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Brent Butterworth

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 26, 2011 0 comments

If I review more speakers like the Gallo Acoustics Nucleus Reference Strada, my Office Depot bill will skyrocket. Within the first 2 minutes of listening to this speaker, I filled a page and a half of my lab notebook with verbiage - and the torrential scribbling continued for days, consuming paper faster than a schnauzer snarfs up Snausages.

Brent Butterworth Posted: May 31, 2008 0 comments
Monitor goes platinum PL300 Monitor PL300 People often complain about America's pervasive influence on other cultures.
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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 05, 2011 0 comments

Somehow when I was walking around last month’s CEDIA Expo, I completely missed what must surely be the biggest, baddest, most expensive in-wall speaker ever created.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 01, 2011 0 comments

We all know what distortion sounds like. We've heard it in heavy metal tunes, cheap iPod docks and the crummy speakers at Taco Bell drive-thrus. And we've all read distortion specs on things like receivers and subwoofers. But other than a general understanding that distortion isn't something we want in home audio gear, most people really don't know what it is.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 26, 2013 0 comments

“Really?” I blurted out loud when I opened the RTiA1’s box to find a substantial, beautifully made minispeaker with curved sides and a higher level of fit’n’finish than that found on any of the other speakers in this group (the Monitor Bronze BX1 perhaps excepted). I even double-checked the price, doubting that Polk could sell such a nice-looking speaker for less than $400 a pair, especially $325 a pair (or even less online).

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 05, 2013 0 comments

Bluetooth speakers are like cheap econobox cars: Even in normal daily use, you're likely to push them to their limits. Most of the compact Bluetooth speakers I test put out 81 to 87 dB at 1 meter, loud enough for casual listening but not loud enough to get your foot tapping and your head bobbing.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 23, 2008 0 comments

Everyone knows there's a fine line between brave and foolhardy; the trick is to know when you've crossed it.

Sometimes the distinction is obvious. Skiing your first double-diamond slope after a winter of lessons? Brave. Dropping into a Class V rapid when you've never kayaked before? Foolhardy.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 30, 2011 0 comments

Flat-TV friendly speakers from a company best known for its horns. If your speakers are fat, what good does a skinny TV do? Speaker manufacturers have begun addressing that problem in the last year.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 17, 2012 0 comments

It’s a ritual. You hear audiophiles claim how great vinyl sounds, but you never quite buy into it. Then you finally hear your first good turntable, and you’re hooked. In my case, it was a Rega Planar 3, demo’d by Sound+Vision contributing writer Ken Korman. Back in 1991, I spent an evening at Ken’s checking out old sides by the likes of Miles Davis and Todd Rundgren, in each case marveling at how different the sound was from the CD.

The reason many audiophiles get their start with a Rega is that Regas deliver above-average performance at below-average prices. The new RP6 is a great example.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 08, 2011 0 comments

The "Bass Management Boot Camp" article about subwoofer setup that I wrote for the November S+V inspired an in-turn inspiring e-mail from reader Bruce Erwin. Bruce recalled his days setting up sound systems when he'd use a 1.5-volt battery to test subwoofer phase. If the sub and main speakers were in phase, he'd hear a single thump when he connected the battery to the wires leading to the sub's terminals. If they were out of phase, he'd hear a double thump.

That's with passive subwoofers, though. Almost all of today's subs have built-in amps, so this method wouldn't quite work with them. Still, it got me wondering if I could come up with a simpler phase check than the ones I suggested in the article, which required either measurement or careful listening. My e-mail convo with Bruce gave me some ideas and, ultimately, a method that's simpler than my original. And all you need to do it is a piece of free software and a meter you've either already got or can get for nothing.

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