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Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 01, 2016 0 comments
Laurie Fincham has a storied career in speaker design and engineering that began in England in the early 1970s when he worked for Goodmans Loudspeakers, Celestion, and KEF. By day, he delved into speaker theory and design. By night he played stand-up bass in a jazz group to supplement his income. While at KEF, he co-developed the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) system for measuring and modeling speaker. In the early ’90s, he moved to the U.S. to work for Infinity before joining THX in 1998.

Today, as senior vice president of audio research and development, Fincham manages the audio side of the company George Lucas founded to raise the bar for cinema sound...

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Oct 06, 2016 0 comments
What good is a shiny new state-of-the-art TV if you don’t have an appropriately classy place to put it or an acrobatic wall-mount to hang it on? Or maybe you’d rather attach it to a motorized lift so you can make it appear (and disappear) at will. And what about the rest of your electronics—the receiver, that spiffy 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player…your resurrected turntable? Do you have a functional place in mind for all that stuff? Fear not. Whether you want to display your gear for all to see or hide it away, here are a few options worthy of consideration.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 28, 2016 1 comments
My first encounter with B&W’s coveted 800 Series speakers is ingrained in my memory. It was the summer of 1981 and a musician friend invited me over to see and hear his newly acquired pair of 801s. As I entered the rehearsal space in his finished basement, I remember thinking how unusual they looked compared with my boxy Fishers. Minutes later I was sinking into a cushy chair at the apex of a triangle formed with the speakers, listening to the White album feeling that I had somehow been transported into the studio during the making of a great album. The sound was authentic. I felt closer to the music—music that was very special to me. Today, more than three decades after John Bowers proudly unveiled the original 801 in 1979, B&W has reinvented its flagship under the aegis of Martial Rousseau, head of research. Here Rousseau shares the story behind the remaking an iconic speaker.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 13, 2016 2 comments
Predicting the future is a risky business, but in his role as senior director of emerging technologies for the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Industry Association (CEDIA), Dave Pedigo is paid to keep a watchful eye on what’s coming down the pike and ferret out the products and trends most likely to impact the tech landscape in 5, 10, 15 years. We recently sat down with Pedigo to find out where he sees technology heading over the next five years.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Aug 26, 2016 0 comments
I’m going to date myself here, but the first thing I thought of when I laid eyes on the Zero 1 XD was the stark white interior of the spacecraft in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Am I crazy, or would it fit right in? In sharp contrast to a traditional horn-based speaker (think JBL or Klipsch)—and even the spectacular floating horn designs for which Germany’s Avantgarde Acoustic is known—the speaker’s ultramodern appearance is unique with its molded baffle and slim rectangular enclosure.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Aug 10, 2016 2 comments
I’m sure I wasn’t the only local who was surprised (or puzzled) to see an old-school record shop open up in Milltown, NJ, 15 minutes from Rutgers University’s main campus in New Brunswick. A welcome addition but I wondered how long a store specializing in LPs and vintage audio gear would last. Could it survive in the age of Spotify? A year after opening its doors, Revilla Grooves on Main is not only surviving but thriving...
Bob Ankosko Posted: Jul 14, 2016 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $599

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Stylish, sturdy design
Compact and battery powered
Easy setup, no apps required
Remote control included
Spacious, full-bodied sound
Digital audio input
Minus
Pricey
Not ideal for heavy pop/rock

THE VERDICT
The Core is a remarkable speaker that delivers excellent sound quality for its size, but its price is steep.

My wife thought I was crazy as I walked into the kitchen cradling a speaker while singing along with the Boz Scaggs classic “Look What You’ve Done to Me.” It’s not uncommon for me to serenade the family, but doing so with a “live” speaker in tow, well, that’s unusual even for (the goofball in) me. But that’s one of the things I love about Mass Fidelity’s remarkable Core: It’s so easy to move around. And then there’s the sound—we’ll get to that in a minute.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jul 12, 2016 0 comments
Nugs.net. Ever heard of ’em? I hadn’t but was intrigued when I saw the press release: “Live Music Pioneers nugs.net Launch Streaming Service.” Turns out the company has been making professional recordings of concert performances available to fans of jam bands for years—something followers of Gov’t Mule, Phish, and Widespread Panic probably already know. To learn more about this unique service, I reached out to founder Brad Serling.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Jun 17, 2016 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $400

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Killer outdoor music system
Super sturdy design
Battery powered
Awesome one-time, “no-fault replacement” policy
Minus
Pricey
Heavy!

THE VERDICT
The Monster Blaster will shock you (and your neighbors) with its powerful sound.

As I removed the Monster Blaster from its box, I felt like I was lifting a dumbbell from the rack. Seriously, the thing weighs about 17 pounds, and it’s built like a tank, ready for the rough and tumble of outdoor use.

And when I say rough and tumble, I’m not kidding. If you buy the Blaster from monsterproducts.com, it’s covered by a lifetime warranty with “one time, no-fault replacement.” As Monster explains on its website: “If the Blaster has any issues (your fault or ours), return the product and get a replacement.” Buy it elsewhere, and you get the one-year standard warranty.

Bob Ankosko Posted: Jun 16, 2016 0 comments
The Akoustic Arts “A” is one of the more unusual-looking speakers you will encounter, with its honeycomb of mini transducers (200 in all). But looks aren’t the only thing unusual about this speaker. Rather than spray sound in every direction like a conventional speaker, the A projects sound in a focused beam. As the Paris-based company likes to say, it’s “the speaker that only you can hear.” And it appears to be off and running. By mid-April, Akoustic Arts had raised more than $200,000, exceeding its Indiegogo funding goal by 662 percent in less than a month. We spoke with founder and CEO Ilan Kaddouch to learn more.

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