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Daniel Kumin Posted: May 07, 2010 0 comments

Earthquake Sound's origins are deep in the world of 12-volt (that's car stereo to you and me), where they take their bass, and their SPLs, very seriously. So while I was a bit dismayed by the size of the carefully shrink-wrapped pallet that its Titan Telesto-based speaker system arrived on - it could easily have contained a whole-house stand-by-generator - I was not particularly surprised.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Jun 23, 2015 22 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
PRICE $2,499

Dirac Live speaker/room EQ
Highly flexible setup and automation options
Division I sound quality
Async-USB DAC input for streaming playback
Only one Dirac curve-set at a time can be loaded
Requires personal computer for setup; no onboard auto calibration

A noteworthy addition to the high-end preamp/processor ranks, with Dirac Live a fascinating, must-hear plus.

Talar du svenska? Emotiva does. Enough Swedish, at any rate, for the Tennessee tenderer of direct-to-consumer A/V gear to bake Swedish firm Dirac’s speaker/room-correction DSP into its new preamp/processor, the long-awaited XMC-1.

If you’ll forgive a Miller analogy, Dirac is to Uppsala University as Audyssey is to USC: Dirac, too, evolved out of original academic electroacoustics research—although USC’s weather is better, and I’m pretty sure the Trojans could take the Swedes on the gridiron.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Jun 26, 2001 0 comments

When this magazine's predecessor, Stereo Review, evaluated Energy's Take 5 system some four years ago, micro-size home theater speaker systems weren't too common.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Jun 04, 2010 0 comments

I've seen plenty of loudspeaker "breakthroughs" in my half-a-lifetime around the audio sideshow, including speakers shaped like ears, tubas, and croquet balls.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Feb 06, 2007 0 comments

Ah, la belle France! Les vins! Les fromages! La cuisine! Les ... high-end loudspeakers?

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Dec 19, 2014 0 comments

PRICE $1,599 as reviewed

Fine tonal balance with genuine deep bass
Very substantial level potential
Elegant appearance
A few operational and hookup quirks (it’s French!)
No remote-control learn/teach scheme

A 5.1-channel system in soundbar packaging that combines tonal accuracy with impressive low-frequency response and power, plus surround as effective as we’ve heard from an all-up-front affair.

As recently as a couple of years ago, anyone shopping for an “audiophile soundbar” was in danger of being laughed off the lot. The bar scene was dominated by price-driven, mass-market models sold in big-box stores, and most of these were plastic jobs from the mega-mills of the Pacific rim, with just a smattering of somewhat more upscale choices from a few more serious American and Canadian brands.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Jun 28, 2003 0 comments
Homepage photo, remotes, and back panels by Tony Cordoza Sure, when it comes to A/V receivers, the $4,000 flagships get most of the attention in our fantasy lives, and the $399 loss-leaders get most of the play in the Sunday-paper circulars.
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Daniel Kumin Posted: Mar 30, 2015 4 comments
A new screen reinforces an old truth...
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Daniel Kumin Posted: Jan 27, 2003 0 comments
(Photos by Tony Cordoza) Let me tell you about my very first hard-disk drive. It was about the size of a VCR and made as much noise as a small refrigerator. It cost about as much as a refrigerator, too-but who cared?
Daniel Kumin Posted: Mar 02, 2004 0 comments

Photos by Tony Cordoza The model numbers for Harman Kardon's latest line of A/V receivers recall those the company used for receivers it introduced some 20 years ago, and I'm betting that's no accident. Back then, HK scored a solid hit with a compact, simple, affordable stereo receiver called the 330C that was modestly powered but provided consistently good sound.


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