Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 24, 2015 8 comments
A recent article in the trade publication CE Pro surveyed several industry experts on the material they recommended to check out your subwoofer. I’ve now lost the article in preparing for my cross-country move—almost complete except for the small detail about getting the household furniture and goods delivered! But I do have some ideas of my own which may or may not overlap with that now missing article. I’ll concentrate here on movie soundtracks, in which the benefits of a subwoofer will be most obvious even with the largest main L/R speakers most listeners are likely to be using.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 26, 2015 1 comments
I lived in the Los Angeles area on two occasions prior to the most recent 14.5 years, each time long enough for me to recognize the superiority of its best movie houses. When I moved from Los Angeles to Santa Fe in 1990 to work for Stereophile, I often vacationed back in LA just to see movies there. Santa Fe’s theaters at the time were depressing at best, and nearby Albuquerque wasn’t much better. In a week in LA I might see 7-8 movies (on one occasion I recall seeing 10!), enough to satisfy my appetite for at least a few months.

These trips continued, and even escalated to twice a year after I began supplementing my writing for Stereophile with major work on the Stereophile Guide to Home Theater...

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 17, 2015 3 comments
The communication advancements of the past few years have made it possible to do some types of work—such as evaluating AV gear and writing about it—from almost anywhere. So I’ve picked up stakes and moved from sunny Southern California to a far less crowded burgh along the Florida panhandle’s Gulf coast.

It wasn’t an easy decision, and a major move after 14 years in one place is worse than having major dental surgery (and far more costly!).

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 27, 2015 1 comments
The 2015 International CES is over, but the melody lingers on. The big news in video, of course, is that Ultra HD is coming to us like a great singer who is pushed out on stage knowing the tune but not the lyrics. The result might be a stirring vocalization of “Over the Rainbow,” but the only words the singer can think of are the lyrics to “Does Your Chewing Gum Loose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight.”

In short, most (but not all) of the sets launched at the show still feature only one of the important features of Ultra HD: 4K resolution...

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 13, 2015 2 comments
No, that’s not a typo. But “It’s a Wrap” is such a “Consumer Electronics Show” cliche. Warp, however, actually sounds more appropriate, as it hints of the warp speed needed to cover an event attended by 160,000 of Sound & Vision’s biggest fans. And it also fits the Star Trekish nature of the event...
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2015 0 comments
Wolf Cinema has consistently offers the best home theater setups at CES’s Venetian hotel venue. That’s probably not saying much, as the displays at the convention center are dominated by flat panels and the Venetian is mainly high-end audio heaven. CEDIA EXPO, held in September, is the show for projector-based home theater demos...
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2015 0 comments
To date I haven’t been much of a headphone person, but I still recognize their importance and appeal in today’s market. Headphones, in short, are now a very big deal for many consumers...
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2015 0 comments
As much as I was impressed by HiFiMan’s HE-400i headphones and EF100 tube headphone combination (see my previous post), the company’s HE1000 prototype, open back cans blew me away...
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2015 2 comments
If your audio memory extends back far enough you’ll recall Audio Alchemy. That company marketed an extensive line of inexpensive DACs long before streaming and downloading digital music was possible and D/A converters were the hot ticket...

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2015 1 comments
We don’t cover turntables much here at S&V, but an interesting new line of upmarket turntables from European manufacturer E.A.T. is being distributed in the U.S. by VANA Ltd.

Shown here is the middle child of the three E.A.T. tables VANA brought to the show...

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