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Brent Butterworth

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 01, 2010 0 comments

On June 11, 2009, I lost a cherished friend: the Sony Watchman TV I'd owned for 20 years. When analog TV broadcasts went dead that day, my Watchman, along with every other portable analog mini-TV, suddenly became useless. A few portable digital TVs have since appeared to fill the gap, but because the ATSC digital-TV standard wasn't designed for mobile use, none of them can deliver the reliable roving reception of my 1980s-vintage Watchman.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 30, 2012 0 comments

I sure didn’t expect to be at the L.A. Auto Show today. And I even surer didn’t expect that I’d be going there to listen to the first car with a Krell audio system: the 2014 RLX, the new flagship model from Acura.

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 12, 2009 0 comments

Denon's AVR-4810CI A/V receiver is the first product that exploits the full 11.1-channel capability of Audyssey DSX processing. Here are our initial impressions:

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Brent Butterworth Posted: May 12, 2009 0 comments

Whether it's a sofa, a spouse, or a new surround-sound technology, you never really know what it's like until you bring it home and spend some time with it.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 22, 2011 0 comments

A five-year-old surround-sound receiver has all the appeal of a five-year-old banana. But a five-year-old (or even 25-year-old) stereo amplifier might sound and perform every bit as good as one built last month.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 31, 2011 0 comments

I had an ear-opening experience when I got to do a blind listening test of some vintage turntables at Vancouver, BC vintage audio dealer Innovative Audio this past summer.

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 01, 2013 5 comments
Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $800

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Crazy-affordable prices
Great cosmetics for the money
Minus
Sounds a little unrefined

THE VERDICT
It’s not without flaws, but the $500/pair XL7F tower delivers a surprising value.

I actually did a double-take when I added up the price of Fluance’s XL7 speaker system. Two tower speakers for the price of a good pair of minimonitors. A center speaker for the price of a cheap Blu-ray player. A pair of minimonitors for the price of … well, an inexpensive pair of minimonitors. And the whole shebang for about what most Sound & Vision readers I know would spend for a decent subwoofer. Shipping’s free, too!

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments

Maybe this wireless speaker thing is finally going to take off. Today at the CEDIA Expo, Focal demoed the $2,799/pair Easya tower speaker, which has amps and a wireless receiver built in. The system comes with a transmitter and a remote control, so all you need to do is connect your sources and you've got a whole system.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Apr 02, 2012 0 comments

I had always assumed that all $59 headphones sound about as refined as Ski Johnson. That is, until I happened upon a marketing crew from House of Marley at my local Fry’s Electronics. Encouraged by our experience with the company’s $149 Exodus, I tried the $59 Positive Vibration — and was shocked to hear that much of what I loved in the sound of the Exodus was evident in the Positive Vibration, too.

Which got me wondering: Are there other good headphones available at this price point? Could those who have only three Andrew Jacksons to their name actually get a decent set of cans?

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 03, 2011 0 comments

I often worry that people get the wrong idea when I praise a speaker for sounding "flat." By this I mean its frequency response is flat, which is a good thing. But if you ask the man on the street, I bet he'd equate flat sound with lifeless sound.

It's high time I explained what frequency response is and why flat frequency response is desirable in audio products. Not only will I explain why non-flat response is bad, I'll demonstrate it to you with some audio files I cooked up just for this article.

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