RSL Speedscreen II loudspeaker Review Context

Sidebar 1: Review Context

The speakers were positioned for the best sound (with only one pair of loudspeakers in the listening room at a time), generally some 4' from the rear wall (which is faced with books and LPs) and approximately 5' from the side walls (which also have bookshelves covering some of their surfaces). Source components consisted of a Revox A77 to play my own and others' 15ips master tapes, a Linn Linn Sondek/Ekos/Troikasetup sitting on a Sound Organisation table to play LPs, and Kinergetics KCD-40 and Proceed CD players. Amplification consisted of a Mark Levinson No.25/No.26 preamplifier combination driving a pair of Mark Levinson No.20.5 monoblocks via 15' lengths of AudioQuest LiveWire Lapis balanced interconnect. Speaker cable was 5' lengths of AudioQuest Clear Hyperlitz, doubled-up for biwiring.

Regarding my use of very expensive components for my loudspeaker reviews, something that has come under attack in this month's "Letters" column, this is for two practical reasons. The first is that I want to be sure of getting the best sound from the speakers under test; I do not want to compromise their intrinsic performance, it being considerably easier to extrapolate downward than upward. Second, having used this amplification almost continuously for the last six months, I am extremely familiar with its sound. Third, with any series of listening tests, it is essential to limit any changes to just the component under review. Change the amplifier as well as the loudspeaker, and how do you know what sonic characteristic can be attributed to what component?—John Atkinson

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