Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 01, 2013 11 comments
A home theater system, as I never tire of saying, is the union of big-screen television and surround sound. Conceptually speaking, the big-TV part is not a heavy lift. But some people interested in getting into home theater may have trouble visualizing what a surround sound system might look like. And it's hard to blame them. Surround systems come in many configurations, each appealing to a different tribe of listeners. How can you, as an aspiring home theater buff, decide which surround tribe you belong to? Here are some common configurations matched to the listeners to whom they would appeal.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 14, 2008 0 comments
Opening a whole new can of bass.

It took two fairly determined UPS delivery men to get the SVS PC-Ultra sub off the truck, up the five steps into my building, and up to my apartment. At least it’s an elevator building. They delivered it with a sunny smile, probably visualizing the red-faced sweat that would ensue when I uncrated the 85-pound product. Wondering what demented impulse made me agree to review this 4-foot-tall monster, I waltzed the massive carton into my work space, slit it down the broad side, removed a sheet of padding, tipped over the box, and wondered what the hell would happen next. The giant cylinder-shaped subwoofer obligingly solved the problem by rolling out of the carton. This seemed to be a good omen. It cheered me up immediately.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 04, 2008 Published: Jan 04, 2008 0 comments
From Youngstown with love.

There are people who claim to read your future in your palm. Others reach conclusions about your income, taste, and character according to what type of shoes you're wearing. For my own part, I can look at your selection of loudspeakers and know exactly what kind of home theater person you are.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 07, 2012 4 comments
Build Quality
Price: $1,706 At A Glance: Listening fatigue immunity • Extremely solid build • Factory-direct value

SVS Sound designs its products from the bottom up. The company got its start as a subwoofer manufacturer, fascinating point-one-obsessed audiophiles with unusual (and potent) cylinder-shaped models. Check out the company’s Website at under products and you’ll find the subwoofer category listed above speakers and systems. If you want to add an SVS sub to an existing system, the Website’s Merlin engine lets you key in the make and model of your non-SVS speakers to obtain recommendations on compatible SVS subs. Merlin will even offer suggestions for subwoofer crossovers in both surround and stereo systems.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 26, 2013 0 comments

Ultra Speaker System
Build Quality

SB12-NSD Subwoofer
Build Quality
Price: $3,348 At A Glance: Distinctive enclosure shapes • Strong build quality • Satisfying, balanced sound

The debut of the SVS Ultra speaker line prompts me to reconsider a question that’s been lurking at the back of my mind for years: Is SVS one of the great American speaker brands?

As a company founded in Ohio and initially operated out of a garage, SVS has all the right narrative elements of a great speaker brand. The company has built a reputation for making brilliantly unorthodox subwoofers and pretty good speakers—versus the scads of respectable brands that put most of their brilliance into speakers and treat subs as an afterthought. In the past few years, the story has added a few new chapters, with new heavy-hitter personnel in management and product design and a manufacturing move from Ohio to (where else?) China.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 20, 2009 0 comments
How would you like to swap your old DVDs for brand-new Blu-ray discs at fairly low cost?
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 17, 2007 0 comments
The Recording Industry Association of America is the music industry's most influential trade group and toughest defender. When it comes to sitting in the hot seat, no one has a hotter seat than the RIAA, especially concerning its tactics in fighting illegal downloading. But there are two sides to every story, and especially on the Internet, the organization's message is routinely drowned out by the denunciations of its critics. Why shouldn't the RIAA have its say? That gave me a bright idea: Ask 10 questions by email and publish the responses without further comment on my part. This is the RIAA's take on things, period. Without further ado, here is today's special guest, Cary Sherman, President of the Recording Industry Association of America.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 07, 2011 0 comments
First, it's T+A, not T&A. Stop giggling. It makes you look sleazy. In addition to some cool-looking loudspeakers (which we didn't get to hear) the German company showed the K8 Blu-ray receiver with 150 watts time seven. It streams from iPods and other devices in lossless WAV, FLAC, and OGG as well as MP3 and WMA with resolution up to 96/24. Sure is purty, as it ought to be for $9500.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2008 0 comments
No one, and we mean no one, has been doing room correction longer or better than TacT. But unlike a lot of other manufacturers of high-end surround preamp-processors, TacT has been quick to adopt HDMI 1.3, so the new TCS pre-pro can handle Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, etc. Each of 12 channels may be configured as a main or sub channel. The ICS (Internet Correction Services) feature will let you upload your settings to the web where they may be analyzed or stored. The before-and-after demo revealed a better focused (but not as warm) sound in the after part. The product will ship in February for 15 grand.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 3 comments
TAD, already one of our favorite speaker manufacturers, now offers both a mono-block amp and a SACD player cum DAC, both priced at $26,500. Stereo amp and preamp are on the drawing board. The final version of the Compact Reference speaker is now shipping for $37,000/pair. A demo with female vocal and piano was startling in its directness, marred only slightly by the sight of the chandelier gently swinging, apparently as a result of a subwoofer on the floor above.


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