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Fred Manteghian

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Apr 19, 2009 4 comments

The Black Crowes, <I>$hake Your Money Maker</I> (LP, DEF American Records, 1990), picked up during my first trip to Las Vegas in a used record store on Sahara. Even 20 years ago, The Black Crowes were doing what bands like the Rolling Stones seemed incapable of anymore. This hard-driving rock has no missteps and no end to the catchy tunes. Singer Chris Robinson's distinctive gravelly voice, a cross between Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger, gets stellar backup from the two guitars, bass and drum line-up that's as tight as it is raw.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Mar 29, 2009 1 comments

The company that started life as <i>Now Hear This</i>, but later decided to go with their acronym, has <a href="http://www.cepro.com/article/now_hear_this_nht_shuts_down/" target="new">decided to cease business </a>as they've known it, effective this coming Tuesday, March 31, 2009. I first became aware of NHT when Corey Greenburg put them on the map in the mid nineties in his <a href="http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/804/" target="new">Beavis and Butthead tinged review</a>. I had a pair of towers from them, the 2.5, and loved them to death for a while. Lots of "there there" as they used to say.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Mar 22, 2009 1 comments

If you look real close, you can see Capt. James T. Kirk sitting in his command chair. The <a href="http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2131034" target="new">Radio Shack Indoor VHF/UHF/HDTV Antenna with RF Remote Control</a> may not be able to pick up intergalactic transmissions, but it does a decent, if somewhat mixed job, with HDTV signals. In one case, it reached out over twenty miles to pull in a full-time digital <a href="http://www.stationindex.com/tv/callsign/WSAH" Target="new">"multi-cultural shopping"</a> station (so now you can not only buy things you don't need, you can buy them in languages you don't understand). But what wasn't so impressive was its inability to pull in the closest tower, a mere 8 miles away, in anything but analog (and miserable looking analog at that!).

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Mar 12, 2009 2 comments

Because we're about to become a socialist-driven economy where the majority of the population pay no taxes themselves yet demand the minority do so in their stead, I thought it would be a good time for one last economics lesson about capitalism. In particular, the law of supply and demand and in super-particular, the case of the Pioneer Kuro plasma supply chain either drying up or giving the appearance of drying up which, as every good oil executive knows, is practically the same thing!

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Mar 02, 2009 0 comments
Price: $3,769 At A Glance: Three-way center for superior dialogue intelligibility • Awesome room-filling surrounds • Classy good looks

Life’s Too Short for Bad Shoes

Buy a pair of shoes online that don’t fit quite right, and it’s easy enough to box them back up for the round-trip refund. You wouldn’t think you could say the same about a 70-pound speaker like the Aperion Intimus 6T, but mailorder company Aperion Audio makes it almost as easy. The Portland, Oregon–based company manufactures in China and purports to pass the savings on to you. Aperion wants you to be 100-percent satisfied, so it gives you 30 days to try the speakers at home. The company will even pick up shipping costs both ways if you decide not to keep the speakers. So even if you can’t go to a store to listen to them, Aperion speakers are a no-risk purchase. Still, six boxes full of speakers worth almost $4,000 is hardly an impulse buy like a $39 pair of Converse All Star Sailor Jerry high tops on eBay, so listen up.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Feb 23, 2009 8 comments

First of all, I think TV is better than movies. Anybody can write a movie script. You need about sixty minutes of material for a two hour movie, and you're done. TV on the other hand, is judged every single week, every single episode, on how well they've woven their pack of lies. It takes a lot of talent to keep a TV series going (<i>Saturday Night Live</i> excepted).

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Feb 15, 2009 4 comments

I'm a jaded reviewer who thinks there are only two kinds of people in the world. The first group have the latest flat panel / front projector rigs with HDMI everything, 1080p, ba-blah-ba-blah-ba-blah, and the rest of the world watch TV on the same set Ricky Ricardo used to watch in "I Love Lucy." So imagine my surprise when I got an irate letter from a reader who had read my review of the Rotel RSP-1069 pre/pro in <i>Home Theater</i> magazine where I said, incorrectly, that the Rotel would internally convert HDMI sources to component, all the way up to 1080i. I mean, who would need to do that anyway? Well, he did for one, since his perfectly-good-otherwise widescreen RPTV lacked HDMI (or DVI) inputs. I apologized in print, but that's not the point. I, Fred Manteghian, had discovered a new species!

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Feb 07, 2009 10 comments

Here's the thing about a sagging world economy, it puts a damper on the number of yachts being sold. Or in this case, the yachts of the plasma TV world. Pioneer, recognized by all as manufacturing the best plasma TV, at a price that naturally reflects its quality, is throwing in the towel, if <a href="http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7596_102-0.html?forumID=60&threadID=329158&m... target="new">this report</a> is to be believed. The Kuro line of plasma TVs is just a production run away from coming to a close and the planned switch to Panasonic glass to reduce cost is now also falling by the wayside.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Feb 01, 2009 3 comments

Nope – this isn't another story about the Feb 17th analog cut-off designed to incite people living under a rock for the last few years into vigilante justice. Heck, I'm just as guilty of inaction as anyone else, because I still have no plans for that 13" glow box sitting on my kitchen counter (besides the set of ear plugs I keep in the night stand to block out Gina's screams when she goes down to make coffee and turns on the TV on that infamous day.) I was supposed to handle it. But like everyone else, I plan on taking no personal responsibility and will simply blame the gooberment.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Dec 20, 2008 0 comments

Sure they look a little too “take me to your leader” for some folks, but maybe that's appropriate, because the sound from the Micropod SE speakers from <a href=" http://www.scandyna-speakers.com/" target="new">scandyna</a> is out of this world. These two-way speakers perch fairly discretely on my office credenza, doing something the 25 year-old JVC SW/AM/FM radio and a Grundig portable were never able to do – bring fine tunes (or is that iTunes?) into my office. Of course, you'll need a way to hook your iPod to the speakers and for this scandyna provides "the dock," as they state in their capital-letter-averse terminology.

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