PREMIERE DESIGN

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 20, 2009 7 comments

When you think about the components of any audio system, things like speakers, power amps, and source devices undoubtedly come to mind. You might even consider the room as a component. But what about the seat in which you sit to enjoy the music? Most chairs are not designed specifically for that particular endeavor, leaving you with a pain in the neck and/or back after extended periods, and some actually interfere with perceiving the best possible sound. To overcome the limitations of this "forgotten component," a Swedish company called <A href="http://www.klutzdesign.com">Klutz Design</A> has developed the Ballerina Sweetspot, a prototype chair that is optimized for just one thing&#151;listening.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 15, 2009 Published: Nov 16, 2009 11 comments

<A href="http://www.bowers-wilkins.com">B&W</A> makes some of the best-sounding speakers in the world, so when the company set its sights on the iPod market, something special was sure to surface. First introduced in 2007, the Zeppelin melds exquisite design and sound quality into a stunning, single-piece iPod dock/audio system that seems to define the state of the art in this burgeoning field.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 12, 2009 1 comments

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Danish speaker maker <A href="http://www.dynaudio.com">Dynaudio</A> released a special-edition model called the Sapphire in 2007. Limited to 1000 pairs worldwide, the final 30 will be wrapped in an exclusive gloss-blue piano-lacquer finish.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 08, 2009 5 comments

I had not heard of Swedish speaker maker <A href="http://www.perfect8.com">Perfect8 Technologies</A> until reader Joe G. posted a comment in my blog about <A href="http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/ultimate-gear/glass_ear/">Hario's glass speakers</A>. Like Hario, Perfect8 uses glass as a primary building material, but not in the driver diaphragms as Hario does. Instead, the cabinets and some support structures are made of glass, creating elegant sculptures that are said to sound as good as they look.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 08, 2009 8 comments

Recently, I posted an <A href="http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/ultimate-tech/let_there_be_let/">entry in the Ultimate Tech blog</A> about a new type of tweeter called the Leading Edge Transducer (LET). In that article, I made some statements to which reader Noah Katz, a structural engineer and, presumably, an audiophile, took exception. At first, I was going to ignore him because he refused to engage in a dialog about it. But, being me, I couldn't resist digging deeper to uncover the truth. After all, one of my guiding principles as a technical journalist is to get the facts straight, and if I don't&#151;which, as a human, is inevitable once in a while&#151;I feel compelled to correct my mistakes.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 02, 2009 Published: Nov 03, 2009 2 comments

What do you get if you cross Japanese audio acumen with daring Italian design? The Squeezophone 360, that's what. Born out of a collaboration between <A href="http://www.kenwooddesign.com">Kenwood Design</A> and <A href="http://www.colucci-design.com">Claudio Colucci Design</A>, this concept speaker cuts a dashing figure as it pumps sound all around the room.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 29, 2009 33 comments

Audiophiles know the name Mark Levinson well. After his eponymous first enterprise was purchased by Harman International&#151;which means he can no longer use his own name on audio products&#151;Levinson went on to found several other highly regarded audio companies, including Cello and Red Rose Music. Now, in a story exclusive to <I>UAV</I>, the audio designer, recording engineer, and professional musician is launching his latest venture from his adopted home country of Switzerland, calling it <A href="http://www.danielhertz.com">Daniel Hertz, S.A.</A>&#151;"Daniel" after his father and "Hertz" after his mother's great-uncle Heinrich Hertz, whose name is now used as the universal unit of measurement of frequency.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 26, 2009 3 comments

The materials used to make speaker diaphragms are well established&#151;polypropylene, paper, Kevlar, aluminum, titanium, beryllium, silk, and even diamond, to name a few. So I was surprised to find a speaker system with diaphragms made of glass. Developed over nearly four years by a Japanese glass company called <A href="http://www.harioglass.com">Hario</A> (Japanese for "king of glass"), the Harion system is certainly intriguing, though the English-language website linked here has nothing about it, and the company did not supply much info, even after repeated requests.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 23, 2009 27 comments

Transducers&#151;devices that convert one form of energy into another&#151;are among the most mature technologies in the audio world. The most common musical transducers are microphones, which convert the mechanical energy of acoustic sound waves into electrical signals, and speakers, which do exactly the opposite. Both have been around for a century or so, and despite a few innovations and variations, they haven't changed much in all that time.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 23, 2009 2 comments

Live music is quite different from the visual arts. For example, every time a musician plays a given song, it is unique, with inevitable variations from one performance to the next. As Joni Mitchell once noted, no one ever asked Van Gogh to paint <I>The Starry Night</I> again. But many musicians are expected to play certain songs at every concert, and these songs sound different every time. On the other hand, recorded music is more like a painting&#151;once it's in the can, it sounds exactly the same every time it's played.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 22, 2009 1 comments

I normally consider LP turntables to be squarely in <I>Stereophile</I>'s bailiwick, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to profile these gorgeous vinyl spinners from <A href="http://audiowood.com">Audiowood</A>. The wood foundation of each one is handcrafted and unique, though designs such as the Barky pictured above can be replicated with relative ease since it's based on a slice from a log.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 19, 2009 14 comments

As I was looking for products to profile in this blog, I came across something astonishing&#151;a tube-based monoblock power amp that costs $350,000/pair! Hand-built by Japanese boutique maker <A href="http://www.wavac-audio.jp/">Wavac Audio Lab</A>, the SH-833 isn't new&#151;it was <A href="http://www.stereophile.com/tubepoweramps/704wavac/">reviewed in Stereophile</A> in 2004&#151;but when I saw that price tag, I knew I had to include it here.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 14, 2009 10 comments

I've always had a certain fondness for <A href="http://www.linn.co.uk">Linn</A>, a high-end audio company based in Glasgow, Scotland. Perhaps it's because the company is located in my namesake country, or maybe it's the clever, Ikea-like product names. More likely, it's because Linn has been making exceptional audiophile products for over 35 years, starting in 1972 with the Sondek LP12 turntable, which is now the longest-lived hi-fi component still in production. Of more recent vintage is the flagship Klimax speaker system presented here.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 09, 2009 4 comments

Danish speaker maker <A href="http://www.dynaudio.com">Dynaudio</A> has earned a stellar reputation among audiophiles since its founding in 1977. The current flagship line, known as Evidence, is not new&#151;the Master model was selected as one of <I>Stereophile</I>'s products of the year in 2000&#151;but that doesn't mean it can't still kick some serious butt. I wanted to see what the ultimate Evidence home-theater system would consist of&#151;and how much it would cost.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 06, 2009 21 comments

I'm on a quest to find the most expensive audio cables in the world&#151;not to buy, mind you, but just to see what the market will bear. From what I've learned so far, the leading candidates come from <A href="http://transparentcable.com">Transparent Audio</A>, whose Opus MM2 cables cost more than most automobiles, especially if you're buying enough to outfit an entire multichannel system.

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