Chris Lewis

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Chris Lewis Posted: Nov 04, 2002 Published: Nov 05, 2002 0 comments
With the Showcase pre/pro-and-amp combo, Krell hits a new low—price point, that is.

Much is made of the intense competition that goes on in the receiver game, and understandably so. For the most part, these are companies that have piles of money to spend on advertising, have the resources and inclination to bring out new models every year, and have hordes of accountants and marketing types to keep watch on things likemarket placement, pricing, competitor activity, and so on. But what about the healthy (and growing) competition in the separates arena, especially at the lower (all things being relative) price points? It may not draw the receiver war's headlines, involve a fraction of the corporate expenditure and model turnover, or feature dueling laser shows from multilevel booths at industry trade shows. But, make no mistake, the competition here is no less intense, no less important to the industry as a whole, and no less beneficial to its particular crop of potential buyers.

Chris Lewis Posted: Jul 11, 2002 Published: Jul 12, 2002 0 comments
Who says small companies can't make big waves?

The fireworks are popping, the burgers are grilling, and the bourbon is flowing, which can only mean one thing: It's the end of another workday at the Lewis house. When that day falls early in the month of July, you can bet that some extra contemplation of all things American will be on the itinerary, as well. Let's face it: Is there anything more American than an underdog? I'll bet Ron Fone and Eugene Tang don't think there is, which may be why they decided back in 1998 to start Sherbourn right here in the USA—in Boston, no less. Sure, market size, the economy, and the fact that both men were already working for American companies were undoubtedly the real cause. But, somewhere in the back of their minds, they had to figure that, if a loose confederation of farmers, merchants, and castaways from all over Europe could defeat (or at least outlast) the greatest military power of the time and forge a nation that would quickly become a world superpower, then a small, sharply focused amplifier company just might be able to shoulder in with the big boys and get its piece of the pie.

Chris Lewis Posted: Jun 11, 2002 Published: Jun 12, 2002 0 comments
Energy's updated Veritas line lives up to its legacy

It was a question I hadn't considered until I stepped into the listening room on that gloomy Monday morning to greet my Canadian guests. Then it hit me like a slap shot to the forehead. Could I be the unbiased, emotionally unruffled reviewer that I know I am on this day, or was my bitterness simply too strong to give these visitors their fair shake? For you see, it was less than 24 hours earlier that one of the most important games in North American hockey history—the gold-medal final between the United States and Canada—had ended in utter disappointment for the Stars and Stripes. And now, these Canadian speakers were staring me right in the face—their phase plugs pointing at me in ridicule, their ports directing a sly, triumphant wink my way, and their cabinets standing a little taller and straighter after 50 years of Olympic-hockey frustration. My doubts quickly passed, though, as my foreign guests began expertly filling the room with the soothing sounds of the Mississippi delta and Virginia mountains, bringing an undeniable calm over me—even a hint of resignation. As much as I love hockey, it's their game, after all. If Canada starts beating us in football or baseball, I'll know the sports gods have really turned their backs on the good old U.S. of A.

Filed under
Chris Lewis Posted: May 09, 2002 Published: May 10, 2002 0 comments
Our first look at Ultra 2 and the first certified system from Snell and Pioneer.

It may be time to start asking the question that's asked of all pastimes with hobbyist roots when their popularity surges: Is home theater a permanent cultural phenomenon or just another fad destined to burn out before its time? Recent evidence certainly shades the former. DVD-Video has been the catalyst for an unprecedented boom in the popularity of home theater and should probably be credited with completing home theater's undeniable transition from novelty act to mainstream entertainment that began with Dolby Surround and the first inexpensive multichannel speaker system. But is home theater a cultural phenomenon the way that the computer is a cultural phenomenon? Do a majority of Americans actively seek to make it a part of their lives day in and day out? Not yet—but home theater's high-water mark is still to come.

Chris Lewis Posted: Apr 09, 2002 Published: Apr 10, 2002 0 comments
Who says HTIBs have to sound bad?

