Secrets of Home Theater and Hifi logo

Audio / Video Showcase

Spring 2022
Spring 2022
In This Issue
Product Showcase


Product Showcase

Focal Naim America

Product Showcase

Sonus faber

Product Showcase


Product Showcase


Letter from the editor
John E. Johnson Jr headshot


To the Audio/Video Community,


e are very pleased and excited to announce the SECRETS Audio/Video Showcase 2022.  After nearly 30 years of publishing, SECRETS is launching the SECRETS Audio/Video Showcase, designed to provide A/V manufacturers a platform to announce and display their latest product offerings in a never-before-available presentation style.

The 2022 Showcase provides an active platform for participants to display and discuss their 2022 product offerings, and now that A/V shows are returning, to extend and update their A/V Show coverage through the Fall of 2022.  Participants will be able to add imagery and audio/video from any A/V show, including AXPONA, CEDIA, and others.

The showcase is a heavily visual presentation, including imagery, animation, and videos prepared by the A/V manufacturers to showcase their products. Also, they can share details on the product developments: construction, technology, and aesthetics.

Display options include multiple pages of images, videos, audio, and text to straightforward banners in the marketplace, highlighting a special product. Product reviews from the SECRETS of Home Theater website can be linked to the Showcase coverage.

The 2022 Showcase will also include new editorials from the SECRETS Team along with links to Videos, Product, and Technical reviews that are published on the SECRETS of Home Theater website, such as the linear phase digital EQ software that I recently reviewed. I want to call your attention to this because linear phase EQ can be applied to analog recordings that are very old and which can be aided by digitizing at high res (24/96 – 24/192 PCM) and EQ’d without phase shift.

So let us know what you think of the SECRETS A/V Showcase 2022 and any recommendations to enhance this publication in the future.


John E. Johnson, Jr.
John E. Johnson, Jr.
Product Showcase


Technology changes, but great sound will always be best on great speakers. With cutting edge wireless technology and more than 35 years of expertise in speaker design, we bring a new kind of convenience to sublime sound reproduction. We call it DALI EQUI.
Lars Warre headshot
Lars Warre
I see myself as a technician, as an engineer. My first priority every day is to think in terms of how we can take the company further in terms of good sound. It may sound trivial, but I believe as others do, that it’s about reproducing sound, as true to nature, as possible. The clarity in the midrange, the fact that you can see the driver of the speaker as an acoustic lens. One with very little distortion of the image that also provides clear access to the message, or the motive, of the recording. That is what we strive for.

Product Description

Not simply a series of active loudspeakers but an entire wireless active ecosystem. DALI EQUI allows you to configure the ultimate stereo or home theater system using high resolution, low-latency wireless audio. No strings attached! Simply partner one of our Sound Hubs with any speakers from our RUBICON C, CALLISTO C, or OBERON C product lines to create an elegant and dynamic audio system that can expand and grow as your needs do.
Product Showcase

Focal Naim America

Focal has been present in the in-wall and in-ceiling product market for the past 20 years. After three years of research and development, this new flagship range of seven 1000 Series products, including two Utopia models, embodies the essence and savoir-faire of Focal: innovative speaker science, exclusive technology implementation, and exquisite French design and manufacturing.
Romain Vet Headshot
Romain Vet
Vice President of Focal Naim America
Born from the merger in 2011 of Focal, world leader in acoustic sound made in France for over 40 years, and Naim Audio, world leader in British-made hi-fi electronics for over 45 years, VerVent Audio Group’s brand subsidiaries signal a new investment phase and direction for VerVent in the US and Canada. By creating its own distribution entity, the group is striving to turn the North American territory into the market leader for Focal and Naim.

Both are recognized as exceptional brands in their countries: Naim is a multiple Queen’s Award winner, while Focal is designated by the French state as an ‘Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant’. Together, they have united their unique areas of excellence and innovation and constitute a reference point in the world.

Product Description

Made in France in Focal’s specialist workshops, the 1000 Series offers the ultimate discreet alternative to traditional hi-fi and home cinema set-ups, with no performance compromise. Each speaker is an innovative, flexible design – with both the installer and end customer in mind.
Product Showcase

Sonus faber

The new Olympica Nova embraces the authentic values that inspired the original Olympica line while adding a substantial amount of freshly developed technology, from new drivers and crossovers, to new cabinet structure and internal volume tuning, to a new exterior look. Of the seven models in the collection, three are all-new to the Olympica Nova line, including an on-wall model, a third and more powerful floor stander, and a larger center channel.
Paolo Tezzon headshot
Paolo Tezzon
Sonus Faber Brand Amabassador
Since 1983, many moments have marked the history of Sonus faber; the launch of the Olympica Collection 6 years ago is one of them. One of the first lines presented as a complete family of products, but above all, the very first one to feature original drivers, entirely designed in Sonus faber.

