Q I have an Integra DHC-80.3 preamp/processor with Audyssey MultEQ XT32. Reading the manual, I learned that I should set the speaker crossover to 80 Hz because “Audyssey recommends that speakers are ALWAYS set to Small when there is a subwoofer in the system.” This apparently allows for proper bass management and more headroom in the receiver or amplifier.
So here are my questions. My speaker system is based around full-range B&W CM10 towers (powered by 250-watt mono amps) and includes a single subwoofer. Do I still need to choose an 80 Hz crossover point for my setup? Also, is there a point in upgrading to speakers with more powerful bass if I do cross them over at 80 Hz? —Bill Wong / via email
I've been working in radio for close to 30 years now, and I have access to all kinds of recording equipment, including some great microphones. Most of the gear I can get my hands on is pretty high-end stuff that uses XLR connectors and would require elaborate equipment that I just don't have at home. So I was really interested when the MXL Studio 1 USB microphone ($130) landed on my desk. It's a portable condenser microphone that connects to your computer via USB. MXL boasts that it's plug-and-play, and that's not a joke: No installation discs. No drivers. No preamps, mixers, or extra gear. Nice.
Do you ever sit around and daydream about inventions that could make your life easier? Whenever I get in my car for the 45-minute ride home from work and I’m feeling exhausted, I imagine roads where magnetic strips are built into the ground to guide my ride so that I can just plug in my destination, drift off, and wake up when I get to the driveway. Think about how great that’s gonna be!
When I was a teenager, I had these giant Koss headphones. You know the kind. They covered both ears with these giant cups. They sounded great. I remember listening to Blows Against the Empire, the 1970 album by Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship, with them. Music would bounce back and forth from the left channel to the right and back in glorious stereo.
My wife and I sent our oldest son off to college this fall. On the ride up, she and I laughed as we told him that when we first went to campus back in 1979, there was no Internet, no cellphones, no e-mail, no fax machines, and Federal Express was an overnight service strictly for businesses and rich people.
Logitech is a cool company. It took all of the top aspects of its best-selling universal remote control and made it so that you could control your TV, set-top boxes, music systems, and other home gear on your iPhone or iPad. My kinda thing.
The iPhone has clearly infiltrated our culture. Its owners are rabidly loyal, and they’ll tell you that every other phone is inferior to theirs. Alas, the many people out there still devoted to BlackBerry can only look longingly at the iPhone, wishing for some of those cool features that Apple has become famous for.
I've always considered myself a trivia whiz. I'd devour any and all trivia books I could find. As I got older, I played games on the computer and online. That eventually morphed to the present day, where I like to sharpen my skills on various gaming consoles. One of the best games I've found is Buzz!
It seems like it was only yesterday that I was writing this very column about Hurricane Irene for our November 2011 issue. And now we’ve just lived through Hurricane Sandy, which came with huge warnings and delivered much devastation. Me, I was without power, landline phones, Internet, and cable for 6 days.
I live in Connecticut, just about 30 miles from my daily gig in New York City. That technically makes me a New Englander. I mention this because New England winters can be brutal. (I know it’s still late summer, but bear with me. The weather will change soon enough.) For a guy like me who leaves for work at 4:30 a.m., early-morning temperatures can sometimes be in the single digits.
I recently mentioned how much I really dig my network-attached storage (NAS) hard drive and how I like to keep all of my music, photos, and videos on it so I can feed the whole house with media via Apple TV or Roku. Since I have a huge investment of both time and personal memories stored on this drive, I really need to protect it properly — and that’s why I’ve recently moved to a RAID drive.