Bob Ankosko

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 23, 2014 1 comments
The audio world has undergone dramatic change since stacks of McIntosh amplifiers powered the iconic Woodstock Festival in 1969. One thing that hasn’t changed much is the signature VU meter that’s become synonymous with McIntosh Labs, which has been making high-performance audio gear since 1949 when Frank McIntosh set out to build a better amplifier. His legacy lives on behind the glowing meters that adorn the elegant glass faceplate of Mac’s latest masterpiece, the MA8000 integrated amplifier.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 11, 2014 0 comments
In Japanese, “oto” means “sound.” At Leon Speakers, Horizon OTO is the name of the company’s latest soundbar, which is custom tailored to match the finish and width of any TV between 38 and 65 inches. Introduced at 2014 CES, OTO finesses six drivers—four 3-inch aluminum woofers and two cloth-dome tweeters—in a svelte MDF cabinet less than 2 inches deep; the drivers are arranged in left- and right-channel woofer-tweeter-woofer complements and powered by a 2 x 50-watt amplifier.

In addition to onboard Dolby Digital processing, OTO has a front-panel touch screen for easy control, optical and stereo analog inputs, and a wireless subwoofer output. OTO is priced at $2,895 or you can pair it with the optional Aaros A8-400 wireless subwoofer, featuring an 8-inch woofer and 400 watts of power, for $4,000.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
French speaker company Focal made its entry into the burgeoning soundbar market at 2014 CES with the clever two-piece Dimension system, comprising a parallelogram-shaped soundbar and optional matching subwoofer. The slender soundbar, which is only 3 inches deep and made of aluminum, can be used alone and mounted to the wall (bracket included) or mated with the 4.5-inch-deep “vibration-free” subwoofer to form a TV platform. Both pieces are 61 inches wide, making them appropriate for use with screens 50 inches or larger.

The soundbar plays down to 50 Hz and uses five, “ultra-flat” 4-inch drivers to keep the enclosure depth to a minimum. Highlights include “acoustic integration” settings to optimize performance and two HDMI jacks plus optical and analog inputs. The subwoofer, with two elliptical woofers in a push-pull configuration, is rated down to 30 Hz. A built-in six-channel amplifier delivers 450 watts of system power.

The Dimension soundbar is expected to sell for $1,400 when it becomes available later this year; the companion subwoofer will sell for $500.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
TOWERING TROPHY Quite possibly the most striking speaker system at 2014 CES, Scaena’s statuesque Iso-Linear Array is made of chrome-encased stone and boasts 15 midrange drivers and nine ribbon tweeters per column. The subwoofers have 18-inch drivers and are governed by a digital bass-management system that employs a 32-bit SHARP processor and 24-bit Crystal A/D and D/A converters. Asked who might be interested in this sonic work of art, designer Sunny Umrao does not mince words: “People who have the best but still want something more—a trophy of achievement.” At $75,000, it is a trophy, indeed.

Click below for more...

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 09, 2014 0 comments
If you love to listen to or play rock—particularly classic rock—then you know (love?) the Marshall sound. You can now own your own mini Marshall in the form of the Stanmore compact stereo speaker system, designed to look like a vintage Marshall guitar amp.

Available in black or cream, the finely appointed, 11-pound cabinet measures roughly 14 x 7 x 7 inches and packs a 5.25-inch woofer and two 0.75-inch dome tweeters powered by a 40 + 2 x 20-watt Class D amp.You can wirelessly stream music to the Stanmore via Bluetooth/aptX or plug in via an RCA input, minijack (coiled cord included), or optical input. Sorry, you can’t jack in your Les Paul. Pricing is expected to be in the $600 to $700 range.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 09, 2014 0 comments
Let’s face it, square and rectangular speakers are boring. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all, which is why I did a double take as I walked past the Edifier booth and spotted a row of colorful and stylish e25 Luna Eclipse speakers. How refreshing, though I had to admit the Luna reminded me of one of those egg chairs from the’60s, and in a setting right out of 2001: A Space Odyssey to boot.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 08, 2014 0 comments
Over the years International CES has become a melting pot of every imaginable consumer technology. The show has been a showcase for aftermarket car stereo and entertainment since the ’70s and has in recent years evolved into a showcase for new-car tech—from superbly integrated and great sounding entertainment systems to sophisticated sensors and head-up displays to Internet and Bluetooth connectivity, and more. From BMW to Chrysler, a record nine automakers are occupying 140,000 square feet of exhibit space at 2014 CES, many with booths reminiscent of the New York Auto Show. Let’s take a look…
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 08, 2014 0 comments
This gorgeously customized Harley, on display in the Diamond Audio booth at the 2014 CES, is enough to make a non-rider want to jump in the saddle and ride off into the sunset. Apart from its sheer beauty and the fact that it has a 12-speaker sound system powered by a single Diamond Audio Micro4 power amplifier, no one knew anything about the bike, and its owner was nowhere to be found when I stopped by the booth. I came back a second time and someone had put a placard on the seat that highlighted one other interesting fact about the sound system...
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 08, 2014 0 comments
Toshiba may not jumping head first into the curved screen craze sweeping across the TV industry but it is demonstrating another way to deliver an “immersive” TV experience at 2014 CES: Stretch the standard 16:9 screen to an extra-wide 21:9—or 2.35:1—so it perfectly matches the aspect ratio used for most of today’s blockbuster movies.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 08, 2014 0 comments
Southern rock kings Lynyrd Skynyrd—anchored by founding member Gary Rossington (guitar), original drummer Rickey Medlocke (guitar), and Johnny Van Zant, brother of original frontman, the late Ronnie Van Zant—mesmerized fans with a greatest hits show played to gritty perfection at the Hard Rock last night.

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