Olympica Nova is the second generation of the iconic family of 2013, improved in its form and substance, imbued with the timeless values that inspired us in creating the original line.

The result is a new Collection that embraces the most advanced technologies that already enhance our most prestigious creations.

Sonus faber has begun a complete update to their product assortment, focusing on the attributes which originally built the brand: technological innovation, long-term listenability and Italian craftsmanship. New launches have included Sonetto and Palladio Collections, a new line of Gravis subwoofers, the Electa Amator III and the Minima Amator II, all showcasing the brand’s dedication to innovation and its Italian heritage. The reinvention of the Olympica Nova collection is just the latest step in this evolution, and a new set of offerings that truly embody the brand’s stylistic manifesto.

Product Description

The walls of the new Olympica Nova collection are made with eight layers of bended wood, providing the cabinet with extreme rigidity. Inside the cabinet, carefully placed structural ribs are used as reinforcement to reduce vibration and to handle the overall power of the transducer’s movement. The original Olympica’s leather wrapped top panel gives way to a walnut or wenge wood panel set in a solid die-cast aluminum plate.
Product Showcase


The challenges of designing a subwoofer capable of chest-pounding output at the lowest frequencies, while maintaining effective thermal and energy management in a micro-sized enclosure, has always been the holy grail of subwoofer brands. Previous designs were flawed with weak output, distortion, and uncontrolled movement of the cabinet itself. But all that has just changed.
Gary Yacoubian
Gary Yacoubian
At SVS what we believe is that approximately two-thirds to three-quarters of humanity loves great sound and, whether they may know it or not, seeks it out in their life. But they haven’t really been shown the “math” of how they can have great sound in their living space. So, to me, that’s the most overlooked thing. And, you know, one company alone can’t change the tide of that, but I think we all need to embrace the fact that great sound is something that’s of great value to almost everyone. Yes, some people don’t care. They may be perfectly happy ironing while listening to talk radio, but they’re not the ones that I’m talking about here. The other three quarters go (or did go) to movies, went to concerts, went to other events that included immersive sound. Those people just need to be shown that they can have great sound in their living space that compares with or is even better than the sound that they’re experiencing out in the world. An SVS subwoofer is a perfect match for any brand/model speaker. We create wonderful uncompromised, aspirational, subwoofer experiences in the price ranges where people don’t normally get that.

Product Description

3000 Micro is like a magic trick— small enough to fit anywhere and capable of delivering breathtaking bass from a shockingly compact 10-inch enclosure. For the first-time ever, a micro subwoofer that does not compromise on performance.
Product Showcase


Rotel has enjoyed an outstanding success with the re-introduction of the Michi brand and will now add the Michi X3 Integrated Amplifier and Michi X5 Integrated Amplifier to its existing portfolio of pre & power amplifiers.
Daren Orth headshot
Daren Orth
Chief Technology Officer of Rotel
We are very excited about the introduction of the X3 and X5 Michi amplifiers. The X3 and X5 are a natural extension of the ground-breaking work we have achieved with the relaunch of the Michi brand. These Integrated Amplifiers represent the best of Rotel and represent nearly six decades of engineering excellence, with products manufactured to the highest quality standards and offered with unsurpassed value.

Product Description

Rotel audio products are known worldwide for their quality, reliability, value, and, above all, exceptional sound reproduction. Since 1961, Rotel has utilized the resources of its formidable international design team and has manufactured its products in its own sophisticated production facilities. Rotel proudly offers a complete range of electronics that have consistently received critical acclaim and coveted industry awards. With substantial investment in new technologies and manufacturing, Rotel is prepared to meet the challenges of an evolving specialty electronics marketplace.

Dear Audio Community, Get Your Head Out of Your…

Illustration of audiophiles yelling at eachother

o we are now in the early part of 2022, and after two-plus years of COVID-induced hibernation, we are starting to see and feel some signs of normalcy returning… hopefully. In the meantime, Spring is starting to make itself felt in most places and it feels like a time of renewal in many respects. As such, I feel like I need to get a few things off my chest. Perform a kind of therapeutic cleansing. A detox if you will, of some of the audio-related things I’ve heard and observed which may or may not have gotten under my craw over this past period of pause.

Audio Shows in 2022

After a slew of show cancellations throughout all of last year, we have started to see a few shows actually go on this year. By the time you read this, the Florida Audio Expo, CanJAM NYC, Salon Audio Montreal, and AXPONA will all have happened and by most signs will have been successfully attended, with Munich Hi-End happening just around the corner. And honestly, it’s about time. Having personally attended Florida and CanJAM, it was generally just good to see and catch up with industry friends again after being gone so long. Yes, you can do it over Zoom like so many of us did, but it’s not the same. Greater still, I was also very happy to experience a large variety of great audio equipment again, which in case anyone was wondering, is the point of these things.

