 8, Vol.11 Nos.1 & 2). Nearly all affordable loudspeakers have to be used with a pair of stands: as these have an important influence on the integrity of the sound and tend to cost upward of $100 a pair for good models, this makes such speakers less of a bargain. This month, therefore, I review loudspeakers designed from the outset to be floor-standing: three from the USA—DCM's Time Frame TF1000, the planar-magnetic Magnepan MG2.5/R, and the Orpheus 808—and one from Sweden, the Rauna Balder. The prices are pretty closely grouped, with the DCM being the least expensive, at a hair under $1100/pair.
John Atkinson  |  Dec 17, 2021  |  32 comments
The boxes sit there in our storage unit, opposite the 20 banker's boxes that hold 33 years' worth of product-measurement workbooks. The two large boxes are for the Bowers & Wilkins Matrix 801s my wife owned when we got married in 1987 (footnote 1). The four smaller boxes are for the B&W John Bowers Silver Signatures and their stands, which I purchased after reviewing them in June 1994. Both pairs of speakers gave superb sound quality back in the day, but now they sit there in the storage unit, their boxes giving me recriminatory looks when I visit.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Nov 23, 2021  |  54 comments
I received an email from a longtime press representative I've known for years, telling me about a new loudspeaker company he's representing. The company is bursting from the gates with a line of products that includes floorstanders, standmounts, wallmounts, surrounds, center channels, and a range of subwoofers.
Jim Austin  |  Nov 17, 2021  |  20 comments
The Wilson Audio Specialties Alexx V ($135,000–$151,000/pair) is the biggest, heaviest, most expensive loudspeaker I've had in my listening room. It replaces the original Alexx in Wilson's lineup; Michael Fremer reviewed the earlier Alexx, bought it, and owned it until replacing it recently with the Wilson Chronosonic XVX.
John Atkinson  |  Oct 29, 2021  |  19 comments
Exactly five years ago as I write these words, I reviewed an elegant-looking and elegant-sounding tower loudspeaker from Canadian manufacturer PSB: the Imagine T3. Priced at $7498/pair before it was discontinued, the T3 combined three woofers, each housed in its own vented subenclosure, with a 5.25" midrange unit mounted above a 1" tweeter.
Michael Fremer  |  Oct 22, 2021  |  24 comments
You've got your 2001: A Space Odyssey speaker, which of course is a tall, black, featureless monolith. Then there's your wooden "Who's buried inside?" speaker, your "R-I-C-O-L-A" speaker, your enema bag or double-inverted enema bag speaker, your menacing hooded-Klansman speaker, your "looks like a robot, praying mantis, or Transformer" speaker (mine), and your "Does it leave a slime trail?" speaker (looks like a snail). You've got your "Is that a room divider?" speaker, your "looks like you stepped on a duck's head" speaker, and your "whipped cream dollop suspended in time" speaker.
Herb Reichert  |  Oct 01, 2021  |  34 comments
The made-in-Switzerland Stenheim Alumine Three floorstanding loudspeaker sells for $32,900/pair. It is not only the most expensive component I've reviewed for Stereophile; it costs more than 10 times (!) as much as my $3000/pair reference Falcon Acoustics Gold Badge LS3/5a speaker. So naturally I wondered: Will it sound 10 times better? And if it does sound 10 times better, what might the nature of the improvements be?
Ken Micallef  |  Sep 02, 2021  |  20 comments
No one taught me more about the heralded tone of Ortofon SPU cartridges, the magical pacing of idler-drive turntables, or the dynamics and speed of horn-loaded speakers than Art Dudley, Stereophile's late deputy editor. His equipment reviews and monthly Listening columns weren't merely tutorials on how to review audio equipment with insight and an individual voice; they were also an entertaining, informative immersion into the kind of hi-fi he loved. We also shared many conversations, though too few.
John Atkinson  |  Aug 26, 2021  |  11 comments
German manufacturer Canton Elektronik has a strong presence in Europe, but distribution of its loudspeakers in the US has been sporadic. Consequently, the most recent review in Stereophile of a Canton speaker, the Reference 3.2 DC, was in 2010. When we heard, in December 2020, that Bluebird Music would be bringing Canton back to North America, we were eager to review a Canton loudspeaker. Balancing performance and price, we selected the Reference 7K, which costs $6995/pair.

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