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Al Griffin  |  Jan 26, 2017  |  39 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q For the past few years I've been following the High-Res Audio "movement." After reading several articles in Sound & Vision, I finally decided to order an AudioQuest Dragonfly Black and rip a few of my favorite 90s rock/alternative CDs to FLAC format. I also downloaded the HDtracks sampler and purchased 96/24 versions of Pearl Jam's No Code and Muse's Drones. I couldn't wait to “hear my music again for the first time." Know what? It didn’t matter if I listened with my Apple EarPods, Bose SoundTrue headphones, or Logitech desktop speakers, I couldn't hear any differences!  What gives? Do I really have to spend $1000 on headphones to appreciate hi-res audio? Is the problem the distortion and effects in the music I typically listen to, or is High-Res Audio all hype? —Adam Head

A First off, let me say that I sympathize with your struggle to grasp the benefits of High-Res Audio (HRA). It’s not easy to hear differences. In some cases, there aren’t significant differences to be heard. Let me explain.

Al Griffin  |  Jan 19, 2017  |  5 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently bought a Marantz 7702mkII preamp-processor and am wondering about the best options for streaming high-res FLAC and other lossless files from my computer. The Marantz wants me to use my Windows Media Player library when setting up a media server connection. However, it’s my understanding that WMP can’t play FLAC files without additional transcoding, and even then it can’t handle files with 24bit/192kHz resolution. Do you have any recommendations for getting the best-quality playback from my high-res audio downloads? —Trey M. Turner

Al Griffin  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a question about playing 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks on a 5.1 speaker system. I understand that my receiver will mix the back rear channels into the surround channels, but will that cause the playback to lose the lossless quality DTS-HD Master Audio was designed to deliver? —Len Shift

Al Griffin  |  Jan 03, 2017  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m using a Marantz SR5005 AV receiver rated at 100 watts per channel to power a 7.1 speaker system. My surrounds sound like they’re getting enough power, but I’d like to add three external 200-watt monoblock amps to increase output to the front left, center, and right channels. Here’s my question: Will the receiver’s Audyssey MultEQ automated setup calibrate the system in a way that accommodates the added power? In other words, will I still get full power from the front three channels if I use external amps and Audyssey MultEQ? —Todd Hunt / via email

Al Griffin  |  Dec 29, 2016  |  4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I plan to upgrade my 2010 Pioneer AVR to one capable of switching 4K signals. I would also like the ability to watch one source while listening to the audio of another source in the same room—to, for example, play video games while listening to internet radio. I am not having any luck in my search, however. Do you have suggestions? —Darren Phillips / via email

Al Griffin  |  Dec 22, 2016  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m ready to upgrade my surround sound system to a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos configuration. My current 5.1 system uses GoldenEar Technology speakers, which I want to keep. Here’s my problem: I have no way to run wires through the ceiling to mount in-ceiling speakers, and I don’t want to deal with the unsightly wires that an on-ceiling speaker installation would require. Here’s my question: Are there any wireless speakers I could use for my Atmos upgrade? —Michael Henn

Al Griffin  |  Dec 15, 2016  |  9 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Al Griffin helps out an early adopter caught in the crossfire of emerging technologies—in this case, HDMI.

Al Griffin  |  Dec 08, 2016  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Do you know of a good solution for streaming audio from a Windows PC to B&W P7 wireless headphones using Bluetooth? Is there some kind of USB adapter? —Robert Prinz

Al Griffin  |  Dec 01, 2016  |  7 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Are there any standalone surround preamp/processors that decode Dolby Atmos? I’m interested in a unit that doesn’t include an AM/FM radio tuner. —Doc Lockett

Al Griffin  |  Nov 23, 2016  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Should I use the quartz lock feature on my Audio-Technica AT-LP120 turntable? I don't see or hear any difference when I press the quartz lock button. Same thing when I press the +10 /+20 pitch control button. FYI, I usually play records with the +10 pitch option selected. —Josh Rosenthal

Al Griffin  |  Nov 17, 2016  |  10 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q For years, I used iTunes to rip my CDs in the Apple Lossless Audio Compression (ALAC) format and load them onto a 160-gigabyte iPod classic. Now that iPods are no more, I would like to switch to one of the new hi-res-capable portable players but want to avoid having to rip all of my CDs again. Do any of the new players support ALAC so I can continue using iTunes? Also, is there some way to use iTunes to load files from my computer to a new portable player? —Mark Hoornstra / Maryland

Al Griffin  |  Nov 10, 2016  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I'm slow to bite on buying an Ultra HDTV because I’m waiting to see which high dynamic range format will stick. If I buy an HDR10-only set and Dolby Vision wins, can support for that format be added through a future software update? —Ray Blackburn

Al Griffin  |  Nov 07, 2016  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Is Samsung’s 2016 Ultra HDTV line capable of passing a 5.1 surround sound signal received from an HDMI input to a Sonos Playbar system via its optical digital audio output? I’ve heard that only Sony and Vizio TVs provide this 5.1 passthrough capability.—Glenn Patton / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Nov 03, 2016  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I bought my Samsung UN65JS9500 Ultra HDTV back in 2015.  According to Samsung, it supports high dynamic range. However, when I browse the Netflix app on the TV, the listings will indicate if a program is 4K/Ultra HD, but not if it’s high dynamic range. I’ve asked both Samsung and Netflix tech support what the problem is, but have yet to receive a clear answer. Can you help? — Jon Fraser

Al Griffin  |  Oct 27, 2016  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q The rock group Genesis and several other bands have released albums in 5.1 surround. Is it true there’s no way to listen to these recordings without losing detail when using a soundbar for playback? Or would you have to use an actual five-speaker surround sound system? —Robert Hadley Jr. / via e-mail

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