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BUYING GUIDE - LOUDSPEAKERS - £800-£1499
PRICES SHOWN ARE THOSE AT THE TIME OF REVIEW
Loudspeakers
£
Year
Verdict
Acoustic Precision
Eikos RF1
£800 Nov 99 Bass-light, but excellent in every other area. A sub is on the way. Very revealing of ancillary components.
Audionote E £1450 Mar 95 Big, bulky and ultra-sensitive with quick pace and a well balanced sound, but not without flaws.
ALR Jordan Note 3 £1000 Jun 00 An intriguing speaker with plenty of bass power and weight. Rock a-plenty, but the balance isn't ideal for chamber music.
ATC Active 10 £1299 Jun 02 Well engineered with a powerful muscular sound. Good dispersion and imaging but could be tiring during prolonged listening.
Audiovector M1 Sig £1479 Aug 98 The M1 Sigs may be a little laid-back, but they have a pleasant and involving sound.
Audiovector M2 £1499 Jun 98 The M2s are marred by a boom 'n' tizz presentation that suits Heavy Metal but not much else.
B&W CDM7 £999 Feb 98 With warm ancillaries the CDM7s produce a weighty, open sound. Bass could be faster.
Blueroom Minipods &
Bass Station
£828 Jan 02 Fairly good value for a stylish system with a warm and generous sound. A bit too woolly at times though.
Cabasse Systeme iO &
Jupiter Subwoofer
£1230 Jan 02 Uniquely engaging looks and very space friendly. A good hi-fi sound with plenty of drive that's just let down by the edgy treble.
Castle Howard S2 £1099 Mar 96 Fantastically deep and tight bass but some treble sharpness requires careful matching.
Castle Howard S3 £1349 Apr 01 Tuneful deep bass, see-through clarity and spacious imaging mark out the Howard S3 as a first class loudspeaker. It produces music on an impressive scale and is hugely entertaining.
Castle Inversion 50 £875 Jan 00 A welcome addition to the Inversion range. Sweet and lucid performers with a solid deep bass.
Celestion A2 £1499 Jun 98 Focus is not a strength, but bass extension and even tonality are. Metal tweeter can be bright.
Chario Academy One £1199 Dec 95 Musical realism and a great real-wood finish make these 'speakers enjoyable, if not perfect.
Chario Constellation Cygnus £1000 Apr 01 Enjoyable, smooth sounding and finely put together. Good with classical but sound a tad loose with bass heavy music.
Chario Millennium 1 £1399 Apr 00 Beautifully constructed with a sophisticated and neutral sound. Highly recommended.
Cyrus CLS70 £800 Feb 01 Great build. Excellent with rock and dance, but could do with some warmth with acoustic music. Great pumping bass for a standmount!
Diapason Karis  £1250 May 99 Small cabinet precludes the deepest bass, but a sweet little act for all that. Seriously imaging abilities.
Elac 310i Jet £800 Jul 99 Lovely fast, clear sound majors on musicality. 10 year guarantee too.
Elac 510 £1000 Apr 02 Tremendously capable standmounters with a fantastically musical, open and transparent sound, but high quality ancillaries are a must.
Elac 512 Jet £1299 Nov 01 Very fine 'speakers with a superb ribbon tweeter, treble and good deep bass. Excellent build too.
Epos ES22 £1185 Jun 98 Aside from a slightly cool balance, the ES22s shine. Dynamics, bass depth and control are tops.
Event 20/20BAS £829 Sep 98 Warm, detailed and well-endowed in the bass, the Events lack only a touch of overall control.
Genelec HT206 £1400 May 00 Excellent attack, clarity and detail make these small 'speakers hard to beat at the price. Professional monitors with a distinctly high end hi-fi sound.
Harbeth DPM1 Active £849 Sep 98 Now HHB's Circle Actives, these loudspeakers mix the best of pro and domestic to produce first-class results.
Harbeth HL Compact 7 £1329 Jun 96 Dry and analytical but truthful with it. A first class monitor ideally suited to acoustic or classical music.
Harbeth HL K6 £975 Dec 96 Clean, musical and classy - Harbeth have done themselves proud again!
Infinity Kappa 600 £1499 Apr 02 Very deep bass and plenty of power but also a bit loose and laid back. A fine high-end AV speaker.
JM Labs Electra 906 £900 Mar 02 Very musical and cohesive 'speakers but somewhat lacking in midrange body.
KAR Torino £895 Jan 97  The Torinos' stylish sound won't shame any system. That powerful bass does need space to breathe properly though.
Kef Reference 1 £995 May 95 Beautifully fluid and integrated mid band and treble but can be slow, with a little loss of bass control.
