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Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
Yamaha's YSP-1400 BL soundbar ($450) has eight little drivers behind that metal grille. They are designed to attain 5.1-channel status by beaming sound all over the place and bouncing it off walls. Take a look at those fat cylindrical feet. Those are the subwoofer drivers. There's Bluetooth, of course, and control apps for iOS and Android. A second new Yamaha soundbar is the YAS-152BL ($350) which is said to produce virtual 7.1-channel surround and also has built-in subs, this time firing out of the bottom surface. This bar's apps can be used to fine-tune the sound in addition to the usual volume and other adjustments. Both products have Dolby Digital and DTS decoding and (no surprise at these price points) no HDMI or lossless surround decoding. Both shipping next month.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
Satellite/subwoofer sets and stand-mount speakers were conspicuous in their near-absence from this year's CEDIA but Monitor Audio showed three different (and differently shaped) sats. From left to right: The newest member of the family is Monitor's flagship sat, the Apex 10 ($1000/pair). Though the pic doesn't show it off well, the woofer has a dimpled surface that enables it to be both thin and strong, increasing clarity and reducing distortion. The MASS (Monitor Audio Satellite System), introduced at CES, is a 5.0-channel system selling for $699. Its fabric-wrapped polymer enclosure has a distinctive shape designed to inhibit bass-bloating standing waves. The Radius ($500/pair), an existing line, has been upgraded with a one-inch tweeter and four-inch woofer. Monitor's proprietary driver material is C-CAM, a ceramic-coated aluminum-magnesium blend. In all cases complementary centers and subs are available. Oh, and the speakers plug into their stands, with binding posts for cable at the bases of the stands.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
If your 4K or 3D video needs to travel long distances, the Integra DTR-60.5 receiver has a big plus that's rare in receivers. A back-panel HTBaseT jack lets you use cheap Cat 5e or Cat6 ethernet cable to bridge distances up to 325 feet. And if you hate fumbling with wi-fi adapters, this receiver has it built in. Integra wants audiophiles who are investing in high-res downloads to know that it supports DSD, FLAC, WAV, and ALAC with no downconversion. Room correction is the highest-quality version of Audyssey, MultEQ XT32. The receiver also has both THX Select2 and ISF certification for high-quality audio and video. Rated power is 135 watts times two and presumably a lower number into multichannel loads. Price $2300, shipping now.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
We hit the soundbar beat pretty hard at this show and our coverage wouldn't be complete without mention of two Bose products. The CineMate 1 SR ($1350) is said to be the bestselling bar in North America over the past nine months. It uses seven of the same tiny drivers that make the famous Bose "jewel cubes" sound pretty good (we know this, having reviewed them in another form). There are also two radiators providing side effects. And the bar's pretty control savvy, with multi-room control and Control 4, Crestron, RTI, and Savant compatibility. The same bar features in the Lifestyle 135 system ($2100) which adds a console with iOS dock and room correction.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
Celebrity designer Andrew Jones, having already ennobled two loudspeaker lines that sell for real-world prices with his high-end touch, brings much the same values to the SP-SB23W soundbar. The 2.1-channel bar uses the same curved MDF enclosure, the same one-inch soft dome tweeter (times two), and similar three-inch woofers (times four) plus a 100-watt, 6.5-inch, wireless sub. Each of the six drivers gets a separate 28-watt amp channel. Designed for music as well as movies, the bar offers Bluetooth with aptX compression coding, plus Dolby Digital and DTS decoding, and is designed to plug into a TV's analog output. See upcoming review by Brent Butterworth. Price $399, shipping this fall.
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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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