With this musical introduction, I expected nothing short of great movie sound from the System 4200, and I wasn't disappointed. Playback was about as seamlessly integrated, solidly spatial, and colorful and dynamic as I could want.
|Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets could have been designed as a home theater demo disc, and the Atlantic Technology System 4200 met every wizardly challenge.|
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a first-rate 5.1-channel production with just about every surround sound virtue. Through the sequence of the flying car catching up to the train, I was struck by how little the timbre of the engine's pop-pop-popping changed as it swooped from channel to channel and position to position. The quidditch match a bit later might as well have been designed as a home theater demo: the whizzing balls and brooms, crashes and impacts were all spectacularly present and three-dimensional. And in the climactic sequence, the extravagant demands of "big-sound" impacts and collisions were met with surprising realism.
In my standard checks for center-speaker performance, the 4200 C was a near perfect tonal match for the 4200 LRs, and its midrange tones changed very little as I moved off-center. Vertical positioning was just as critical for the 4200 C as for the 4200 LRs. Fortunately, the center speaker incorporates a tiltable base that makes aiming the tweeter easy. It's cleverly simple and effective, but it does raise the speaker a couple of inches higher than optimal for TV-top placement.
Okay, okay, I'm nit-picking. Atlantic Technology's System 4200 is simply an outstanding speaker suite for medium-size rooms. It might not be my first choice if all I played was stereo music - but I can't imagine anyone seriously considering it primarily for that. For everything else, movies and multichannel music alike, it's an undeniable winner. I don't think you can ask for much more from so compact a speaker system. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
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