KEF Reference 2 £1499 Jan 95 Handles rock and classical with equal aplomb, with the ability to reproduce detail that flummoxes many other models.
Kef Reference One-Two £1350 Oct 00 Great engineering with a full and well-balanced sound, the Reference One-Two is a class act.
Kef Reference 201 £1999 Jul 02 The 201s are a class leader. Not cheap but superbly built, they have excellent bass, a fine extended treble and great detail. Styling may not be to all tastes though.
Klipsch Heresy II £1150 May 99 Horn and infinite-baffle hybrid with power to spare. Phasing and frequency accurate beyond belief. 
KRK V8 £995 Sep 98 Ultra-detailed and revealing, the V8s are true pro more than domestic transducers.
Magneplaner MG 0.6 SE £1370 Mar 95 Very clear detail and separation, but just fails to produce a fully 3-dimensional sound.
Magneplanar MG12/QR £1200 May 99 Lightness of touch, dynamics and clarity in trumps. Needs powerful amplification for 77dB/W/m. Not a valve 'speaker
Mirage 890i £1075 Oct 95 An easy going, open and natural sound makes the mirages an attractive proposition. 
Mission 754 F5 £1299 Sep 96 Articulate and informative sound with fine imaging and tight, deep bass.
Mission 783 £995 Dec 00 Partner with smooth sounding amps and the 783s are superb, with a supreme lack of colouration and excellent imaging.
Mordaunt Short 860 £1450 Dec 95 Fast, tight and informative, but a poor tweeter casts a grey shadow.
Musical-Tech. Falcon £955 May 96 Give a big sense of scale on rock and jazz but not subtle and even enough for the critical classical listener.
NEAR Soundmast £1199 Aug 95 An interesting, musical floorstander thatís good value even at this price.
Opera Super Pavarotti £995 Nov 00 Warm and rich musical sound that's great with lyrical music. A lack of rhythmic drive lets them down though and the competition's fierce at this price.
Opera SP2 £1100 Jun 02 An open, easy going sound make these a well balanced and user friendly loudspeaker. Not the fastest or lowest bass around but the midrange and treble is excellent. Headbangers stay clear!
Origin Live Sovereign £1225 Jun 98 The OLs have transparency and detail in considerable amounts. Bass can be loose though.
PMC FB1 £1410 Oct 01 Highly involving professionally designed 'speakers with excitement and speed that makes hi-fi a whole lot of fun.
PT Ventricle £896 Aug 95 Smooth and refined floorstanders that some listeners will find captivating.
QLN Signature £1499 Mar 96 Super sound staging, openness and detail. Well worth seeking out.
REL Stadium 2 £995 Aug 95 Excellent bass performance means that this subwoofer is no toy.
Roksan Ojan 3 £1000 Jan 98 Unusual 'speakers with great rhythmic capabilities and bass. Could be more transparent.
Ruark Paladin £1099 May 95 The Paladins possess a detailed and expansive soundstage but also a rather dry character
Shahinian Super Elf £1195 Jul 01 Tight, punchy sound can't hide the extrmely coloured nature of these speakers.
Spendor 2040 £899 Oct 96 The tweeter works well but a recessed midband and one-note bass are the Achilles heels.
Spendor FL8 £1275 Jun 98 The FL8s are warm, mellow performers which prefer Classical to Rock.
Tannoy D300 £1000 Apr 97 Impressive bass extension and control go hand in hand with precise imaging to make the D300s a snip at £1000.
Tannoy Eyris 2 £1000 Sep 02 Superbly built and sonically impressive with the right material, but a tad dull when matched with the wrong ancillaries and recording. Recommended with caution.
Tannoy ST-100 
Super Tweeter
£1100 Aug 01 High-enders will love them - they really work. The only downside is the price - Tannoy, can't we have a cheaper version for us mere mortals??!!
Totem Model 1 Sig £1250 Sep 97  Good but the move from standard to Signature has taken speed and punch out of the Model 1s
UKD Callas Gold £995 Jun 96 A rich and open sound, extremely musical if not strictly accurate. Great bass extension for their size.
UKD Divina £1390 Jun 95 Not the most neutral 'speakers but they are extremely smooth with an overall coherence to the sound.
Vienna Acoustics Bach £1000 Aug 01 A rich and full sound thats fluid and musical. Not the tightest bass or the most natural sound though, and the competition is extremely tough.
Veritas 7 £1000 Jun 99 The Veritas 7s combine neutrality and detail with fluidity and sophistication.
Zingali Concerto .1 £1100 Dec 99 Beautiful cosmetics but poor frequency balance. May be a partner for a subwoofer; otherwise too bass-light.
 

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