RBH CT-7.1 Compact Theater Speaker System Reviewed

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It is interesting to watch the trends that come and go and come again in the vast world of home entertainment. Years ago, the industry transitioned from large monitor or "tower" speakers to relatively compact "satellite" speakers.

While Bose enjoyed much of the success through creative marketing, many audiophiles were disgusted with their performance. The push became evident--smaller speakers are "sexy" and thus yield a high W.A.F. (Wife Acceptance Factor). What wasn't anticipated by an industry traditionally dominated by males was that through the phenomenon known as "surround sound" came family enjoyment and inevitably joint buying decisions. And what was once a planet called "Stereo" ruled by men and thought uninhabitable by women is now shared.

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While many companies continued to trade sound quality for size, others put a limit on the trading. Some even began to actually "engineer" speakers for better sound. Alas, the dirty little secret of the C/E industry is out. Companies who manufacture only speakers are focused on sound quality first; companies who have a wide range of offerings are focused on market share. Only the smart conglomerates separate their divisions to remain focused.

RBH Sound is a company who has always appeared to be focused on sound quality. I won't bore you with my previous review experiences, but I will tell you that the past did not keep me from being a bit worried when the CT-7.1 Compact Theater ensemble arrived. . .

"Are you sure this is everything?" I asked my FedEx driver. There were no colorful boxes complete with dimensions and specifications--they were simply boxes. The speakers were not packaged with pages of marketing propaganda regarding the unique materials from which the speakers were crafted--but one simple page, this is what you've purchased, this is how you set it up, and this is your warranty.

Unique Features - The RBH Sound Compact Theater is offered in two basic configurations: the CT-5.1 and the CT-7.1. Simply stated the CT-5.1 offers 5 sats and the sub for 5.1 use and the CT-7.1 offers 7 sats and the sub for 7.1 use. The MM-4 sats operate as the front L/R, rear L/R and side L/R while a dedicated center channel, the C-4, handles the dialogue and the MS-8.1 subwoofer anchors the system.

Each of the components of this moderately priced ensemble has been carefully considered for its application. The MM-4 satellite speakers are constructed of diecast metal that makes them both rigid and extremely dense. Coupled with a simple and stylish shape, this effectively eliminates internal standing waves and other inherent anomalies associated with poor cabinet construction. (Remember internal and external resonance destroys sound quality.) Each MM-4 enclosure weighs 4 pounds, measures just over 7-inches tall and 5-inches wide and contains a single 4-inch aluminum cone woofer matched with a single 1-inch silk dome tweeter. Comparatively, there are currently no offerings from other manufacturers at this price point using aluminum drivers throughout the ensemble--aluminum drivers are typically reserved for much higher-end systems. Each MM-4 will handle 100 watts of power and is rated at 8 ohms. There are two threaded inserts on each MM-4, one on the back and one on the bottom. Perfect for wall mounts of floor stands.

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