Michael Fremer

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Michael Fremer  |  Sep 08, 2009  |  0 comments

Price: $8,600 At A Glance: Instant touchpanel music access • Housewide and worldwide access • Elegant, intuitive interface • Unlimited storage capacity • Automatic backup and MP3 creation

Sooloos Sticks a Fork in the CD

The custom installer’s eyes lit up almost as brightly as the Sooloos Control 10’s LCD touchpanel screen as he scrolled through the 700 CDs and high-resolution digital files that had so far loaded onto the system’s hard drive.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 15, 2003  |  0 comments

With A/V receivers now approaching the size, weight, and complexity of small apartment buildings, separating the processing and control functions from the amplification is becoming an attractive alternative for growing numbers of home-theater enthusiasts. While this approach is usually more expensive in the short run, most serious videophiles find that the long-term flexibility and enhanced performance more than offset the added cost.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 02, 2012  |  9 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Price: $4,000 At A Glance: Seven powerful amplifiers • Complexity simplified • Future-proof modular design

For good reason, grizzled veterans of the audio/video hardware wars eagerly anticipate reviewing NAD gear. The company’s distinguished history began in the 1970s with the invention of the business model that was adopted years later by Apple, among others. Rather than building a factory to produce its products, NAD contracted with existing manufacturing facilities, thus avoiding high capitalization costs.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 10, 2006  |  Published: Sep 11, 2006  |  0 comments

Sharp Electronics introduced two new 1080p AQUOS HDTVs on August 31st at a press event held in NBC’s famed Rockefeller Center Studio 8H, home to Saturday Night Live since it’s debut on October 11th, 1975.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 29, 2001  |  0 comments

When a speaker company changes hands, particularly when it is sold by its founders, a new design team often comes on board. That can be a tricky affair. Like passing a baton in a relay race, if it's not handled smoothly, or if it's dropped, sometimes there's no catching up and the race is lost. That almost happened to giant Harman International when it bought Infinity from Arnie Nudell and Cary Christie. Both men ultimately left to pursue other ventures. It took years for Infinity to fully regain its footing, which it did with the rollout of the outstanding, high-tech Prelude system, reviewed by Joel Brinkley in the July/August 2000 issue of SGHT.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 13, 2008  |  0 comments
At a late winter press event, Panasonic Corporation of North America rolled out its complete 2008 line of 21 plasma and LCD flat paneltelevisions, all branded VIERA for the first time in North America. A Panasonic spokesperson explained that VIERA stands for "Visual Era," and for "exceptional picture, connectivity and customer service and satisfaction" [But the latter didn't make such a spiffy acronym!-Ed.].
Michael Fremer  |  Jun 21, 2003  |  0 comments

Take an informal survey of HDTV owners and you'll find few complaints about HD- or DVD-sourced picture quality. Most are thrilled by what they see. But ask about the view from standard 480i NTSC cable or satellite and the grumbling begins. Part of the problem is, once you've seen HD, regular television is bound to disappoint. Another issue is screen size—the bigger the screen, the worse non-HD images look. First-time buyers of HDTV big screens learn what owners of analog big screens have known for years: Blowing up noisy, low-resolution video just highlights and magnifies flaws not readily seen on small screens.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 29, 2001  |  0 comments

Because of manufacturing and publishing lead times, Christmas-season products are shown in June. That's when I had my first encounter with the Philips 55PP9701—at a line show, a press event at which a company shows its entire line of new products. There the 55PP9701 was, along with Philips' new light bulbs, shavers, blood-pressure monitors, and budget-priced A/V receivers.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 13, 2003  |  0 comments

Like three-button suits, ribbon drivers seem to go in and out of fashion arbitrarily. But there's a pattern. First, they're all the rage for their airy, transparent, detailed sound. Then they're shunned because of inherent technical limitations or their low impedances (which present a difficult load for an amplifier to drive). Or because of the complexities involved in getting them to mate with the traditional cone drivers typically used to produce low frequencies. Or because new materials and technologies have improved the performance of cone and dome drivers, which, being easier to manufacture and use, make ribbons' theoretical advantages not worth the hassle. Then there's a breakthrough in ribbon design and the cycle repeats.

Michael Fremer  |  May 09, 2008  |  0 comments

Bouncing back from the news that Pioneer is exiting the plasma-panel manufacturing business—Matsushita, Panasonic's parent company, will provide the panels for future Pioneer plasma TVs—the company debuted a new line of upscale, eye-popping products at a press event held May 7 at New York City’s appropriately upscale Gramercy Park Hotel.