Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
While NAD's usual practice is to add features to existing surround receiver models, the T 758 ($1199) is the successor to the T 757. It boasts 120 watts of continuous power per channel, we assume into two channels. Modular construction, a neat feature of NAD receivers, allows for future upgrades, whatever technology comes our way. One thing this receiver does not have is an ethernet jack or any network audio features. For those step up to the even brawnier T 777 ($2999) and T 787 ($3999). Note that these list prices are lower than historical ones because NAD is aggressively courting a smaller but more committed dealer base. As a result, receiver sales have doubled, and just may triple. Clearly a lot of home theater buffs are willing to pay for great surround sound even at the expense of frilly features.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
Its 0.75-inch-thick granite enclosure makes the Status Element monitor unique. The enclosure of the 53-pound speaker has four additional layers: elastomer, aluminum, silicon, and foam. Under the hood are a one-inch fabric tweeter and 6.5-inch beryllium alloy woofer. Your $15,000/pair can buy any of several colors of granite of which our favorite (though not pictured) is cactus green. It looked great on the spokesperson's iPhone. This product was born in the U.S.A.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
Paradigm has refreshed its world-beating Millennia CT sat/sub system as the CT 2. It still has the same one-inch tweeter and four-inch woofer, both S-PAL, the company's satin-anodized aluminum, with an eight-inch driver built into the flat-form-factor sub. The new elements are in the control module and they include Dolby Digital decoding and Buetooth with aptX. Current CT owners should check out the upgrade. Price for CT 2 is $849, shipping first quarter of 2014. Paradigm has also added a Soundtrack II to the existing Soundtrack soundbar. The new one has 2.1 channels, two one-inch S-PAL tweeters, two four-inch woofers, two 4.5-inch passive radiators, wireless sub, Bluetooth/aptX, and will sell for $899. Also new is a Soundscape soundbar designed to go with TVs 60 inches and up. This 5.0-channel bar (sub extra) has three tweeters, each mated with a midbass driver, except for the center tweeter which gets two. Each of the seven drivers is powered by 25 watts. Dolby Digital, DTS, and Bluetooth/aptX are included. Price is $1499. Both bars will ship in the first quarter of 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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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 15, 2013 0 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $600 At A Glance: MHL, HTC, iOS phone links • 4K scaling and passthrough • Solid performance for price

Despite some price overlap, Pioneer’s two receiver lines hew to different sets of values. Its Elite line offers more custom-install features, comes with a two-year warranty, and is sold through different distribution, primarily brick-and-mortar stores. The just-plain-Pioneer line, on the other hand, has more features per buck, offers a one-year warranty, and is sold both in stores and online. Scrutinize both lines closely, and you’ll find several cheap-and-cheerful-Pioneer models that are close equivalents of higher-priced Elite models. The just-call-me-Pioneer VSX-1123 ($600), reviewed here, has the same rated power and nearly all the same features as the Elite VSX-70 ($700)—including some brand-new features that will interest the smartphone-centric. If a price differential of more than a hundred bucks looks large in your household budget, read on.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 09, 2013 0 comments
The Sony HT-ST7 is the first product to use Sony's "Sense of Quartz" design imperative, which I first saw in an embargoed product showing in Tokyo a few months ago. I subsequently heard the production version and it sounded even better than it looks.

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