Simaudio's Moon CP-8 pre-pro is one of the few to include Audyssey MultEQ XT auto setup and room correction, because really, purchasers of a $13,000 pre-pro should not have to envy their receiver-owning neighbors. HDMI has been updated to (ahem) 1.3 which at least provides definitive coverage of lossless surround. Regarding 3D, the company says most installers and their customers are going to use outboard video processors anyway. Pair the pre-pro with the MC-8 amp, 250 watts per module, $22,000 in its seven-channel version.
Price: $1,398 At A Glance: Silk-dome tweeter with thermal protection • Race-car-inspired woven-fiberglass woofer • Sub’s passive radiators kill port noise
From Canada with Love
Canada has traditionally been a cornucopia of loudspeaker manufacturers. That isn’t exactly an accident. The Canadian government maintains a research facility in Ottawa with an anechoic (non-echoing) chamber that lures speaker designers like a garden lures honeybees. But Sinclair Audio’s roots are in Montreal, as is its Canadian distributor, Jam Industries, which began manufacturing, importing, and distributing musical instruments and other equipment in 1972 and expanded to include consumer electronics shortly thereafter. The company’s scope subsequently expanded to include lighting and audio equipment for concert, broadcast, and recording use. Sinclair is distributed in the U.S. by American Audio & Video. It’s sold via the same dealer network that handles Arcam, whose audio/video receivers and other products have attracted well-earned rave reviews in these pages.
If you live in Germany, blowing away virtual baddies may soon do more than stress your thumb joints. Pending legislation in Bavaria and Lower Saxony would give creators, distributors, and--yes--players of violent video games up to a year in the slammer. To be specific, it would penalize "cruel violence on humans or human-looking characters." The move in the world's third-largest gaming market follows a horrific school shooting in a town on the Dutch border, where an 18-year-old gamer wounded 37 people before killing himself. Officials blame the rampage on the teen's fondness for the game "Counter Strike," although his video suicide note cites school, anarchist politics, bullying, a desire for revenge, social isolation, and the joy of gun possession--everything but video games. Even so, insists Bavarian interior minister Günther Beckstein: "It is absolutely beyond any doubt that such killer games desensitize unstable characters and can have a stimulating effect." Digg readers retorted: "Computer games don't kill people. It's the nutters with guns that kill people." And: "I propose a ban on bad parenting." But the outlawing of virtual crimes literally crosses the line between fantasy and reality. Maybe the best solution for virtual violence is a virtual prison sentence.
Swedish patriots used Crown Princess Madeleine to lure showgoers into their demo room. Inside I found the QM-10 studio monitor which is expected to sell for $1850/pair starting soon and can of course be bought in a surround configuration with forthcoming sub. No, subs. The company thinks a system fit for a princess should have somewhere between two and four of them. Subs, that is, though the little monitors had an impressive amount of bass by themselves.
Sling Media is best known for the Slingbox, which ferries your a/v fix from any home device to any computer in the home or over the net. This well-received technology is now multiplying into new uses in the wake of Sling Media's acquisition by EchoStar.
Dish Network subscribers: How would you like to enjoy your home satellite feed anywhere in the world as long as you have a broadband connection? You can do that now that the Dish Network has introduced the ViP922 SlingLoaded HD DVR receiver.
Recently I visited a friend's home. Since we're music buddies, we listened to some music. That entire weekend, I didn't see him touch a single CD or LP. Instead he picked up his remote and commanded his Slingbox to summon music from an upstairs PC. Looks as though a lot of other people have the same idea. According to a Slingbox executive, 70 percent of users use Slingbox as a home networking device. What is odd is that they use it only that way, ignoring its outside-the-home possibilities.