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Fred Manteghian Posted: May 11, 2007 0 comments

Murphy's got this law, see? When you only have one working prototype of your new product, but you go ahead and set yourself to be the first press event for a room full of just fed journalists who are eager to hear or see something exciting, well then, you can rest assured knowing your prototype will crap out. That's what happened at 10 AM when the ZVOX 450 ZBIT the ZDUST just before the press arrived. Someone said it was a Bill Gates moment.

Fred Manteghian Posted: May 11, 2007 0 comments

I've got to hand it to <a href="http://www.nicollpr.com/" target="new">Nicoll Public Relations</a>. Not only do they represent a lot of our favorite manufacturers, like Meridian, B&W, and Silicon Optix, they're also responsible for supporting the press during our Home Entertainment shows, and YES, that basically means feeding us.

Fred Manteghian Posted: May 11, 2007 0 comments

I remember my first audio / video trade show. Chicago, June 1995, the last official summer CES. I arrived at O'Hare mid-afternoon and made my way to the Palmer House, a grand old hotel where the show would take place. The lobby was huge, enormous and, as I would come to find, the place where journalists, manufacturers and their PR firms would come together each evening to conspire over cigars and cognac, with the manufacturers or their agents, naturally, picking up the tab.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: May 06, 2007 2 comments

Shortly after "Austin Powers" was released on DVD, I bought a Dwin CRT projector. I won't confirm or deny if the two events are related. In order to mount the projector, I had the low bidders cut holes in my "cottage cheese" ceiling for snaking video cable and power to that most unnatural of spots, the middle of my ceiling. I've been living with the patched up results for years. Only through a decade of burning toast in the adjoining kitchen has the ceiling in the home theater begun to uniformly discolor enough to diminish the starkness of the patch job. Now that I want to mount my new JVC projector, the prospect of letting the Butchers of Sheetrock back into my house is unappealing.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Apr 29, 2007 2 comments

"Okay boys, I want a clean fight. No bitin', no spittin', and definitely no hittin' below the belt. Now shake hands, go back to yer corners and come out when you hear the bell. Ya understands?"

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Apr 29, 2007 0 comments

"The new phone book is kinda' slim. Everyone must be switching to cellular," Gina remarked seeing what I was holding.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Apr 21, 2007 0 comments

I've always had a thing for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's recordings. Their long standing relationship with Telarc is probably why. I've had a long standing relationship with Telarc too. Well before I was a reviewer, I was just a rabid stereophile (the avocation, not the magazine) and I read every issue of Stereophile (the magazine, not the avocation), cover to cover. Telarc and Delos recordings were always spinning on their reviewers' CD players. I bought a few, like <a href= "http://www.amazon.com/Respighi-Pines-Rome-Birds-Fountains/dp/B000003CT0/... target="new">Respighi's Pines of Rome </a>, Louis Lane conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and <a href=" http://www.amazon.com/Copland-Appalachian-Spring-Fanfare-Common/dp/B0000... target="new">Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring, Rodeo and Fanfare for the Common Man</a>, with Lane at the helm of the ASO once again. The recordings were excellent, No excellent is too tame a word. They were – they still are – exquisite. Expansive as the universe, as civilized as infinity, and punctuated with their trademark Tympani kicks that separated the boys from the men when it came to seeing whose audiophile tweaked system was better than whose.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Mar 24, 2007 0 comments

According to an AFP article at Breitbart.com, <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=070322121539.enwwmbqh&show_artic... target="new">Nielson Tracking</a> reports CD sales for (almost) the first three months of 2007 are down 20% over the same period last year. Only 89 million retail CDs were sold year to date, compared with 112 million sold during the same period in 2006. Downloads of albums were off too, dropping from 119 million to 99 million this year.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Mar 17, 2007 0 comments

I've been reviewing speakers for a long time. I'm not saying my ears are any better than yours, but they're trained. Give me that much credit. I can wax rhapsodic paragraphs ad nauseam on why the latest multi-thousand dollar speaker can bring you closer to your music and movies. If you can afford them, great! But if you can't, it's not the end of the line. A more than decent system can be built around five mid-priced speakers, like the Polk LSi-9 ($500/ea), plus a good sub. But <i>really</i> inexpensive speakers? Well, that's always been a big challenge &ndash; until now that is.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Mar 03, 2007 0 comments

I never thought picking out 50 songs to download from emusic.com's website would be so difficult. I never thought it would take the full two weeks time I was allotted. Any more than two weeks, and I would have ipso facto agreed to begin having $10 or so deducted from my credit card on a monthly basis, in return for which I'd be entitled to download another 30 songs a month.

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