At just under $600, it is hard to imagine a better speaker for the money than this mini-Maggie, provided you have the space for it and a powerful-enough amplifier. Like all Maggie dipoles, the thing sounds open, airy, coherent, and unusually lifelike. Not the last word in resolution, low bass, or top treble.
Reviewed by Jonathan Valin, Issue 177
Even on a desktop, the Minuet Supremes do a superb disappearing act. Reminiscent of the Spendor SP1 speakers in that they never sound harsh or screechy, unless the music actually is harsh and screechy, the Minuets have a seductively natural presentation that is the antitheses of hyped-up hi-fi sound.
Reviewed by SS in this issue
B&W’s 685 has a fine balance, tremendous rhythmic authority, an open soundstage, impressive bass, a singing treble, plays loudly without strain, and, thanks to a forward-firing port, can be mounted on a wall, shelf, or stand. A slight, lingering edge in the uppermost treble makes it both exciting to listen to as well as slightly sharp with female voices.
Reviewed by WG, Issue 176
Paradigm’s diminutive Studio 10 is inherently warm and full, with a remarkably large presentation that will appeal to a wide range of listeners. It’s not the most transparent design, but is nevertheless lively and involving. This front-ported two-way can sit on a shelf, but performs best on a rigid stand placed somewhat into the room. Bass isn’t bad, but some will want to add one of Paradigm’s subwoofers to fill out the bottom end.
Reviewed by WG, Issue 204
Like many small speakers, this tiny, jewel-like mini-monitor trades bass extension and wide dynamics for midrange purity. Through the mids, the CM1 is magical, with a timbral realism, freedom from grain, palpability, and lack of coloration that many five-figure loudspeakers don’t deliver. Stunning on vocals and acoustic music.
Reviewed by Robert Harley, Issue 173
Think Imagine T minus a midbass driver and a floorstanding enclosure. There’s the same voice in the expressive midrange and treble and, with only minor exceptions, the same superb balance. The B can’t quite chew on bass lines like the T can, but as if to compensate the B seems a bit lighter and fleeter of foot in the upper mids and lower treble.
Reviewed by NG, Issue 189
This affordable two-way quasi-ribbon brings you remarkably close to the best performance Magnepans are capable of. When it is properly placed—around 3' from walls—its clarity is addictive, with a wide deep soundstage and terrific transient response. The MG12 performs satisfyingly down to about 50Hz, and because of its larger panel has a slightly bigger soundfield than the amazing bargain-basement MMGs.
Reviewed by JV, Issue 177