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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 17, 2009 5 comments

CES spawns a number of satellite events, including T.H.E. (The Home Entertainment) Show, which focuses on high-end audio. Among the exhibitors this year is <A href="">Audience</A> with its new ClairAudient LSA 4+4 speaker, a mouthful of a name for a product that is said to provide an earful of great sound in a relatively small package measuring 17 x 15 x 12 inches (HxWxD).

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 14, 2009 3 comments

CES is three weeks away, and my inbox is already filling up with new-product announcements. Among them is the X260.5, a new monoblock power amp from <A href="">Pass Labs</A>.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 04, 2009 4 comments

In my never-ending quest for the ultimate in performance, design, and/or price, I came across the GA Star from a British company heretofore unknown to me&#151;<A href="">Gold Acoustics</A>. This unique speaker is unlike any other I've seen, and while it certainly looks shiny, I can't help wondering if it delivers the sonic goods.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 01, 2009 7 comments

So-called digital or Class D power amps are often maligned as incapable of matching the performance of high-end analog amps. This has certainly been true of many designs, but <A href="">NAD</A> is out to change that perception with its new M2, a 2-channel digital power amp in the company's flagship Masters Series.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 30, 2009 3 comments

The history of recorded music is a long and storied one that is worth preserving for future generations. Unfortunately, the earliest examples of the recording arts are difficult if not impossible to hear anymore. Many wax cylinders and shellac discs are crumbling in archives, unable to be played because any physical contact with a stylus would cause irreparable damage. Even those that can be played often suffer from lots of surface noise and scratches that cause clicks and pops. And many are broken, making even the most careful stylus-based playback impossible.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 24, 2009 9 comments

In these days of outsourced manufacturing, it's refreshing to find a company that builds its own products right here in the USA. Of course, it helps if those products are high-end, high-cost items with no expectation of high-volume sales. Take, for example, <A href="">Rockport Technologies</A> in Rockport, Maine, whose speakers are hand-built for an exclusive clientele rather than the mass market in a facility that looks more like a house than a factory.

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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="">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="">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="">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="">Perfect8 Technologies</A> until reader Joe G. posted a comment in my blog about <A href="">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="">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="">Kenwood Design</A> and <A href="">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="">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="">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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