Monday, November 29, 1999

Sound and clear

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Not many people would spend Rs 35k on a music system. But those who do, will not regret it, if they buy the Harman Kardon MAS 100. The very recently launched, does come with a price tag, but does it have the performance to match it? Lets find out.Looks glossy which is sad, but it has an extremely classy form factor. Dressed in black, the four piece system looks like it is ready to kill with the amplifier, CD player and the two speakers. The speaker grill can come off, and trust me, the speakers look better without them.Setting up the MAS 100 is extremely simple. The CD player sits perfectly on top of the amplifier, flanked by two bookshelf speakers on the two sides. All cables are provided in the box, which makes it ready to use. However, something which is new is the fact that a pair of soft gloves are provided as a package with the advice to wear them while installing the MAS 100. Harman Kardon recognises that the glossy finish is a fingerprint magnet, yet makes it anyway!Well, I was blown away by the amazing clarity, punch and the softness, all showing off simultaneously. Be it an audio CD or a music off a USB drive, the quality is absolutely fantastic. Base is adding a dimension to the music, but does not get boomy or over the top at any time. The treble, however, is good at low and medium volumes, but gets too sharp if the volume gets cranked up a bit. But then again, the speakers are meant for a medium sized room at a medium volume. You can use your iPod, but will need to use the Harman Kardon iPod dock for it to work.As far as negatives go, I will be nitpicking, but I have to mention that there are 2 USB input ports on the MAS 100, and that can get a bit confusing for most people at first. Also, I just cannot understand the glossy part. Why make the thing so glossy that you have to actually provide gloves to use when installing it? Apart from that, the MAS 100 is as clean as a whistle.Value for money depends on your spending power. If you can easily splurge Rs 35k on a music system, then this is money worth spent. If however, you are dragging yourself to somehow achieve that budget, then don't. You will not be missing out on anything extraordinary.© CyberMedia

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