PREMIERE DESIGN

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 27, 2009 0 comments

At the 2007 CEDIA Expo, I attended Meridian's press conference, during which the company unveiled its <A href="http://www.thef80.com">F80</A> table-top clock radio/CD/DVD player. I was a bit late, and the demo was already underway as I walked into the large concrete room with high ceilings. I clearly remember my first impression of what I heard—"Wow, that sounds great!" When I learned it was essentially a boombox, I was flabbergasted.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Mar 26, 2009 9 comments

<A href="http://www.bowers-wilkins.com">B&W</A>'s Nautilus speakers are not new&#151;they were introduced in 1993&#151;but they remain unequaled in the sheer beauty of their design. And that design isn't merely for the sake of visual impact&#151;it's a classic case of form following function.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 09, 2010 3 comments
For those who think 3D on a flat screen is bogus, how about this? Swiss university École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is working on a camera that captures images in all directions at once—well, to be precise, all directions within a hemispherical pattern—and processes the resulting data to calculate the distance from the camera to each object in its visual field.

Update: This story now includes video of the inventor explaining the technology!

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 25, 2012 0 comments
The concept of 3D audio is gaining a lot of traction lately, in both commercial and consumer settings. Tom Norton recently wrote about his experience with a system called Imm Sound, which employs many speakers around and above the audience in commercial cinemas, as does Dolby Atmos and Barco Auro. On the home front, several companies have developed technologies that purport to create 3D soundfields from two speakers or a soundbar, including Gen Audio's Astound Sound and Sonic Emotion's Absolute 3D, both of which have been discussed on the Home Theater Geeks podcast here and here, respectively.

Then there's SRS Labs, which has been working on 3D audio perhaps longer than anyone else. Not only does this company offer a variety of proprietary soundfield-expansion algorithms, it is also the founding member of the 3D Audio Alliance (3DAA), which is working on an open-standard specification called Multi-Dimensional Audio, or MDA.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 29, 2009 33 comments

Audiophiles know the name Mark Levinson well. After his eponymous first enterprise was purchased by Harman International&#151;which means he can no longer use his own name on audio products&#151;Levinson went on to found several other highly regarded audio companies, including Cello and Red Rose Music. Now, in a story exclusive to <I>UAV</I>, the audio designer, recording engineer, and professional musician is launching his latest venture from his adopted home country of Switzerland, calling it <A href="http://www.danielhertz.com">Daniel Hertz, S.A.</A>&#151;"Daniel" after his father and "Hertz" after his mother's great-uncle Heinrich Hertz, whose name is now used as the universal unit of measurement of frequency.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 05, 2010 0 comments
Among the seemingly infinite number of monoblock power amps available in the world is the Janus from Italian maker Absoluta. Its understated elegance bespeaks careful attention to looks as well as performance.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 03, 2010 1 comments

Audiophiles who want to impress their friends&#151;and I seriously doubt there are any who don't&#151;would be hard pressed to do better than a pair of Sph&#228;ron Excalibur speakers from German horn specialist <A href="http://www.acapella.de/en/">Acapella</A>. But you'd better have a pretty big room to comfortably house these beautiful beasts, which stand over seven feet tall and weigh 1364 pounds each.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 20, 2010 7 comments
If the Greek gods had been audiophiles, they might well have used something like the Olympus Sound System (OSS) from Adam Audio, a German high-end maker of products for the professional and consumer markets. This behemoth stands seven feet tall and weighs over 350 pounds with separate enclosures for each set of drivers.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 12, 2011 1 comments
As I was researching my response to Xavier Beard's question about speakers from Aerial Acoustics, I came across the company's System 1 TheaterWall. This artfully designed, decidedly high-end speaker system surrounds a screen of just about any size with speakers for the left, right, center, and subwoofer channels.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 29, 2009 0 comments

In most high-quality A/V products, form follows function, but in the case of the Gramophone speaker from Swedish maker <A href="http://www.aesthesis.se">Aesthesis</A>, form and function are intertwined, arising together during four years of development. Standing nearly four feet tall, this hand-made, carbon-fiber speaker makes a bold design statement while offering impressive specs.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 10, 2010 0 comments
"Albedo" is defined as the ratio of reflected light to incident light on an object, often a celestial body such as a planet or moon—the higher the albedo, the brighter the object appears. So it's no wonder that the tag line of Italian speaker maker Albedo is "Brightness in Sound."
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 18, 2010 1 comments
Among the many high-end audio products demonstrated at last weekend's Rocky Mountain Audio Fest were several amplifiers from Alef (formerly Delta Sigma) and distributed in the US by TMH Audio. Submitted for your consideration here are the Duet SE 2-channel power amp, Solist monoblock, and Orchestra integrated amp.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 22, 2009 8 comments

Earbuds may be all the rage these days, but audio connoisseurs know that private listening sounds best with circumaural headphones, which cover the outer ear and offer larger drivers for deeper bass than most buds can produce. Among the finest headphones in the world come from Germany's <A href="http://www.ultrasone.com">Ultrasone</A>, including the new top-dog <A href="http://www.edition-headphones.com">Edition 8</A>.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 20, 2009 10 comments

One look and you know this is no ordinary speaker. The flowing, liquid lines of the Muon reflect the highest artistic expression, and rightly so—after all, it was created by renowned designer Ross Lovegrove for pre-eminent British speaker manufacturer <A href="http://www.kef.com">KEF</A>.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 09, 2010 0 comments
Another interesting professional/consumer crossover product introduced at the Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention last week was a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) from Antelope Audio. The Zodiac Gold can handle digital audio at resolutions up to 24 bits and sample rates up to 384kHz, a far higher rate than any commercially available content currently uses.

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