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Fred Manteghian

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 15, 2006 0 comments

Custom installation speaker manufacturer Speakercraft decided that their dealers should get a little culture while they're in town. Well respected artists have provided works of art for display. Nice touch Speakercraft!

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 15, 2006 0 comments

Hosting a <i>Buffy the Vampire Slayer</i> pajama party? Integra introduces a six DVD changer that will let go through a whole season of your favorite TV show without having to get up. The DPC-7.7 isn't some lowbrow unit either, featuring HDMI outputs and video upscaling to 1080i or 720p, though it won't do anything to fix Josh Wheadon's decision to shoot everything in a 4x3 aspect ratio (What were you thinking Josh???). Price is a super reasonable $400.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 15, 2006 0 comments

HDMI cables are subject to misbehaving. The longer the run, the bigger the chance that the desired "I" signal pattern is turned into something that looks more like the oscilloscope sine wave that opens classic episodes of "Outer Limits." But you can control the vertical and horizontal, so to speak, with some HDMI extenders. There are several kinds available, from inexpensive inline devices like the UltraLink that worked for Tom (but not for me) and there are more heavily engineered solutions like the Etheral Restorer.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 15, 2006 0 comments

Onkyo's HT-S990THX is a whole Home Theater in a Box. Actually, it's a Home Theater in a Really Big Box. For $1,099 you get a 7.1 110 watt per channel receiver, three LCR two-way speakers (with two woofers and a single tweeter) for the front channel, and four smaller two-way speakers for the surrounds and a 10" powered sub as well. There's no HDMI inputs, but there <i>is</i> a THX logo on the front panel that speaks volumes about the quality you should expect. Absolutely amazing at this price. I heard a rumor that Home Theater magazine has one in for review (hint: check your newsstands or better yet, subscribe!)

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 15, 2006 0 comments

English speaker manufacturer Tannoy made their name with concentric driver arrays, but technology and nostalgia were combined in their Prestige line that pays homage to their past. The Kensingtons ($11,000/pr) are two way speakers in gorgeous wood cabinets. The drivers and cabinets are handmade in England. I rapped on them and they are solid and tight. The side by side vertical slots that run top to bottom along the corners of the speaker (not visible in this shot, unfortunately) are the vents for the bass. Powered with a Manley Amp Stingray integrated tube amp and driven by a Denon CD player, the sound was really quite good, even amongst the aural clutter that is the show floor.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 15, 2006 0 comments

Dual ATSC tuners, dual cable card inputs, a 250 GB SATA drive that will give you 32 hours of high definition programming, HDMI output and that THX logo, a first for any DVR. What did THX do? They gave Tivo notes, and Tivo redesigned their circuit boards to reduce interference and noise as the good folks at THX found it. The thing next to the remote that looks like the world's smallest cell phone is really a wireless transmitter that hooks via a USB cable to the back of the Tivo unit and "joins" your wireless network allowing you to get program guides wirelessly. Really cool. $799. Can't wait!

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 14, 2006 0 comments

Never fails. Audio folks never know how to setup video displays. This plasma is set to SuperDuper Scope, something like 3:1. That's an aspect ratio that would make Lawrence of Arabia blush.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 14, 2006 1 comments

REL introduced three new and highly affordable subs. The smallest, the T3, has an 8" down firing woofer and 8" front firing passive woofer and a built in 150 watt amp. The largest, the T1 (also quite petite by subwoofer standards) doubles the power and brings both drivers up to 10". While I didn't get to hear them, they looked really attractive, especially in cherry wood with black metal (they are available in pure white on white and black ash on black as well). One key feature real "stereophiles" are going to like is that there is both a speaker level input and a line level LFE input and they can both be hooked up simultaneously. REL claims the bass characteristics of your amplifier are better served up in this fashion when listening to stereo than when using an LFE feed, as you would for home theater. Prices range from $500 up to $1000.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 14, 2006 0 comments

KEF has a solution for people who don't want a lot of speakers in their room, their new FiveTwo Series. The two models in the series, the floor standing model 11 and stand mounted model 7, split the center channel signal between a driver in each of the speakers (that 3rd one from the top in the picture.) The sides of both models feature flat side mounted driver arrays that shoot the sound out to the sides and, presumably, around the room enough to fill in for what isn't in the back. A special connector is provided with the appropriate leads for your receiver or amp so a consumer doesn't have to worry about dragging three speaker cables to each speaker to make this all work.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 14, 2006 3 comments

Sonus Faber speakers are really pretty special and every time I've heard them, fantastic sounding. They developed some special speaker cable that they used internally in their Stradavari flagship speaker and their method, quite unique I'd have to say, lead them to introduce the Yter series of speaker cables. These forged cables are terminated in special banana shapes only because they're made in the same pouring and forging process. The silver alloy used in these cables is literally melted and poured into the final shape. By audiophile standards, the price of $1,500 for an 8' pair is actually quite reasonable.

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