I can still remember the first time I heard the phrase "high-end home-theater-in-a-box" uttered in public and the reaction it brought at a press conference. Half of the crowd simply laughed off the idea, and the other half began muttering about the demise of civilization, openly pondering the oxymoronic nature of what they had just heard. Admittedly, I counted myself in the former group. While I didn't take the announcement as confirmation that the apocalypse was upon us, I did chuckle, make a few sarcastic remarks to those around me, and begin setting an over/under in my mind for how long it would take for this piece of marketing magic to expire. After all, who was going to pay thousands of dollars for a system that came in a single package?

Filed under
Chris Lewis Posted: Apr 09, 2002 Published: Apr 10, 2002 0 comments
Another contender in the $1,000 range.

It can be a daunting task for some: dipping your toes into the deeper end of the home theater pool and crossing over the $1,000, advanced-swim rope. Sure, we all know that there are people in our little world who will spend thousands of dollars on cable alone. However, the simple reality is that, for those who are unwilling or unable to spend as much money on an audio/video system as they might on a car or a house, stacking up that first pile of 10 or more C-notes for a single system element isn't a decision made lightly. Luckily, options abound at this level, especially in the receiver market. I don't know of a company that makes receivers that doesn't have at least one around the $1,000 price point, beckoning the frugal to dive in. Once you've decided to take the plunge, the only hard part is figuring out which one is right for you.

Chris Lewis Posted: Feb 02, 2002 Published: Feb 03, 2002 0 comments
It sounds much bigger than it looks.

The question is an old but still fundamental one: Can you make small speakers perform like big speakers? This isn't necessarily the question that creators of small speakers ask themselves during creation, nor will it probably enter the mind of the small-speaker consumer at the time of purchase. Still, I'll wager that it's the first question your ears will ask when you place them in the middle of your new compact home theater system. Let's face it: All other factors being equal, it's easier for large speakers to do certain things, and many of these things are especially critical in your home theater.

Chris Lewis Posted: Feb 02, 2002 Published: Feb 03, 2002 0 comments
Don't believe us? Just check out Arcam's DV27 DVD player.

Killing time on an airplane is never an easy thing to do. Thankfully, over the past couple of years, I've developed an entertaining way to do just that on my return trips from our industry trade shows: reliving all of the bizarre things people have told me over the previous days. The source of these statements is broad-based: manufacturers, PR people, dealers, and even my fellow journalists (yours truly, of course, has never said anything dumb at a show—as far as you know). Maybe it's the long hours and lack of sleep or the rivers of free booze that wind their way through these events. At this year's CEDIA Expo, a representative from a large manufacturer (which will go unnamed) resolutely declared that, outside of the lowest price ranges, nobody is going to buy a DVD player that doesn't process DVD-Audio or SACD. Maybe he was trying to appeal to my well-documented affinity for these high-resolution formats, or maybe he hadn't quite sobered up yet. I imagine that my dumbfounded look made it clear that even a biased audio fellow like myself certainly couldn't agree at this stage in the game—if ever.

Filed under
Chris Lewis Posted: Jan 03, 2002 Published: Jan 04, 2002 0 comments
The receiver drum beats on.

In case you hadn't noticed, the receiver market is proceeding at a breakneck pace. It almost seems as though new models are hitting the store shelves every month. Hardly a year goes by in which each receiver manufacturer doesn't introduce new models, if not entirely new lines. Part of this phenomenon is based on the rapid expansion of processing options and other technologies, and part of it is simply business as usual in the receiver game. Receiver buyers, in general, have always seemed to focus on features, options, and having the latest technology at their fingertips—no matter what. As we know, receiver manufacturers are more than happy to oblige.

Chris Lewis Posted: Jan 03, 2002 Published: Jan 04, 2002 0 comments
The basics of bass management.

Bass: It is undoubtedly the most misunderstood aspect of a home theater system's performance and, in some ways, the least appreciated—especially among the higher-end ranks. Bass' bad rap (no pun intended) derives from a number of sources, but its fundamental undoing is its poor implementation in the vast majority of audio systems—from the genius who cruises around with 10 $50 monotone subwoofers in the trunk of his car to the home theater owner who hasn't put forth the considerable time and effort it takes to properly calibrate low-frequency output. Poor-quality subs, of which there is no shortage, are as much to blame in this situation as user error. The bottom line is that quality bass performance is critical to any audio, music, or home theater system, and its journey begins long before the signals ever reach our speakers.

Pages

X
Enter your Sound & Vision username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading