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Brent Butterworth

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 14, 2011 0 comments

Like every other Sound+Vision writer, I’ve seen a lot of 3D TV. But I never saw so much 3D TV as I did last night, when I walked into South, Los Angeles’ first 3D sports bar. Everywhere I looked, I could see a Vizio flat-panel TV showing 3D programming—sports mostly, of course, but also games and a couple of Blu-ray Discs.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 30, 2013 0 comments

The advent of cheap audio measurement gear has made it easy for do-it-yourselfers to tweak their systems and even test their own speakers and amps. Unfortunately, it has also spawned a new generation of would-be technicians doing really bad speaker measurements.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 23, 2012 0 comments

When the economy tanked in 2007, a funny thing happened in high-end audio: Many manufacturers prospered by creating even higher-priced products. As a speaker reviewer, I lack the economics chops to explain this turn of events, but I can tell you it has spawned some fascinating audio gear.

Take, for example, Steinway Lyngdorf ’s S-Series, built to be the Bugatti Veyron of compact home theater systems.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 11, 2011 0 comments

I have a confession to make: Often when I see a new über-expensive high-end audio product, I think, “It’s cool, but who would actually buy this?” I sure didn’t feel that way when I got a demo of the new Steinway Lyngdorf S-series at the company’s showroom in Los A

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 25, 2008 0 comments

Everyone who's hip to home theater knows the state-of-the-art in video is a constant-height projection system. And everyone who's hip to home theater also knows they can't afford one.

Or can they?

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Dec 29, 2010 0 comments

While wandering the aisles of the recent Audio Engineering Society show in San Francisco, I found a great little measurement rig for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that deserved inclusion in my recent article on DIY audio measurement in the January 2011 issue of S+V [on stands now]. Unfortunately, the article had already gone to press, so I thought I'd report on the system here.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 17, 2011 0 comments

I can tell you in one paragraph how to set up a pair of small speakers, but I could write a book about setting up subwoofers. It’s the most challenging aspect of home audio because the resonances in a room tend to stress certain bass frequencies and strangle others. The effects of those resonances change from place to place in a room, so the sound may be perfect in one seat and a mess the next chair over.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 28, 2011 0 comments

I can tell you in one paragraph how to set up a pair of small speakers, but I could write a book about setting up subwoofers. It’s the most challenging aspect of home audio because the resonances in a room tend to stress certain bass frequencies and strangle others.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 08, 2012 0 comments

I was testing some subwoofers the other day when something wonderful dawned on me. I realized that at long last, we have an easy way to separate the serious subwoofer manufacturers from the not-so-serious.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 24, 2014 2 comments
Five Subwoofer Masters Explain How They Work Their Magic

Subwoofer design has undergone a revolution. No, the physics of woofers, amplifiers, and enclosures haven’t changed. But new technologies have made it possible to push the bass-ic laws of nature to their limits, such that the best of today’s inexpensive subwoofers can outperform many of the top models from 15 or 20 years ago.

Affordable digital audio processing lets designers tune subwoofers in ways the engineers of the 1990s could only have imagined. High-efficiency amplifiers pound out powerful bass from boxes hardly bigger than a basketball. New speaker drivers use high-tech materials to produce sound levels that would have pushed older models way past the breaking point.

Since things are so different now, we thought this would be a great time to revisit some of the fundamentals of subwoofer design and examine how the old rules might have changed in the digital age.

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