SACD and Rotel
June 26, 2006
I tend to buy my equipment and then just listen to the music for quite a few months
without concern for the latest formats or equipment. Recently, I've started looking again
at what's out there and have this question: Has SACD already come and gone? I was asking a
Rotel dealer about the RCD-1072 and he wasn't aware that it was an SACD-format player,
only HDCD. Reviews indicate otherwise. (I've had a Rotel 951 HDCD-capable player. While
it's an excellent player, I sure don't see many HDCDs out there.) Then I noticed that the
'1072 seemed to have been marketed in two configurations, as far as the front panel
appears. Maybe one SACD and one standard/HDCD. Anyway, the dealer seemed to be hinting
that SACD was a very "iffy" format, not likely to survive. Most of the reviews
I've read seem to indicate otherwise, for both the format and the equipment.
review indicates that the RCD-1072 is a CD-only player. Rotels website
also confirms that this is a CD player and not SACD capable. Is this a deal breaker for
you? I dont think it should be. I dont see much future for SACD beyond what it
is now: a niche format not supported by its founding company, Sony. There are a fair
number of SACDs available, and they do still trickle out, but this number wont grow,
and will decline over time. Probably the better question is whether or not the RCD-1072 is
better than your '951. Perhaps your dealer can let you borrow his display model for a
direct comparison, or you can take your player into the store and A/B them. The other
option is to wait a bit longer and see if any of the new high-definition video players
will support and produce better audio. I suspect well see a good selection of
players by years end and the prices will come down quickly.
Two-ways for home theater?
June 23, 2006
Are two-way speakers suitable for home theater? Or should I get larger three-ways
because of the dynamics they can handle?
While its true that from a cost-no-object standpoint, full-range speakers --
usually three-ways -- at each speaker position is ideal, its rarely practical or
affordable. Two-way speakers can be quite dynamic and absolutely fine for home theater.
Although two-ways often wont play as low in the bass as a good three-way speaker,
the low frequencies in a home theater should be handled by a subwoofer anyway,
ameliorating the need for large, bass-capable speakers all around the room. You do want to
choose speakers that can handle a bit of power so that when those action scenes come up
you dont damage your speaker drivers. Remember that crossing the speakers over to
your subwoofer at 80Hz will help protect them from voice-coil-frying surges of bass. But
to sum up: Yes, you will be fine with two-ways for your home theater as long as you have a
subwoofer helping out.
June 21, 2006
I enjoyed your review of the
Quad 21Ls, especially because I have no dealer nearby to check them out. In the review
you compared the 21Ls favorably to the 12L monitors. What about the 22Ls? Did you get
chance to compare these head to head? If so, are the 21Ls still your favorites? I know it
can seem like a silly question, but I remember auditioning a different brand once where a
lower model in a range was significantly better than a higher model. It just hit a perfect
balance and seemed more satisfying to me. Same story here, maybe?
At the time I purchased the 21L speakers I did listen to
each speaker in the line, but it has been too long for me to comment on specifics. I know
what sold me on the 21L wasn't purely sonics, but also the price:performance ratio. The
22L speakers were better if only sonics were concerned, but not so much better that I
thought it was worth spending the extra money. I preferred to buy the 21L at the time and
maybe purchase something in a completely different price class later. I still haven't
found something new that I want to spend my money on, so I'd say I'm pretty happy with the
21Ls and think others would be, too.