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Bob Ankosko Posted: Feb 17, 2015 1 comments
One thing you want to get absolutely right when assembling a home theater rig is the speakers. Pick the wrong ones and music will sound dull and movie soundtracks will lack dimension and excitement. Sure, you can fiddle with crossover and EQ settings and move speakers around but it’s not going to help. A bad speaker is a bad speaker.

At Sound & Vision, we’re constantly on the lookout for speakers that rise above the pack and possess that magical quality of bringing music and movies to life. If space is at a premium, here are 10 compact speaker systems you can’t go wrong with, broken into three price categories: $1,000 or Less, $1,000 to $2,000, and $2,000 and up.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: May 10, 2016 9 comments
"The problem is that the current standard audio specifications for headphones and loudspeakers are almost useless in terms of indicating how good or bad they sound." —Sean Olive

Harman International, the multibillion company that supplies infotainment technology to automakers around the world and owns such storied audio brands as JBL, Infinity, Revel, Mark Levinson, and Lexicon, to name a few, dates back to 1953 when Sidney Harman and Bernard Kardon founded one of audio’s most iconic brands, Harman Kardon. The pioneering brand, which introduced the world’s first hi-fi (and later stereo) receiver, started with a commitment to pursue high-quality sound. That commitment endures through the work of Sean Olive, a 23-year Harman veteran...

Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 31, 2016 1 comments
Morris Kessler with his classic SAE Mark 2 amplifier.

Even if you never heard his name you know his work. For nearly half a century Morris Kessler has been quietly designing and building world-class power amplifiers, not only for SAE—the iconic brand he founded in 1967—but for his other company ATI and a number of respected brands including Dynaco, Aragon, Crestron, Adcom, Integra Research, and B&K, to name a few. But that’s not all Kessler is known for...

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 27, 2013 0 comments
Consumer technology remains one of the hottest holiday gift categories, and it’s no wonder when you consider the endless flow of cool tech for home and on the go. With so many possibilities, it becomes a question of which ones stand out as special gifts that evoke genuine excitement and brimming smiles.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 24, 2014 0 comments
Forget the slippers, ties, socks, and countless other predictably boring gifts. Be a holiday hero and shower your loved ones with entertainment and technology. Here we present a dozen amazing gifts for your consideration. At prices ranging from $30 to $400, we hope you’ll be able to find a match or two for the special folks on your holiday shopping list. Worst case, you’ll come up with a few ideas for yourself.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 03, 2015 0 comments
I know you don’t want to be the guy or gal who gives questionable—OK, useless— presents. Apart from the awkward head-nodding and forced smiles, the act of giving a bogus gift reflects badly on you, as in: I ran in Target a quarter to five on Christmas Eve and grabbed the first [tie/sweater/gloves/underwear] I saw. Don’t go there! We’ve already screened a dozen gifts for you at prices starting as low as 30 bucks. All you have to do is find a match for that special person(s) on your list. How hard can that be?
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Aug 21, 2012 2 comments
The transition from analog to digital TV opened our eyes to a world of vivid images that we now take for granted, but technology marches on, with the promise of something bigger and better always just around the corner. As consumer electronics companies lay the groundwork for a 4K television/video format that delivers four times the resolution of regular HDTV and prepare to roll out the first 4K TVs, an 8K format is already on the horizon.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 08, 2013 1 comments
You might mistake it for a high-end Blu-ray player at first glance but, no, the Parasound Halo CD 1 introduced at CES 2013 is definitely a Compact Disc player (remember those?) and it costs $4,500. Designed in collaboration with Holm Acoustics of Copenhagen, Denmark, the player uses a Linux-based computer running proprietary software and a CD ROM drive running four times the speed of a conventional CD drive to read and process data in a new way. Vast amounts of data are analyzed and read multiple times to reduce errors and, in turn, the negative effects of error concealment. The result is said to be a nearly bit-perfect data stream.

In keeping with the high-end legacy of the company's Halo line, the C1 has a heavily shielded aluminum chassis, separate power supplies for its analog and digital sections and several output options, including balanced XLR, gold-plated RCAs for analog, and digital audio via BNC, coaxial and optical connectors. A novel “Discrete OpAmp” selector offers a choice between listening to the analog outputs directly from the player’s low-noise op-amps or via discrete transistor output stages.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 28, 2013 0 comments
Prominent among the Hall of Fame exhibit at CEDIA 2013 is Audio Design Associate’s (ADA) towering System 56, an expandable multi-zone AV system introduced before CEDIA even existed. Multisource/multizone capability and features such as electronic volume control and turn-on volume presets were cutting edge back 1977.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 02, 2015 1 comments
Steinway Lyngdorf P200 Surround Processor

At last September’s CEDIA Expo, Steinway Lyngdorf offered a sneak peek of the P200 surround processor it plans to start selling in early 2015 for $18,000. (No, that’s not a typo.) The P200 distinguished itself as the first processor to support both Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. Equipped to handle multiple speaker setups, it’s designed to switch between speakers positioned for either format at the touch of a button. To get the story behind this one-of-a-kind product, we spoke with CEO/CTO Thomas Birkelund.

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