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Brent Butterworth Posted: May 26, 2013 0 comments

We describe famous musicians as "brilliant" or "innovative" or "creative," but mostly, they aren't. They're just making minor modifications to a harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic framework borrowed from musicians who preceded them-and those earlier musicians did the same thing, too. And so on and so on.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 04, 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 then asked me to hold the review. How come? Because the engineers tweaked the sub’s Sledge STA-1000D amplifier. It took months for the new amplifier to arrive. That’s months of revenue lost for the sake of slightly better sound.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 20, 2012 0 comments
GoldenEar Technology may have had the fastest rise to the top of any speaker manufacturer in history. The company started less than 2 years ago. Yet its very first product, the Triton Two tower speaker, was named Sound+Vision’s 2010 Audio Product of the Year — and practically every other audio publication raved about it, too.

It shouldn’t have come as too big a surprise, though. GoldenEar is the creation of Sandy Gross, a co-founder of Polk Audio and Definitive Technology, and engineer Don Givogue, the other co-founder of Def Tech. Still, to have people comparing your $2,500-per-pair speaker to $10,000-per-pair models is an accomplishment.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 19, 2013 0 comments

When we think about how electronics products are developed, we might imagine huge teams of faceless engineers, executives embroiled in endless discussions in elaborate conference rooms, and an almost Kafkaesque process that no one person really understands or controls.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 24, 2011 1 comments

If I had been sitting across from someone I'd never heard of who was starting yet another headphone company, I'd have probably steered the conversation to the weather or Lady Gaga's latest outfit.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 17, 2013 2 comments

Noise-cancelling headphones shouldn't be so expensive. In most cases, the technology is simple: a couple of tiny microphones, a cheap amplifier chip, and a simple filter circuit.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 10, 2011 0 comments

At the party last night at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood to celebrate the release of the Blu-ray Disc and DVD of Dexter, Season 5, I got to spend some quality time with Craig Eggers, Director of Blu-ray Ecosystems for Dolby Labs. Eggers was there because the Blu-ray release is in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. I think I was supposed to talk with him about the new discs, but instead I cornered him for an update on something far more interesting to me: the status of 7.1 sound.

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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: Jul 23, 2013 0 comments

The CEA-2010 subwoofer output measurement lets us separate the great subwoofers from the merely good ones, in a way that’s more reliable and repeatable than traditional measurements or listening tests. However, it’s still not widely used.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 24, 2012 0 comments

What do you want to hear when you listen to music? Do you want a lower-fidelity version of what the artists, engineers, and producers heard in the studio? Or would you prefer to hear exactly what they heard in the studio?

Of course, you'd prefer the latter. But you're probably getting the former - unless, that is, you're listening to high-resolution downloads from HDtracks. If you're listening to CDs, MP3s, or even vinyl records, what you're hearing is not a precise copy of the original digital recording or analog tape. It's downconverted. If it's on CD, the digital resolution has been reduced. If it's on vinyl, the audio has been remastered and the record you're listening to is actually a third-generation mechanical copy.

Sure, it might sound ok. But it's not the best fidelity you can get. HDtracks is. And HDtracks and Sound+Vision have put together an introductory sampler to show you just how good high-resolution listening can be.

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