Originally Posted by benjammin
I agree MLM. I can't compare the SS to the Vizion or JVC or Sony products but I have a hard time believing they begin to compare buildwise or for overall sound. But I'll leave that for someone else to compare. I know I'm very happy with my SS40, substage 100, and mainstage HD for the rear channels. I would love for Aperion to clear out the SS30 at a low price so I could snag one but I imagine that's not very likely. In any event, I think soundmatters does so much more volume and has a higher margin on its foxL small speaker that they won't bother with another soundbar which is a shame. Plus, as MLM mentioned with the price of tvs dropping so much and the plethora of soundbar choices in the $200-$300 range, it's hard to market effectively a more expensive soundbar unless it has the Yamaha name for example.
As one of the owners of soundbars from all of the other companies you listed above, my gut feeling is you are right on the money. Based on the reviews I have read, it appears that this was the soundbar to beat. I had considered the purchase of one later this year and still may if there are any left and the price is right. Current unit is the JVC which is the best of the other brands. As info, my first soundbar was a YSP-900 from Yamaha when I downsized to a condo in 2007. Each of the other units you mentioned blows away the Yamaha in every aspect with the exception of surround feel which was the least important criteria on my list. I prefer detail and correct tonal balance. The JVC does the best of the units you mention, except don't throw tough musical content at it due to a big whole in the mid-bass region between the SB and woofer. For music I retained the front stereo towers and sub from my previous home system mated with an Onkyo receiver instead of pre-amp and stack of amplifiers. Music is listened to in the sun-room and the tiny Onkyo has more than enough kick to handle anything thrown at it in such a tiny space.
I have done a brief (very brief) audition of the Yamaha YSP-2200, their new unit and believe this is their best offering to date. Did an extended audition of their 4100 last fall over about six days and came away preferring the Sony CT-150 in the same room at one fifth the price. This was a home not a store and we tried various modes for each. The 2200 is using better algorythms to simulate the surround than previous models plus the matched sub helps the transition from upper to lower. Of course, an extended audition may lead to different conclusions. If the soundstage is not available late spring, I may give the 2200 a try. Like what I heard.
One other note. Best soundbar I have heard, and I certainly have not heard them all, was the Definitive Technology. No surround, but true 5-channel sound and no need for a sub-woofer (but one certainly does not hurt). Most musical soundbar I have heard and also the most detailed. Not very efficient and requires a decent amp with a decent power supply for power, but in a whole different class than anything previously auditioned. Price is reasonable, but sizewise, even larger than the big Yamaha's. Could not fit it in with my equipment.