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Loudspeakers and Subwoofers

Martin Logan, the Kansas-based 600-pound gorilla in the field of electrostatic panel loudspeakers, has taken a slim-down design path with its new Clarity speakers ($2,695/pair, shipping now). Shown with High Fidelity Review contributor Nick Satullo gamely standing for scale, the placement-friendly Claritys forego the traditional towering girth of planars, consuming less than one square foot of floor space apiece. Some inevitable sacrifice in image height was audible from a standing position, but the Claritys impressed with the same open, uncolored sound that distinguishes the company's larger curvilinear line source designs – a particularly gorgeous presentation for vocals, jazz and acoustic instruments.

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Contributing to the Clarity’s high performance in such a small profile is an all-new driver architecture. Martin Logan’s Generation 2 stat panel (top) sports a MicroPerf design with smaller but more numerous holes for better sound dispersion, and transducers equipped with low-mass diaphragms and a reformulated alloy coating. Assembled with precision assembly technology inherited from the company’s flagship Statement line, these plasma-bonded diaphragms offer maximum impedance tolerance and resistance to adhesion and abrasion, along with increased efficiency and dynamic range, the company claims. The panel is mated to an aluminum woofer (bottom) and bass reflex design to achieve low frequency extension rated to a very respectable 46Hz.

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Complementing the Claritys in multi-channel installations, Martin Logan’s upcoming Scripti surrounds continue the company’s very smart adjustable wall- or stand-mounting design, allowing the speakers to be repositioned on the fly for either discrete sound sources or ambient envelopment. They’ll be available in April at $1,795/pair. A matching center speaker is currently in development, with no specs or price info available as yet.

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Something new in something old from Von Schweikert Audio, which continues to refine its bread-and-butter VR-4, now available in a Special Edition (right) with upgraded ScanSpeak tweeters and custom Audax midrange drivers, for $5,950/pair. Welcome news for owners of the current generation of the VR-4 family is the announcement that designer Albert Von Schweikert is currently building a new matching LCR-40 center speaker which he describes as “essentially a VR-4SE turned on its side.” Also debuting at CES was Von Schweikert’s new VR-1 mini-monitor, quite handsomely finished in a $995/pair package.

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Also new in the Von Schweikert Audio lineup is this VR-S/1 mini-cube subwoofer, comprising a 10-inch driver and 300-watt amplifier in a 1 cubic foot enclosure. Since Von Schweikert is no longer using Bob Carver subwoofer designs, the VR-S/1 will include a defeatable crossover. []

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Latest additons 7th February 2003:

Panamax Power Conditioning
Xplore Solutions A/V Control
EAD Theatermaster Studio
Focal-JMLab Utopia Loudspeakers
McCormack DVD-Audio/SACD Player
Martin Logan Clarity & Scripti
Artistic Audio & Red Rose Audio
IMF Audio Musica Model 25
Philips, Pioneer & Sharp DVD-R/RW
Opus Distributed Audio
Audio Aero Prestige A/V Player
Philips DVDR80 DVD+RW Recorder
Lexicon Home Theater Products
DVD Entertainment Group Dinner
Universal Remote Control MX-3000
Xantech System Control Products
McIntosh MVP851 DVD-Audio Player
Von Schweikert VR-S/1 Subwoofer
Von Schweikert VR-1 & VR-4SE
Zu Druid 2 & Gallo Acoustics
2003 Panasonic DVD-Video Players
Universal DVD-Audio/SACD Players
Arcam Home Theater Products
Stillpoints Isolation Products
Panasonic e-Wear & LCD Monitor
SACD Press Conference
Clark Synthesis Gold TST329
Guitammer BKA1000-4 Amplifier
Dynaudio Contour Loudspeakers

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Show report last updated: 7th February 2003 ~ 190 original images on-line.


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