Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 17, 2006  |  0 comments
Levi Strauss has redesigned its iconic jeans for the iPod. The Redwire DLX Jeans have a "docking cradle" to hold the music player—while concealing the telltale bump—plus a red ribbon to allow easy removal of the iPod, a joystick track-navigation control built into the watch pocket, a wire retractor to manage the earbud cable, a distinctive white leather patch, and bluffed back pockets with hidden stitching. Pricing and pictures were not available at presstime but the new product probably won't look much like this picture of my 550s with a nano stuck in the watch pocket.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 16, 2006  |  5 comments
This blog has a new name. What was formerly the Diablog has become From the Edge. The new name fits in more neatly with Maureen Jenson’s From the Top and Geoffrey Morrison’s From the Lab. It also signals a change in content. Starting this week, short news items will start appearing in this space several times a week. Now you’ll have an excuse to stop by more often. The news briefs will join the short reviews that have been appearing every third week. The longer, quirkier, dual-voiced Diablog commentaries, my labors of love, will continue at the rate of about one a month. So there you have the new format: news, reviews, and commentaries. Or as it says in the subhead, dispatches, demos, and diablogs. Please visit and comment often.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 16, 2006  |  0 comments
JVC is coming to the rescue of all those multichannel-challenged folks wandering the planet listening to two boring channels flowing from iMP3 players to their ears through a standard pair of headphones or earphones. JVC's new SU-HD1, about the size of a typical wallet (bifold, not trifold), will accept analog (via an analog input cord that can be stored in the bottom of the slender gadget) or digital (courtesy of an optical digital mini-jack input) audio. Built-in Dolby Headphone technology provides a 5.1-channel surround sound experience through standard cheap or really good two-channel headphones. The SU-HD1 runs off of two AA batteries and weighs a mere 3.5 ounces when fully loaded.
Steven Stone  |  Jan 15, 2006  |  0 comments

When you own a component, discovering it has been replaced by a newer version is always distressing. Suddenly, overnight, you've been saddled with obsolete gear. I've owned a Lexicon RT-10 universal DVD player since fall of 2004 when I bought my review sample. When Lexicon announced the RT-20, a month before the 2005 CEDIA show, I was bummed. The RT-10 had been on the market for slightly over a year when, WHAMMO, it was history. This is not typical Lexicon behavior. Usually they keep a product in their line for several years before they give it the old heave-ho.

Lawrence E. Ullman  |  Jan 15, 2006  |  0 comments

Remarkable. That's the word that best describes the THX Select2 approved Pioneer Elite VSX-74TXVi AV receiver ($1500). This gloss-black beauty is remarkably sophisticated, remarkably flexible, and remarkably easy to setup, thanks to an amazing auto calibration function called Advanced MCACC. The feature set is remarkably deep and includes HDMI switching/processing, a built-in XM satellite radio tuner, a dedicated iPod input with fully integrated controls, and a full suite of THX functions. Even the unit's designation is remarkably long, so I'm going to refer to the VSX-74TXVi as the "74" for the duration of this review.

 |  Jan 15, 2006  |  0 comments

Since our CES reports are no longer laundry lists of products, over the next few weeks my news reports will feature some new and interesting gear that slipped through the <I>UAV</I> show coverage cracks. Like the home theater components shown by Vincent Electronics.

Daniel Sozomenu  |  Jan 14, 2006  |  0 comments
Midway (PS2, Xbox)
Game •••• Graphics/Sound ••••
This game evades EA's horsecollar grip on the gridiron with a manic, potty-mouthed, arcade-
Sol Louis Siegel  |  Jan 14, 2006  |  0 comments
The Wages of Fear The Criterion Collection
Movie ••••½ Picture/Sound ••••
Jon M. Gibson  |  Jan 14, 2006  |  0 comments
EA Games (all consoles)
Game •••½ Graphics/Sound ••••
For James Bond, things are always a bit shaken - but that's the way he like
Josef Krebs  |  Jan 14, 2006  |  0 comments

It's amazing how many ways a story can be told. Byron Haskin's 1953 version of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (Warner; Movie ••••, Picture/Sound ••••, Extras ••••) has a completely different focus and tone than Steven Spielberg's gloomy take on the H. G. Wells fantasy.