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Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 22, 2016 9 comments
Today marks the official launch of Vizio’s four-model P-Series lineup of high-dynamic range-enabled HDTVs at prices ranging from $1,000 for a 50-inch model to $3,800 for a 75-inch model. But that’s just part of the story.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 01, 2016 Published: Feb 29, 2016 1 comments
Few have done more to advance the state of the art in audio reproduction than J. Robert Stuart, co-founder, chairman, and technical director of England’s prestigious Meridian Group, Life Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), and recipient of the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. In a recent video commemorating the honor, Meridian co-founder and long-time collaborator, Allen Boothroyd—the man responsible for the brand’s elegant designs—observed: “I never realized when I set up business with Bob that the guy’s a genius.” Genius, indeed...
Bob Ankosko Posted: Feb 16, 2016 2 comments
When JBL fired up the latest iteration of its state-of-the-art Synthesis system at 2015 CEDIA Expo, more than a few jaws dropped (ours included). The system mated a mind-blowing array of 32 speakers with a 17-foot-wide screen and a battery of amplifiers that delivered 10-plus kilowatts of power to the (eight) subwoofers alone. Talk about visceral.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Feb 11, 2016 1 comments
Way back in 1958 when stereo was a novelty, the comedy duo Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding released Bob And Ray Throw A Stereo Spectacular, a whimsical LP showcasing the marvels of two-channel sound.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Feb 02, 2016 4 comments
What’s not to like about a video projection system that throws a dazzling 147-inch 4K image on the wall from only a few inches away? No need to run wires and hang a bulky box from the ceiling or build an alcove in the back of the room to hide it away. And no distracting shadows when Uncle Ted stands up in the middle of the movie to stretch…again. Even better, the Sony LSPX-W1S is 21 inches deep and stands only 10.5 inches off the floor. Its decorative aluminum grille lends an air of elegance, concealing the projector in what could easily be mistaken for a high-end baseboard heating unit.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 27, 2016 3 comments
When I picked up Pioneer’s SE-MASTER1 headphone at CEDIA Expo in October, I knew it was special. Substantial yet lightweight and exceptionally well crafted with scrupulous attention to detail, right down to the contoured ear cushions and engraved serial number. (Sorry, S/N 00001 is already spoken for.) If you were to crack open the ear cups, you’d find the same commitment to excellence in the form of a highly refined ceramic-coated aluminum diaphragm surrounded by a ribbed ring, designed to reduce distortion, all framed in a sturdy aluminum alloy to minimize resonance.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 30, 2015 3 comments
I’ve met enough top speaker designers over the years to know that they’re all obsessive. And I mean that in a good way. To design a great speaker, you have to be obsessive. You have to be prepared to spend countless hours in the lab and in listening rooms evaluating and tweaking every conceivable variable to isolate that elusive mix of art and science that yields a speaker capable of fooling listeners into thinking they’re experiencing a live performance. A tall order, to be sure. Geoff Martin is not a designer, but as Bang & Olufsen’s tonmeister, he plays a critical role in the development of every speaker the Danish company makes. What’s a tonmeister? Read on.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 24, 2015 0 comments
Our assessment of Digital TV’s first year was not all rosy as you can see from the Digital TV Report Card published in the December 1999 issue.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 18, 2015 2 comments

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $395

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Striking design
Excellent build quality
Impressive sound
Subwoofer output (for gamers and bass hounds)
Minus
A remote control would be nice (for some applications)

THE VERDICT
The extraordinary Talisman speakers take desktop music to a new level.

The decision to feature Serene Audio’s Talisman in our Premiere Design section (November) was a no-brainer. We’ve seen lots of unusual speakers over the years but nothing quite like the squiggly lines of Sia Rezaei’s imaginative design. You might hate it, but I find it inspiring. And it’s a desktop speaker that’s only 8 inches tall. I don’t know about you, but I spend way too many hours pecking away in front of a computer, usually with Pandora playing in the background through a pair of cheap (no excuses, I know) computer speakers. The promise of great sound from visually striking desktop speakers appeals to me, so I asked Rezaei to send me a set of Talismans.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 03, 2015 0 comments
I know you don’t want to be the guy or gal who gives questionable—OK, useless— presents. Apart from the awkward head-nodding and forced smiles, the act of giving a bogus gift reflects badly on you, as in: I ran in Target a quarter to five on Christmas Eve and grabbed the first [tie/sweater/gloves/underwear] I saw. Don’t go there! We’ve already screened a dozen gifts for you at prices starting as low as 30 bucks. All you have to do is find a match for that special person(s) on your list. How hard can that be?

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