Brent Butterworth

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 04, 2013 0 comments

It's kind of amazing that a component that hasn't changed much outwardly for 20+ years can change so much internally in the course of just a couple of years. I'm talking about Pioneer's surround-sound receivers, which I first encountered in 1989 ... and which still looked almost exactly the same when I walked into the demo room at the company's Long Beach, Calif., headquarters last week to check out its four new affordable models.

But they don't work the same. The new receviers, priced from $249 to $599, are even more packed with technology than the generation they replace. Fortunately, though, Pioneer's taking some steps to help consumers deal with all that complexity.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 11, 2010 0 comments
Key Features
$3,100 kef.com
• iQ50 tower speaker ($450 each): 51?4-in woofer, 51?4-in mid/woofer, 3?4-in tweeter; 32 in high; 221?2 lb
• iQ60C center speaker ($550): (2) 51?4-in woofers, 51?4-in mid/woofer, 3?4-in tweeter; 201?8 in wide; 193?8 lb
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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 27, 2012 0 comments

WHEN I FIRST SAW the Sennheiser HD598’s beige-and-brown color scheme, woodgrain accents, and air-cushioned headband, images of all sorts of 1970s products fl ooded through my head: Kustom guitar amps with “tuck and roll” covering, lacquered driftwood furniture, waterbeds, Roger Dean posters.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 29, 2012 0 comments

Like wine, sushi, and plumbers, headphones can get a lot more expensive than most people realize. At Sound+Vision, we focus on under-$500 models. But when Dr. Fang Bian, the visionary entrepreneur behind the HiFiMan headphone company, asked if I’d like to try the company’s top-of-the-line, $1,299 HE-6 headphone and its new $1,599 EF-6 headphone amplifier, I thought it’d be a great chance to give our usual listening panel a sample of what only the most devoted and/or wealthy headphone aficionados usually get to hear.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 12, 2011 0 comments

You might think that by now engineers would be out of ideas for speakers. After all, how many ways can you combine a woofer and a tweeter? But this year's Consumer Electronics Show proved there's still lots of life left in this category. In fact, I can't recall a past CES that showcased so many new speaker models, and this was the 22nd time I've attended the January show.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: May 08, 2013 0 comments

I've heard Skullcandy 'phones ranging from the well-balanced RocNation Aviator to the heavy-handed Hesh to the hard-driving Titan, an inconsistency that led me to guess that the company wasn't making a serious effort to voice its headphones.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 16, 2011 0 comments

I would never do what SVS did with its new subwoofer, the SB13-Plus. The company originally sent me a review sample last fall, but despite the fact that it sounded (and measured) great, SVS asked me to hold the review while its engineers tweaked the sub’s Sledge STA-1000D amplifier. It took months for the new amplifier to arrive.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 21, 2012 0 comments

It seemed that audio companies had surrendered the home-theater-in-a-box concept to the TV manufacturers.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 24, 2013 0 comments

With the vPulse in-ear monitor, Velodyne managed a trick most other headphone brands haven’t—it created a big-bass headphone that didn’t sound dull. Now the company has launched two over-ear models: the $399 vTrue, a large, audiophile-oriented model, and the $299 vFree, a relatively compact headphone equipped with Bluetooth wireless. S&V’s Michael Berk reviewed the vTrue, while I’m taking on the vFree.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 26, 2011 0 comments

Bang & Olufsen knows its customers value style and ease of use more than being the first on the block with the latest thing, so the Danish company tends to wait for the bugs to be worked out of new technologies before it embraces them.

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