What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Mon, 2 Feb 2009, 4:00pm

Logic3 Valve 80

Tested at £299
40100
2

Neither the dock or the speakers have much going for them in terms of sound quality, so we can’t recommend this Logic3 system

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For

  • Smart design and decent build
  • plenty of connections

Against

  • Lacks bass
  • poor insight
  • bright

Look familiar? Yep, there's no getting away from the fact that this iPod dock and speaker combination looks not unlike the Fatman iTube systems that we've seen.

They're not identical though, and for £299 you get a pair of eye-catching speakers. Yet, despite good initial impressions we can't say we're too enamoured with Logic3's Valve 80.

So, to those first impressions: the dock, like the Fatman, is easy on the eye. The now familiar blend of retro technology with modern styling and iPod connectivity is a smart combination. The speakers feature a Mordaunt-Short Mezzo style tweeter atop a B&W-esque, curvaceous speaker.

The Valve 80 features a universal iPod dock, two phono audio inputs and composite and S-Video outputs. It all seems well made, though the controls on the main unit feel a bit cheap and the speaker driver units aren't quite flush.

Well made, but sound is weak
Nevertheless, it's the sound with which we really have issue. Animal Collective's tense Lion In A Coma sounds lightweight and bright, with cymbals sounding harsh and soft, while the punchy bassline is almost nowhere to be seen.

We try the Lady GaGa CD and the Logic3 sounds as if it's playing a low-quality MP3 file. Even when the speakers are pushed up against the wall we can't get any genuine bass depth.

We connect the £100 Tannoy Mercury F1 Custom speakers to see whether we should lay the blame squarely at the foot of the speakers, and while we do get a fuller, more detailed delivery, the presentation remains too toppy and aggressive for our liking.

If you're after something in this vein, your money is far better spent on a £200 Fatman iTube valve dock and a £100 set of Tannoy speakers.

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