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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 15, 2006 2 comments
When Revel revamped its highly successful 10-year-old Ultima line as the Ultima2, the Lexicon people needed come up with new high-current amps that can drive difficult loads. Say hello to the ZX-7 ($7999), RX-7 ($5999), and GX-7 ($2999). The biggest gun delivers 300 watts times seven into eight ohms, 450 watts into four ohms, and is stable down to two ohms. Oh, and make sure you've got a dedicated 20-amp circuit to run it.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 15, 2006 0 comments
Paul Barton has been putting his legendary ear (actually, both of them) to work in an overhaul of the Stratus line. He's bringing over the liquid-cooled aluminum dome tweeters and fiberglass woofers from the even higher-end Platinum line and promises furniture-grade cabinetry like the gleaming gloss-black beauties shown here. They are the GT1 tower ($1999/pair), GB1 bookshelf ($1099/pair), and GC1 center ($849/each). Strong bass and a sweet midrange are givens. These may become the midpriced high-end speakers to beat.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 15, 2006 0 comments
Didn't get to hear them, unfortunately, but don't the Yamaha Soavos look great? They include a full surround set, shown, plus the floorstanding Soavo-1 and monitor-sized Soavo-2, not shown. Pricing TBD. Yamaha also showed the RX-V2700 receiver ($1799) with 140 watts times seven, iPod dock (of course, $100), XM satellite radio (the antenna goes for about 20 bucks), and network jack for Internet radio or connection of a multi-zone Yamaha MusicCast system. Is there an all-Yamaha system in your future?
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 15, 2006 0 comments
Joining Definitive's in-ceiling lineup is the RCS II, a step up from the company's smaller existing in-ceiling models. Sealed into a medite enclosure are a one-inch aluminum dome tweeter, two 5.25-inch woofers, and two 6.5-inch passive radiators. The enclosure is tilted at a 45-degree angle. Price: $569 each.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 15, 2006 0 comments
A hot issue among surround buffs is HDMI and what it does or doesn't do. If you want your system to handle next-gen surround formats like DTS-HD Master Audio, you need HDMI version 1.3 connectivity in your receiver. According to Denon's Steve Baker, his company's receivers will support HDMI 1.3 "as soon as the chipsets become available." That is likely to happen in 2007 though it's hard to be any more specific than that. In the meantime, you'll have to be content with the fact that Denon's ASD-1R docking station ($129) comes in both iPod-white and iPod-black.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 14, 2006 0 comments
Speak of the devil.

In the Faustian struggle for the soul of the audio industry, Mephistopheles mans the sales floor, giving the public what it wants, namely on-wall speakers. The beckoning demon's proposition is irresistible. If you're hanging a flat-panel display, why not hang speakers there, too? All other things being equal, on-walls are at a sonic disadvantage when it comes to soundstage depth. But, as any competent demon knows, all things are rarely equal. So, let's restate the proposition: If on-walls are what you want, why not buy the best-sounding ones you can find? If they sound good in the space and look good on the wall, you might find yourself handing the demon your credit card.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 14, 2006 0 comments
Flat and fit.

How would you feel if you woke up one day in a perfect body? You'd pull back the blanket and look down on a perfectly flat tummy (something I haven't seen in years, although heaven knows I'm trying). Combination skin is a thing of the past—you seem to have been remade in some wonderful material. Eager to check yourself out in a mirror, you cross the room to find yourself resculpted in new and slimmer proportions. And, when you open your mouth, depending on your gender, you have either the purest soprano or the noblest baritone. In fact, you have both. I think this metaphor may be getting a bit perverse.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 14, 2006 0 comments
The STR-DA5200ES is one of two new models in Sony's higher-end ES receiver line. The 7 x 120 watt receiver has auto setup that that runs in just 30 seconds. With top-notch Faroudja DCDi video processing, it upconverts video sources to 1080p, offers scalable picture-in-picture for source monitoring, and offers on-the-fly color correction. The icon-based menu system hails from PSP. Available in October for $1500.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 14, 2006 0 comments
In a world where manufacturers all too often behave with a depraved indifference toward the muscles of the lower abdomen, Thiel has introduced a speaker that poses no hazard to the delicate. True, Jim Thiel dodged the all-important weight question, but judging from the way he picked it up and casually hefted it, the SCS4 should be just my kind of speaker. It has the same coaxial driver array as the SCS3, uses a challenging (Jim said) first-order crossover, and will ship before year-end for less than $1000. I will try this at home. The Thiel exhibit is using it as the center and surround speakers in a demo system with the floorstanding CS3.7--unveiled nine months ago at CES and previously unheard--serving as front left/right.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 11, 2006 0 comments
In the span of my career, trade show coverage by consumer publications has gone from verboten to voluminous. Are you excited about this week's CEDIA and our coverage of it? Please tell me—I'd like to know!


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