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PREMIERE DESIGN

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 12, 2009 12 comments

The 2009 CEDIA (Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association) Expo is only a month away, and I'm starting to get lots of press releases about products that will be introduced there. Many of these announcements are under embargo until the show, but here's one that isn't&#151;the M15HD surround preamp/processor from respected Canadian manufacturer <A href="http://nadelectronics.com">NAD</A>.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 07, 2009 5 comments
I clearly remember my first demo of Meridian's digital speakers at CEDIA several years ago. The star of that show was the company's first D-ILA projector, which looked fine, but I was even more impressed with the sound of those speakers.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 03, 2009 13 comments

Reader F. Teixeira suggested that I profile a high-end <A href="http://www.vandersteen.com">Vandersteen</A> home-theater speaker system in this blog, and I'm more than happy to oblige. Vandersteen has been among audiophiles' favorite brands for over 30 years with good reason&#151;they sound spectacular!

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 30, 2009 50 comments

<I>Ne plus ultra</I>&#151;Latin meaning "no more beyond," often used to describe anything that is truly ultimate. I can think of no better way to describe the Ultimate speaker system from Swedish boutique manufacturer <A href="http://www.transmissionaudio.com">Transmission Audio</A>. This massive, hand-made system is exactly what its name implies, at least in terms of cost&#151;a million bucks per channel, making it the most expensive speaker system in the world as far as I know.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 27, 2009 5 comments

I've known <A href="http://www.sennheiserusa.com">Sennheiser</A> headphones for a long time. My first pair of studio 'phones was the HD 414 SL, a featherweight, open-back design that I still have 30 years later, albeit with new foam earpads. So it was with great interest that I read about the company's new flagship model, the HD 800.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 22, 2009 13 comments

When I first saw a photo of this speaker, it reminded me of a Mexican chiminea, a free-standing clay fireplace with a bulbous lower body and tall, thin smokestack. But the only heat generated by this bad boy is of the sonic variety. Born of a collaboration between Serbian ribbon-speaker specialist <A href="http://www.raalribbon.com">RAAL</A> and American pro-audio designer <A href="http://www.requisiteaudio.com">Requisite Audio</A>, the <A href="http://www.raal-requisite.com">RAAL Requisite Eternity</A> is the world's only speaker with a cast-bronze woofer enclosure.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 17, 2009 1 comments

For the last 30 years, Ken Ishiwata has served as European Brand Director for <A href="http://www.marantz.com">Marantz</A> while designing some of the company's best high-end audio products. To celebrate this incredible legacy, Marantz has announced two limited-edition components designed by Ishiwata and dubbed the <A href="http://www.marantz.eu/kipearl/">KI Pearls</A>.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 14, 2009 16 comments

John Bowers founded British speaker giant <A href="http://www.bowers-wilkins.com">Bowers & Wilkins</A> in 1965, hand assembling speakers in the back of an electronics shop he ran with Roy Wilkins in Worthing, England. Nearly 45 years later, B&W has become one of the world's pre-eminent speaker companies, thanks in part to the spirit of innovation embodied in its flagship 800 series.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 06, 2009 11 comments

I've been waiting a long time for the SSP-800 surround preamp/processor from <A href="http://www.classeaudio.com">Class&#233;</A>. Originally announced in May 2008 and scheduled for delivery in July of that year, this Canadian company's statement pre/pro is finally about to ship.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 02, 2009 10 comments

I know, I know&#151;this isn't exactly a home-theater product. But when I stumbled upon the CDM43 computer monitor from a company called <A href="http://www.ostendo.com">Ostendo Technologies</A>, I was intrigued by its potential to reinvigorate the rear-projection market.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 29, 2009 12 comments

Last year, I started hearing about front projectors that use LEDs for illumination instead of conventional lamps&#151;in fact, there were a couple of prototypes being demonstrated in back rooms and hotel suites at the 2008 CEDIA Expo. Then, at CES 2009, I saw another such a projector from Taiwan-based <A href="http://www.vivitekcorp.com">Vivitek</A>. Six months later, the H9080FD is almost ready to become the world's first commercially available, LED-illuminated home-theater projector.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 26, 2009 13 comments

I'm always on the lookout for extreme A/V products, so when I came across a Dutch company called <A href="http://www.kharma.com">Kharma</A>, I was intrigued by its Grand Enigma, one of the world's most expensive 2-channel speaker systems at a cool $1,000,000. I don't have enough info to profile that product just yet, but meanwhile, I thought it might be fun to take a look at the company's next-most-expensive Exquisite line, which offers a complete&#151;and still <I>very</I> pricey&#151;home-theater package.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 22, 2009 8 comments

Earbuds may be all the rage these days, but audio connoisseurs know that private listening sounds best with circumaural headphones, which cover the outer ear and offer larger drivers for deeper bass than most buds can produce. Among the finest headphones in the world come from Germany's <A href="http://www.ultrasone.com">Ultrasone</A>, including the new top-dog <A href="http://www.edition-headphones.com">Edition 8</A>.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 19, 2009 0 comments

In 1975, Meir Mordechai had a dream&#151;to create the perfect speaker. Since then, his Israeli company, <A href="http://www.morelhifi.com">Morel</A> (short for Mordechai Electronics), has developed a wide variety of innovative drivers as well as finished speakers. Its latest flagship is the Fat Lady, named in reference to the famous saying, "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings."

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 15, 2009 4 comments

As an avid sci-fi fan, <A href="http://www.krellonline.com">Krell</A> founder Dan D'Agostino decided to name his company after the race of beings that had wielded almost unlimited power in the classic movie <I>Forbidden Planet</I>. Since that day nearly 30 years ago, Krell's lineup has expanded from a single power amp to a panoply of ultra-high-end A/V products, including the flagship Evolution 707 preamp/processor.

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