Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
In the past, we've found Phase Technology's three-channel passive soundbars quite persuasive, so we happily greeted the new TeatroTSB3.0. Here's the cool part: Spatial Field Expander drivers at the sides of the extruded aluminum bar push the left and right channels outward for a most un-bar-like, room-filling effect. Each of the three channels gets a classic Phase Tech 0.75-inch soft dome tweeter (this is the company that invented soft dome tweeters) plus a couple of polypropylene woofers; the SFE side drivers are one-inch aluminum domes. Shipping in late fall, price n/a. Phase Tech also showed the SB60 CA (Classic Audiophile) monitor to honor its 60th anniversary. Ken Hecht, son of the late founder Bill Hecht, remains actively involved in the company.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
The Canton DM 50 sound pad (yes, we love the name too) is just about wide enough for the pedestal of a large flat panel TV. While the driver complement remained something of a mystery due to the nondetachable grille, it does have two 3.5-inch woofers firing out of the bottom. Dolby Digital and DTS decoding are present. Total power is 200 watts, Class D. Like any respectable bar nowadays, it also has Bluetooth. Price $599.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
With three sides wrapped in fabric, the SoloCinema Studio bears the unmistakable DNA of Definitive Technology, and comes out of the company's new design center. This 5.1-channel soundbar has HDMI connectivity (three in, one out) along with non-lossless Dolby Digital and DTS surround and Bluetooth wireless connectivity (including both aptX and AAC for higher transmission quality). SRS TruSurround HD4 mingles with proprietary processing for zippier surround. Driver complement includes a trio of one-inch aluminum dome tweeters, six polymer-composite woofers, and an eight-inch driver in the external sub. With 200 watts behind it, that sub is no slouch, and the bar gets another 120 watts total. The system ships in October for $1199, eight hundred bucks less than the existing SoloCinema XTR soundbar.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
Three new surround receivers from Anthem include the MRX 310, MRX 510 (shown), and MRX 710. The 310 has five channels while the 510 and 710 are seven-channel products. Power is 60, 75, and 90 watts times five (and kudos to Anthem for not merely quoting two-channel figures and calling it a day). Anthem has all the control angles covered including AMX, Bitwise, Control 4, Crestron, and Savant. The ARC 1M room correction has been improved, approaching the quality of that in Anthem's pre-pros, with more options and better filtering. The receivers boast the Dolby Volume low-volume listening mode to make movie sessions more painless. And 4K is supported for both pass-through and upscaling. Pricing is $1200, $1600, and $2000. The two upper models will ship this fall while the bottom model will ship in early 2014.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
GoldenEar Technology's SuperCinema 3D Array XL soundbar (top) features three of the company's signature folded ribbon tweeters, and really, that is so cool, we could just stop right there. But there are also eight 4.5-inch woofers in an enclosure with a depth of just 2.7 inches. GoldenEar's 3D Array processing cancels out crosstalk between the left and right channels, spreading the soundstage beyond the bar. Designed to go with TVs of 70 inches and up, the bar will sell for $1499 when it ships in spring 2014.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 13, 2013 2 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $599

At A Glance
Plus: Improved construction and sound • Wi-Fi, AirPlay, Bluetooth • 4K video with scaling
Minus: Room correction didn’t work in our sample

The Verdict
A feature-packed, all around stellar performer offering incredible bang for the buck.

If I were down on my luck—jobless, hopeless, living on beans à la can—and absolutely had to buy a new audio/video receiver on a tight budget, how much would I spend? The magic number is $600.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 12, 2013 0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price $699

At A Glance
Plus: USB DAC built in • AirPlay, optional Bluetooth
Minus: Small font on display • No headphone output

The Verdict
This is a great-sounding way to add network audio features, especially the crucial USB DAC, to an existing system.

Have you watched in dismay as new features have left your old surround receiver or stereo preamp in the dust? Would you like to hang on to your old buddy but give it a new coat of paint? The Pioneer Elite N-50 bids to do just that, bringing a USB DAC, optional wireless connectivity, and other computer audio-related features into a rack-size component. It brings your existing equipment up to date for the second decade of the 21st century.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 06, 2013 2 comments
It's official. The future of audio hardware and software now has an acronym. It's HRA, or high-resolution audio, trumpets a press release from the Consumer Electronics Association. HRA may well emerge as a key theme of CEA's 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. So this would be a good time to discuss what is, and is not, high-resolution audio.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 06, 2013 0 comments
Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price $1,099

At A Glance
Plus Integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth • Audessey Mult EQ Room Correction • THX Select 2 Certification • Excellent video processing
Minus Lean sonic character can be fatiguing

The Verdict
Chock-full of the latest features and connectivity, the TX-NR828’s less-than-warm sound was more suited to movies than music in our auditions.

Onkyo is like that kid in elementary school. You remember: The one whose hand went up first in response to every question from the teacher.

“Who was the first presi–”

“George Washington!”

“Onkyo, I haven’t even finished asking the question.”

When it comes to features, Onkyo aims to be there firstest with the mostest. Name a feature, and Onkyo’s usually got it, typically in a licensed version with a hip logo, and quite often before anyone else. For the consumer who wants the latest features and wants them now, Onkyo is generally an excellent choice.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 22, 2013 0 comments
The Watch ABC app is the first from a major broadcast network to allow streaming of live TV, including network, local, and syndicated programming. Viewers may also get on-demand content in the ABC Full-Episode Player and app. Watch ABC was up and running at press time in New York and Philadelphia for subscribers of several major cable operators. ABC is not inexperienced with apps, having rolled them out in 2012 for the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, and WatchESPN. Look out for a Watch ABC Family app early next year.

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