Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Filed under
Daniel Kumin Posted: Feb 21, 2014 1 comments

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $1,500

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Powerful, deep bass from a compact 10-inch box Elegant visual design Flexible, fully implemented two-way crossover
Minus
Expensive

THE VERDICT
A small, or at least smaller, subwoofer that goes truly low, loud, and clean—and looks sharp doing it.

What can you say about a subwoofer? It goes this low, that loud. It has these jacks, knobs, and features and is yea big and costs yon dollars. And really, that’s about it; almost all other discussion is so much verbiage.

Response “flatness” from a speaker covering barely two octaves is of little consideration unless a sub is horribly peaky (a few are), especially since room effects invariably dwarf such variations anyway.

Filed under
Daniel Kumin Posted: Jan 23, 2014 7 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Powerful yet lightweight
Fast, HD onscreen menus
Built-in Wi-Fi
Minus
Limited audio streaming formats
Unfriendly DLNA streaming navigation
Surround-mode selection a bit clunky

THE VERDICT
A highly competitive audio and video performer in the kilobuck range, H/K’s AVR 3700 should do any home theater justice.

Harman/Kardon is among the quartet of major brands of American audio launched following World War II. (McIntosh, Marantz, and Sherwood are the others.) It’s further distinguished as the only one continuously retained by its owners as a U.S. company—though H/K today is just one brand of the sprawling Harman International empire. (History sidebar: During the Carter presidency, H/K was sold to Beatrice Foods while founder Sidney Harman served as Carter’s Under Secretary of Commerce; Harman then reacquired the company.)

Daniel Kumin Posted: Jan 02, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $7,500

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Superb sonics from high-resolution digital sources
Substantial amplifier power
Unusual looks; fine finish quality
Minus
No headphone or other additional outputs
Un-ergonomic remote controller

THE VERDICT
Reference-quality sound from hi-rez music files made simple—at a reference-grade price.

What form will the Audiophile System of the Future take? It’s an open question, though it’s a pretty fair bet that the pallet-loads of tube power amps and skyscraper speakers of the high end’s golden age will not return any time soon. One proposed answer, from Wadia Digital, is the Intuition 01 power DAC, a swoopily formed oblong that incorporates very substantial two-channel amplification (190 watts x 2 into 8 ohms, rated), highly sophisticated digital-to-analog conversion facilities, and basic input-selection and volume controls.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Oct 08, 2013 3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Fine performance and sound
Elegant looks
Clear value
Minus
No mute control
Limited detail in volume readout

THE VERDICT
As an integrated amplifier/DAC combo for serious listeners, the D 3020’s audio quality and value are unmistakable.

Audio types old enough to have viewed Chevy Chase’s pratfalls live rather than on demand may remember an unprepossessing integrated amplifier from an unfamiliar brand. The NAD 3020, despite a power rating laughably modest even in 1978 (20 watts per channel) and next to no features, gained notice because, as the lore went, “it sounded great.” And it did—thanks to intelligent amplifier design, a conservative power rating, and the value—widely underappreciated, then and now—of dynamic headroom.

Filed under
Daniel Kumin Posted: Apr 03, 2006 0 comments
What We Think
It's not cheap, but Inteset's luxury-class Windows Media Center server does it all, and does it well.
After years of false starts, the age of convergence app
Daniel Kumin Posted: Dec 29, 2009 0 comments
Key Features
$800 yamaha.com
• 3 HDMI inputs, 1 output • Fully graphical onscreen
Daniel Kumin Posted: May 24, 2013 1 comments

You can’t get much plainer than Outlaw’s new Model 975 preamp/processor. With its unadorned black chassis and fascia and plain white lettering, the 975’s un-cosmetics speak of a component conceived to do a job, completely and effectively, and to otherwise stay the hell out of the way.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Jan 01, 2007 0 comments

I encountered no glitches or surprises while testing the Sunfire Theater Grand Receiver 3. Power output was consistently among the highest I have measured from a multichannel receiver, and its 165 watts (22.2 dBW) per channel with 5 channels driven represents a clear benchmark for the category (3 to 4 dB greater than flagship receivers from many other manufacturers achieve).

Filed under
Daniel Kumin Posted: Jan 19, 2004 0 comments

Photos by Tony Cordoza Samsung's SIR-S4120R neatly combines two of the coolest products in today's pantheon of A/V wonders - digital satellite TV receivers and TiVo video hard-disk recorders (HDRs) - in one trim component that looks more or less like an ordinary DirecTV receiver.

Filed under
Daniel Kumin Posted: Feb 08, 2011 0 comments

Where do you start when converting a music collection to data files for home (and portable) playback? In the January 2011 issue, we defined key terms and explored the pros and cons of both lossy (data-compressed) and lossless (uncompressed) music-file formats. Now we'll put that knowledge to use. With space at a premium in these columns, instead of debating all the options I'll just tell you what I do and why, and hope that you can work out your best strategy from there.

Formal Fit

Pages