Daniel Kumin

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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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Daniel Kumin Posted: Feb 08, 2011 0 comments

Where do you start when converting a music collection to data files for home (and portable) playback? In the January 2011 issue, we defined key terms and explored the pros and cons of both lossy (data-compressed) and lossless (uncompressed) music-file formats. Now we'll put that knowledge to use. With space at a premium in these columns, instead of debating all the options I'll just tell you what I do and why, and hope that you can work out your best strategy from there.

Formal Fit

Daniel Kumin Posted: Jan 27, 2011 0 comments

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.

SETUP

Daniel Kumin Posted: Jan 27, 2011 0 comments
Key Features
$1,906 monitoraudio.com
• Bronze BX2 ($489/pair): 6½-in (nominal) woofer, 1-in dome tweeter; 13¾ x 7 5 /6 x 10 in; 12¾ lb
• Bronze BX Center ($299): (2) 5½ -in (nominal) woofers, 1-in tweeter; 6½ x 18 1 /8 x 6½ in; 13½ lb
Daniel Kumin Posted: Jan 26, 2011 0 comments

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.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Dec 23, 2010 0 comments

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???

Daniel Kumin Posted: Nov 12, 2010 0 comments
Key Features
$1,499 (pair) Sonystyle.com
• 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
Daniel Kumin Posted: Nov 10, 2010 0 comments
Key Features
$3,600 (as tested) bostonacoustics.com
• RS 334 tower speaker ($1,400/pair): vented enclosure; (4) 4-in cone woofers, 1-in soft-dome “coupled dual-concentric” tweeter; 42 in high; 32 ¼ lb

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