Cutting The Cord to Cable TV: How I Got More For Less

by Chris Eberle
Cable cord with red cancel icon over it

utting the cord, AKA ditching cable TV, is nothing new. Millions of consumers have been doing this for some years now and thousands more are making the switch every day, mostly in an effort to save money. But there are other benefits to streaming your entertainment.

I consider myself a latecomer to the streaming party having made the all-in conversion in early 2021. A few different factors went into my decision and I’d like to share what I’ve learned, why I did it, and what I’ve gained.

What I Had Before

Spectrum logo
When I moved to Florida in 2013, I signed up for a cable and Internet package from Spectrum, Time Warner back then. It was similar to what I had in New York but cost less which made me happy. For about $120 a month, I got all the cable channels I wanted (no premium services like HBO) and internet that ran at about 50mbps. The internet speed was a definite upgrade. I had an Apple TV to stream Netflix and iTunes content but most of what I watched came from cable, the major networks plus Food, HGTV, Discovery, History, and the like.

How Hi-Fi Dealers (Audio Stores) Can Bring the Best Value System to Your Home

by Craig Chase
Living room view of audio system

he act of purchasing any product can be most frustrating. This especially includes buying and taking ownership of a good stereo system (the same applies to home theater, but for this purpose, I am using stereo to keep it simple). There is a considerable amount of time and money invested, and when the process is done, how do we know if we made the best decisions? Let’s explore this and while doing so, lay out an understanding of the value of the audio store.

I purchased my first audio system in 1977 and have owned dozens of fine systems over these past 44 plus years. I spent 3 years selling audio equipment from 1979 until 1982 and have been in auto retail since 1982. In 1993, I purchased a new vehicle auto dealership as a first-generation owner, all while still loving audio as a hobby. So, when our Co-Editor-in-Chief, Carlo Lo Raso, asked me to write an article about the importance of the dealer/store, I gladly accepted. For you, the reader, rest assured there is nothing I stand to gain for writing this article. I have no financial involvement with any audio company. My only interest in writing this is to help lay some groundwork regarding how you can get the best value for your hard-earned dollars.

Where the Heck are the Small A/V Receivers?

by Taps Das
Mantle with mocked up sizes of potential receivers under Sony tv

recently moved into a new home. In the family room is an existing feature-wall-built-in that is wired for 7 channel (channels 6 and 7 being for front height) sound. The built-in includes an electric fireplace, a spot for a flatscreen TV above, which can be shuttered with some clunky doors. On either side of the fireplace are low-doored cabinets with three shelves above. It’s a beautiful unit and is altogether pretty awesome until the home theater geek in me took a closer look.

There were a few catches and some potentially massive problems with the built-in:

  • The depth. The center column is only 15″ deep. The depth of the cabinets and shelves is only 10″ deep.
  • The speaker wires are thin gauge and were put in first before the built-in was finished around them. Making switching them out not possible for this “unhandy” man. 

The shallow depth meant that my Marantz SR6009 receiver, while already one of the shallower depth A/V receivers on the market, is too deep. And that I had to start looking at speaker alternatives as the bookshelf options I have are all too deep. The latter point is less of a problem than the former. 

Recommended Products

SECRETS Recommended Gear


elcome to our new Secrets Recommended Gear! Here you will find an annually updated list of component recommendations brought to you from our staff, encompassing every product category that we cover. Not simply just our Best of the Year Award choices, but long term recommendations that will be chosen from products that we’ve actually reviewed and found compelling enough to place them on this list. Once a product is chosen it will remain on the Recommended Gear list until it is discontinued by the manufacturer. An archive of each year’s list will remain on the Secrets Website for those shopping for used gear and wanting to research older choices.

Products chosen will fit into one of these 4 tiers:

The Secrets Recommended Gear list features outstanding examples of products in their respective categories and price levels. We believe that any of our Recommended choices will provide you with a superior experience for years to come. Enjoy!
Collage of featured audio products
Sponsor Brands
Perlisten Logo
Our S7t and the whole S-Series ranks as the absolute best and has been added to Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelitys Elite category of their Recommended Gear list for 2022 – simply incredible!
Paradigm Logo
For over twenty-five years Paradigm has set the standard for sonic excellence in every product category we offer. Our focus on providing the best in performance and value continually pushes the boundaries in speaker design.
TAD logo
Technical Audio Devices Laboratories, Inc. (TADL) is the only Japanese high-end audio manufacturer that specializes in both audio components and speaker systems.

TADL is committed to upholding this time-honored tradition of creating products that deliver a truly immersive, soul-stirring music-listening experience to their proud owners around the world.

