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Putting the Vector system to work with Children of Men on Blu-ray, it demonstrates its formidable talents with a remarkable reproduction of the movie's climactic battle scenes. The system is well integrated and surprisingly expansive, which gives this tense scene a convincing sense of scale.
It also picks out a respectable amount of detail, missing none of the distant voices and ambience fluttering around the soundstage, while the scene is punctuated by fast, forthright gunshots and hearty explosions.
We also find the Vector system on top form with Hellboy 2's DTS HD Master Audio track. Hellboy's battle with the Elemental - one of our favourite test scenes of recent times - is reproduced with admirable power and control, plus the wide reach of the surround channels opens up the soundstage in precisely the way this scene demands. This is the sort of depth and insight you expect from a more expensive system.
The V20 conveys dialogue with pleasing clarity, handling the movie's array of madcap voices with a natural, life-like tone. But perhaps the star of the show is the VW-8 - this powerful yet agile sub underpins the action with deep, muscular bass which merges beautifully with the lower end of the V10's register.
Vector also turns its hand to music with equal conviction. Dirty Harry by Gorillaz on CD sounds tight and crisp, its infectious funk groove propelled along by the speakers' solid bass and impeccable sense of rhythm.
As impressed as we are by the Vector's sound quality, it's up against some stiff competition and we reckon you get a smidgeon more finesse from the KEF KHT2005.3 system. Also the Vector sounded a little bright when we first started playing CDs, most noticeable in the squeaky hi-hats in Gorillaz Last Living Souls. It subsides after prolonged listening but you're still left with a slight over-emphasis on treble that occasionally pushes sharp high-frequencies over the edge at loud volumes.
The Monitor Audio Vector system is a magnificent performer and a great system all round, boasting stylish looks, solid build quality and best of all, a great price. The ideal choice if you're strapped for space and/or cash.
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