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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jul 14, 2016 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $599

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Stylish, sturdy design
Compact and battery powered
Easy setup, no apps required
Remote control included
Spacious, full-bodied sound
Digital audio input
Minus
Pricey
Not ideal for heavy pop/rock

THE VERDICT
The Core is a remarkable speaker that delivers excellent sound quality for its size, but its price is steep.

My wife thought I was crazy as I walked into the kitchen cradling a speaker while singing along with the Boz Scaggs classic “Look What You’ve Done to Me.” It’s not uncommon for me to serenade the family, but doing so with a “live” speaker in tow, well, that’s unusual even for (the goofball in) me. But that’s one of the things I love about Mass Fidelity’s remarkable Core: It’s so easy to move around. And then there’s the sound—we’ll get to that in a minute.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jul 12, 2016 0 comments
Nugs.net. Ever heard of ’em? I hadn’t but was intrigued when I saw the press release: “Live Music Pioneers nugs.net Launch Streaming Service.” Turns out the company has been making professional recordings of concert performances available to fans of jam bands for years—something followers of Gov’t Mule, Phish, and Widespread Panic probably already know. To learn more about this unique service, I reached out to founder Brad Serling.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Jun 17, 2016 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $400

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Killer outdoor music system
Super sturdy design
Battery powered
Awesome one-time, “no-fault replacement” policy
Minus
Pricey
Heavy!

THE VERDICT
The Monster Blaster will shock you (and your neighbors) with its powerful sound.

As I removed the Monster Blaster from its box, I felt like I was lifting a dumbbell from the rack. Seriously, the thing weighs about 17 pounds, and it’s built like a tank, ready for the rough and tumble of outdoor use.

And when I say rough and tumble, I’m not kidding. If you buy the Blaster from monsterproducts.com, it’s covered by a lifetime warranty with “one time, no-fault replacement.” As Monster explains on its website: “If the Blaster has any issues (your fault or ours), return the product and get a replacement.” Buy it elsewhere, and you get the one-year standard warranty.

Bob Ankosko Posted: Jun 16, 2016 0 comments
The Akoustic Arts “A” is one of the more unusual-looking speakers you will encounter, with its honeycomb of mini transducers (200 in all). But looks aren’t the only thing unusual about this speaker. Rather than spray sound in every direction like a conventional speaker, the A projects sound in a focused beam. As the Paris-based company likes to say, it’s “the speaker that only you can hear.” And it appears to be off and running. By mid-April, Akoustic Arts had raised more than $200,000, exceeding its Indiegogo funding goal by 662 percent in less than a month. We spoke with founder and CEO Ilan Kaddouch to learn more.
Bob Ankosko Posted: May 31, 2016 1 comments
On the Webpage dedicated to its most ambitious speaker system ever, Bang & Olufsen delivers the perfect, if not poetic setup:
It will not be for everybody. But it will be for the right somebody. Three years in the making, BeoLab 90 is the culmination of the wildest dreams of our acoustics department: creating the future of sound.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: May 10, 2016 8 comments
"The problem is that the current standard audio specifications for headphones and loudspeakers are almost useless in terms of indicating how good or bad they sound." —Sean Olive

Harman International, the multibillion company that supplies infotainment technology to automakers around the world and owns such storied audio brands as JBL, Infinity, Revel, Mark Levinson, and Lexicon, to name a few, dates back to 1953 when Sidney Harman and Bernard Kardon founded one of audio’s most iconic brands, Harman Kardon. The pioneering brand, which introduced the world’s first hi-fi (and later stereo) receiver, started with a commitment to pursue high-quality sound. That commitment endures through the work of Sean Olive, a 23-year Harman veteran...

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Apr 14, 2016 4 comments
I hate to open on a downer, but you need to know right up front that the magnificent TV shown here is available only in England and Germany. Did I mention it’s a Panasonic? And an OLED? Or that its U.S.-equivalent price is eleven grand? Yes, it’s true: The one-time plasma stalwart is making moves in a territory that until now has been ruled by LG. The Viera TX-65CZ950 was unveiled at the IFA electronics show in Berlin last September and shipped to select stores in Europe a month or so later. Panasonic also demonstrated the 65-inch TV at the CES 2016 in Las Vegas, giving us hope that it (or its more reasonably priced progeny) might be headed our way. There was no announcement regarding U.S. availability, however.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 31, 2016 0 comments
Morris Kessler with his classic SAE Mark 2 amplifier.

Even if you never heard his name you know his work. For nearly half a century Morris Kessler has been quietly designing and building world-class power amplifiers, not only for SAE—the iconic brand he founded in 1967—but for his other company ATI and a number of respected brands including Dynaco, Aragon, Crestron, Adcom, Integra Research, and B&K, to name a few. But that’s not all Kessler is known for...

Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 31, 2016 1 comments
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine was when I laid eyes on the 2HP-D, one of three amazing amplifiers that signal the return of Scientific Audio Electronics. Founded in 1967 by stealth designer Morris Kessler (see "15 Minutes with SAE Founder, Amp Guru Morris Kessler."), SAE has always been synonymous with world-class amplification, which in Kessler’s view boils down to three key ingredients: reliability, accuracy, and freedom from noise. As he puts it, “Voltage and current must be available to satisfy the demands of the program material, and the amplifier itself cannot intrude on the user experience.”
Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 22, 2016 5 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.

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