Floor Loudspeaker Reviews

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Robert Schryer  |  Jan 20, 2022  |  38 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  |  31 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  |  52 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  |  19 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  |  23 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  |  10 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.
Jim Austin  |  Aug 18, 2021  |  6 comments
Many loudspeaker designers are minimalists at heart. They embrace a design aesthetic that says that simpler is better. Based on the evidence of the company's R 8 Arreté, Ole Klifoth, of Danish loudspeaker maker Audiovector, is not one of those designers.

On its website, in the Specifications section for its "R"-model loudspeakers (footnote 1), Audiovector offers a long checklist of technologies, many of them optional, some of them, called "Concepts," assigned snappy names and acronyms: IUC for Individual Upgrade Concept; LCC for Low Compression Concept; SEC for Soundstage Enhancement Concept; NES for No Energy Storage; FGC for Freedom Grounding Concept; and NCS for Natural Crystal Structure.

John Atkinson  |  Aug 13, 2021  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1988  |  1 comments
The Swedish Rauna company, which has been in existence for about five years—their little Mk.II Tyr two-way impressed J. Gordon Holt a couple of years back in Vol.9 No.2—appears to be dedicated to the use of concrete as an enclosure material. One of the problems with conventional wooden cabinets is that the walls flex and vibrate, adding a spurious and often time-delayed output at some frequencies. It has even been reported that in extreme cases, the contribution of the cabinet to the overall sound at some frequencies approaches that from the drive-units. In theory, concrete should give a rigid construction with any panel resonant frequencies moved up above the critical midrange.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Jul 14, 2021  |  16 comments
Over a lifetime of audio shows, I've consistently enjoyed Dynaudio speaker demonstrations. Each time, I've told Dynaudio North America's Michael Manousselis that I'd love to review the speaker on display that year. But I never followed through. So, when Jim Austin suggested I review a Dynaudio speaker "because they haven't gotten much press," it resonated with my deep-seated guilt. A little research revealed that the last Dynaudio speaker Stereophile reviewed was the 40 Special in November 2018. The last floorstander was the Dynaudio Sapphire in 2009!
Jim Austin  |  Jun 18, 2021  |  28 comments
It's rare for a Stereophile reviewer to review two loudspeakers in a row from the same manufacturer, but then these are unusual times. Because of the pandemic, Magico's M2s got stuck here for a year (I know: poor me). By the time they were packed up and shipped out, it was time for a long-scheduled review of the less-expensive, more-massive Magico A5 ($24,800/pair).
John Atkinson  |  May 19, 2021  |  18 comments
2020 may not have been a year to celebrate, but there were some housebound highlights. For example, after I had finished with the measurements to accompany Michael Fremer's review of the Marten Oscar Duo in the November 2020 issue, I set up these Swedish two-way standmounts in my own listening room. Yes, the measured performance was excellent, but I was not expecting how much I would enjoy the sound of the Oscar Duos.

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