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FrontRunners: Towers of Power

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The Spire (www.martinlogan.com)—a new, ultrathin, floor-standing speaker from MartinLogan—offers a dynamic range of sound that is virtually interference-free. The base cabinet of the $8,500-per-pair speaker contains a 200-watt amplifier and a 10-inch aluminum woofer capable of a 29 Hz low-end frequency. . . . German audio firm MBL has set its sights on the high-end market with its 101 X-treme (www.mbl-northamerica.com), a $263,000, all-inclusive home-theater system utilizing 3,600 pounds of audio components. Made of carbon fiber, aluminum, and steel, the components include two speaker towers powered by three separate amplifiers.

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