David Vaughn

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David Vaughn Posted: Jan 16, 2015 1 comments

VTF-15H MK2
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value

VTF-3 MK5 HP
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $899, $799

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Tremendous bass output
Excellent value proposition
Highly flexible setup controls
Minus
Won’t win any beauty contests
Heavy!

THE VERDICT
Both subs have plenty of bass per dollar and offer lots of adjustments to fine-tune the performance to fit your room.

Robert Southey was an English poet and author whose version of the fabulous children’s story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was the first one published, in 1837. While the tale has entertained kids for 177 years, little did Southey realize that his story is a fitting metaphor for modern subwoofers. Like the three bears’ porridge, chairs, and beds, subwoofers come in all shapes and sizes, and finding the one that’s “just right” for your particular room can sometimes require sampling different subs and room positions in order to get the best bass response.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 31, 2014 1 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
After pulling off a blockbuster trade, general manager of the Cleveland Browns, Sonny Weaver, Jr. (Kevin Costner) now controls the number-one pick in the draft. The expectations of the fans are through the roof, and the ambitious owner of the team (Frank Langella) and new head coach (Denis Leary) are putting pressure on him to take the consensus first pick, but his gut is telling him to go in a completely different direction. Should he risk his job by following the instincts that got him to the top in the first place, or should he bow to the immense peer pressure?
David Vaughn Posted: Dec 22, 2014 1 comments
Picture
3D-ness
Sound
Extras
In the 1940s and ’50s, the South Pacific was the testing ground for nuclear weapons as the Cold War was beginning to heat up. But were there actually tests, or was there another reason? Could the super powers actually have been waging battle with some creature of unknown origin? What would Nature’s reaction be to all of the nuclear fallout in the region?
David Vaughn Posted: Dec 16, 2014 2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $130

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Multiple streaming options
Remote app with unique Private Sound mode
Makes your dumb TV somewhat smarter
Minus
Glacially slow user interface
Lightweight build quality

THE VERDICT
One heck of a bargain for a Blu-ray player with virtually every major streaming option.

When Blu-ray and HD DVD launched in 2006, electronics manufacturers and movie studios alike were looking to strike gold again, with consumers rushing out to replace their hardware and software to enjoy the new formats’ better video and audio. At the time, DVD players had become commodity items with little or no profit margin, and the bargain bin at Walmart offered discs for under $10. Unfortunately, the format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD left many consumers on the sidelines, and the online enthusiast community became a virtual showdown at the O.K. Corral, with insults being tossed back and forth if somebody said the slightest negative thing about one side versus the other—kind of like Congress?

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 12, 2014 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Set sometime in the future in a world devastated by war, a group of human survivors has fortified the city of Chicago as their home base, and in order to keep the peace, they have separated the populace into five distinct groups based upon their personality traits. Candor is for those who seek the truth, Erudite is the intellectuals, Amity is for peace, Abnegation is for the selfless, and Dauntless is filled with thrill seekers who also serve as the security for the community. When Tris comes of age and must choose her “career,” her aptitude test shows her not fitting into one group. She is a Divergent (think square peg going into the round hole), and in the supposed utopian society, this causes problems—and all hell is going to break loose.
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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 05, 2014 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
An alien being comes to Earth and assumes the form of a gorgeous and seductive young woman and proceeds to drive around Scotland in a cargo van trying to lure unsuspecting male victims back to her lair. Once there, she begins to strip onto an inky-black floor walking backwards into the room. Hypnotized by her beauty, the men strip as they slowly sink into a black pool of death so their bodies can be harvested for some unexplained nefarious purpose. As the film progresses, our alien vixen begins to change and wants to explore what being human is about and is introduced to an Earthly phenomenon known as karma.
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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 15, 2014 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks is assigned to a transatlantic flight from New York to London, but the seemingly routine assignment is anything but. Shortly after takeoff, he starts receiving cryptic text messages on his secure government phone informing him that a passenger will die every 20 minutes unless $150 million is transferred into an offshore bank account. When people start dropping like flies, Marks frantically tries to find the killer, but he always seems to be one step behind him.
David Vaughn Posted: Sep 03, 2014 8 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $6,395

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Outstanding dynamics and headroom
Equal power to all channels
Seven-year transferable warranty
Minus
Very, very heavy
Recommended for two independent 20-Ampere power outlets

THE VERDICT
This amp never broke a sweat driving my 4-ohm speakers at insanely loud levels.

There are quite a few people in the audio world who have become household names, at least among audiophiles. I’m talking about legends like Paul Klipsch, Amar Bose, Saul Marantz, Henry Kloss, Bob Carver. But these aren’t the only influential contributors to the business and history of hi-fi. Among the lesser-known audio icons is Morris Kessler, the founder of ATI.

Mud
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David Vaughn Posted: Jul 16, 2014 0 comments
Beware of men who don't traffic in the truth.

Picture
Sound
Extras
Two young boys, Ellis and his best friend Neckbone, meet a mysterious drifter named Mud who’s hiding out in an abandoned boat that’s beached on a deserted island in the middle of the Mississippi. Like a good Southern boy, Mud has a way with words and fascinates the boys with a series of stories about his life and why he’s hiding out on the island. He says he’s there to meet the love of his life, Juniper, who’s waiting in town for him, but he can’t go and get her because a group of bounty hunters are after him for killing a man in Texas. Neckbone is very suspicious of the stranger, but Ellis is a sucker when it comes to love and makes an executive decision to help Mud extricate himself from his predicament.
David Vaughn Posted: Jun 18, 2014 5 comments

S300 Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

X12 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $17,700

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Realistic, dynamic sound
Outstanding build quality
Carries on the fine M&K tradition
Minus
Expensive

THE VERDICT
M&K’s system is perfect for the movie lover and extremely capable for the discerning audiophile.

It was in February 2000 when I was in a hi-fi store looking at some new electronics and stumbled upon a salesman giving a speaker demonstration to a married couple. I decided to listen in to see if anything piqued my interest. The salesman went through a number of different speakers, and I didn’t hear anything remarkable until his last demo: M&K Sound S150s coupled with an MK350 subwoofer. I don’t recall the exact track he played, but my jaw dropped when I heard the sound emanating from the speakers. It was as if the entire wall came alive, and I couldn’t pinpoint which speakers were active. Much like the wand picking the wizard in Harry Potter, these speakers picked me, and I knew I’d have to own them.

Sadly, it took me three years to convince She Who Must Not Be Crossed to give her blessing, but I’ve been in audio bliss for over 10 years now with a trio of S150s across the front soundstage and four SS150s across the rear of my home theater.

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