Fred Manteghian

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Fred Manteghian Posted: Feb 06, 2014 8 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,095

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Fulfills your innermost audiophile aspirations
Simple operation
Excellent proprietary room EQ
Minus
Kiss your sweet analog sources goodbye
Feature-wise, it’s missing a lot more than the kitchen sink

THE VERDICT
You’ll easily get through your diet of high-def viewing and listening with this great-sounding surround processor that works without a hitch.

I couldn’t make the John Mayer concert in Hartford a few weeks ago, but I heard it was great. Best I can do is throw the Born and Raised CD into the tray and set the AVP-18 surround processor to one of the DSP modes that turns a studio album into a concert event in your living room. Let’s see, he was at the open-air under-cover Comcast theater which has really great sound from most seats, so nothing slap-echo-happy like the over-the-top Stadium or Theater modes. Ahh, Rock has just the right amount of reverb tail.

Filed under
Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
Rotel’s RDD-1580 (top unit in picture) uses two Wolfson WM8740 digital-to-analog converters instead of a single converter in a configuration Rotel claims reduces noise and distortion. A front panel USB port accepts output from Apple iOS devices like an iPod. But most people will opt to stream music from their device to the Rotel via an included Bluetooth dongle that would plug into the USB port. A pair of coaxial and a pair of optical connections on the back should handle connections to a CD, DVD or Blu-ray player. The converter comes with a remote control or you can select which source to convert via the front panel buttons. Both single-ended RCA and balanced XLR outputs are available, the latter a very nice touch indeed. No pricing has been announced yet.
Filed under
Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
M&K’s X12 is a solid piece of form following function. I love the back panel, that’s why you’re seeing it too. You’ll see left/mono and right channel inputs, in both RCA and XLR form, as well unfiltered, pass through outputs. Low pass with the amp can be turned off, set to 80 Hz, or specified by a continuously variable dial that stretches from 50 Hz to 125 Hz. M&K is huge on THX and this X12 is no exception, with a THX reference switch that bypasses the level control.
Filed under
Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
The Integra DHC-60.5 is a more affordable preamp/processor than their existing DHC 80.3. At $2,000, it is a full $1,000 less. But it doesn’t seem to yield anything up in features. Fewer ISF calibration settings than big brother – but hey, ISF settings! While the 80.5 offers two in-room HDMI outputs to the DHC-60.5’s single HDMI output, the 60.5 has an HDNet (HDMI over Ethernet) output big brother lacks. With that, you can run video to another room or use Ethernet cable if your house is so wired, instead of HDMI. Best feature for me are the Bluetooth antenna on the back so now your phone is your media player. Got it!
Filed under
Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 27, 2013 1 comments
How much bandwidth is enough for the upcoming HDMI 2.0 standard? Well, if all you want to do is watch what you’re watching today, your current cable will work. Even if you want to watch 4K material, the standard developing HDMI Forum says you don't have to get new cable provided your cable meets the latest HDMI 1.4 spec. Step in Noel Lee of Monster Cable who is worried about future requirements for 8K and beyond. Monster announced their new cable will be capable of 31.5 Gbps, well over the 18 Gbps the HDMI forum says is required for 60 fps, 4K material. Nothing available yet, just the promise, but I’d believe the head Monster. Or else!
Filed under
Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 27, 2013 4 comments
The CX-A5000 is the new crowning jewel of the Aventage series introduced by Yamaha a few years ago. The 11 channels (not even counting the subs here folks) pre-pro uses Yamaha’s proprietary YPAO room correction software, four distinct zones and more ins and outs than the revolving doors in Washington D.C. The extra channels are a Yamaha trademark, you know the old, you bring a knife, I’ll bring a gun chestnut. But they are used to create front and rear “presence” channels which, if your room and budget allow, could make your movie experience all that much more intense.
Filed under
Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
Monster now makes headphones for the Skittles crowd, but unlike Skittles, these babies are $170 a pop (MSRP). Although there were none on display at Monster’s press event, Monster also announced their own tablet in matching, candy-licious colors. Little Richard and Teenage girls world-wide rejoice!
Filed under
Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
The RMB-1585 is a new flagship multi-channel amp from Rotel. High current class AB topology delivers 200 watts to each of its five channels via two massive toroidal transformers. Rotel credits the use of a total of 120,000 µF of British-made BHC “Slit Foil capacitance and the use of six output transistors per channel for the RMB-1585’s power delivery capability. This 80 pound behemoth offers both RCA and XLR inputs. From my perspective the $2,999 pricing is in line with separates of this quality and in many ways it’s a bargain!
Filed under
Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
KEF gets more diverse each year, which I suppose is a good idea. The Extreme Home Theater line of in wall speakers looks very promising, almost too good to hide. The Ci5160RL-THX has four 6-1/2” low frequency drivers and a Uni-Q based midrange and tweeter, and will probably retail between $2,500 and $3,000. In the picture you’re also seeing an in wall subwoofer, the Ci3160RLb-THX with three 6-1/2” bass drivers. To drive them, KEF will introduce the KASA500 stereo amplifier. In fact, that amp can be coupled to other KEF in wall subwoofers via its internal DSP. The estimated price target for this dual channel Class D amp is $1,000.
Filed under
Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
Two new products from Cambridge Audio caught my eye. It’s got that certain je nais c’est quoi that says I’d like to find a place to put it! First up is the three piece speaker system, the Minx M5. While the tiny 2” speakers in the cubes probably don’t produce bass frequencies as low as my IQ, the 5-1/4” subwoofer, easily placed at the foot of your desk, will certainly fill things out. With 60 watts of amplification built in, 15 for each of the satellites and 30 for the sub, it should have plenty of headroom to play cleanly to its limits. Best of all, the $299 asking price seems well set!

Pages

X
Enter your Sound & Vision username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading