PREMIERE DESIGN

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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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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 15, 2009 Published: Nov 16, 2009 11 comments

<A href="http://www.bowers-wilkins.com">B&W</A> makes some of the best-sounding speakers in the world, so when the company set its sights on the iPod market, something special was sure to surface. First introduced in 2007, the Zeppelin melds exquisite design and sound quality into a stunning, single-piece iPod dock/audio system that seems to define the state of the art in this burgeoning field.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Mar 22, 2011 2 comments

In this blog, I've written about speakers with glass enclosures, such as several models from Perfect8, and even speakers with glass diaphragms, such as the Hario Harion. But I've never before seen glass speakers like those from Greensound Technology, in which a single, freestanding sheet of glass serves as the (almost) full-range diaphragm.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 02, 2011 0 comments
Since 1985, Danish Gryphon Audio Designs has been well-regarded for its high-end audio electronics. But in the last decade, the company has expanded its portfolio to include speakers as well, foremost among which is the mighty Poseidon.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Mar 18, 2010 7 comments

Among the myriad speakers introduced at CES 2010 was the Grand Master, the new flagship of Canadian maker <A href="http://www.hansenaudio.com">Hansen Audio</A>. A behemoth standing over six feet tall and weighing 650 pounds, it's packed with proprietary technology that promises exquisite sound.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 24, 2010 1 comments

I don't typically cover so-called multimedia speakers in this blog, but when I came across an ad for the GLA-55 from <A href="http://www.harmankardon.com">Harman Kardon</A> in an upscale magazine, I was intrigued. The cabinet looks like it was chiseled from rock crystal, and its beauty turns out to extend well below the surface.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 27, 2012 4 comments
Barrister-turned-speaker-maker David Hart had the human ear in mind when he designed this unique speaker—but I see a giant molar turned on its side. I’ll let you decide what to make of it and whether it’s worth the asking price of $64,000 per pair in bronze, $300,000 in silver, or upwards of $5 million in gold (shown). Why so expensive? Remarkably, the 28-inch-tall cabinet is cast in solid bronze, silver, or gold, which explains the 110-pound weight (in bronze). Add to that the 200 hours it takes to cast and hand-finish each pair at Hart’s factory on Isle of Wight.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 19, 2010 6 comments

Data compression is probably the single most important factor in the meteoric success of digital audio, especially when it comes to online downloads and portable players like the iPod. Lossy compression formats such as MP3 discard as much as 90 percent of the original data&#151;hence the term "lossy"&#151;so that music tracks can be quickly downloaded. In addition, such files require very little memory, allowing thousands of songs to be stored in a device no bigger than a matchbook.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 27, 2009 5 comments

I've known <A href="http://www.sennheiserusa.com">Sennheiser</A> headphones for a long time. My first pair of studio 'phones was the HD 414 SL, a featherweight, open-back design that I still have 30 years later, albeit with new foam earpads. So it was with great interest that I read about the company's new flagship model, the HD 800.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Dec 20, 2011 4 comments
Eleven years ago, in the fall of 2000, the Sunday Arts & Leisure section of The New York Times published a long freelance article I wrote announcing the birth of digital cinema. Digital projection for large venues was mostly a dream at the time, but the technology existed and had been proven to provide satisfying images for the average moviegoer. Meanwhile, digital cinema’s biggest booster, filmmaker George Lucas, had just finished shooting Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones in 1080p/24-frame-per-second digital using a cutting-edge camera developed by Sony and Panavision. It was the first major motion picture to be shot entirely in video.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 01, 2010 3 comments

Horn speakers have been around almost since the invention of electrical-to-mechanical transducer technology, and they still enjoy widespread use today, especially in commercial cinemas. But cinema speakers use horns that limit the vertical dispersion of their sound, whereas circular horns used by a few high-end speaker manufacturers radiate sound in a spherical pattern. Among the proponents of this approach is German maker <A href="http://www.acapella.de/en/">Acapella</A>, which introduced a new model to its lineup at CES, the High Violoncello II, which, like all Acapella products, is distributed in North America by <A href="http://www.aaudioimports.com">Aaudio Imports</A>.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 19, 2010 4 comments
And now for something completely different—a turntable shaped like a piano with a tonearm made from a violin bow. Italian maker Horo calls the WJE168—named in honor of jazz legend William J. (Bill) Evans—a "tunable turntable."
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 01, 2011 3 comments
Online distribution of video content—especially high-def video—will never float my boat until the bandwidth available to most homes is way faster than it is today. According to Speedtest.net, in 2010, South Korea had the fastest average household bandwidth at 22.46 megabits per second, while the US was 30th in the world at 7.78Mbps—that's less than Latvia (18.02Mbps), Lithuania (15.81Mbps), and Liechtenstein (7.79Mbps). But even in Korea, streaming high-def—not to mention anything with even higher resolution, like 4K or UltraHD—requires some serious compression, which lowers the picture quality dramatically.

An incredible solution to this problem was quietly demonstrated in a hotel suite at CES this year by a company called R2D2 ("Twice the Research, Twice the Development!"). The company's Hypernet technology bypasses the Internet completely, offering nearly unlimited bandwidth and instantaneous transmissions using the principles of quantum physics. Inventor Leia Organic Skydancer, love child of two spaced-out hippies, is a video artist and musician as well as a physicist and computer scientist who created Hypernet so she could effectively market her own material, including her first project, Music From the Hearts of Hyperspace.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 15, 2009 4 comments

As an avid sci-fi fan, <A href="http://www.krellonline.com">Krell</A> founder Dan D'Agostino decided to name his company after the race of beings that had wielded almost unlimited power in the classic movie <I>Forbidden Planet</I>. Since that day nearly 30 years ago, Krell's lineup has expanded from a single power amp to a panoply of ultra-high-end A/V products, including the flagship Evolution 707 preamp/processor.

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