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Brent Butterworth

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 06, 2014 0 comments
At the CES Unveiled event last night, Prescient Audio showed a new super-slim 12-inch woofer for use in car audio, DIY projects and the company's upcoming line of freestanding and in-wall subwoofers.
Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 13, 2013 2 comments
A Satisfying Substitute for Real Home Theater Sound?

I’ll assume that you, as a Sound & Vision reader, would prefer a conventional 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system to a soundbar. But I’ll also assume that you don’t have 5.1 or 7.1 in every room of your home. Or in your vacation home, or your parents’ home, or your kids’ rooms. For these situations, even the cognoscenti—that means you—might be tempted by the convenience and low cost of a soundbar. Still, though, you’re probably not going to risk your status as an audiophile by buying one of those bottom-of-the-barrel, $150 cheapies at Costco.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 31, 2013 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,900

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Clean, dynamic sound with enveloping surround
A wealth of inputs and listening options
Key functions can be operated with TV remote
Minus
Voices can sound a little thin
Much more complicated and expensive than most soundbars

THE VERDICT
If you don’t mind a little complexity, the YSP-4300 is one of the best soundbars you can buy for movie and TV viewing.

Soundbars are supposed to be simple, right? The home theater sound system for people who can’t figure out an A/V receiver, right? Well, the Yamaha YSP-4300 isn’t simple. Its 24 speaker drivers, numerous inputs, 10 surround modes, 55-button remote, and 80-page manual make it almost as complex as one of Yamaha’s receivers. The only thing that’s simple about it is that there’s a lot less to hook up than with a full surround sound system.

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 01, 2013 5 comments
Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $800

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Crazy-affordable prices
Great cosmetics for the money
Minus
Sounds a little unrefined

THE VERDICT
It’s not without flaws, but the $500/pair XL7F tower delivers a surprising value.

I actually did a double-take when I added up the price of Fluance’s XL7 speaker system. Two tower speakers for the price of a good pair of minimonitors. A center speaker for the price of a cheap Blu-ray player. A pair of minimonitors for the price of … well, an inexpensive pair of minimonitors. And the whole shebang for about what most Sound & Vision readers I know would spend for a decent subwoofer. Shipping’s free, too!

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 28, 2013 0 comments

One of the biggest surprises (and delights) of the CEDIA Expo for me was Totem Acoustics' new Kin Subwoofer. Totem's known for great-sounding speakers, but not so much for bargain prices or decor-friendly design. The Kin Subwoofer, though, is quite affordable at $699 -- and according to my brief listen, quite powerful for its tiny size.

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 28, 2013 0 comments

Sonus Faber's trademark gorgeous craftsmanship and design were in evidence at the CEDIA Expo, where the company showed its new Olympica series speakers. Besides the fact that they were arguably the best-looking new speakers at the show, they're notable for two reasons. First, they're the first Sonus Faber speakers in which all the drivers were designed by the company. Second, they have a unique asymmetrical design with one of the coolest bass ports ever created.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 28, 2013 0 comments

This MartinLogan AirPlay/Bluetooth speaker's just a prototype, but it was definitely the prettiest wireless speaker at the CEDIA Expo. Better than the looks, though, is that it uses the same great Folded Motion tweeters found in MartinLogan's Motion Series speakers.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 28, 2013 0 comments

I've spent a lot of time over the last two decades talking with the guys at Harman International, and I've never heard them so excited about a speaker as they are about the JBL M2, a new high-end professional recording monitor. At CEDIA Expo, JBL announced that it'll be selling the M2 for home systems, too, although in a substantially different and more elite package.

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments

After launching last year with a couple of innovative under-TV sound systems, upstart company AudioXperts made a much bigger splash at the 2013 CEDIA Expo with a full line of audio products, which we saw in a press event this morning.

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 27, 2013 2 comments

Monitor Audio's known for slim tower speakers, so the introduction of a new Silver Series line didn't surprise me much. But the prices did.

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