Fast Forward: Speakers corner

The new generation of loudspeakers are more than just music to your ears - they're a sight for sore eyes, too
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Indy Lifestyle Online
1. B&W Nautilus 802

Nautilus speakers get their Dalek-like look by having no cabinets for the (high-frequency) tweeter and mid-range drive units - apparently the best way to get rid of unwanted resonances which "colour" the sound. All the components are precision-engineered, except the cabinets which are hand-crafted . pounds 6,000 a pair. For stockists, call 01903 750 750.

2. TAG McLaren F1 AvantGarde

TAG McLaren has exploited its knowledge of motor-racing technology in the F1 AvantGarde speakers. They use the same carbon fibres as McLaren's Formula One car, and are designed by Peter Stevens (who crafted the F1 McLaren Road Car). They are based on the theory that sound is better with an irregular arrangement of speakers. pounds 14,000 a pair. For stockists, call 0800 7838007.

3. AvantGarde Acoustic Uno

Horn loudspeakers date back to the time of early gramophones, when a horn was used to amplify sound. Since then a few modifications have been made, and new technology incorporated, but the basic principle is the same. The Uno is a two-way speaker with integrated sub-woofer (that's for the bass sound) that can handle 150 watts. From pounds 4,500 a pair. Available from Walrus Systems, 11 New Quebec Street, London W1 (0171-724 7224). For national stockists, call GT Audio on 01895 833099.

4. Meridian DSP6000

Meridian has gone for the hi-tech approach, packing in 12 drivers (those are the things which move the cones, which in turn vibrate to make the sound), eight amplifiers, six digital converters, and a "sound- shaping computer" which blends the different frequencies to create high- quality, "three-dimensional" sound. pounds 10,995 a pair. Available from Musical Images, 18 Monmouth Street, London WC2 (0171-497 1346).

5. Revox Elegance Prestige

With a width of only 14cm and depth of 27cm, Prestige speakers still manage to somehow pack in four aluminium bass drivers, which should be enough to annoy anyone's neighbours. The speakers come in either an aluminium or a beech finish. pounds 1,500 a pair. For stockists, call Revox on 01992 573030.

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