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  S4 MidiLand 7100 Plus Speaker System 
  May 28, 2001, 09:00am EDT 

The Decoder

By: Dan Mepham

The 7100 Plus comes bundled with MidiLandís new ADS 3000 Dolby Digital Decoder. The ADS 3000 offers true Dolby AC3 5.1-channel decoding, a full-featured remote control, and a few other improvements over the original ADS 2000.

Like the ADS 2000, the ADS 3000 is capable of accepting three input types: stereo analog, coaxial S/PDIF, and optical S/PDIF. When either of the S/PDIF connections are in use, the unit will automatically detect an AC3 signal, and apply the appropriate decoding measures. The unit can output to speakers using either the G9 DIN output, or six RCA-style outputs (one for each channel). The 7100 Plus system makes use of the analog RCA connection.

The unit also features a host of speaker and surround options, which can be used to play analog signals in 5.1-channel mode, or visa versa. One exceptionally useful feature is the ability to adjust each channelís volume separately. This could be used to either slightly boost or slightly depress the sound from one channel, which allows for a little more flexibility in placing the speakers.

The unit features a master volume level, of course. Unfortunately, the volume is only a line-level input from the source, meaning instead of starting from a lower volume, and adjusting up, users are forced to set the volume at maximum at first, and adjust down to a desirable range, in order to make use of the volume control at all. Other functions of note include a Mute function, as well as a speaker test mode, which emits a tone from each of the speakers, one at a time, in order to calibrate each channelís volume level.

Remote Control

Fig 4. The Midiland infrared remote, which has all the often used control buttons.

The systemís remote is also quite nice. Itís much larger than the ADS 2000ís remote, has all the needed controls and feels much better in the hand.

1. Introduction
2. The Satellites
3. The Subwoofer
4. The Decoder
5. Sound Quality
6. Complaints
7. Tech Support
8. Construction Quality
9. Conclusions

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  Product Ratings 
S4 MidiLand 7100 Plus
Performance: 7/10
Quality: 10/10
Features: 7/10
Documentation: 9/10
Price: 8/10
Overall Rating: 8/10

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