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Brent Butterworth

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 23, 2012 0 comments

For subwoofer designers, the laws of physics boil down to: Small box, low cost, high output — pick any two. You can always shrink the enclosure, but to get decent output from it, you’ll need a high-powered amp and a beefy driver. And if you shrink the box way down, as Sunfire did with its new Atmos subwoofer, you’ll need to go even more extreme.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 16, 2012 1 comments

Tube-shaped subs are popular with DIY-ers because they’re easy to construct. Just grab a cylindrical concrete form at Home Depot, slap some ends?on it, and you’ve got a nice subwoofer enclosure. But SVS features tube-shaped subs in its line not because they’re easy to build; it’s because the form factor makes them perfect for certain rooms. At 16.6 inches in diameter, the company’s PC-13 Ultra takes up less than half the floor space of its comparable box-shaped sub, the PB-13 Ultra. A PC-13 Ultra can slip almost unnoticed into a corner, while the PB-13 Ultra can slip unnoticed into... well, maybe an aircraft hangar.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 04, 2011 0 comments

I would never do what SVS did with its new subwoofer, the SB13-Plus. The company originally sent me a review sample last fall, but then asked me to hold the review. How come? Because the engineers tweaked the sub’s Sledge STA-1000D amplifier. It took months for the new amplifier to arrive. That’s months of revenue lost for the sake of slightly better sound.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 24, 2013 1 comments

Two years ago, SVS changed ownership, and you could say it’s simultaneously a remarkably unchanged yet very different firm. It’s unchanged in that many old hands are still with the company, and the concentration on high-performance home theater products remains.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 13, 2011 0 comments

You already own a speaker that’s better in some ways than any ever reviewed in Sound+Vision — and you’ve owned it since you were born. What is it? 

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 16, 2010 0 comments

Did you know they stopped making speakers? Sure, you can still buy things that make sound when connected to an amplifier, but now they;re called "solutions." The idea here is to solve problems that emerge from the public's simultaneous love of good sound and hatred of the traditional speaker form factor. Solutions have been the mantra of late at Triad Speakers. In fact, some of the company's recent creations would have been considered downright crazy back in the days when the opinions of enthusiasts dictated speaker designs.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 11, 2011 0 comments

Calling a product “the best X ever” is a foolish mistake for a reviewer to make — but it’s a mistake I’ve made on more than one occasion. There was that projector that looked really great but was completely outclassed by a less-expensive model just one month later.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 21, 2012 0 comments

It seemed that audio companies had surrendered the home-theater-in-a-box concept to the TV manufacturers.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 30, 2012 0 comments

Improving TV sound is easy: Add a soundbar. But getting the soundbar to work seamlessly with the TV? That’s hard.

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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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