Optoma HD27HDR reliability and Optoma HD143x, Wharfedale Linton Heritage and other classic speakers (Week 3, 2020)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 3, 2019

Q. I read your review of the Optoma HD27HDR projector and was convinced it was the one for me. Unfortunately the online user reviews revealed some reliability issues and now I am hesitant, thinking perhaps I should just get the Optoma HD143x and give up on the HDR for now. What do you think?

-J.D., New York, NY

A. I saw those same user reviews and the problems seem to be limited to early production models. My review unit was flawless during the several months I had it on loan from Optoma, and now that it has been returned I am strongly considering buying one for myself. A friend even purchased an HD27HDR upon my recommendation earlier this year. So it is safe to say that I still recommend this projector. For peace of mind you may want to consider getting the Asurion three-year protection plan with it. It is only $57.99 and depending on where I buy the projector, I will probably buy the plan myself if it is offered by the retailer.

Don’t forget that if you get the $599 HD27HDR you must have a 4K Blu-ray player or a streaming source that supports 4K HDR (high dynamic range) to take advantage of the HDR feature. Without a 4K HDR source you may as well just get the HD143x. The HD143x is only $399 right now and when you see the picture you probably won’t worry about how much better the HD27HDR might be. It is quite amazing what kind of quality you can get in a projector these days, for so little money.

It is nice to see all the recent interest in projection. I just returned from the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and saw some unique projection products I will be writing about in the months to come. It is going to be a great year for home theater lovers!

Q. After reading your article about the Wharfedale Linton Heritage speakers I immediately went to the Amazon website to see what they look like. I was absolutely stunned when I saw they look like my Mikado speakers that I bought some 50 years ago. Is there a relationship between Mikado and Wharfedale? The writing on the back of the Mikado speaker is Mikado Model SS-106, 3 way 12″ speaker system. Even to this day they are still a great sounding speaker, and they will be tough for me to replace.

-W.J., Lodi, CA

A. There is no relation between the Wharfedale and Mikado speakers. What you see in both speakers is the design and engineering aesthetic that was popular 50-60 years ago. The current Linton Heritage speakers are based on an early version of the Linton that was made decades ago, but designed and manufactured using modern engineering methods and materials.

I suspect if you tried a pair of the Linton Heritage speakers you would find it very difficult to go back to your 50-year-old Mikados. What makes the Linton Heritage speakers special is they provide fully modern sound quality combined with the classic design, full bass and effortless dynamics of a vintage box speaker. Given your affinity for your current speakers may want to try the Lintons when you are ready to upgrade. The Linton Heritage speakers are $1,499 with the stands, and as I said in my previous column the stands should be considered a must-have for anyone buying these speakers.