Denon has been making A/V receivers for about as long as there have been A/V receivers, and it's rarely produced a bad one. The brand usually gleans more attention for its über-dollar high-end models than for the kind of high-value, midprice models that win the credit-card swipes of most buyers. But this new AVR- 991, with its suggested price under $1,000 and its rich feature set, may change that perception in a hurry.
There's a trend afoot in A/V-land to make even Flagship receivers simpler (at least on the outside), easier to use, and physically more compact and less intimidating. Now Yamaha has boarded this bus, not just with a single model but with an entire new family of AVRs it's calling Aventage (rhymes with fromage). Cheesy names aside, the news here is that, for once, "new and improved" really is: new form factor, new user interface, new network-ability, new remote control, and lots of new (or at least evolved) audio and video technology.
A check of Onkyo's Web site shows no fewer than 17 different A/V receivers on offer, an almost General Motors-like profusion of models. (I'm pretty certain, however, the U.S. government won't be stepping in on Onkyo's behalf should the consumer elec- tronics industry go south.) To be fair, a half-dozen or so are last year?s models, but still. C'mon, guys, 17???
• 7 x 120 watts (1 kHz, 0.7% THD, 2 channels driven) • Wired network-ready • Shoutcast and Rhapsody Internet music access • DLNA certified •3D-ready (pass-through); HDMI audio return channel • Upconverts analog video to 1080p format via HDMI
A generation ago, Sony ruled the consumer electronics world, establishing new market segments with every innovation and instantly owning whatever existing ones it chose to enter. Today, although it’s still a consumer electronics force to be reckoned with, Sony has to step into the cage and compete like everybody else.
Like some 40 million other people, I love my iPhone. It’s always with me, serving as everything from trail-finder to stock ticker to guitar tuner to, occasionally, mobile phone. While fumbling in the dark with the minimum three or four remote controls that my ever-shifting A/V system requires just to watch a movie, I’ve often wondered if there was “an app for that.”
If Porsche made a front-engine, water-cooled delivery van, would it still be a "real" Porsche? Car nuts could argue such a question 'til doomsday &MDASH; and indeed have, beginning in 1978 when Porsche debuted its muchdebated water-cooled, front-engine Model 928. Audio buffs no doubt are ready to do likewise regarding the new Motion speaker range from MartinLogan.
I’ve seen plenty of loudspeaker “breakthroughs” in my half-a-lifetime around the audio sideshow, including speakers shaped like ears, tubas, and croquet balls. And there have also been “revolutionary” new driver designs that resembled stars, chafing dishes, and origami.