LATEST ADDITIONS

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SV Staff Posted: Jul 21, 2016 1 comments
Nakamichi (October 1977), Nikko (December 1974), Optonica (March 1979)

Last week we presented a selection of iconic ’70s-era advertisements from long-forgotten brands with names that fall in the first half of the alphabet (A–M). Our favorites included the Carver ad showing a young Bob Carver hamming it up, Garrard’s “Improve Your Hearing for $200” turntable ad, and the iconic Maxell ad depicting a listener getting “blown away.” Here we pick up where we left off, starting with classics from Nakamichi, Nikko, and Optonica. Watch for Part 3, our final installment, next week.

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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Jul 21, 2016 0 comments

Performance
Features
Comfort
Value
PRICE $299

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Driver designed by George Cardas
Accommodates balanced cables
Extraordinary sound quality
Minus
Lacks mic or smartphone controls

THE VERDICT
The Cardas A8 is big on transparency and soundstage and delivers remarkably deep yet tuneful bass.

Cardas Audio is best known as a manufacturer of audiophile cables, but the Bandon, Oregon–based company jumped into headphones a few years ago with its EM 5813 Ear Speakers. Their sound was big and bold, but comfort issues limited my listening times to short bursts because the earpieces were heavy and the cables unwieldy. Now Cardas is back with new in-ears, the A8 Ear Speakers. I’ve known George Cardas for decades, and he’s normally a soft-spoken dude, but he’s really jazzed about what’s going on with headphones.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 21, 2016 2 comments
Nestled in the heart of the trendy Meatpacking District, Samsung 837 is Manhattan’s latest destination. It is not, however, a store...
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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 21, 2016 7 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q For years, I had a projection system that dropped down in front of a plasma TV in my multi-use living room. I loved it but ended up using it less and less as the hassle of viewing in a blacked-out room grew to bother me. I have now moved and am considering options for my new living room. With the price drops of 80-inch LCDs, it’s hard to see a reason to use a projector anymore. I know the screens are getting better, but projection systems still can’t match the brightness and contrast of an LCD panel with local dimming. Then again, 80 inches is nowhere near as big as 120 inches. Right now I’m leaning toward the new Vizio M-series 80-incher. What are your thoughts? —Alex Smith / via email

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jul 20, 2016 5 comments
If you're old enough, you'll remember those days in high school when you could show your love by gifting a mixtape (or CD) of music that you created for the object of your affection. Netflix has launched the 2016 equivalent—Flixtape.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Jul 20, 2016 0 comments
It’s an intriguing concept: Get a number of recordings artists who made their initial impact in the 1980s to record new music in the style of that decade for Fly: Songs Inspired by the Film Eddie the Eagle (UMC), an album to accompany a movie directed by Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service) and starring Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton about the titular, underdog British ski-jumper who gave his all at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Among those up for the challenge were Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys of OMD, a.k.a. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, who collaborated with project coordinator Gary Barlow on a vibrant throwback track, “Thrill Me.” McCluskey, 56, called from across The Pond to discuss the genesis of “Thrill Me,” why electronic music continues to thrive and how OMD get modern/retro synth sounds, and wrestling with the concept of streaming. It’s the ultimate discovery.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 20, 2016 1 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $1,499 ea

AT A GLANCE
Plus
2.5-way crossover
Excellent build quality
Amazing soundstage
Minus
Gloss finish needs careful handling

THE VERDICT
Paradigm achieves affordable high-end in the Prestige 75F towers thanks to a beautiful design with furniture-grade finish and reference-quality sound.

With its tall-and-narrow rectangular cabinet, front-mounted drivers, rear-firing port, and cloth grille, Paradigm’s Prestige 75F is the quintessential tower loudspeaker. Fans of new driver types, exotic cabinet designs, the rarest of rare-earth metals, and de rigueur built-in powered woofers might be tempted to pass by (especially when the grille is attached), much as I did figuratively when a pair of the towers arrived.

SV Staff Posted: Jul 20, 2016 2 comments
We sometimes stumble upon interesting things at shows. The Credenza from Richmond, VA-based design house Fern & Roby caught our eye for its originality.
SV Staff Posted: Jul 20, 2016 0 comments
U.S. distributor The Sound Organisation has announced the availability of an update of the popular Planar 2 turntable U.K.-based Rega introduced more than 40 years.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 19, 2016 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $899

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Three gain settings
Heavy build and discrete components
Clickwheel nostalgia
Minus
No touchscreen or apps
No input for DAC use
No Bluetooth

THE VERDICT
Although short on some bells and whistles, the Questyle QP1R is a dedicated music player that offers four-figure sound and build quality at a three-figure price.

If you had chucked me into a time machine a decade ago, freed me today, then handed me the Questyle QP1R, naturally I’d mistake it for an iPod on steroids. With that clickwheel, it’s got to be an iPod, right? You’d have to explain to me that what Questyle calls the steering wheel isn’t identical to Apple’s clickwheel; here, the functions are divided differently among the wheel, its big central button, and the four vibrating touch-sensitive buttons around it.

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