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Tom Norton Posted: Jun 02, 2006 2 comments

Every show we're fated to be teased with a product that isn't sold here in the U.S. These Onkyo D-312E two way stand-mounted speakers, auditioned with the new Onkyo amp and CD player discussed below, impressed me with their lively but not technicolored presentation, at least as heard from a location in the back of a crowed press conference. I hope to get another listen. But they are, as of now, available only in Japan and Europe. Rated at 200W power handling courtesy of a 65mm voice coil on its woofer. The ring tweeter appears to be the same unit used inb the D-TK10, below.

Tom Norton Posted: Jun 02, 2006 0 comments

Yes, it's two-channel only, but we wouldn't be surprised if the high efficiency VL Digital amplifier technology in the new A-9555 integrated amplifier (100Wpc into 8 ohms, 200Wpc into 4) won't find its way into future Onkyo and Integra home theater components. In fact, the press releases says it will. And at $699.99 (August availability) it's cheaper than most digital amp designs that have any high quality ambitions. Onkyo also intriduced a new audiophile CD player, the DX-7555 ($599/March). A new CD player from any Japanese manufacturer is a hot story these days.

Tom Norton Posted: Jun 02, 2006 0 comments

The product of a joint effort between Onkyo and an unnamed but (said to be) renouned guitar maker, the Onkyo A-OMF combines a 10cm deiameter woofer and ring-drive tweeter in a cabinet just over 10" high and weighing about 7 lbs. The cabinet's side panels, not much thicker than the shell of a guitar, were vibrating quite lustily during the demo. But a knuckle rap test suggested that they are also well damped. Leo Kottke fans rejoice.

Tom Norton Posted: Jun 01, 2006 Published: Jun 02, 2006 0 comments

Fred Manteghian beat me to the punch in his description of the fabulous-sounding Wilson Watt Puppy 8s ($28,000/pr minus change). Unclothed, they look pretty much liked the previous WP 7, but sound both more refined and dynamic than my recollection from the last time I heard that earlier model (admittedly, a few years ago). Another 2-channel demo, but Wilson also makes suitable center channel speakers, surrounds, and subwoofers.

Tom Norton Posted: Jun 01, 2006 Published: Jun 02, 2006 3 comments

These space-age model K1 speakers from Vivid Audio of South Africa will stop traffic in your listening room. At $20,000/pair in a variety of finishes like the Copper shown here, they may alswo put a stop on your bank account. But for a mere $13,500 you can have the smaller B1, which won't go as low but should leave room in the budget for your choice of subwoofers (Vivid does not yet make one). The setup, like most of those I saw on the first day, was strictly 2-channel. But Vivid also makes the matching, 4-way, C1 center channel for $6500. A smaller center is also available, and smaller stand-mounters are said to be in development for surrounds.

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Tom Norton Posted: May 30, 2006 Published: May 31, 2006 0 comments

As submarine movies go, <I>U-571</I> is far from a classic. It includes scenes we've seen in countless other submarine films, and its history is warped (implying that the U.S. Navy and not the Royal Navy captured the Nazi Enigma machine and broke the German naval codes&mdash;though the end titles do correct the record).

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Tom Norton Posted: May 30, 2006 Published: May 31, 2006 0 comments

As noted in another blog, I've been having fun lately with unexpectedly good movies that fell through the critical and audience cracks during their theatrical releases. And <I> The Greatest Game Ever Played</I> certainly surprised me as much as any of them.

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Tom Norton Posted: May 30, 2006 Published: May 31, 2006 0 comments

I have mixed feeling about the Bourne films. This one is the sequel to the first, <I>The Bourne Identity</I>. The two movies feature a rogue, on-the-run, amnesiac CIA hit man trying to discover who he really is, and in the process discovering "talents" that he didn't know he had.

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Tom Norton Posted: May 28, 2006 0 comments

I've been experiencing an unusual run of good films on standard definition DVD lately, though most are not of any special demonstration quality, nothing gets blowed-up real good in most of them, few were big hits, and several are set in the past. But I'm a sucker for almost any historical film or TV miniseries (HBO's two part <I>Elizabeth I</I> resides on the HD PVR in my cable box even now waiting for me to find the 4 hours I need to invest in watching it!)

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Tom Norton Posted: May 28, 2006 0 comments

Yes, I know. This film was received by critics as if it was the sequel to <I>Battlefield Earth</I> instead of the follow-up to the cult favorite, <I>Pitch Black</I>. Riddick, you may recall, was once a dangerous, sociopathic villain. Here, like a gravel-voiced Captain Kirk, he arrives just in time to save the universe from the Underverse.

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