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PREMIERE DESIGN

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 27, 2010 0 comments
It seems that many high-end optical-disc players these days also serve as processors for digital-audio files from a computer via USB—for example, the recently profiled Ayre DX-5. Another new entrant in this emerging product category is the S7i from American digital-audio stalwart Wadia.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 23, 2010 0 comments
With a dream team of audio engineers and designers, the newly formed Constellation Audio is bound to make some serious waves. Along with the Hercules monoblock power amp, which I profiled a few weeks ago here, the company's first offerings include the Altair 2-channel preamp, which sports one of the coolest-looking industrial designs I've ever seen.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 21, 2010 0 comments
The title of this Ultimate Gear entry identifies the DX-5 as a "universal disc player"—the better to snag search-engine hits with—but American manufacturer Ayre Acoustics calls it a "universal A/V engine." Why? In addition to playing every available audio and video optical-disc format, this box also provides a USB port that allows it to act as a portal for the music files on a computer.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 20, 2010 3 comments
When Italian speaker maker Book of Music refers to its Teti floorstander as a "no conventional enclosure system," it's not kidding. Standing nearly five feet tall, this 2-way design looks sort of like a twisted stack of books about to topple over.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 16, 2010 0 comments
Departing from the spherical-enclosure paradigm as embodied in its La Sphère and L'Océan powered speakers, Cabasse this week announced the availability of a new floorstanding design, the Pacific 3SA. However, this speaker does incorporate the SCS (Spatially Coherent System) coaxial-driver design found in those models.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 14, 2010 0 comments
When Steve Guttenberg, occasional Stereophile contributor and author of the excellent Audiophiliac blog on cnet.com, told me about the LCD-2 headphones from Las Vegas-based Audeze, I was intrigued. Could these cans rival the incredible Stax SR-007 MKII I reviewed last August?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 13, 2010 1 comments
Last May, I profiled the new M-Class Blu-ray movie server from Kaleidescape, which lets you rip Blu-rays to a server's hard disk and stream their high-def content to any M-Class player connected to your home's Ethernet network. There was only one problem—the physical disc had to be inserted in an M500 player in order to satisfy Blu-ray's copy-protection requirements, which defeats the purpose of a movie server. Today, the company announces a solution to that problem—the Modular Disc Vault.
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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: Dec 09, 2010 1 comments
Home theater using Force One by Sphere Custom Design, South Africa. Photo courtesy of Christaan Beukes.

Last April, I profiled the magnificent Force One 3-chip DLP projector from French maker Cineversum. Now, just in time for the holidays, the company has announced a new model, the Force Two, and 3D capabilities for both.

Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 08, 2010 5 comments
A few weeks ago, I visited SRS Labs in Irvine, California, to see—and hear—its new Advanced Rendering Laboratory (ARL). This facility is custom built to test any imaginable physical or psychoacoustic audio system—in other words, it's an audio geek's dream come true.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 07, 2010 1 comments
Audiophiles know well the name Dan D'Agostino, who co-founded Krell in 1980 and served as its chief engineer for 30 years. After selling the company in 2009, this audio legend started a new one—Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems—whose first fruit is the Momentum monoblock power amp, which will debut at CES next month.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 06, 2010 3 comments
Klipsch began making speakers in the US over six decades ago, and the company is still going strong. Its current flagship line, dubbed Palladium, builds on the company's continuing commitment to horn-loaded designs.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 02, 2010 1 comments
Founded in 2009, one of the newest kids on the audiophile block is California-based Constellation Audio. Not that its principal players are newbies by any means—in fact, Constellation has assembled a "dream team" of engineers and designers to create unparalleled audio products, among the first of which is the Hercules monoblock power amp.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 30, 2010 1 comments
Well-known for its high-end, in-wall, line-source speakers, Wisdom Audio has just announced two new on-wall models, the LS3 and LS4, which are designed—and priced—for the ultra-high-end market.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 29, 2010 0 comments
Last year, I profiled the incredible—and incredibly expensive—La Sphère speaker from French maker Cabasse. Utilizing and updating much of the same technology found in that model, the company will soon release L'Océan with a price tag only slightly less than its progenitor.

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