Ken C. Pohlmann

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 19, 2013 0 comments

Streaming is hot. Outfits like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO Go are jamming the internet with data and putting the hurt on DVD and even Blu-ray. Last time I checked, smart phones, tablets, and ultrabooks lacked optical disc drives. Besides, do you really want to mess with disc-based playback on the train to work? Streaming is entering the hockey stick part of its growth curve.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Feb 13, 2013 0 comments

I travel. A lot. Hotel rooms are not my home away from home — they are my home. As such, most of my TV viewing is done in hotel rooms. Thanks to the miracle of jet lag, I know the late-night schedule everywhere around the world. I’ve watched Wheel of Fortune in 53 different languages, and counting.

I’m also familiar with every brand of flat-panel TV. Samsung, LG, Vizio, Panasonic, Hitachi, Philips, Magnavox, Toshiba, JVC, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony: I’ve seen them all. And I know I’m in a faraway place when I’m staring at a Kogan or a Vestel. It doesn’t make any difference. They all have one thing in common: All of these TVs sound terrible.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 24, 2013 0 comments

Scientists, who apparently never cease thinking of things that would never occur to me, have demonstrated that it is possible to store digital data in molecular form. As reported in Nature, a team of brainiacs stored the text of all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, a photo of their institute’s building, and a copy of a paper by Watson and Crick, as DNA sequences.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 10, 2013 0 comments

When you think of car audio, do you think of AM/FM radios and CD players? Think again. Today’s best head units are as connected and function-heavy as your phone or tablet. The big difference is that the head units offer dynamite A/V quality. Case in point, Kenwood’s new DNN990HD head unit marries Android with DVD playback.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 10, 2013 0 comments

At a conference call this morning (January 10) Beats Electronics announced the formation of a new music streaming service, and named Ian Rogers as its CEO. You may recall that Beats purchased MOG last summer for $14 million; the announcement of Project “Daisy” provides hints on the new direction they intend to take MOG.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 09, 2013 0 comments

Stratocaster guitars. Marshall amplifiers. These are the playthings of the gods. The gods of rock and roll, that is. For sure, some of the sweetest sounds this side of a Stradivarius violin have come from Marshall guitar amplifiers. And now, the classic look of the Marshall (if not the sound) can be yours for home playback.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 09, 2013 0 comments

The future of audio. That is a significant statement – the fact that audio actually has a future. There has been much handwringing by people (including me) wondering whether the awesomeness of screens big and small has forever eclipsed the coolness of audio. We feared that much like the tiny speakers in flat-screen TVs, audio would become something trivial. After walking the CES floor and taking to people, I can confidently state that rumors of audio’s demise are greatly exaggerated, and in fact they are not true.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 25, 2012 0 comments

So you’re a committed audiophile. You used a laser to precisely toe in your front loudspeakers. You lie awake at night worrying about that 2-dB dip at 9 kHz in your room’s frequency response. You hire Mike Mettler to hand-deliver every issue of S+V. [I aim to please —Ed.] Well, that’s great.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 18, 2012 0 comments

It is the job of engineers to push the envelope and design the products of the future, not the products of today. When the first Compact Disc players were on the drawing board, 780-nm lasers were extremely expensive, but engineers anticipated that low-cost versions would soon become available. They bet right: cheap laser modules were perfected just before the CD format’s launch.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 14, 2012 0 comments

A post on the Olive One by my colleague Al Griffin got me to thinking. For a modest dollar sum, you can own a cool audio component with audiophile-quality specifications. But here’s the paradox: if it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, can audio gear really have audiophile cache?

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