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Swan T-200A Review

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  • Swan T-200A Review

    I recently had the chance to audition a pair of Swan T-200A powered multimedia speakers from

    The T-200A is high-end, 2 way, vented box speaker aimed at computer / multimedia users and / or audio producers. They are equally suited to music (of all kinds), gaming, DVD, or as monitors for digital audio editing. Using a 5? woofer and 25mm tweeter to go from 60Hz to 20kHz, they are internally powered (you don?t need an amp for these but you will need two free outlets) by independent 40 watt amplifiers. They are built like a tank, sound great and are easy to setup.

    The first thing I did after unpacking these speakers (from their double boxed and cloth wrapped packaging) was to plug them directly into the back of my DVD player (using the supplied gold plated RCA connectors), switch them on, set the volume, and use them as mains in a home theater configuration. This wasn?t at all their intended use, but I thought I?d have a little fun. Pirates of the Caribbean was awesome. The breeze and gentle lapping of water during the opening scene told me right away that not only were these going to be nice speakers, but that they had been amplified by pure, clean power.

    Getting back to what these speakers were designed for, I disconnected them from the DVD, moved them into the office and gave them a more thorough look.

    These speakers are visually striking. They are quite elegant and refined ? using a variety of triangular angles to accomplish some nice lines. The gloss black finish with gold highlights gives them a very sophisticated look. They are quite unique and while I personally like them, some of my guests haven?t been as impressed ? though everyone agrees they are much more pleasing than most. The inclusion of a little blue LED on the front and back has a cool effect at night?

    The back of the speakers reveals dual ports, the power on off switch (no standby mode), the amp heat syncs (which get warm but never hot), the unbalanced rca, and balanced inputs, and volume knob. Fit and finished is exceptional and the inclusion of balanced inputs is remarkable.

    I took a quick ride to Radio Shack to pick up a 1/8? stereo to dual RCA converter so that I could drive these speakers from my PC Soundcard (a SoundBlaster clone). After that, I plugged them in and adjusted the volume for my room and system.

    As with any speakers, these needed some breaking in, but not a ton. I set up some streaming internet radio and let them play for a few days before I did any critical listening. I did notice right away however, how revealing these speakers were of poorly recorded digital music ? CD?s came through so much more nicely than most MP3 or streaming radio counterparts.

    I listened to several different kinds of music but the band most played was Mr. Bungle. The bands eccentricities not withstanding, they are excellent musicians and between their albums, offer just about every musical style out there. I also tested with Led Zeppelin, Santana and the White Stripes. I didn?t play much classical so I won?t be able to comment on the kinds of intricacies associated with that kind of music. I didn?t do much gaming either but I did watch several game demos and trailers for both the PS2 and Xbox - both of which would be and excellent application of these speakers.

    What I found was as follows:

    The T-200A?s offer a an excellent personal sound stage. These speakers are intimate and fun. They are open but they don?t lack any of the impact that you crave and love from your favorite recordings and games.

    The sweet spot is a little limited but that is natural to their application and when you are in the sweet spot, these speakers impress. The mid-woofer and tweeter blend seamlessly and offer a very natural and controlled sound.

    The tweeter is not bright but it isn?t rolled off either. This sort of typifies the sound of these speakers ? neutral and true to the recording. The mids are where these speakers shine. They are quite clear and very engaging. I don?t think they are any higher in frequency response, but they are just presented in such a powerful manner ? this speaks well of the amp which handles dynamics with ease. For only having a 5? mid-woofer these speakers offer exceptional bass. Kick drums and guns blasts alike were fully realized. You won?t need a subwoofer, though I?m sure you?d enjoy one. I suspect the actual frequency response on the low end is below the 60hz that they are rated for.

    Sound dispersion is fairly limited ? these speakers perform best on axis. Toeing them in didn?t make much of a difference for me but did help just a little when sitting close. Imaging was great and offered an almost headphone like quality. The sound stage wasn?t holographic but the 2 and a half dimensions they operated in were superb.

    In summary, I found these speakers to be an exceptional value, greatly enhancing my audio experience and particularly good for personal listening.