The last few years have witnessed a revolution in how we watch movies at home. Likewise, the Internet has forever changed the way we track down information around the world. Because <I>SGHT</I> covers the former, it only makes sense that to do it well, we should use the latter.
All of the major consumer-electronics "convergence" companies were in attendance at this year's computer panoply: Sony, Pioneer, Philips, Hitachi, Sharp, Samsung, and on and on. Expanding upon a trend begun last year, each of the majors was displaying roughly equal parts computer goods and home/consumer gear.
The Vandersteen 3A is a higher-end variation on the theme established by the company's first loudspeaker, the 2C. The latter is still available, though much updated into the current, highly popular 2Ce. A four-way design, the 3A has separate sub-enclosures for each drive unit; the whole affair is covered with a knit grille-cloth "sock" with wood trim end pieces. A rear-mounted metal brace allows the user to vary the tiltback—an important consideration for best performance with this loudspeaker.
Denon's AVR-4308CI impressed, with very good power results, and virtually perfect noise and linearity performance. Power with stereo channels driven handily bettered Denon's 140 watts spec, and performance with 5 channels driven was only a scant half-dB shy of that mark, at 126 watts.
Frequency response (at 2 meters) front left/right 46 Hz to 18.2 kHz ±3.9 dB center 88 Hz to 20 kHz ±2.9 dB surround 76 Hz to 18.1 kHz ±2.9 dB subwoofer 23 Hz to 86 Hz ±1.9 dB Sensitivity (SPL at 1 meter with 2.8 volts of pink-noise input) front left/right 90 dB center 89 dB surround 90 dB Impedance (minimum/nominal) front
Color temperature (Cinema mode, Low color temperature before/Cinema mode, Custom color temperature after calibration): 20 IRE: 7,119 / 5,818 K 30 IRE: 7,329 / 6,353 K 40 IRE: 7,526 / 6,449 K 50 IRE: 7,159 / 6,485 K 60 IRE: 7,067 / 6,634 K 70 IRE: 7,028 / 6,618 K 80 IRE: 6,954 / 6,552 K 90 IRE: 6,874 / 6,554 K 100 IRE: 6,875 / 6,534 K Brightness<
Pioneer's latest A/V receiver produced uniformly excellent bench results: linearity and S/N were close to perfect on both PCM and Dolby Digital signals, while distortion and frequency response were nearly as good (the latter, in particular, on 96/24 PCM).
As seems usual for Onkyo, the TX-SR605 showed just how technically accomplished mass-produced electronics can be today, with perfectly flat frequency response and perfect D/A linearity to -90 dB (and beyond). Both are as good results as I've measured, and while my memory isn't infallible, I believe this to be the first time these two particular aces have been drawn by the same unit.