LATEST ADDITIONS

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SV Staff Posted: Mar 16, 2016 0 comments
Legacy Audio Powerblock² Amplifier
“Incredible performance in a small package…at a fair price” is how Legacy Audio describes the Powerblock², the company’s first amplifier in more than a decade. Assembled in Legacy’s Springfield, Illinois factory, the amp is a dual-mono design boasting an ultra-wide 1.5-Hz to 70-kHz bandwidth and healthy power output of 2 x 325 watts into 8 ohms (or a rip-roaring 2 x 650 into 4 ohms). Ice Ice Baby: The low-profile Powerblock² is built around ICEpower Class D technology featuring self-oscillating closed-loop architecture and a robust power supply capable of supplying peak current of 30 amps per channel. High damping factor (1,000 <1 kHz) and dynamic range (117 dB) are cited as key characteristics along with low distortion (0.005% THD at rated output). Balanced XLR and unbalanced inputs are provided. Price: $1,600
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John Sciacca Posted: Mar 16, 2016 2 comments
For most of its life, your audio gear probably just sits there, quietly doing its thing, providing (hopefully) years of quality entertainment. But all the while, a silent killer lurks in your house: dust. And unless your listening room is like some kind of Silicon Valley clean space or you have a hermetically sealed audio rack—in which case you’ve probably got some ventilation issues to address—your gear is under constant attack from dust particles that could shorten its life.
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SV Staff Posted: Mar 16, 2016 1 comments
The success of Amazon’s voice-controlled Echo speaker/personal assistant apparently has AV companies scrambling.
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SV Staff Posted: Mar 15, 2016 91 comments
Register to win a set of Serene Audio Talisman Powered Speakers (MSRP $395) we are giving away.

According to the company:

Made in Vancouver, Canada, Talisman speakers are hand crafted from bamboo, leather, and brass, and meticulously engineered. Verified by experienced engineers and customers, they enthrall you with the clearest and most transparent sound to come from your desktop. Talisman speakers are designed to sit on your desk, but they have plenty of power to fill the whole room. They are self-powered, meaning they can be paired with almost anything.

[This Sweepstakes is now closed]

Michael P. Hamilton Posted: Mar 15, 2016 1 comments

Performance
Setup
Value
PRICE $2,257 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Uncanny ability to make any projection technology look exemplary
Greatly enhances contrast and black level, even with budget projectors
Easy assembly with superb fit and finish
Performance enhancement that would be banned if projection video were a sport
Minus
Slightly pearlescent sheen with some high-brightness, fully saturated, high-motion scenes
That it has appeared only recently

THE VERDICT
If you need evidence that a high-quality ambient-light-rejecting screen can give spectacular results with an entry-level projector, look no further than the SSE Ambient-Visionaire Black 1.2.

“Is this heaven?” John Kinsella unwittingly asks his son, Ray, in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams. “It’s Iowa,” Ray answers. Turning slowly to walk away, John halts, replying, “Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven.”

SV Staff Posted: Mar 15, 2016 1 comments
If you’re interested in an inexpensive 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) TV, you might want to drop by your local Best Buy in a few weeks. The national chain plans to roll out three 4K models featuring onboard Roku streaming capability in early April.
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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 15, 2016 1 comments
Sonos is a terrific company with terrific products. I reviewed their first-generation wireless speaker, back when no one had ever heard of streaming, and it blew my mind. Since then, of course, Sonos has become the Gold Standard for whole-house playback. But suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, Sonos is changing course and laying off employees. What the heck?

SV Staff Posted: Mar 15, 2016 1 comments
Onkyo has announced plans to introduce four AV receivers in April and May.
Al Griffin Posted: Mar 14, 2016 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Great brightness for the price
Dynamic iris control enhances contrast
Very good 3D performance
Minus
Low Lamp Control setting greatly diminishes brightness
Manual focus, zoom, and lens shift controls

THE VERDICT
Thanks to its dynamic iris, Sony’s 1080p projector beams bright images with great contrast and delivers performance so good that you may not care it’s not 4K.

The last time I had my hands on a Sony product, it was a 4K projector priced at ten grand. That model, the VPL-VW350ES, had many positive attributes (I gave it a Top Pick stamp, after all), along with one weakness: somewhat lackluster contrast compared with that of projectors that provide a dynamic iris control.

Al Griffin Posted: Mar 14, 2016 4 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Very good brightness for the price
Excellent contrast
Fully motorized lens controls
Minus
Slight enhancement artifacts

THE VERDICT
JVC’s DLA-X550R continues the company’s streak of producing high-value projectors that deliver high-contrast images.

Most projector manufacturers refresh their product lines every fall like clockwork, but JVC opted to sit things out for 2014. The main reason (I suspect) was the state of flux surrounding the HDMI standard, which at that point was evolving to a new 18-gigabit-per-second version designed to accommodate a full range of 4K/Ultra HD bells and whistles, including 60-hertz frame rate, 4:4:4 color sampling, and high dynamic range.

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