I like ribbon anything when it comes to loudspeakers so imagine my surprise when I discovered the LCR-21 from Fineline Speakers employs a ribbon tweeter in their top of the line on-wall. Retailing for $395 each the LCR-21 is nothing if not a bargain on paper - no doubt a result of Fineline's Internet direct business model, which along with a low retail price, offers a standard 30-day money-back guarantee with every Fineline product. Oh, and they're made right here in the United States.
The LCR-21 is the largest of Fineline's on-wall speaker offerings, measuring a little over 18 inches tall by six and three quarter inches wide and an inch and three quarters deep. The LCR-21s tip the scales at a scant seven pounds apiece and are available in either white or black finishes, which are basically white or black colored tops with coordinating speaker grill fabric stretched around. The LCR-21s are an on-wall design and as such come standard with all the necessary hardware to facilitate wall mounting. Fineline recommends mounting the LCR-21s on either side of as well as below your HDTV, and thanks to their supermodel thinness the LCR-21s don't look out of place beside some of today's thinner LED based HDTVs.
Inside, or behind the non-removable grill cloth, rests a ribbon tweeter sandwiched between two four-inch mid/bass drivers giving the LCR-21 a reported frequency response of 80-20,000 Hz, so adding a subwoofer is going to be a must for true, full-range sound. The LCR-21 has a sensitivity rating of 91dB into a six Ohm load making it an ideal candidate for home theater receivers and mid-level separate systems.
I recently reviewed Fineline's other products: the LCR-11 on-wall and FC-3 soundbar, and while they each had their strengths they also had some pretty noticeable drawbacks. Well, the LCR-21 is far and away the best loudspeaker in Fineline's current lineup and while it suffers from a lack of bass, it's midrange is far more fleshed out and its high frequency performance is superior in every way and even bests on-walls costing twice as much. Thanks to its ribbon tweeter the LCR-21's air, extension, attack, decay and detail is much improved over the LCR-11, which sounds a bit brittle in comparison. Because the LCR-21 utilizes dual mid/bass drivers, its midrange has more weight and focus to it, allowing vocals to have better presence - something you need for both music and movies. The dual drivers also help make it easier to blend a subwoofer with the LCR-21 without having to resort to complex or invasive EQ programs (like with the LCR-11 or FC-3 soundbar). Also, the LCR-21 can be used in larger rooms, though I wouldn't go too crazy for there is only so much air a compact loudspeaker like the LCR-21 can be expected to move. Sadly, Fineline's atrocious binding posts, or lack thereof, also made the trip upstream from the LCR-11 and FC-3 and are found on the LCR-21.
Read about the high points and the low points of the LCR-21 on Page 2.