Floor Loudspeaker Reviews

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Ken Micallef  |  Sep 02, 2021  |  16 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  |  5 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  |  16 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.
Robert Schryer  |  May 14, 2021  |  15 comments
The first image that pops into my mind when I think of Focal is of the iconic Grande Utopias and how at one Montreal audio show I couldn't believe that the gentlest, sweetest music I'd heard all day was coming out of those massive speakers. I saw it as a paradox of sorts.

Founded in the City of Lights, Focal has been around since 1979, the year Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now received the Palme d'Or at Cannes and when the average annual income in America was $17,500. Focal started as a twinkle in the eye of engineer and technology journalist Jacques Mahul, who believed he'd built a speaker that would appeal to hi-fi enthusiasts: the DB13. Fast-forward half a century, and Focal, designated "entreprise du patrimoine vivant" (living heritage company) by the French government, employs some 230 people at its large, stylish, multilevel digs.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 23, 2021  |  22 comments
Brand-fan excitement ran high among consumers and reviewers alike when Wilson Audio Specialties announced that it would roll out a nonfunctioning prototype of the Chronosonic XVX at the 2019 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF). The Chronosonic XVX was rumored to be a replacement for the $210,000/pair Alexandria XLF, offering performance similar to that of the $850,000 WAMM Master Chronosonic system (including two Master Subsonics and a controller) at a less breathtaking price. (You won't catch me writing "affordable" here.) The static unveiling at RMAF intensified anticipation.
John Atkinson  |  Mar 26, 2021  |  37 comments
Time for some towers. In recent months, a succession of standmount speakers has passed through my listening room: GoldenEar BRXes, Bowers & Wilkins 705 Signatures, Marten Oscar Duos, original KEF LS50s, and the new LS50 Metas. All these loudspeakers sounded excellent, though different from one another. I felt that a floorstanding loudspeaker would make for an interesting change.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Mar 08, 2021  |  First Published: May 01, 1966  |  10 comments
In the introduction to "Recommended Components" in the final issue in Volume One of what was then called The Stereophile, published in May 1966, founder J. Gordon Holt briefly described his Top-Rated Loudspeaker Systems.

Altec A-7
A highly efficient horn-loaded system for use in large to very large listening rooms (at least 15' from the listening area), or for very high-volume "Row-A" listening. Excellent woofer-tweeter blending, moderately deep (useful 45Hz limit in most rooms) and very taut, well-defined low end. Highs smooth and slightly soft, yielding most natural high-end quality at high listening levels. Middles smooth, rather forward, placing closely miked instruments somewhat in front of the system itself.

Brian Damkroger  |  Feb 19, 2021  |  66 comments
Many companies in high-end audio and elsewhere use a trickle-down approach to advance their products. The process begins with the development of a suite of new technologies, capabilities, components, or whatever the relevant entities might be. Typically, it's a flagship product that functions as the impetus, target, and first deployment of the new technologies. Subsequently, the new technologies trickle down to other models, each one incorporating a subset appropriate to its price point.
John Atkinson  |  Feb 15, 2021  |  5 comments
When Stereophile publishes a followup review in the print magazine, we add it as a "child page" to the website reprint of the original coverage. We have recently done so with three significant products: the Magico M2 loudspeaker, the Linear Tube Audio Z10e tubed headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, and the Okto Research dac8 PRO multichannel D/A processor.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Nov 11, 2020  |  First Published: Sep 01, 1964  |  9 comments
These are two of Electro-Voice's "middle-ground" speaker systems, filling the quality (and price) range between the huge Patrician 800 and the diminutive Coronet system.
Martin Colloms  |  Nov 06, 2020  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1998  |  21 comments
Few designers are drawn to create horn loudspeakers. Most people's experience of horns is based on the resonating, overdriven, often overloaded PA installations heard at rock concerts and similar events. These commonly heard unmusical noises and colorations are ever-present in designers' minds. But good-sounding horns do exist; over the years, some noteworthy commercial examples have appeared, though few have been full-range.

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