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Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
GoldenEar Technology introduced its new 3D Array XL soundbar (Spring, $1500). It's wide enough to accommodate a 70-inch HDTV, and as a passive soundbar requires an external AVR. GoldenEar recommends separate surrounds and a subwoofer for optimum results (not included), though it can operate without them.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
In the most ambitious home theater demo at CES, MSR Acoustics coordinated an Elite Home Entertainment Experience in a large room at the Venetian Hotel.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 1 comments
Joseph Audio wins my vote for the best sound I heard at CES this year, with the qualifier that I didn't have time to visit more than half of the rooms st the Venetian Hotel, the site for high-end audio.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
In a dark cubicle, with no photos possible (or allowed), Panasonic demonstrated a prototype of a 4K flagship LCD/LED set planned for release later in 2014. Sited next to the now discontinued ZT60 plasma, it looked impressive. The LCD set had full-array LED backlighting, and appeared to have respectable off-center performance—as far as it was possible to tell in such a small space. One of the Panasonic reps said it had an IPS LCD panel—the LCD technology with the best off-axis performance.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
While Aerial Acoustics' speakers aren't candidates for the bargain basement, they do have a reputation for great sound and solid engineering. The new 6T ($6000) is a thinner and relatively more affordable sibling to the company's 7T (just under $10,000).
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
Lexicon’s venerable MC-12 preamp-processor, which has been on the market for over ten years (with important upgrades alinbg the way to accommodate the changing times) is about to be replaced by the MC-14. The latter (April, $10,500) will offer a full complement of inputs and other ports, including HDMI, USB, 7.1-channel analog, Ethernet, RS-232, and a headphone output. It accepts all current consumer sources, and also has a selectable analog bypass for playback. Oddly, however, there is no provision for any form of manual or automatic room compensation.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2014 1 comments
Brent Butterworth covers the details on the new Infinity Reference Series below. Here’s a look at the three-way center ($499). Its vertical orientation for the midrange and tweeter is, in my opinion, the only proper way to design a center channel speaker —other than using a speaker identical to the left and right, which can only work if the screen is very high or acoustically transparent, or the system is used for music only with no images.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2014 1 comments
The bipolar dual tweeters on the opposing front faces of the Infinity Reference Series surround speaker are said to produce a very uniform front dispersion. The mid/bass driver is mounted on the back, where a metal bracket keeps it spaced out from the wall by a couple of inches.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
Mark Levinson products sit at the top of the Harman Kardon Luxury Group’s totem pole. The new No.585 integrated amp $12,000, available summer 2014) offers 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 350 into 4, D/A conversion up 32 bits/192kHz, and a full complement of analog and digital inputs (including USB—but no HDMI, an unfortunate but almost universal omission in 2-channel integrated amps).

There is also a built-in subwoofer crossover and output for those wanting to set up a 2.1-channel system to accommodate both music and movies.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
Instead of formally exhibiting at the CES this year, Harman International set up shop in a large ballroom at the Hard Rock hotel. When we were there, the place was jumping, despite the relatively remote vernue.

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