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Bob Ankosko Posted: Apr 18, 2014 1 comments
Korg is well known among musicians for its electronic keyboards but recently introduced a high-resolution audio playback system comprising its proprietary AudioGate 3 software and one of two USB digital-to-analog converters, the retro-styled DS-DAC-100 ($600) or the ultracompact DS-DAC-100m ($350).
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 20, 2014 0 comments
Founded in 1977 by psychoacoustics expert Bob Stuart, Meridian staked its claim in the world of digital audio before the CD was even born and has lived on the cutting edge of digital technology ever since. In 1994, before the new Dolby Digital surround format (then known as Dolby AC-3) had even made its way into homes, the company introduced the world’s first digital surround controller and named it simply the 565. Twenty years later, the G65 surround controller represents the latest iteration of that iconic processor.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 13, 2014 0 comments
They call Woojer the “first ever matchbox sized augmented reality haptic audio device,” but it’s really just a wearable woofer. Plug your phone/music player/game system and headphones into the tiny transducer, clip it to your shirt or belt, and literally “feel the sound.” Best part, Woojer transforms any audio signal into a silent tactile sensation felt throughout your body, confirming for family and friends that you have, indeed, lost your mind as you move and groove in your invisible disco.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 05, 2014 0 comments
Smile If You Like Music
Yep, you read that right. MartinLogan, the 30-year-old Kansas-based company known for elegant, high-performance electrostatic speakers, is branching out. And, no, the Crescendo is not a center-channel speaker.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Feb 13, 2014 0 comments
Making a Digital Konnection

There was no mistaking the origin of the Klimax Exakt 350 system. Scotland-based Linn has had an affinity for the letter “k” since introducing its first high-performance audio product 40 years ago—the Linn Sondek LP12 turntable, the latest version of which can be found on Stereophile’s current Recommended Components list.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 30, 2014 0 comments
Every year the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) asks its brain trust to identify trends shaping the technology landscape. The 2014 report—Five Technology Trends to Watch—offers some intriguing insights…
Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 23, 2014 1 comments
The audio world has undergone dramatic change since stacks of McIntosh amplifiers powered the iconic Woodstock Festival in 1969. One thing that hasn’t changed much is the signature VU meter that’s become synonymous with McIntosh Labs, which has been making high-performance audio gear since 1949 when Frank McIntosh set out to build a better amplifier. His legacy lives on behind the glowing meters that adorn the elegant glass faceplate of Mac’s latest masterpiece, the MA8000 integrated amplifier.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 11, 2014 0 comments
In Japanese, “oto” means “sound.” At Leon Speakers, Horizon OTO is the name of the company’s latest soundbar, which is custom tailored to match the finish and width of any TV between 38 and 65 inches. Introduced at 2014 CES, OTO finesses six drivers—four 3-inch aluminum woofers and two cloth-dome tweeters—in a svelte MDF cabinet less than 2 inches deep; the drivers are arranged in left- and right-channel woofer-tweeter-woofer complements and powered by a 2 x 50-watt amplifier.

In addition to onboard Dolby Digital processing, OTO has a front-panel touch screen for easy control, optical and stereo analog inputs, and a wireless subwoofer output. OTO is priced at $2,895 or you can pair it with the optional Aaros A8-400 wireless subwoofer, featuring an 8-inch woofer and 400 watts of power, for $4,000.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
TOWERING TROPHY Quite possibly the most striking speaker system at 2014 CES, Scaena’s statuesque Iso-Linear Array is made of chrome-encased stone and boasts 15 midrange drivers and nine ribbon tweeters per column. The subwoofers have 18-inch drivers and are governed by a digital bass-management system that employs a 32-bit SHARP processor and 24-bit Crystal A/D and D/A converters. Asked who might be interested in this sonic work of art, designer Sunny Umrao does not mince words: “People who have the best but still want something more—a trophy of achievement.” At $75,000, it is a trophy, indeed.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
French speaker company Focal made its entry into the burgeoning soundbar market at 2014 CES with the clever two-piece Dimension system, comprising a parallelogram-shaped soundbar and optional matching subwoofer. The slender soundbar, which is only 3 inches deep and made of aluminum, can be used alone and mounted to the wall (bracket included) or mated with the 4.5-inch-deep “vibration-free” subwoofer to form a TV platform. Both pieces are 61 inches wide, making them appropriate for use with screens 50 inches or larger.

The soundbar plays down to 50 Hz and uses five, “ultra-flat” 4-inch drivers to keep the enclosure depth to a minimum. Highlights include “acoustic integration” settings to optimize performance and two HDMI jacks plus optical and analog inputs. The subwoofer, with two elliptical woofers in a push-pull configuration, is rated down to 30 Hz. A built-in six-channel amplifier delivers 450 watts of system power.

The Dimension soundbar is expected to sell for $1,400 when it becomes available later this year; the companion subwoofer will sell for $500.


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