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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 11, 2010 16 comments

As an A/V enthusiast, you might well be familiar with <A href="">Kaleidescape</A>, a California-based maker of high-end movie servers. <I>UAV</I> hasn't covered its products lately because we are dedicated to high def, and they have been limited to serving DVDs&#151;until now. The company today announced the introduction of full support for Blu-ray with its new M-Class architecture.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 10, 2010 2 comments

The transition from monaural to two-channel stereo in the 1930s is undoubtedly one of the most important innovations in the history of recorded and reproduced sound. The idea first came to Alan Blumlein when he went to the movies, which had only recently been enhanced with synchronized audio.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 06, 2010 5 comments

Audiophiles know well the name <A href="">Musical Fidelity</A>, a high-end British manufacturer for more than 30 years. The self-proclaimed culmination of all that experience is the Titan 2-channel power amp.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 03, 2010 1 comments

Audiophiles who want to impress their friends&#151;and I seriously doubt there are any who don't&#151;would be hard pressed to do better than a pair of Sph&#228;ron Excalibur speakers from German horn specialist <A href="">Acapella</A>. But you'd better have a pretty big room to comfortably house these beautiful beasts, which stand over seven feet tall and weigh 1364 pounds each.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 29, 2010 7 comments

I've written about line-array speakers in this blog several times, and for good reason&#151;tall stacks of drivers deliver smooth horizontal dispersion and sound levels that fall off more gradually than point-source speakers, creating a coherent, open soundstage. That's the idea behind the so-called iso-linear speakers from American maker <A href="">Scaena</A>, whose name is Latin for "stage."

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 27, 2010 2 comments

If you've ever seen photos of the 1939 New York World's Fair, you might recognize the inspiration for these Art Deco-esque speakers from American boutique maker <A href="">Studio Electric</A>. With a design based on the Trylon and Perisphere, two signature buildings at the fair, the Type Two is handcrafted from stainless steel and aluminum by master metalsmith <A href="">Josh Stippich</A>.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 22, 2010 3 comments

Ever since its founding in 1926, German speaker maker <A href="">Elac</A>&#151;short for Electroacustic&#151;has never been one to rest on its laurels. Its engineers continue to improve the company's already well-regarded speakers with refinements and innovations that push the performance envelope. Take, for example, the FS 609 CE, Elac's flagship tower speaker that packs a lot of advanced technology into a slender form factor.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 19, 2010 13 comments

If $100,000 for the <A href=" One DLP projector</A> is too rich for your blood and/or you don't need to light up a 50-foot screen, <A href="">Cineversum</A> offers an attractive alternative&#151;the new BlackWing Four LCoS projector.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 15, 2010 4 comments

When <A href="">Bang & Olufsen</A> hosts a press event, it doesn't mess around. Last week, the king of Danish A/V design unveiled a new member of its flat-panel lineup at the Kopeikin art gallery in Los Angeles, and journalists got to see the BeoVision 10 in action as we sipped Dom Perignon and nibbled on gouda-apple pizza and other delicacies.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 12, 2010 10 comments

So-called "tiled" video displays&#151;huge screens made up of multiple smaller screens&#151;have been employed commercially for some time, but up to now, they've been relatively impractical for home use. <A href="">Runco</A> hopes to change that with its new WindowWall, which is designed for decidedly upscale homes.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 09, 2010 6 comments

As a musician, I'm well acquainted with Steinway pianos, but until recently, I was unaware that the company had entered the home-audio business with a subsidiary called <A href="">Steinway Lyngdorf</A> in collaboration with Peter Lyngdorf of <A href="">Lyngdorf Audio</A>. Among its super-expensive speaker offerings is the LS line, a modular in-wall system based on the concept of a line source, in which a vertical stack of drivers delivers smooth horizontal dispersion and sound levels that fall off more gradually with distance than point-source speakers. As a result, the difference in volume between the front and back rows is less than it otherwise would be.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 08, 2010 1 comments

If you want a really big picture, you need a front projector. But the brightness of any projected image decreases as the screen size increases, and after a certain point, the picture is too dim to be fully satisfying, even in a dark room. Many home-theater projectors can't deliver adequate amounts of light to screens measuring more than, say, 10 feet wide or so, but not the new Force One from <A href="">Cineversum</A>, which the company claims can light up screens as large as 49 feet wide.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 05, 2010 4 comments

Great Britain has long been home to many excellent high-end audio companies, including <A href="">Chord Electronics</A>. One of its newest offerings is the uncompromising CPA8000, Chord's ultimate 2-channel preamp.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 02, 2010 4 comments

When I ran across the Ultimate II speaker from <A href="">Magico</A>, I knew I had to profile it here&#151;hey, the name says it all! This 5-way, horn-loaded monster stands 7.5 feet tall and weighs 800 pounds, and from all reports I've read, it sounds just as impressive as it looks.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 01, 2010 5 comments

One of the hallmarks of twentieth-century physics is the development of quantum mechanics, which describes the properties of matter and energy at very small scales. At its heart, this highly abstruse and esoteric branch of physics is actually quite simple: all matter and energy ultimately consists of discrete units or "packets" called quanta.


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