GOODSOUND!GoodSound! "Ask Me" Archives June 30, 2006


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.


Our review indicates that the RCD-1072 is a CD-only player. Rotel’s’ website also confirms that this is a CD player and not SACD capable. Is this a deal breaker for you? I don’t think it should be. I don’t 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 won’t 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 we’ll see a good selection of players by year’s 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?

Frank Godfrey

While it’s true that from a cost-no-object standpoint, full-range speakers -- usually three-ways -- at each speaker position is ideal, it’s rarely practical or affordable. Two-way speakers can be quite dynamic and absolutely fine for home theater. Although two-ways often won’t 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 don’t 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.

Quad 21Ls

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.

GOODSOUND!All Contents Copyright 2006
Schneider Publishing Inc., All Rights Reserved.
Any reproduction of content on
this site without permission is strictly forbidden.