LATEST ADDITIONS

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 18, 2014 0 comments

Aero 2 Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

Aero 9 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $2,446

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Flat BMR in lieu of tweeter
Clear sonic window into the midrange
Unusual dual-mono/bipole surrounds
Affordable price
Minus
Boxy vinyl-wrap enclosures

THE VERDICT
Cambridge Audio’s Aero reinvents the two-way loudspeaker in midrange-friendly fashion with excellent performance and value.

What if you needed two throats to speak? Sounds a bit cumbersome, right? But that’s how a two-way loudspeaker usually treats the human voice. Its drivers divide the midrange frequencies where the voice resides into two parts, sending higher frequencies to the tweeter and lower frequencies to the woofer. While the crossover varies from speaker to speaker, the frequencies that handle the voice usually get split right in the region where human ears are most sensitive to vocal timbre.

Of course, good speaker designers routinely surmount this obstacle to natural vocal sound, either by carefully tweaking their two-way designs or by going to three-way designs that dedicate a separate driver to midrange reproduction. But the three-way approach adds two more crossover sections, potentially leading to other troubled areas of reproduction.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Apr 18, 2014 1 comments
Korg is well known among musicians for its electronic keyboards but recently introduced a high-resolution audio playback system comprising its proprietary AudioGate 3 software and one of two USB digital-to-analog converters, the retro-styled DS-DAC-100 ($600) or the ultracompact DS-DAC-100m ($350).
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 18, 2014 0 comments
Rail passengers in San Francisco’s Union Station got a taste of what was billed as “the world’s first large-scale opera for wireless headphones.” Invisible Cities was based on Italo Calvino’s spellbinding novel in which Marco Polo describes fantasy cities to Kublai Khan. The production used Sennheiser’s wireless headphone and microphone technology to allow listeners wearing RS 120 cans to roam around the large public space “onstage” and commune with the performers.
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SV Staff Posted: Apr 17, 2014 0 comments
THX certification, 4K support and wireless connectivity are key features of the TX-NR737 and TX-NR838 AV receivers Onkyo is introducing in May with suggested retail prices of $899 and $1,199, respectively.
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Kim Wilson Posted: Apr 17, 2014 0 comments
This theater’s classy and tasteful design was an idea that had been rolling around in Joel Chasen’s mind for over 20 years. “I had always done all of my equipment purchasing, setup, configuration, programming, and tweaking on my own,” said Chasen. “For my ultimate theater, I wanted to go beyond the scope of what I could accomplish by myself and sought out professional help. However, it was important to find people willing to collaborate.”
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Fred Kaplan Posted: Apr 17, 2014 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
The Best Years of Our Lives is the best film ever made about war veterans. That’s not exactly an alluring endorsement, so let me add that it’s a nearly three-hour film without a moment of mind-drift. It’s funny, moving, wrenching—a total tear-jerker that earns its emotional wallop.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 17, 2014 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
In 1969, Americans first went to the moon. The challenges were daunting, including finding and training the men who would make those early, dangerous, pioneering probes into near-earth space—men who had, in the words of the Thomas Wolfe book on which this 1983 movie was based, “the right stuff.”

This is the compelling story of those first Mercury astronauts, who paved the way for that “One giant leap for mankind” moment. It’s also the story of uber test pilot Chuck Yeager—never an astronaut but the first man to break the sound barrier.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 17, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Setup
Value
PRICE $1,675

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent picture quality
Competitive with Stewart’s upmarket designs
Minus
Varied sizes and configurations but no custom options

THE VERDICT
Stewart Filmscreen’s Cima lineup offers fewer options than the company’s long-respected but more expensive designs, but it makes Stewart’s pristine image quality now available to a wider range of buyers.

What can one say about a projection screen? Quite a lot, actually. A screen is much more than a bedsheet or the nearest white wall. While it can’t improve the quality of a projector, it can, if poorly designed, most certainly degrade it.

Screens can be solid or (mostly) acoustically transparent. They can be white or various shades of gray (the latter often incorporating special treatments designed to improve performance in a less than ideally darkened room). They’re available in a wide range of gains—1.0 for more or less neutral performance or higher values to enhance brightness from a less than torch-like projector and/or a super-large screen.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Apr 17, 2014 Published: Apr 15, 2014 0 comments
The bottom end has never been quite the same since Jack Bruce picked up his first bass over 6 decades ago. The vaunted Cream bassist wrote the book on the art of the low-end hook, as his syncopated approach to playing bass helped shift pop music’s bottom-end emphasis away from just laying down root notes and fifths, in turn opening the door to a more adventurous yet melodically inclined style that laid the foundation for the rock explosion of the ’60s. Turns in both Manfred Mann and John Mayall’s bands set the table for Bruce to connect with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker and forge Cream, wherein the super Scotsman set the heavy-blues power-trio standard with epic runs and full-band interplay in songs like “I Feel Free,” “Spoonful,” “Politician,” and “Sunshine of Your Love.”
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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 17, 2014 3 comments
Q I am in the market for a new 3D player and have been looking at the Oppo 103 and 103D.  But the various online forums I’ve visited all say that there is hardly any picture quality difference between the Oppos and other Blu-ray players like those from Sony and Panasonic. Is that true? —Joe Montanez / via email

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