Daniel Kumin

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Sep 20, 2011 0 comments

Once, all you needed to enter the receiver business was audio-engineering chops, competence in packaging efficiency, and a sharp pencil over the bottom line. That was then before the digital audio/video revolution and the birth of the A/V receiver as we know it. Today, you need at least as much smartsin the computer, DSP, and software/firmware fieldsas you do in plain ol’ audio, a fact that has thinned,and continues to thin, the herd of receiver makers noticeably.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Sep 20, 2011 0 comments

RSL Speaker Systems is the current manifestation of Rogersound Labs, a SoCal company that goes back a few years — 30 or so, in fact. Like many speaker makers, RSL got its start through garage tinkering, in this case by Howard Rodgers, owner of a well-known retail chain of the same name. (How the “d” got dropped from the company name is a story for another day.)

Despite a long, successful run, the original RSL, again like many other speaker companies, eventually faded away. But after regaining rights to the company name just last year, the firm was reincarnated after a long hiatus by its founder and his family.

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Sep 13, 2011 0 comments

Yes, you're going to need a bigger desk.

If, that is, you consider the new Clarity HD Multimedia Speakers from MonsterCable (yes, the ex$pensive-wire people) to be "desktop audio." I do – they're flanking my 20-inch monitor as I write this, and while it's true that they rather crowd the work-top, they sound sweet enough in doing so that I'm willing to overlook their bulk.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Aug 30, 2011 0 comments

Cambridge Audio is a British electronics maker with a long-running dedication to serious audio (minus the silly-expensive audiophile pricing) and a long-running commitment to quality digital playback. So, when the company first previewed a network music player in late 2010, it got my attention.

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Aug 24, 2011 0 comments

Typical tower speakers arrive with so many wonderful opportunities for self-injury: When you take them off the truck and when you haul them into the listening room, for starters. And that’s not to mention when you unpack them and set them up and when you adjust placement (especially with carpet spikes). But Oregon’s Aperion Audio, God love ’em, has finally delivered a tower speaker that even the most physically challenged audiophile can love: the Verus Forte.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Jul 19, 2011 0 comments

As a lazy musician (redundant, yes) with a bad back, it have nurtured an enduring fantasy, that of discovering a 3-inch-cube loudspeaker that weighs less than a kilogram but delivers the output of a 15-inch JBL D-130.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Jun 16, 2011 0 comments

TEST BENCH

DOLBY DIGITAL PERFORMANCE

All data were obtained from various test DVDs using 16-bit dithered test signals, which set limits on measured distortion and noise performance. Reference input level is –20 dBFS, and reference output is 1 watt into 8 ohms. Volume setting for reference level was 57. All level trims were at zero. Except for subwoofer-related tests, all speakers were set to “large,” subwoofer on. All are worst-case figures where applicable.

Output at clipping (1 kHz into 8/4 ohms)

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Jun 05, 2011 0 comments

Difficult though this may be to believe, not everyone in 2011 America can afford to earmark $1,500 for an A/V receiver — or even $500. Still more shockingly, not every person who can would even choose to. Well, then, how about $400? Onkyo apparently sees this figure as being a bit more like it.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Apr 13, 2011 0 comments

Quick, name a Canadian A/V receiver maker! Yeah, I couldn’t either — until now. Anthem, the north-of-the-border firm best known for its “Statement” Series reference-grade A/V preamp (and power amps), has finally merged the two forms into a single new element: the MRX family of A/V receivers.

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Mar 16, 2011 0 comments
Definitive Technology’s BP-8060ST is the next-to-top model in its new generation of “Power-towers,” a genre the firm popularized nearly 2 decades ago and has now promoted to “SuperTower.”

This design combines a conventional passive tower loudspeaker with an active subwoofer built into the same enclosure, so there’s no bulky outboard sub required.

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