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Brent Butterworth

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 24, 2011 0 comments

The Internet has come alive with cheers of audiophiles and jeers of audiophobes since CNN.com reported unconfirmed rumors that download services such as iTunes and Amazon MP3 would soon begin offering music files with 24-bit resolution. Technically, this is a step up from the 16-bit resolution available in most downloads. But predictably, non-audiophiles are criticizing this move as little more than a naked marketing ploy.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 17, 2011 0 comments

I can tell you in one paragraph how to set up a pair of small speakers, but I could write a book about setting up subwoofers. It’s the most challenging aspect of home audio because the resonances in a room tend to stress certain bass frequencies and strangle others. The effects of those resonances change from place to place in a room, so the sound may be perfect in one seat and a mess the next chair over.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 10, 2011 0 comments

I have a confession to make: I've been a woofer wuss for most of my career as an audio journalist. When I started 21 years ago, there weren't many good subwoofers, and the little ones were usually less bad than the big ones, so I stuck mostly with smaller subs for my personal systems.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 09, 2011 0 comments

Do you trust your ears? I don’t. By that I mean I don’t trust my ears. Frankly, though, I don’t trust anybody’s. I’ve heard laymen enthuse about systems that had little more to offer than a few notes of booming bass. I’ve heard audio veterans trash impeccably engineered speakers — and praise speakers that showed glaring technical flaws.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 27, 2011 0 comments

Speaker makers fall into two general groups: the Canadian school and the artsy school. The Great White Northerners - guided by decades of study conducted at the Canadian National Research Council in Ottawa - fuss and fuss until their speakers deliver perfect measured performance, then run test after test with trained listeners to make sure their speakers sound practically flawless.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 26, 2011 0 comments

If I review more speakers like the Gallo Acoustics Nucleus Reference Strada, my Office Depot bill will skyrocket. Within the first 2 minutes of listening to this speaker, I filled a page and a half of my lab notebook with verbiage - and the torrential scribbling continued for days, consuming paper faster than a schnauzer snarfs up Snausages.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 19, 2011 0 comments

As I stood chatting with the pilot of a B-1B Lancer supersonic bomber at Edwards Air Force Base recently, I realized that audio geeks have something in common with military aviators. "This air- plane is older than I am," the pilot mused. I thought to myself, "So are some of the speaker designs I review." Like the military, audiophiles don't reflexively throw stuff out if it still works. See?

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 12, 2011 0 comments

You might think that by now engineers would be out of ideas for speakers. After all, how many ways can you combine a woofer and a tweeter? But this year's Consumer Electronics Show proved there's still lots of life left in this category. In fact, I can't recall a past CES that showcased so many new speaker models, and this was the 22nd time I've attended the January show.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 06, 2011 0 comments

Panasonic's CES 2011 press event was like a salad topped with a few perfectly seared pieces of tuna. The salad- i.e., the dull part - was lots of talk about 3D and Internet-connected TV. The seared tuna - i.e., the good part - was a list of improvements was can expect to see in Panasonic's already-awesome line of plasma TVs.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 06, 2011 0 comments

Emerging from beneath a gigantic video screen stretching about 100 feet across, Sony chairman/president/CEO Sir Howard Stringer appeared in the car from the upcoming movie The Green Hornet with the movie's stars Seth Rogen and Jay Chow. It was just the start of what will almost surely be the splashiest event at this year's CES-maybe the splashiest CES event ever.

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