Best Gear of February 2019

Best Gear of February 2019

The month of February yielded a short but sweet list of Sound & Vision Top Picks that run the gamut from a low price/high performance 5.1 home theater speaker system and combo amp/digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to a decidedly upscale video projector that will leave enthusiasts drooling and a super refined, seven-channel power amplifier from a brand that is synonymous with “high end.” Can you guess who it is?

Q Acoustics 3000i Series Speaker System: $1,499

3000i Series Speakers
Performance
Build Quality
Value

3060S Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value

The 3000i “Cinema Pack” from Great Britain’s Q Acoustics was made to order for our Top Value Pick designation. The tower-based setup sounds as good as it looks, which is to say very good, indeed — so good, that it made our 2018 Top Value Picks of the Year list (it was reviewed in late 2018 for the February/March 2019 print issue). Veteran reviewer Dan Kumin dubbed the system a unique value and praised it for delivering the goods with music and movies. As he put it, “I was rewarded with big, impactful sound (with or without the 3060S sub), a satisfyingly deep presentation, and unfailingly crisp and intelligible dialogue.”

AT A GLANCE

Plus

Rich, full-range sound
Fine imaging
Great-looking and nicely finished

Minus

Center-channel not a perfect timbral match with towers
Subwoofer output and extension does not fully complement towers

Full Review Here

Krell Theater 7 Amplifier: $7,500

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value

From one of America’s pioneering high-end audio companies comes the audio equivalent of a Lamborghini — in this case, one that puts you in the driver’s seat with seven channels of pristine power. Pristine because Krell’s iBias technology delivers the benefits of a pure Class A amplifier design without a tradeoff in efficiency. Putting the Theater 7 to the test with a carefully chosen selection of music and movies, reviewer Michael Trei marveled at its ability to convey not only sledgehammer dynamics but subtlety and transparency. No small feat.

AT A GLANCE

Plus

Class-A sound with improved efficiency
Exceptional transparency and control

Minus

Not the most powerful amp on the block
Display unnecessary for most users

Full Review Here

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