JVC EX-A10 100-Watt DVD Executive Microsystem with Sake-Soaked Speakers (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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- Compact home theater system with brushed aluminum DVD player, matching receiver, and 2 speakers
- Supports DVD Video, DVD Audio, DVD-R/RW, CD, CD-R/RW, VCD, SVCD, and MP3/WMA-CD formats
- Bi-amplified cherry-finished speakers with sake-soaked birch wood cones for warm, natural sound
- Hybrid Feedback digital amplifier generates high power output and low distortion levels; AM/FM tuner
- Analog and optical digital audio inputs; component, S-video, and composite video outputs; 1-year warranty
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JVC EXA10 100 Watt DVD Executive Micro System with Woodcone Speakers
Outfit your bedroom or den with a compact home theater setup while adding a little style in the process with the JVC EX-A10 executive DVD microsystem. The elegantly designed unit includes two diminutive components--a brushed aluminum receiver and matching DVD player--that occupy about the same space as a typical laptop computer. More importantly, the EX-A10 plays all the formats common to much larger systems, including DVD Video, DVD Audio, DVD-R/RW, CD, CD-R/RW, VCD, SVCD, and MP3/WMA files burned on a CD, while fitting easily on a bookshelf or desktop. All you need to complete the home theater setup is a TV.
What truly sets the EX-A10 apart, however, are its solid cherry-finished speakers, each of which features a solid wood speaker cone. Wood is an ideal speaker material, as its acoustic properties deliver a warm, natural sound. But it's also difficult to press wood sheets into cone shapes without cracking the wood. JVC overcame this problem with an unlikely solution: sake, or Japanese rice wine. JCV engineers discovered that when soaked in sake, a birch wood sheet becomes soft and pliable enough to press into a split-free speaker cone. As a result, each speaker houses a 3.19-inch wood cone mid/bass driver and a wood dome tweeter, which combine to deliver an inviting, realistic audio performance. Listeners can also remove the speakers' black, semi-transparent grilles to show off the birch wood material.
To ensure theater-like audio performance from such a small system, JVC included its Hybrid Feedback digital amplifier, a compact, highly efficient amp that generates high power output and low distortion levels. The system is also bi-amplified, with 30-watts-per-channel power driving the mid/bass speakers and 20 watts per channel driving the tweeters. A final audio enhancement stems from JVC's K2 and CC Converter technologies--also found in the company's top-end receivers--which are designed to improve the sound quality of both CDs and digital music files like MP3 and WMA.
Additional features include two-channel decoding of Dolby Digital and DTS surround signals, an AM/FM tuner with a clock and sleep timer (the alarm wakes to either a CD or the radio), and a full-function remote control. Plus, the EX-A10 includes several audio and video jacks, including both analog and optical digital audio inputs and component, S-video, and composite video outputs. Finally, the system carries a one-year warranty on parts and labor.
What's in the Box
DVD player, receiver, two speakers, remote control, speaker cables, user's manual.
Top customer reviews
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The sound is quite good (I'm using the system in a small living room), I would say excellant. The unit looks good, has a really nice feel. I did notice one time the disk drive shook a bit, but that happened only once and I didn't notice any sound distortion.
I did not notice (or care about) the bass being too thin -- I'm playing mostly classical, jazz, acoustic CDs and MP3 (streamed in the optical port with an old Slim Device Squeezebox). So the bass sounded great to me.
One small problem is that there is some distortion when you get beyond a certain point (35?), but I don't enjoy music loud anyway (indoors anyway) so aside from that it's a really nice system. If you want a small system to play something other then heavy metal, this is the one. I spent about 6 months looking at reviews and shopping around, and this is the best system I could find for the money. Just FYI: my previous system was an old Teac 3CD model.
It's far from perfect though. The speaker's pretty but thin walled construction reflect cost cutting, also their sound markedly emphasizes the lower midrange and is a little rolled off on top. This gives it a warm euphonic sound but it also makes Ricky Lee Jones sound a bit like Nina Simone for example. The tuner is a disappointment and the remote is way too complicated. The JVC is a best suited for someone who cares most of CD sound quality over everything else, and who needs a compact "all in one CD player" for well under a thousand dollars.
A few extra watts of power output, DVD+ playback, the supposedly enhanced CC sound, discrete player and amplifier/radio components, AND a digital BI-AMP driving TWO wood-cone speakers in a larger rose-wood cabinet seemed in the eyes/ears of the folks at JVC like what's needed to have us pay that much more. Upon installing and playing many an hour worth of audio and video content on my JVC EX-A10, I can say that it is not up to my expectations--per price, mostly that is. Indeed, the transport in the player is almost as noisy as JVC EXD5's, the wi-fi connection is gone, and the size almost doubled. Moreover, and more importantly, my expectations of a bi-amp/two-speaker per cabinet came at the expense of twice as much wiring as before, too much tinkering with the amp-levels leading in the end to an elusive improvement in sound quality over the EXD5. And, since I don't care that much about playing back mp3 audio, I perceive the CC-enhancement as being rather distracting.
Doing some more reading online, I've learned that bi-amps, while "solving" a theoretical problem, create another set of problems on their own. Ideally, all should be captured in one single speaker, and EXD5 remains as close to that ideal for me as they come.
Addressing the lack of advanced video connectivity/output, yes, I do think that at this price JVC EX-A10 should not only have HDMI, but also a Faroudja chip--they sell for double digit prices. As for the transport, fo'get'bout-it! All in all, I could see this unit selling for no more than four_hundred. Maybe that's why Amazon does not even list it when searching for "wood cone," preferring instead the JVC EXD5. And so should you!