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PREMIERE DESIGN

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Mar 16, 2010 9 comments

The human hearing system is exquisitely sensitive to directional cues that let us instantly determine where a sound is coming from. This was critical for our survival in prehistory when the snap of a twig or a low growl might be the only harbinger of impending doom in the jaws of a hungry predator.

Bob Ankosko Posted: Aug 20, 2014 0 comments
Alfred Vassilkov’s latest sonic creation looks more like a sculpture than a speaker, which is why you can’t help but do a double take. But beyond its stunning looks are several unexpected—and highly practical—surprises. We asked Estelon partner Alissa Vassilkov, who also happens to be Alfred’s daughter, to tell us the story behind this unique, $239,000/pair speaker.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 21, 2011 0 comments
These days, earbuds are as important as speakers for delivering music to consumers, but most are woefully lacking in the sound-quality department. Japan's Final Audio Design intends to correct this shortcoming with its Piano Forte X-VIII series.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 23, 2009 4 comments

Turntables remain the source device of choice for many audiophiles who prize analog sound, but friction in the bearings makes it difficult to keep the platter spinning at a constant rate, which is critical for high-quality playback. One solution to this problem is suspending the platter on a cushion of air, an approach championed by <A href="http://www.bergmannaudio.com">Bergmann Audio</A> of Denmark in its new Sindre airbearing turntable, which debuts at CES next month.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 27, 2010 5 comments
Just because a product isn't the company's most expensive doesn't mean it can't perform exceedingly well. Take, for example, the Maestro Utopia, which occupies the middle of Focal's Utopia III lineup.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: May 24, 2012 7 comments
Stunning or strange? One of these words is likely to come to mind when you first lay eyes on the 101 X-treme speaker system, the flagship of MBL’s Reference Line. And what a system it is, handmade to order in Germany and comprising a pair of approximately 6-foot-tall towers, each of which supports two utterly unconventional driver arrays in an open frame, and two subwoofer towers, each comprised of six 12-inch woofers, a crossover, and an amplifier broken into three ported birch and aluminum boxes that can be stacked or laid side by side as needed. (No lows left behind.)
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 10, 2010 0 comments
Perhaps best known for founding and heading Sonus Faber from 1983 to 2005, Franco Serblin now has a new venture—the Ktêma speaker, named for the Greek expression, Ktêma eis aei, "a possession forever."
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 10, 2010 4 comments

Glass isn't the first thing I would think of as an ideal material for speaker cabinets, but French manufacturer <A href="http://www.waterfallaudio.com">Waterfall Audio</A> disagrees. Its new flagship Niagara is a thing of crystalline beauty that boasts impressive specs.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 26, 2009 3 comments

The materials used to make speaker diaphragms are well established&#151;polypropylene, paper, Kevlar, aluminum, titanium, beryllium, silk, and even diamond, to name a few. So I was surprised to find a speaker system with diaphragms made of glass. Developed over nearly four years by a Japanese glass company called <A href="http://www.harioglass.com">Hario</A> (Japanese for "king of glass"), the Harion system is certainly intriguing, though the English-language website linked here has nothing about it, and the company did not supply much info, even after repeated requests.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 04, 2009 4 comments

In my never-ending quest for the ultimate in performance, design, and/or price, I came across the GA Star from a British company heretofore unknown to me&#151;<A href="http://www.goldacoustics.com">Gold Acoustics</A>. This unique speaker is unlike any other I've seen, and while it certainly looks shiny, I can't help wondering if it delivers the sonic goods.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 24, 2011 1 comments
One of the biggest audio sensations at CES wasn't a megabucks speaker—it was the Triton Two tower from GoldenEar Technology. The company was recently started by Sandy Gross and Don Givogue, who had been partners at Definitive Technology (Gross also co-founded Polk), to raise the bar on speaker performance and value. They seem to have hit a home run with the Triton Two, which is available in a stereo pair or as part of the TritonCinema multichannel system for a price that will surprise you.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Mar 07, 2011 0 comments
Normally, I profile extreme products in this blog. But when I saw these photos of Goldmund's new showroom in Seoul, South Korea, I had to share them with you.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 15, 2010 13 comments
I have seen the future of television, and it is Google TV. On Wednesday, I attended a demo of the much-ballyhooed service as well as a new suite of products from Logitech that brings it to consumers in a simple yet sophisticated way, and I was highly impressed
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 25, 2009 5 comments

Living with a pair of La Sph&#232;re speakers from French maker <A href="http://www.cabasse.com/en/">Cabasse</A> might be a bit creepy&#151;they look like giant eyeballs staring at you&#151;but if you can get past that, you're in for a sonic treat. As Michael Fremer concluded in his <A href="http://www.stereophile.com/audaciousaudio/608cab/">Stereophile review</A>, "...La Sph&#232;re sets new standards, both measurable and audible, for accuracy in the reproduction of music."

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 19, 2010 4 comments

Scandinavian design is often highly unusual. Case in point—the Helsinki 1.5 speaker from Finnish Gradient, which made the cover of the August 2010 issue of Stereophile.

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