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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 12, 2014 0 comments
Set sometime in the future in a world devastated by war, a group of human survivors has fortified the city of Chicago as their home base, and in order to keep the peace, they have separated the populace into five distinct groups based upon their personality traits. Candor is for those who seek the truth, Erudite is the intellectuals, Amity is for peace, Abnegation is for the selfless, and Dauntless is filled with thrill seekers who also serve as the security for the community. When Tris comes of age and must choose her “career,” her aptitude test shows her not fitting into one group. She is a Divergent (think square peg going into the round hole), and in the supposed utopian society, this causes problems—and all hell is going to break loose.
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John Sciacca Posted: Nov 12, 2014 1 comments
A fairly common complaint I hear in my custom showroom is the inability to hear dialog while watching TV or movies. The scenario plays out almost identically every single time. A couple will come in, usually older, and the husband will stand there sheepishly while his wife explains that her husband’s hearing has deteriorated and now it’s to the point where he can’t hear the TV unless he blasts the volume which is then too loud for her to tolerate. The husband will then usually chime in that his hearing is fine, and that he just has a hard time with the dialog. But do we have anything that would help so they could both enjoy TV together?

So, first off, guys! I’m not sure what it is that we’re doing in our younger years, but, dammit! It is causing us all to go slowly deaf as we get older! We need to pull it together!

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 11, 2014 1 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
PRICE $3,500 (4 pair 3D glasses included)

Blacks, contrast, and shadow detail to die for
Not 4K
Cinema mode soft in default settings

This new LG is the OLED that videophiles have been waiting for, and an improvement over the 55EA9800 we reviewed last spring—with equal or better performance and, not least of all, a dramatically lower price.

Now that we’re about to turn the page into 2015, OLED HDTVs, so promising a year ago, appear to be at risk. The limited yield for OLED panels, resulting in a high retail cost, has driven most HDTV makers to the sidelines.

But not LG. They continue to vigorously support the technology. And with a current price of $3,500 for the new 55EC9300, they’re clearly tossing a Hail Mary into a market crowded with cookie-cutter LCD sets. At 55 inches (diagonal), this may be a relatively small set for the price, and it’s still just “Full HD” (the industry buzzphrase for 1080p sets). Whether LG scores a touchdown or gets intercepted remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that buyers will be the winners.

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Nov 11, 2014 2 comments
This week, I'm going off on something that really gets me going: drummers.
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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 11, 2014 3 comments
Spinal Tap band member Nigel Tufnel is showing his equipment to director Marty DiBergi and points out that the volume controls on his Marshall guitar amp go to 11. “It’s one louder,” he helpfully explains. DiBergi asks why not just make a “10” setting louder. A confused Tufnel replies, “These go to 11.”

The scene is renowned and has entered the popular culture as a way to point out needless excess, and particularly excess that demonstrates confusion, or otherwise serves no purpose. It’s my opinion that some audio technology now has knobs that go to 11.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Nov 10, 2014 5 comments
A few months ago, we reported that Tidal High Fidelity music streaming was going to be launched in the US. It’s now up and running, and we had a chance to check it out. It’s the first full-resolution music streaming service available to US consumers. (Deezer is also full resolution, but only available for Sonos users.) Blah, blah, yet another music streaming service. Is it really that much better than Beats, Spotify, Slacker, or Pandora? Is it worth the $19.99 monthly fee? After some intensive listening, I say without hesitation, enthusiastically “YES” on all accounts.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 10, 2014 0 comments
An ultra-quiet motorized projection screen, six-way Roku-ready HDMI switcher, audiophile CD player/music streamer, and more.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 08, 2014 Published: Nov 07, 2014 2 comments

Build Quality
PRICE $1,748

Versatile with movies and music
Superb build quality
Addictively listenable
Needs sub reinforcement

Like David in a world of Goliaths, Silverline Audio’s Minuet Supreme Plus is the kind of small speaker that makes listening to music an addictive pleasure.

Every January, I find myself walking down a hotel corridor lined with audio exhibitors. Sounds like the dream sequence from an audiophile movie, doesn’t it? I’m talking, of course, about the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Pretty much every year, I pay a visit to Silverline Audio, and pretty much every year, the reward is sweet, involving sound. This year, that sound was coming from Silverline’s Minuet Supreme Plus. Remarkably, it was powered by one of those tiny Class T amps you can buy on Amazon for $30. Having reviewed the original Minuet in 2008—and having loved it—I was eager to hear what its successor would sound like in my system with a better amp.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Nov 07, 2014 0 comments
In-ear custom monitors are generally considered the gold standard for performers and audio professionals. And it makes sense; monitors are one of the only pieces of equipment that are made just for your anatomy and nobody else’s. The process of going from fitting to final product has remained largely unchanged for years: a painstaking, labor-intensive process.

Ultimate Ears is working on streamlining their workflow with the addition of 3D scanning, editing and printing. It’s working: what used to take three weeks, now can be done in one. But monitors at Ultimate Ears  still take a shocking amount of craftsmanship and skill to make, and I got to take a tour of their facility in southern California to see just how it’s all done. Wanna see? Check this out!
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 07, 2014 0 comments
Dolby Atmos is hitting surround audiophiles like a succession of giant waves crashing on the beach. The first wave is Dolby Atmos in movie theaters. The second wave is Atmos in Atmos-enabled speakers and surround receivers. But what about that third wave, the one nobody's discussing? That's the quiet incorporation of another totally new technology into the Atmos technology bundle. I'm talking about Dolby Surround.


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