Sonus Faber Logo
Sonus faber is an Italian manufacturer of handcrafted speakers, headphones, and other high-end audio equipment based in Arcugnano, Veneto, Italy. The company was founded in 1983 by Franco Serblin.
SVS Logo
SVS is making immersive audio more inclusive than ever and re-energizing people’s desire for awesome sound with a passionate, expert approach, and unrivaled customer support.
Rotel Logo
For those of you who may not be familiar with Rotel, we are a family owned, 46-year-old business, who’s success has been earned by devoting our efforts to nothing else but making audio/video products for fanatics like ourselves.
Martin Logan Logo
MartinLogan strives to satisfy our customers on every level. The MartinLogan Custom Shop is no exception. We have custom built one-of-a-kind speakers for discerning listeners around the world and would love to include you in this exclusive group.
NAD Logo
In 1972, a new kind of audio company was born. NAD took form when a large group of audio-industry importers in Europe, all music lovers, set out to develop products that cut through the industry hype.
DALI logo
DALI, Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries, grew out of Scandinavia’s leading audio retail chain in 1983, based on the observation that customers often requested a combinations of size, shape, performance and price that existing brands could not offer.
Pass Labs Logo
Pass Laboratories, Inc. was founded in 1991 by Nelson Pass. Operating out of his shop at home, Pass developed prototypes of a single-ended Class A amplifier design.
Benchmark media logo
Benchmark products are designed and built by audio enthusiasts. We are musicians, audiophiles and audio professionals who are passionate about audio quality.
Legacy audio logo
Legacy Audio leads in transducer innovation, directivity control, and room resonance reduction. Designed, assembled, and tested at our Springfield, IL factory, each system is precisely calibrated to exacting standards. Since 1983, audio enthusiasts worldwide have recognized Legacy as the ultimate in sonic accuracy.
Focal logo
Focal is a French brand, world leader in high-fidelity solutions. Its ‘Made in France’ know-how has been recognised for more than 40 years. Enter Focal’s universe.
BenQ Logo
BenQ America Corp. is a leading innovator of visual display solutions offering an extensive line of projectors, monitors, and digital displays for home, corporate, education, government, house of worship, gaming, and digital signage applications.
Bluesound logo
If one thing rings true, it’s that here at Bluesound we are passionate about musical detail, texture, and volume. We’ve painstakingly designed a cutting-edge, digital platform that delivers on the total hi-res audio experience. We didn’t create it for us. We made it for you. Our audio reproduction reflects music that is true to the artist and the art form.
HiFiman logo
HIFIMAN today is widely regarded as one of the leading designers and manufacturers of high performance headphones and portable audio products. HIFIMAN is also renowned for its critically-acclaimed Planar-Magnetic headphones that feature state-of-the-art driver technology. The company also designs and manufactures best in-class dynamic in-ear drivers which have also garnered awards and rave reviews.
Founded in 1949, McIntosh is known for offering distinguished home audio systems that deliver the ultimate experience in music and film. Offering products for two-channel stereo sound systems and multi-channel home theaters with surround sound, McIntosh continues to define the ultimate home audio entertainment experience for discriminating listeners around the world.
Project logo
Pro-Ject was founded in 1991, during the onslaught of the compact disc and CD players, with the mission to offer the best analog experience for reasonable prices. In a time when the digital audio media had been on the rise, and vinyl was declared outdated and dead, Heinz Lichtenegger kept his belief in the simple but best way to enjoy music – turntables.
PSB logo
PSB, which stands for Paul and Sue Barton, was founded by Paul Barton who is also the Chief Designer to this day. Located in Pickering, Ontario, Canada, the company has been designing and engineering loudspeakers under the registered name since 1972.
Become a sponsor brand
To participate in the SECRETS Showcase, please contact Carlo Lo Raso or Cynthia Johnson-St Denis
Become a sponsor brand
To participate in the SECRETS Showcase, please contact Carlo Lo Raso or Cynthia Johnson-St Denis
Secrets Logo
To participate in the SECRETS Showcase, please contact Carlo Lo Raso or Cynthia Johnson-St Denis
Editor- in- Chief

John E. Johnson, Jr.


Carlo Lo Raso

Managing Editor

Cynthia Johnson St. Denis


Chris Eberle
Jim Clements
Robert Kozel

Senior Editors

Chris Groppi
David A Rich
Jim Milton
Glenn Young
Piero Gabucci

Editorial Team

Craig Chase
Doug Pyper
Francisco Licon
Gene Hopstetter
Indiana Lang
Jared Rachwalski
Jason Crawford, aka “Georgia”
Jay Haider
Kieran Coghlan
Mel Martin
Michael Jude Galvin
Mike Osadciw
Peter Lo Raso
Rick Schmidt
Taps Das
Todd Cooperider
Tyler Stripko
Yongki Go


Brian Florian
Stacey Spears
Sumit Chawla
Tracy Strom

Secrets of Home Theater and Hifi logo
Audio / Video Showcase
Thanks for reading our Spring 2022 issue!