TECH2

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 04, 2012 0 comments

Brick-and-mortar audio retailing is in decline, but fortunately there’s another way to hear the best new sound gear: Attend one of the growing number of regional audio shows. Last year saw the first Los Angeles-area show in years, T.H.E. Show Newport, which took over much of the Hilton Hotel near the Orange County Airport.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 21, 2011 0 comments

Paradigm isn't a big company, only 250 people or so. It doesn't have the immense marketing budget to assault the airwaves like Bose, or the R&D budget to make every manner of gadget like Sony.

These are good things, because instead this Canadian company goes about making some solid products, loved by reviewers, and beloved by customers.

Invited to check out their factory just outside Toronto, I dusted off my American Flag jacket, trucker hat, "W" belt buckle, and headed north of the border.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Apr 19, 2013 0 comments

Speakers are like karate. Subwoofers are like weightlifting. The quality of a speaker is determined by subtleties: well-chosen drivers, just-right crossover points and slopes, and a perfectly tuned, solidly constructed enclosure. The quality of a subwoofer is determined mostly by its muscle: the size of the enclosure, the displacement of its driver, and the power of its amplifier.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 12, 2012 0 comments

Apple announced today that it’s switching from the 30-pin connector on the bottom of iPods, iPhones, and iPads to something more compact. You can hardly blame Apple’s designers, since that connector is more than a decade old. But the move will essentially obsolete millions of iPod/iPhone docks already in consumers’ homes.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 10, 2012 0 comments

Whether it's at a restaurant, buying a TV, or getting a used Blu-ray from Amazon, we all want good customer service. At the very least, we want a pleasant experience.

What's interesting is that while some companies are striving to make you feel warm and fuzzy, others couldn't care less.

The difference is incentives.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 30, 2012 0 comments

I sure didn’t expect to be at the L.A. Auto Show today. And I even surer didn’t expect that I’d be going there to listen to the first car with a Krell audio system: the 2014 RLX, the new flagship model from Acura.

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Posted: Jun 25, 2012 0 comments

The annoying thing about Internet-connected smart TVs? Accessing the smarts usually costs you bucks. Probably 95% of the streaming Internet video I watch on my Samsung flat-panel is Netflix ($7.99 a month) or Vudu (usually $4.99 per movie for 720p high-def).

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 24, 2011 0 comments

Everyone else is doing those Black Friday shopping guides. We do things a bit differently here at the Tech2 shack on the S+V compound.

Knowing how many people have smartphones, and would rather look at them then stare at the schlub in front of them in line, we present “Stuff to Read While Waiting in Line.” Or, to translate for the New Yorkers out there: “Stuff to Read While Waiting on Line.”

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll burp turkey from yesterday.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 19, 2012 0 comments

Technically, Planetside 2 isn't out yet (the full game launches November 20). So technically, this isn't a review. But I'm having so much fun playing it, I couldn't keep it to myself any longer.

The original Planetside was the first (and still only) MMOFPS. Battles raged, waged over entire continents, with hundreds of players locked in epic sci-fi skirmishes. It was glorious.

Then Sony ruined it. If the beta is any indication, this is one serious mea culpa.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 16, 2012 0 comments

I’m not sure where to begin. In a Heisenbergian fashion, I can’t describe the game without ruining the game. I can’t really say what it’s about, what goes on, or really, what my feelings are after playing it.

I can only use words like “ethereal,” “haunting,” “absorbing,” even “beautiful.”

Well, maybe I can describe how I feel about it. I think. . . I loved it.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 15, 2011 0 comments

Light is one of those intangible things that is stuff and whatnot. Wait, no it isn't. It's light. As in, "Aziz, LIGHT!"

On the one hand, it's either on or it's off. On the other hand, it's half-on, half-off, and you've programmed it to go half-off and half-on again at the touch of a button.

If you don't have kids to turn lights on for you (or maybe you have kids, and they don't turn them back off), Lutron has a host of products to make life a little easier. How much easier is best explained by experience. Which brings us to the aptly named Lutron Experence Center.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 09, 2013 0 comments

David Chesky's name is practically synonymous with audiophile recording and the quest for a purer, more natural sound. Instead of close-miking instruments, recording them on multiple tracks, adding reverb, and mixing it all down, he records in great-sounding spaces in pristine stereo.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: May 25, 2012 0 comments

If I were forced to choose between the $20K worth of audio test gear I own or the demo CD that cost me probably 20 cents to make, I’d take the latter without hesitation. Test gear is great for telling me how well an audio product is engineered. But when I want to find out what an audio product does — i.e., how a listener will perceive its sound — the demo CD is a much better tool.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 06, 2011 0 comments

It's an interesting thing, this. A tweaky audiophile program that strips away all the junk your computer could be doing while playing back your digital audio files.

The idea is to give each file as good an environment for playback as possible, minimizing jitter and maximizing sound quality.

Well, OK. That could be cool.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 30, 2013 0 comments

It's hard to classify Defense of the Ancients 2, a free-to-play game from Valve. It's part RPG, part RTS, part multiplayer shooter, part lots of things. This month, there were 5.2 million unique players.

The best I can describe it, is if you've ever played a traditional RTS, and recall one of the "hero" levels where you play as just one, uber-strong, character. That's DotA. Sort of. It can be pretty intense, and quite fun, too.

If you keep reading I promise no more unexplained abbreviations.

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