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Daniel Kumin Posted: Nov 20, 2012 0 comments

Here are two words I never thought I’d use together in a sentence: audiophile soundbar. Yet MartinLogan’s new Motion Vision model indisputably qualifies.

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Apr 18, 2002 0 comments

There once was a time when audio/video components didn't have USB or Ethernet ports. When "kilobits per second" was not a hi-fi term. When a kid who stumbled over a stack of LPs in a dumpster actually knew what they were.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Dec 03, 2007 0 comments

the listWhat if you had all the money in the world but only room for one more item on your shelf? What if you cared deeply about DVDs and CDs but not a fig for DVD-Audio, SACD, Blu-ray Disc, or HD DVD?

Daniel Kumin Posted: Dec 10, 2008 0 comments
The Short Form
$1,200 (as tested) / MIRAGESPEAKERS.COM / 866-428-2122
Snapshot<
Daniel Kumin Posted: Aug 26, 2010 0 comments

The name is different, but the speakers are basically the same. MK Sound’s resurrection of the classic 150THX speaker system delivers controlroom sound to those seeking precision, clarity, and detail in their movie and music presentation.

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Daniel Kumin Posted: May 16, 2014 0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,599

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Neutral tonal balance
Honest vocal and dialogue presentation
Handsome, understated looks
Minus
Limited volume output
Ergonomic shortcomings

THE VERDICT
Fine vocal and musical balance from an elegant, though not inexpensive, soundbar.

Pity the poor soundbar, the dancing bear of the audio world. (The audience applauds not how well the bear dances, but the fact that he dances at all.) And pity more the poor soundbar reviewer, tasked with saying something cogent about a not-inexpensive product that, while worlds better than any TV’s built-in speakers, is almost always demonstrably inferior to any number of affordable freestanding speaker suites, including the same manufacturer’s. Monitor Audio is a long-established, widely respected maker of just such speaker suites, a firm that presumably can read the handwriting on the wall just as well as the next guy: s-o-u-n-d-b-a-r-s-&-h-e-a-d-p-h-o-n-e-s.

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Sep 13, 2011 0 comments

Yes, you're going to need a bigger desk.

If, that is, you consider the new Clarity HD Multimedia Speakers from MonsterCable (yes, the ex$pensive-wire people) to be "desktop audio." I do – they're flanking my 20-inch monitor as I write this, and while it's true that they rather crowd the work-top, they sound sweet enough in doing so that I'm willing to overlook their bulk.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Oct 08, 2013 3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Fine performance and sound
Elegant looks
Clear value
Minus
No mute control
Limited detail in volume readout

THE VERDICT
As an integrated amplifier/DAC combo for serious listeners, the D 3020’s audio quality and value are unmistakable.

Audio types old enough to have viewed Chevy Chase’s pratfalls live rather than on demand may remember an unprepossessing integrated amplifier from an unfamiliar brand. The NAD 3020, despite a power rating laughably modest even in 1978 (20 watts per channel) and next to no features, gained notice because, as the lore went, “it sounded great.” And it did—thanks to intelligent amplifier design, a conservative power rating, and the value—widely underappreciated, then and now—of dynamic headroom.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Dec 17, 2009 0 comments
Key Features
$3,999 Nadelectronics.com
• 7 x 120 watts • 4 HDMI v1.3a i
Daniel Kumin Posted: Jun 03, 2007 0 comments

the listWe A/V mavens tend to sneer a little (okay, a lot) at those who choose sleek, on-wall aesthetics over all-out audio chops (damn the cost in looks, livability, or length of marriage).

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