Rob Sabin

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Rob Sabin Posted: Jan 05, 2015 1 comments
The first announcement of a 4K Blu-ray player and the return of the storied Technics audio brand, along with word of a new flagship UltraHDTV, were the big headlines for AV enthusiasts at Panasonic’s CES 2015 press conference this morning in Las Vegas.
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Rob Sabin Posted: Jan 01, 2015 0 comments
The Closer Is a Class Act

Last summer, Sound & Vision was invited to visit retired Yankee relief pitcher Mariano Rivera to profile a renovation that had been done, with JBL’s help, to his private home theater. Baseball fans know Rivera as the Major League’s all-time leader in saves, and undoubtedly a future Hall of Famer. As a New Yorker, I knew him as a fixture in my city for the nearly two decades he played here, when, on any given day from April through September (and frequently, October), he might be the figure gracing the back-cover sports page of the New York Daily News or Post. The very nature of Rivera’s work as a closer—to be trotted out in the late innings to hold a slim lead or demoralize the competition and give his team a chance at the tying or walk-off run—made him an exciting figure.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Dec 31, 2014 1 comments
Photography by William Psolka

With a little help from Harman, retired Yankee closer Mariano Rivera brought his aging home theater into the big leagues.

Mention the name of retired Yankee relief pitcher Mariano Rivera, and it evokes the image of a lean, lanky stick of a man in pinstripes, standing on the mound at the Stadium in the late inning of a big game, focused like a laser on his catcher before winding up and throwing yet another blinding, physics-defying cutter. This is the Rivera who, in 19 Major League seasons, played in 13 All-Star Games and was instrumental in helping the Yanks win five World Series, delivering both pinpoint strikes and wild thrills to millions of New Yorkers watching from the stands and at home.

Win or lose, when The Sandman was on the mound, it was always a great show.

Rob Sabin Posted: Dec 11, 2014 4 comments
Home theater enthusiasts know that when it comes to performance there is no real substitute for an AV receiver connected to discrete speakers spread around the room. But soundbars, those popular standalone TV speaker systems, have been getting better and better with each passing year, and some very respectable options have been turning up in the premium category. Here’s our current list of the best you can buy, with recommendations under $500, from $500 to $1,000, and above $1,000. For the full review (where available), click on the title of each product. —Rob Sabin
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Rob Sabin Posted: Nov 21, 2014 6 comments
This year’s CEDIA Expo in Denver could have been dubbed “Dolby Atmos Expo,” with no fewer than a dozen active demos at the show including Dolby’s own. It makes sense that CEDIA would be the Atmos coming-out party. As compelling as Atmos can be (check out Dan Kumin’s impressions of our first Atmos system), I’m of the mind that the customer shopping for a soundbar isn’t about to toss that idea in favor of a discrete component system just because he’s heard Atmos. On the other hand, custom integrators building media and theater rooms are in good position to bump what would have been a conventional 5.1-channel or 7.1-channel system to a 5.1.4- or 7.1.4-channel Atmos system. They, along with enthusiasts like you and me who map our own upgrade paths, will drive this market.
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Rob Sabin Posted: Oct 24, 2014 2 comments
If This Is Hell, Count Me In

I got a good belly laugh as I was proofreading our Perfect Focus section for the November print issue. I’d just finished putting together our Letters section, in which I’d responded to a reader inquiry about Dolby Atmos with one of my usual geeky diatribes. Then I turned to Perfect Focus and saw...

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Rob Sabin Posted: Sep 10, 2014 Published: Sep 11, 2014 0 comments
In a keynote speech that marked the beginning of CEDIA’s 25th anniversary celebration this week in Denver, Sony Electronics President and COO Mike Fasulo touted an “Install Innovation” theme and took attendees through a variety of new and growing profit opportunities that Sony, along with industry partners who joined Fasulo on stage, is presenting to today’s integrators.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Sep 05, 2014 5 comments
At the highest level of execution, building a home theater is an expression of fine art, an engineering as well as aesthetic endeavor that combines technical know-how with inspired interior design, all with the idea of creating a room that wows its inhabitants no matter if the lights are on or off. The end game of a great theater room can be summed up in a single word: impact.
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Rob Sabin Posted: Jul 08, 2014 1 comments
Tom Nousaine Loved Audio, the Bass Most of All

As we went to press for the upcoming September print issue, word began circulating about the passing of Tom Nousaine, long-time former contributor to Sound & Vision, its predecessor Stereo Review, and several other home and car audio magazines. He was 69 years old.

Tom was a one-of-a-kind character, a business manager by day for Ameritech (one of the Baby Bells) prior to his retirement, and a tireless audio enthusiast and writer in the rest of his waking hours. He was a contrarian...

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Rob Sabin Posted: Jul 02, 2014 0 comments
Hi-Res Audio and Headphones Go Hand in Hand

Only the eldest among Sound & Vision readers would know that the use of the term high-performance to define a better class of headphones is a relatively new development. Back in the day, high performance headphones were the only kind you could buy. Classics like the Koss Pro4AA (born in 1970 and still available in a slightly revised form for $99) and the Sennheiser HD414 (pictured here) were the first crossover ’phones that found popularity with both engineers and consumers. They brought a new kind of private and intimate listening experience to ’70s and ’80s audiophiles.

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