Positive Feedback ISSUE 60
march/april 2012

The Future Is Here - Audio Still Rules
by Karl Lozier

Home theater loudspeaker upgrade.

I purchased my first pair of audiophile or music lover's quality loudspeakers fifty-five years ago. I have done quite a bit of component and music reviews for almost forty-five of those years. Quite some time ago I decided to have a separate system for my video plus audio, a so called home theater system. Even so, I have kept in mind that system would be the only system needed by many of our readers for audio only or plus video. I have deliberately kept the total manufacture's list prices for the entire system including all cables to less than twenty-thousand dollars. Over the past few years it has become obvious that I have to do more and more multi-channel reviews such as the now popular Blu-ray recordings. As I have upgraded the home theater system components the past two years except for the loudspeakers. I have now chosen the upgraded loudspeakers and am still under my maximum total cost limit.

My left and right front channel pair of loudspeakers are now the relatively new Carl Marchisotto's "Boxer models" as reviewed by others here in PFO. They each have a fine 6.5 inch woofer/mid-range laminated cone in a compact rear vented attractive enclosure. That is topped off with a truly excellent silk soft dome tweeter, one per enclosure. Upper bass response is fine and with the middle ranges (where music lives) the result is full, rich detailed and powerful. Of course the deepest bass range is weak though satisfying enough for many listeners and will easily tolerate loud listening levels with a solid response and detail.

Carl evidently gave a great deal of thought to the center channel model, the "Announcer model". Listening through many sessions now including this issue's reviews backed up Marchisotto's thinking completely. Using the same drivers as the "Boxers", here the center channel model use two of the bass/midrange drivers flanking the same tweeter and sealing the cabinet. There is no venting or port here though there is a noticeable increase in sensitivity resulting in playing more loudly (3dB) for any given input strength. It is believed that dialogue is enhanced in this design. The official measured bass response does not extend quite as deeply as do the Boxers though is seldom apparent. This well designed trio blends together almost perfectly and offers powerful, rich and detailed audio quality far exceeding its size and price range. I am using them in a bookshelf cabinet arrangement with no problem using Herbie's isolating footers and the center channel mounted above the TV and slightly angled down. Carl's Thunderbolt subwoofers naturally mate just fine with these loudspeakers. They do not have the most deep bass output nor play the loudest. Their design does offer amplification and well controlled light subwoofer cones that blend beautifully with great detail with the loudspeakers covering the adjacent higher ranges almost seamlessly at the crossover area, something not often thought about. Do remember, designer Carl Marchisotto is a real classical music lover and he does care. A well done trio you have created here Carl.

Will it be possible to create some really small model to use in the surround areas that can create ambiance at reasonable price to complete our home theaters?

Boxer: $1500 pair 15.5"x 8 x11.5"

Announcer: $1500 each 19"x 8 x12"

For the full article, see: http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue60/bluray.htm.