2016 was a brutal year for rock fans and especially for progressive-rock fans. We didn't lose just Prince and Bowie. We lost Keith Emerson's keyboards, and in the final month of the year, the extraordinary voice, not to mention the bass and guitar, of Greg Lake. The year before we lost Chris Squire's Rickenbacker bass. If you recall my ELP in 5.1 review and Keith Emerson tribute, you might be a little tired of hearing about the keyboard-based power trio that was one of my boyhood heroes. But I can't let Greg Lake's death at age 69 pass unremarked.
When a child’s father leaves his home in a small village to seek work in the city, his young son, not understanding why his father has left, sets out on a mission to find him.
That’s the plot of Brazilian director Alê Abreu’s dramatically obscure but stunningly animated film. We’re encouraged to experience the world through the boy’s eyes. If his world doesn’t always make sense to us, that may be the point. The world is a jumble
to a young boy, and the result is a brilliant and visually compelling adventure. The film was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2015 (Inside Out won, however).
Having recently lost her mother to cancer, Nancy decides to drop out of medical school in order to go surfing at a remote Mexican beach where her mother used to surf. Unfortunately, Nancy’s “plus one” decides she’d rather hang out with the guy she met at the hotel bar, so Nancy makes the stupid decision to go by herself. What could go wrong?
Q Sony recently announced a firmware update that adds Dolby Vision support for my TV, the XBR-65Z9D. Here’s my question: Will my Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 receiver be able to pass signals from Dolby Vision discs played on Ultra HD Blu-ray players that support Dolby Vision? The SC-LX901 is equipped with HDMI version 2.0a connections, so I’m assuming it should have no problem. —Cesar Sanchez
Dôme Flax 5.1 Speaker System Performance Build Quality Value
Sub Air Subwoofer Performance Features Ergonomics Value
AT A GLANCE Plus
Flax cone woofer
Aluminum-magnesium inverted-dome tweeter
Limited bass from sats
Unique driver materials, overall quality of construction, and adroit voicing make the Focal Dôme Flax 5.1 one of the best-sounding compact sat/sub systems I’ve heard.
As the home theater milieu increasingly divides into Atmos and non-Atmos camps, the satellite/subwoofer category seems destined to remain part of the old guard, usually sold in a set of five little speakers and a sub or two. Is it possible for a satellite speaker to retain its merciful compactness if it’s also to include an Atmos-enabled upfiring driver? I’d love to review such a product, but right now it’s a figment of my imagination and hopes. Focal, the prodigious French speaker manufacturer, does now offer a 5.1.2-channel Atmos-capable sat/sub system that takes a different approach (see below), but you’ll be happy to know that plain ol’ 5.1 is still alive and supported by this and other fine speaker makers. Even now it remains the bedrock configuration of surround sound.
AT A GLANCE Plus
Pristine audio plus 4K passthrough video
Clean, simple, eminently usable design
DTS Play-Fi streaming/multiroom wireless
Lacks Bluetooth, USB playback
No legacy video connections or scaling
The AVM 60 has everything you want in an A/V preamp/processor—and less. The stuff that Anthem has left off their more affordable pre/pro model contributes to simplicity and usability, and most buyers will end up thanking them in the long run.
For much of the home theater epoch, system builders who (for whatever reasons) have favored a separates-based system— built around an A/V preamplifier/processor and a suitable amplifier or amps—and have preferred such a system over the more usual A/V receiver approach have had, in essence, two choices. They could select one of a few very expensive, esoteric, high-end American or European designs, with the knowledge that they would probably lag a generation or two behind in HDMI version and latest-greatest surround and video processing. Or they could select a latest-model Japanese offering—recently, this has meant, effect-ively, Integra/Onkyo, Marantz, or Yamaha—and get more up-tothe-minute tech and more digestible pricing, at a certain cost in audiophile street-cred and (perhaps, depending on your belief system) sonic refinement.