Ever have a neighbor dog's that just keeps coming back over to your house, and acts like he lives there? And if you put him outside, he just stays on the porch until you give up and let him back in? Well, demo disc of yesteryear, Vertical Limit is back at our collective AV house. This time as a Blu-ray Disc spun by Outlaw Audio at HE 2007, which TJN wrote about below. Badder, and louder than ever, and still plain bad as a movie.
Andrew Lipinski makes last-minute adjustments to a surround system based on the L-707 stand-mount horned speaker with amplification built into the stand. It sounded big and transparent, with effortless bass, and for $35,035 it had better be. The company will soon replace another manufacturer's external sub amp with its own.
Le Sphère from Cabasse was warm and natural with the sweet midrange of choral music and most impressive with the deep pitches of pipe organ. Bel Canto electronics clearly helped. Still, I couldn't get over the feeling of being watched. Pricing not announced; expect something stratospheric.
This is not a picture of the DCM Cinema package. It's more of a sat/sub kind of thing. But I saw a picture of it and for $399 it's intriguing, especially given the company's stated policy of timbre-matching every model to every other model, no exceptions, period. Look for a review soon.
Okay, we couldn't hear a real demo because the show sample wasn't treated as kindly as it should have been on the trip to New York, but the ZVOX 425 looked nice, anyway. It's a "single-cabinet home theater system" that's five inches deep, mounts on the wall, has a built-in amplifier, five speakers, two powered subwoofers (yeah, that's right, two powered subwoofers in a five-inch deep cabinet that hangs on the wall), and virtual surround circuitry. The subwoofers are side-firing to help eliminate wall vibrations. The box is filled with five 3.25-inch full-range speakers and two 4-inch subwoofers. There's no digital input - it's designed to accept the stereo audio (or headphone jack) output from a TV and use the source material's encoded Dolby Pro Logic signal. As a result, says ZVOX, it's less expensive and there's no "digital weirdness". ZVOX says the 425 is the perfect ticket for people who are painfully afraid of wires and want a simple system they can hang on the wall under their plasma/LCD panel TV and pretend they have true home theater. The total size is 37" W x 7" H x 5" D. Price is $599.99.
This new Krell speaker continues the tradition of machined aluminum cabinets, but uses a new 6-1/2" midrange with an aluminum cone. As the name implies, the midrange / tweeter and woofer sections are separate. Not shown are the cables connecting the two modules. The three 8" ScanSpeak woofers are also new, but the 1" tweeter is the same as that in the Krell LAT-1000 speaker. Not yet available, but estimated to sell for $35,000 / pair, these expensive speakers had no trouble filling a large room driven by Nordest cable and a pair of Krell Evolution 600 monoblock amps.
It's not new, but it's still sexy. The two chassis Evolution One power amp can muster 1,800 watts of Class A power into 2 ohms. $50,000 / pair. To me, the retro look has me thinking of the dashboard of classic Fifties American car.
The soothing sounds of Frank Sinatra singing "What's New" (CD, originally a Capitol Records recording) were a welcome treat in the BAT / Wilson room. A pair of Watt Puppy 8 speakers sounded as smooth and inviting as the pair I heard in Denver last September, telling me the new, kindler, gentler Wilson wasn't a figment of my imagination. The BAT Rex preamp uses 18 tubes and fed dual 150SE tube monoblocks. Jeff Pour of Balanced Audio Technology turned off the house lights so we couldn't leave.
Outlaw has a new LCR speaker in development. Using the ubiquitous two-woof one-tweet arrangement found on many affordable designs, this new LCR comes with a twist. There are two crossovers in the box, one optimized for a vertical left / right stance, the other for a center channel stance. The latter minimizes comb filtering, the bane of horizontal arrayed two way center channels. The switch to "switch" between the two crossover is on the back.
Murphy's got this law, see? When you only have one working prototype of your new product, but you go ahead and set yourself to be the first press event for a room full of just fed journalists who are eager to hear or see something exciting, well then, you can rest assured knowing your prototype will crap out. That's what happened at 10 AM when the ZVOX 450 ZBIT the ZDUST just before the press arrived. Someone said it was a Bill Gates moment.
I've got to hand it to Nicoll Public Relations. Not only do they represent a lot of our favorite manufacturers, like Meridian, B&W, and Silicon Optix, they're also responsible for supporting the press during our Home Entertainment shows, and YES, that basically means feeding us.