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Steven Stone

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Steven Stone Posted: Jul 01, 2003 0 comments

<I>Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, Kevin Smith, Hudson (Heidi) Leick, Ted Raimi. Various directors. Aspect ratio: 4:3. Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround 2.0. Seven discs. 1062 minutes. 1995. Anchor Bay Entertainment 00008. NR. $89.90.</I>

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Steven Stone Posted: Jun 29, 2003 0 comments

A year ago, Texas Instruments' new HD2 chip for DLP projectors, with a native resolution of 1280x720, was little more than a promise. Today you can hardly walk into a home-theater dealer without being hit in the eye by a DLP projector based on the HD2. It's just too bad that most HD2-equipped projectors cost more than $12,000.

Steven Stone Posted: Mar 03, 2003 0 comments

Vienna Acoustics likes to name their speakers after composers and classical musical forms. So far, they've covered Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Haydn, Mahler, Mozart, Schoenberg, and Waltz. The Strauss, Oratorio, and Waltz are Vienna's three most recent additions to this distinguished list, and they form the heart of a new home-theater and surround-music system designed for folks who demand great sound without completely gutting their 401(k)s. Batons ready? And ah-one and ah-two . . .

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Steven Stone Posted: Feb 08, 2003 0 comments

For such a tiny projector, the new Plus Piano Avanti HE-3200 has an absurdly long name. The HE-3200 is the next step up the Plus line from the Piano HE-3100, which I reviewed in the December 2001 Guide. For an additional $600, you get more features, greater setup flexibility, and maybe even a better picture.

Steven Stone Posted: Dec 11, 2002 0 comments

In the realm of 2-channel high-end audio, tube power amplifiers are still king&mdash;so you'd expect them to hold court, or at least a decent market share, in the world of high-end home theater as well. Alas, most home theaters are tubeless, except for the cathode-ray tubes in CRT projectors and direct-view monitors. Perhaps the time has come for tube power amplifiers to make an inroad into home theater. Manley Laboratories' new Snapper monoblock&mdash;the first tube-based power amplifier to be reviewed in the <I>Guide</I>&mdash;could be just the unit to pull the sword from the stone.

Steven Stone Posted: Nov 07, 2002 0 comments

Once upon a time, several professors and associates from a small college in Fairfield, Iowa, formed an audiophile company named Enlightened Audio Designs. More widely known by its initials, little EAD created state-of-the-art 2-channel equipment whose performance rivaled products from much larger companies. When it became clear that home theater would become a major force in the market, they jumped into it with gusto, producing the TheaterMaster audio processor, SwitchMaster video processor, Theater Vision LD transport, and PowerMaster amplifier&mdash;all within a year of the first multichannel product rollouts.

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Steven Stone Posted: Oct 19, 2002 0 comments

Founded in 1927 by Guy Fountain, Tannoy was the first company to develop a moving-coil speaker with DC-energized magnets. During World War II, Tannoy speakers became so common on RAF airfields and in British railway stations that the word "Tannoy" became synonymous with "speaker." Your average high-tech company is considered old after 10 years; to reach the age of 75 makes Tannoy positively prehistoric.

Steven Stone Posted: Sep 09, 2002 0 comments

Boom. Thud. Crash. What would a movie be without low-frequency effects? Even non-macho films like <I>Sense and Sensibility</I> have their share of carriage-wheel rumblings and horse-hoof thuds. Without a serious subwoofer that extends down to a solid 30Hz, and preferably even lower, a home-theater system can hardly be called "high-end."

Steven Stone Posted: Jul 12, 2002 0 comments

For more than two years, audio- and videophiles have been hearing about the SACD and DVD-Audio formats. But judging from the number of units sold, far more people have heard about the new formats than have heard them in their own homes. Until recently, I was among that poor huddled mass, but the arrival of Marantz's new SA-12S1 SACD player has changed all that. Is SACD worthy of the hype? More specifically, is the SA-12S1 worth its lofty price tag of $3800? Welcome to the wonderful world of early adoption.

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Steven Stone Posted: Jun 18, 2002 0 comments

DLP projectors are the future. Of course, Sony and Philips said the same thing about the compact disc in 1983. When I heard my first CD player, the Sony CDP-101, I lasted 15 seconds before I left the room&mdash;it sounded that horrible. The first Digital Light Processing (DLP) projector I laid eyes on fared much better. I watched it for a full five minutes before I fled, blinded by the "rainbow effect."

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