Spectrum Audio 108cd loudspeaker Review System

Sidebar 1: Review System

"Lonnie, how'd you like to review some speakers?" It was John Atkinson.

"Sure, but send me some stands, too, would you? I don't have any."

"Not a problem."

Stands and speakers showed up together in one massive display of sticking-together-thru-UPS solidarity. The stands were from Lovan, with four spiked feet and a column you can fill with sand, which I did. Without sand, they rang like bells when tapped; though the sound was lovely, it probably wasn't conducive to good performance. Once sandbagged, they just went thunk when rapped.

Got 'em leveled, but the right one still wobbled a bit at the top, even though the feet were firmly in touch with our slab flooring. What? Oh, I see—the upright column doesn't fit flush with the bottom plate; therefore, the stand can rock! This calls for...an audio file! Hmmmm...none listed in "Recommended Components," so I guess I'm on my own. I borrowed a flat file from my neighbor, Ed, and, with a little elbow grease, made the high spots disappear so a proper fit was obtained. Ah, that's better: solid like it oughta be. After a bit of experimenting I settled on one location for the speakers for most of the auditioning: 52" from the sidewalls and 64" from the back.

Cast of characters: The Analog family was portrayed by Linn Axis as the 'table, Linn Basik Plus as the tonearm, and Shure V-15 Type 5MR as the cartridge. The Digital gang was played by Magnavox CDB-560 as the transport, Audio Alchemy DTI as the anti-jitter device, Audio Alchemy DITB as the converter, with Illuminati Data/Video Flex and Data Flex Studio as the cables. The staff of Control and Amplification Inc. were played by Audible Illusions 2A as the preamp, and Audio Alchemy OM-150 Overture as the power amp. Also in supporting roles were Bright Star Audio Big Rock, Arcici Superstand, Aural Symphonics As-One and Synergistic Research Alpha Sterling and Kaleidoscope interconnects, Goertz MI-1 and Synergistic Research Signature No.2 speaker cables, Audio Power Industries Power Wedge 116 and Power Wedge VI, and Synergistic Research A/C Master Coupler power cords. Behind-the-scenes help was provided by a Nitty-Gritty Model 1 record cleaner, CD Stoplight, and a Signet SK306 stylus cleaner.

Each speaker got a couple days of break-in time with the Sheffield/XLO CD and with that other stuff—you now, music—and also some time in our most modest "Home Theater" setup.—Lonnie Brownell

Spectrum Audio
company no longer in existence