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PREMIERE DESIGN

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 17, 2010 0 comments
And now for something completely different—a subwoofer that looks like a fan and can reproduce frequencies down to 1Hz and below. Yep, you read that right—1Hz and below. Developed by Bruce Thigpen and available from Eminent Technology, the Thigpen Rotary Woofer Model 17 (TRW-17) breaks entirely new ground at the very bottom of the sonic spectrum.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 16, 2010 2 comments
When I came across Stereophile's review of the SPM 14000 Ultimate monoblock power amp from UK-based Chord Electronics, I knew I had to cover it here. Hey, any product with the word "Ultimate" in its name is fair game for Ultimate Gear! And it's the perfect mate to the CPA 8000 preamp, which I profiled last April.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 13, 2010 9 comments
The Italian high-end bastion Sonus Faber is well known among audiophiles for its superb speakers. Just over a month ago, the company introduced its latest creation—the Fenice—at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 12, 2010 2 comments
According to the company's website, Audio Research is one of the oldest continuously operating manufacturers in American audio, having opened its doors in 1970. Among its many current products is the flagship Reference 610T monoblock power amp.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 10, 2010 0 comments
Perhaps best known for founding and heading Sonus Faber from 1983 to 2005, Franco Serblin now has a new venture—the Ktêma speaker, named for the Greek expression, Ktêma eis aei, "a possession forever."
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 10, 2010 2 comments

Last year in this blog, I profiled the high-end DCX-series 3-chip DLP projectors from Wolf Cinema. Last week, I joined Tom Norton and Shane Buettner for a tour of Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, CA, where DCX projectors are being used in two historic screening rooms.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 10, 2010 0 comments

Network music servers perform several distinct functions—acquiring and storing digital-audio files, managing and selecting what you want to listen to, streaming those files over a wired and/or wireless network, and receiving those files so the music can be played on a sound system. Most music-server products provide all these functions in an integrated system, but Scottish high-end long-timer Linn has taken a different approach. It's Digital Stream players, including the flagship Klimax DS, are strictly client devices that receive audio streams from the network and play them on any sound system.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 05, 2010 11 comments

Many have tried, but few have succeeded in simulating a convincing surround soundfield with conventional headphones. Several years ago, I heard a demo of one such system from UK-based Smyth Research, and it really knocked my socks off. That was a prototype, but the technology, known as Smyth Virtual Surround (SVS), is now available in a commercial product called the Realiser A8.

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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 6 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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