Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 10, 2006 4 comments

If stepping off the plane into the Copenhagen airport is a little like stepping into the world's biggest IKEA store, then stepping out of the tiny airport in Karup, Denmark is a little like transporting to the farmlands of Nebraska. But my mission to the far west end of the Jutland peninsula, together with a number of other European and North American journalists, was not sightseeing, but information. Information about what Struer, Denmark manufacturer B&O is currently about, and how the activities in its several facilities are leading to interesting new products, and how those products are influenced by the thinking and research behind them.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2008 2 comments

Founded in Worthing, England in 1966 by the late John Bowers, B&W (more formally known as Bowers and Wilkins) is now one of the best-known names in the industry. While the average man in the street might wonder when the car manufacturer started making speakers if you mention B&W, it's one of the first names that comes to an audiophile if asked to make a list of the top speaker companies in the business. And unlike many of its competitors, B&W makes only loudspeakers—unless you count its new iPod speaker system as a major departure.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 15, 2004 0 comments

Two years ago, when I visited the B&W facilities in Worthing, England, I heard a demonstration of that company's then-new flagship, the Signature 800 ($16,000/pair). I salivated at the prospect of reviewing a home theater package anchored by these impressive speakers, but ultimately put off requesting them in favor of slightly more manageable and affordable designs.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 01, 2003 0 comments

The model designation "DM" might not sound like anything special, but it has a long history with B&W. Models such as the DM 6, fondly remembered by audiophiles as the "pregnant penguin," enjoyed a modest following in the 1970s, when then-small English speaker company Bowers & Wilkins was knocking out attendees at hi-fi show demonstrations. B&W is now, by most accounts, the biggest speaker company in the UK. Its model range has increased exponentially since those early days, but the DM prefix is still very much alive.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2011 0 comments
I've never heard of the Italian loudspeaker company B2, but their Titan, which stands about 65-inches tall and weighs in at 286 lbs, sounded spectacular in a very large room. The mids and highs were particularly transluscent, thanks to a pair of ceramic-coned midranges from Accuton and a 6" ribbon tweeter. The smaller speaker on the right in the photo is the Hebe (not heard). Estimated retail prices as of show time were about $75,000/pair for the Titan and $19,500 per pair for the Hebe.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2011 0 comments
TIVO Man, standing guard over the main entrance to CES 2011
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 02, 2006 0 comments

You know the gag. You see someone walking down the street and about to step on a banana peel. Do you shout "STOP," or remain silent and then applaud as he does an awesome pirouette.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 10, 2005 0 comments

While separate projectors and screens are not for everyone, for many of us they define the essence of the true home theater video experience. A big-screen television is fine as far as it goes, and certainly appeals to a wide market. But nothing quite matches the thrill of watching a theater-like image on a really big screen in a darkened room.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 25, 2004 0 comments

The PE8700 DLP projector from BenQ has to qualify as the surprise product of early 2004. The first surprise is that it's made by a company I'd barely heard of before late last year. But with a claimed 13,000 employees worldwide, BenQ isn't exactly small. Its main corporate headquarters are in Taiwan, where the PE8700 is built.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 17, 2004 0 comments

I was mighty impressed by BenQ's PE8700 DLP projector, reviewed in the June 2004 UAV. Now its replacement, the PE8700+, has been launched, and it's no letdown. True, the price has gone up a couple of big ones over the PE8700's closeout price of $6000. But in compensation, the new model gives you the new Texas Instruments 16:9 DMD, the HD2+.

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