PREMIERE DESIGN

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Bob Ankosko  |  May 14, 2014  |  3 comments
Spinning With Style
You don’t come across many companies that have been in business for 100 years. Founded in 1883 as a manufacturer of musical boxes and clocks, Thorens started building Edison-type cylinder phonographs in 1903 and has been making turntables ever since. Although the company branched out into audio electronics in the ’90s, it remains a steadfast bearer of fine turntables. Its latest specimen is the ultra-modern TD 209, which borrows design cues from its higher-end sibling, the TD 309.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 24, 2011  |  0 comments
Intel and Apple today announced the introduction of a new computer I/O technology called Thunderbolt, which makes its debut on the latest MacBook Pro laptops. Yet another connection might seem the antithesis of cool, but this is big news for home-theater PCs.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 18, 2010  |  5 comments

Filmmakers and musicians spend countless hours tweaking their images and sound to perfection. But when their masterworks are played on home A/V systems, that carefully crafted music might sound nothing like it did in the studio, and that hot video might look lukewarm on the average flat-panel monitor.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Mar 02, 2010  |  0 comments

Most of the products on display at CES are new to the world market, but there are a few exceptions. For example, the Sunray speaker from Germany's <A href="http://tidal-audio.com/english/startenglish.htm">Tidal Audio</A> has been available for several years, but not in the USA&#151;until now. North American distributor <A href="http://www.aaudioimports.com">Aaudio Imports</A> used CES 2010 as the venue to introduce the Sunray to the American audiophile community.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Nov 02, 2009  |  First Published: Nov 03, 2009  |  2 comments

What do you get if you cross Japanese audio acumen with daring Italian design? The Squeezophone 360, that's what. Born out of a collaboration between <A href="http://www.kenwooddesign.com">Kenwood Design</A> and <A href="http://www.colucci-design.com">Claudio Colucci Design</A>, this concept speaker cuts a dashing figure as it pumps sound all around the room.

Scott Wilkinson  |  May 07, 2009  |  15 comments
Unlike many high-end manufacturers that concentrate on one type of product, MBL casts a wider net. For three decades, this German company has developed super-sophisticated—and super-expensive—speakers, power amps, preamps, integrated amps, optical-disc players, and D/A converters. At the top of its speaker heap is the 101 X-treme, a stunning sonic and visual masterpiece.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Nov 11, 2010  |  0 comments
As I was cruising the aisles at last week's Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention, I happened upon this huge toroidal power transformer from Plitron, which makes power products for professional and consumer A/V systems under the Torus Power brand name. (Thanks to former Stereophile writer Barry Willis, who generously offered his shoe to provide a sense of scale in this photo.)
Scott Wilkinson  |  Dec 24, 2009  |  2 comments

Many audiophiles love vacuum tube-based components for their warm analog sound. <A href="http://www.einstein-audio.de">Einstein Audio</A> of Germany understands this well, as demonstrated by the introduction of The Tube MKII 2-channel preamp at CES next month.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 20, 2011  |  2 comments
As always, there was no shortage of ultra-high-end speakers at CES this year. Among the most impressive was the magnificent Duke from Austrian speaker maker Trenner & Friedl.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Dec 29, 2009  |  11 comments

Most consumers would probably apply the word "stereo" exclusively to 2-channel audio systems. So you might be surprised to learn that "stereo" has nothing to do with the number 2 per se—it derives from the Greek word for "solid." The word was applied to 2-channel sound systems when they first became available because those systems rendered a much more "solid" sonic image with more specific placement of individual elements (instruments, voices, etc.) than the monaural systems that had preceded them. Similarly, 5.1 surround systems are far more "stereo" than 2-channel systems.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Nov 04, 2010  |  0 comments
Usually, I have to go looking for interesting products to feature here in Ultimate Gear, but this one came to me in an e-mail from its Greek maker, TuneAudio. The company's flagship Anima speaker features three horn-loaded drivers, including a 15-inch, downfiring woofer in a base that stands over five feet tall.
Bob Ankosko  |  Apr 14, 2015  |  2 comments
Samsung S9W Ultra HDTV

I tried to imagine the S9W at home but quickly realized my rustic family room is no match for its art-gallery vibe. Although I have to admit, when I first laid eyes on its magnificent 82-inch Ultra HD screen with its cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio, I wondered why it was perched, just shy of teetering, on a compact refrigerator. Refreshments at hand, perhaps? No, that wasn’t it. (Not even close, knucklehead.)

Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 10, 2016  |  0 comments
Once again, Samsung has partnered with a noted industrial designer to rethink modern TV. Last year it was the magnificent S9W, an ultra-wide 21:9 TV designed by Yves Béhar. This year it’s the modestly sized (and priced) Serif TV, created in collaboration with the Parisian design duo Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Nov 08, 2010  |  4 comments
The Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention isn't concerned with consumer products, but there's always a bit of crossover with the pro-audio items on display. For example, at last week's annual conclave in San Francisco, I found a new top-of-the-line headphone from Germany's Ultrasone. The Edition 10 is the company's first model in the Edition lineup to feature an open-back design, which took the company two years to develop. Also new to the Edition 10 is an oxygen-free copper (OFC), silver-plated, Kevlar-reinforced cable that can be easily configured for balanced or unbalanced connectors.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Mar 17, 2009  |  First Published: Mar 18, 2009  |  10 comments

If CES 2009 was any indication, it looked like Philips was getting out of the consumer-electronics business, seeing as how the company had no booth or press conference this year. We know for sure it won't be selling TVs in North America, having reached a deal whereby Japanese electronics manufacturer Funai will market Philips and Magnavox TVs in the US and Canada while Philips concentrates on Europe and key emerging countries.

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