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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 22, 2016 6 comments

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $399

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Exemplary value
Clean, punchy bass
Optional wireless transmitter works like a charm
Minus
Doesn’t go quite as deep as the big boys

THE VERDICT
When I heard I was going to review a budget $399 subwoofer, I dreaded the month I’d miss my reference subs. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

There are two things that I really love in life. The first is the entrepreneurial spirit that grows within someone and inspires them to take a chance with an idea, create a company, and do their best to make it succeed. The second is great bass. As longtime readers know, I’m a bass-oholic—and if my wife would let me, I’d have four (or more) subwoofers in my media room, because there’s no such thing as too much bass!

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 17, 2016 2 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Moby Dick is considered one of the great American novels. Most don’t know—I sure didn’t—that the book was based on the true events that took place in the winter of 1820 when the whaling ship Essex left the port of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and sailed around the tip of South America looking for prey. While in a South American port, they hear a tale of a mammoth whale that can be found in the Pacific, so they venture dangerously far from land and get a lot more than they bargained for when they find that said whale has a vengeance against humanity.
David Vaughn Posted: Jun 01, 2016 9 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Class A/B design
Impressive sound quality
Equal power to all channels
Minus
Very heavy
Lacks balanced inputs

THE VERDICT
At $1,499, this amp is an incredible steal. While it doesn’t quite reach the heights of its more expensive competition, it still offers a helluva view.

My introduction to Monoprice happened about 10 years ago when I needed some interconnects for a system I had designed for someone on a tight budget. I’d read how great a value the company’s offerings were and decided to take the leap. Not only was my friend happy to save a few bucks from the store brands, he didn’t sacrifice any of the quality, either. From day one, the interconnects worked like a charm. Since then, Monoprice has been my go-to source for home theater cables.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 27, 2016 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
This is the true story of the rise of N.W.A., a Compton, California rap group who changed the musical landscape in the late 1980s with their blend of dope beats and hard-hitting lyrics about life in South Central L.A. Collaboration between Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Easy-E led to the hit release of Boyz in the Hood, which caught the ear of music manager Jerry Heller, who helped the group sign with Priority Records. Their first studio album, Straight Outta Compton, featured their controversial song “F*** the Police,” describing the reality of being a black man in L.A. in the 1980s.
Pan
David Vaughn Posted: May 06, 2016 4 comments
Picture
3D-ness
Sound
Extras
Peter is an orphaned 12-year-old whose rebellious ways constantly have him in hot water with the nuns running his orphanage. Although he’s never met his mother, he knows there’s something special about himself, and he dreams of a better life. One night, he’s whisked away to Neverland where he finds adventure, danger, and the mystery of his mother’s heritage. With the help of the warrior Tiger Lily and his newfound friend James Hook, Peter must overcome the meddlesome Blackbeard in order to save Neverland and fulfill his destiny.
David Vaughn Posted: Apr 06, 2016 31 comments
With the announcement in January of Samsung's pending Ultra HD Blu-ray player, I got excited to jump right into a new disc-based format offering high dynamic range (HDR), wide color gamut (WCG), and 4K resolution (3840x2160). It took about five weeks, but on February 11 I was able to purchase a Samsung UBD-K8500 at a local Fry’s Electronics. Sadly, UHD Blu-ray software wouldn't be available until March 1. But I figured I could at least get the player installed in my rack and await the first UHD discs to arrive.
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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 11, 2016 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Korben Dallas, a New York cab driver, is just trying to get through another day when a fare drops into his cab unexpectedly, and before he knows it, he’s responsible for saving the galaxy from an intergalactic feud that happens every 5,000 years. The fare is the Fifth Element, who, when combined with earth, wind, fire, and water, becomes the perfect weapon to save the human race from destruction—if Korben can keep her safe until she fulfills her destiny.
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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 05, 2016 2 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
A massive earthquake hits an unknown fault line in southern Nevada, causing a chain reaction along the San Andreas in California that will have disastrous effects on the nation’s most populous state. Fortunately for L.A. Fire and Rescue helicopter pilot Ray Gaines, he’s good in a crisis, and he’s put in position to single-handedly save his loved ones while the world is literally crumbling around him.
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David Vaughn Posted: Jan 29, 2016 1 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Adapted from George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series of books, Game of Thrones debuted on HBO in 2011 and became an instant small-screen classic. The fifth season was recently honored with the “Outstanding Drama Series” Emmy, and the sixth (of rumored eight) will debut this year.

This is my second attempt at watching after the first failed miserably due to complaints from Mrs. Reviewer. While she loved the medieval period sets and costumes, she was extremely turned off by the gore and the seemingly never-ending display of bare breasts along with “pointless sex scenes.” I have to admit that I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the incestuous scene in the first episode, but I found that the rampant depictions of prostitution showcased the low morality prevalent in this society, and it became an integral part of the storytelling, especially the aforementioned incest.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jan 22, 2016 1 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
As a youth, Frank Walker is full of hope and aspiration, which is almost snuffed out when his entry into the 1964 World’s Fair science competition is shot down by one of the judges before he even gets a chance to enter it. But fate has a different plan for Frank, and with the help of Athena, a mysterious young girl, he’s taken to a magical place where his hopes and dreams can come true. Fifty years later, we meet Casey Newton, a science-minded teen who dreams of going to the stars and will stop at nothing to sabotage NASA’s efforts to dismantle the last remaining launch pad—that is, until the police catch her. Upon posting bail, she finds a mysterious pin among her belongings. When she touches it, she gets a glimpse of the magical world of Tomorrowland, a futuristic city that’s light-years ahead of Earth technologically.

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