PREMIERE DESIGN

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 03, 2010 0 comments

Photo courtesy Surround Sounds, Perth, Australia

If you've been reading about home theater for any length of time, you've probably heard of Stewart Filmscreen, a family-owned company that represents the lion's share of the consumer and commercial projection-screen market. Its product range is vast, so I'll focus on three high-end home-oriented offerings—CineCurve, Director's Choice 2.0, and StarGlas.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 02, 2010 6 comments

Anyone who knows high-end video knows Runco, which is now the high-end home-cinema division of Oregon-based Planar. Among Runco's many well-regarded projectors, the premier line is undoubtedly the Signature Cinema series, which now includes two brand new models.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 29, 2010 0 comments

During Michael Fremer's recent appearance on my podcast, he told the story about how he fell in love with a turntable he had reviewed for Stereophile—and how his wife had wholeheartedly approved of buying it, even though it cost as much as a high-end luxury car. That turntable is the Caliburn with Cobra tonearm from Continuum Audio Labs in Australia.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 27, 2010 2 comments

D&M Holdings is the corporate umbrella under which both Denon and Marantz live, so it's no surprise that the flagship Denon DVD-A1UDCI (reviewed by Shane Buettner for Home Theater) and Marantz UD9004 universal disc players are both based on a common platform. So why is the Marantz $1500 more than the already very-expensive Denon?

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 27, 2010 4 comments

Few speakers are more highly regarded than the venerable WATT/Puppy from Wilson Audio. After eight model revisions, Wilson decided to implement some upgrades that warranted a new name—and the Sasha W/P was born.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 26, 2010 3 comments

Long scoffed at by audiophiles, music servers are now gaining widespread acceptance for their convenience and sound quality. Among the most highly regarded products in this category is Sooloos from British high-end stalwart Meridian, which just announced two new members of the Sooloos family—the Control 15 server and Media Source 600 client.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 23, 2010 4 comments

I first heard about British high-end manufacturer dCS many years ago when I read a white paper from the company extolling the audible virtue of PCM digital audio recorded and played back at 192kHz with 24-bit resolution. Since then, it seems that dCS has embraced DSD—the digital-audio format used by SACD—in its CD/SACD playback systems, including the all-in-one Puccini.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 22, 2010 6 comments

Since I profiled the Titan Reference 1080p 3-chip DLP projector from Digital Projection International (DPI) in 2009, the company has upgraded it to include 3D capabilities. And unlike most Ultimate Gear products, I've actually spent some time with this one while Tom Norton was reviewing it for the October 2010 issue of Home Theater. How about a sneak peek?

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 20, 2010 3 comments

When I profiled the incredible Transmission Audio Ultimate speaker system last year, I mentioned that the $2,000,000 package includes power amps and a preamp from Bridge Audio Laboratory, otherwise known by the odd contraction BAlabo. Here, I concentrate on these two beauties by themselves, along with BAlabo's new 2-channel DAC.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 19, 2010 4 comments

Scandinavian design is often highly unusual. Case in point—the Helsinki 1.5 speaker from Finnish Gradient, which made the cover of the August 2010 issue of Stereophile.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 16, 2010 3 comments

Over a year ago, I profiled the amazing 101 X-treme speaker system from MBL. If you don't have a quarter-million dollars or a floor capable of supporting its 3600-pound bulk, consider the newly refined 101E Mk II.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 15, 2010 3 comments
With his magical hammer Mjöllnir, the Norse god Thor is said to have produced thunder. So there is no more appropriate name than Thor's Hammer for the ultimate subwoofer from Wilson Audio. In fact, this monster might have put Thor himself to shame, since it can reproduce frequencies even lower than natural thunder.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 13, 2010 3 comments

Everyone knows that subwoofers are an essential part of just about any home theater in order to rattle your bones with explosions, rocket launches, and dinosaur roars. But they must also be capable of reproducing—and differentiating—the lowest musical notes in the movie's score. Among the most well-regarded practitioners of both tasks is JL Audio, especially its flagship Gotham g213.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 12, 2010 3 comments

Founded in 2005, Utah-based Red Dragon Audio is dedicated to class-D power-amp technology. It's flagship product is the Leviathan Signature monoblock, which is designed to look—and feel—as good as it sounds.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 08, 2010 6 comments

As I've written many times, the Ultimate Gear blog is intended to cover A/V products that embody extreme performance, design, and/or price. The 2010 ES line of A/V receivers from Sony—which were unveiled last week at a press event in Beverly Hills, California—might not fit any of these criteria, but they include so many unique and highly useful features that I decided I could legitimately cover them here.

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