Kris Deering

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Kris Deering Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
Looking for a Blu-ray media solution to playback your whole library from hard drives? Don’t want to pay Kaleidescape prices?? Dune may just have what you’re looking for. Their media machines can playback MKV and ISO rips of your Blu-ray library from an attached hard drive or NAS drive. They also have full support for 3D now with their TV-30 3D mini box or their full rack size HD Base 3D. At a starting price of $199 for the TV-30 3D, Dune makes server based Blu-ray playback affordable for anyone. Now if only I had the time to rip my 700+ title Blu-ray library!
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Kris Deering Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
Ever lusted over those Fathom and Gotham subs JL Audio has to offer but couldn’t quite come up with the scratch? JL Audio hears you and has delivered two new subs under the E-Line banister. Both feature the same digital amplifier delivering either 1500 watts to their 12” E-112 model or 1200 watts to the 10” E-110 model. Sure some of the primo features from the upper line including room correction and balanced connections are gone, but you still get some tight clean bass and gorgeous cabinetry. The E-112 will set you back $1900 in satin black and $2100 in gloss black and the E-110 is $400 less in the same clothes.
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Kris Deering Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
RBH was quick to get your pant legs shaking with their reference SX-1212P/R subwoofer. With up to 3,200 watts of power driving two 12” drivers, their demo of Oblivion had the seats moving more than Tom Cruise jumping on them. At $5,000 each they aren’t the cheapest subs out there, but that one sub was delivering the goods with tons of ouput in RBH’s modest sized demo room.
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Kris Deering Posted: Aug 29, 2013 0 comments
With more and more high-end dealers closing shop, opportunities for real demos are drying up, leaving local meet-ups as one of the few ways for enthusiasts to demo the latest gear. So I decided to host my first Pacific Northwest Area Home Theater Meetup in my hometown of Port Orchard, WA. What started out as a gathering of a few friends turned into a massive event...
Kris Deering Posted: Aug 22, 2013 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $12,000
At A Glance(br) Plus: Best contrast ratio performance ever • Hand-Picked Parts • 3D performance is catching up
Minus: Not true 4K • Loud in high lamp mode

THE VERDICT
The best contrast performance I’ve seen or measured to date and spectacular pixel focus and uniformity.

Earlier this year, I had the chance to review JVC’s spectacular DLA-X55R 3D D-ILA projector and proclaimed it “the best 2D picture I’ve seen from any projector in my room to date.” That was the truth until my personal DLA-X75R arrived shortly after. The DLA-X75R is one up in JVC’s lineup and had improved contrast performance and was actually a bit sharper. So when I was given the opportunity to review JVC’s flagship DLA-X95R I was more than happy to accept. This would give me the opportunity to see just how much improvement JVC’s hand-picked parts added to the performance. Boasting a 130,000:1 native contrast performance while supposedly maintaining the brightness of my DLA-X75R, I was more than intrigued.

Kris Deering Posted: Apr 26, 2013 8 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,299 At A Glance: Reference audio and video • HDMI and digital audio inputs • Built-in 192 kHz audio upsampling

They say that imitation is the ultimate form of flattery; I say if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. In the last few years, we’ve seen a few high-end Blu-ray players use the popular Oppo Digtal Blu-ray player as the core of their design, with at least one manufacturer having even taken it as far as dropping a complete Oppo BDP-83SE chassis into a different cabinet with a new faceplate and charging $3,000 more for it (only to be exposed later).

With the Azur 752BD, Cambridge Audio utilizes only the core video components and transport, which adds its own analog audio section and execution.

Kris Deering Posted: Mar 20, 2013 4 comments
PT-7030 Surround Processor
Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
 
PA 7-350 Amplifier
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: PT-7030, $1,799; PA 7-350, $2,799 At A Glance: Audiophile focus • Great dynamics • Lacks some bells and whistles

We’ve all heard the old saying, “less is more”, but that doesn’t always translate well to audio surround processors. While audiophile processors of yesteryear concentrated more on core components for the best possible sound quality and less on crazy surround modes and other digital processing, today’s market seems to demand these features.

Kris Deering Posted: Feb 28, 2013 2 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $5,000 At A Glance: Improved 3D performance • Quasi-4K performance at a lower price • Industry-leading contrast

JVC has been Home Theater’s standard bearer for reference quality, high-value displays these past few years, with one model or another finding its way into the reference systems of several members of our reviewing staff. There are projectors out there that outperform it in one way or another, but you’d be hard pressed to find any full line that performs as consistently well overall as JVC’s. This year’s lineup doesn’t introduce a lot of new features but does offer refinements to last year’s already strong line. For this review, I looked at the newest addition, the DLA-X55R. This is the only brand-new model, occupying a middle price point of $5,000 between the $3,500 entrylevel DLA-X35 and the more feature-laden DLA-X75R at $8,000. Notably, it brings JVC’s e-shift 4K technology to a new low price point.

Kris Deering Posted: Jan 24, 2013 23 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,199 At A Glance: Reference audio and video processing for other components • Asynchronous USB DAC • Bit-perfect video playback performance

Last year, I had the opportunity to review the Halo P 7 multichannel preamplifier from Parasound (Home Theater, June 2012). For that review, I mated the P 7 with Oppo’s then flagship Blu-ray player, the BDP-95, and it was a match made in heaven. I didn’t do a formal review of the BDP-95, but I made sure I conveyed how highly I thought of the reference Blu-ray player in the review and how its outstanding analog audio section was one of the best I’ve used. For this review, I got to try out Oppo’s successor to the BDP-95, the BDP-105, which builds on the BDP-95’s design and adds some features I honestly never thought I’d see in a Blu-ray player. In fact, I don’t even know if I would categorize the BDP-105 as a straight Bluray player, as it could easily be identified as a digital processor given its new connectivity and processing features for both audio and video. Whatever you want to call it, the BDP-105 shows once again that Oppo isn’t afraid of disrupting the industry and raising the already incredible bar set by its previous products.

Kris Deering Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $150 At A Glance: Reference-quality Blu-ray playback • Full 3D support including 2D-to-3D conversion • Lots of streaming options

It will be interesting to see where the Blu-ray player market goes in the next few years. We reached a point of diminishing returns on the newer lines of players. The Bluray spec hasn’t changed since the adoption of 3D, so there’s nothing new to add, and just about every device out there has an insurmountable number of streaming features. But that could have been said about last year’s models. Prices continue to drop, along with the size of the players, yet there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to go if you want something truly different from a player going forward. Maybe this is where the rumored 4K Blu-ray will make its entrance and reinvigorate the market. Still, the quality of player you can now get for just over a hundred bucks is impressive, and Panasonic’s latest is about all you can ask for if you want reference-quality Blu-ray playback and cutting-edge streaming features.

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