Tom Norton

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Tom Norton  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  2 comments

I've heard the $4495/pair Von Schweikert Audio VR-4jr on four different occasions now, in four different rooms at three different shows, and their sound has consistently ranged from very good to superb. The same was true here. They're on the right in the photo. To the left is the larger, VR-5SE, which will set you back $18,000/pair. The VR-5SE did sound better—tighter, crisper, and better defined. But not four times better. Von Schweikert does make a suitable center channel and surrounds, but for front projection I'd be inclined to try three VR-4jrs across the front, perhaps turning the sub module on its side if needed for the system to clear the screen (the top mid/tweeter module separates from the woofers in the Watt/Puppy style, but is not available separately).

Tom Norton  |  Jan 11, 2007  |  2 comments

The Venetian, the new home of the Specialty Audio and Video exhibits, was primarily a two-channel oasis. Here (and below) are two highlights. I didn't get into many of the rooms; if I peeked in and there didn't seem to be screen there, I had to move on, as time was very short and the two-channel exhibits there are being thoroughly covered by our sister publication, <I>Stereophile</I>. But I did check out a few rooms that prior experience suggested might be prime. The VTL-Avalon room was one of them. The system sounded pristine through VTL's vacuum tube electronics and Avalon Acoustics Eidolon Diamond speakers.

Tom Norton  |  Jan 11, 2007  |  1 comments

Here's the gear that drove the system above. The CD player is from DCS.

Tom Norton  |  Sep 14, 2006  |  Published: Sep 15, 2006  |  0 comments

How do you make an in-wall speaker look interesting? You don't, but Atlantic Technology was one of a handful of vendors to actually make them sound interesting (most vendors didn't even try to demo their in-walls). Three Atlantic IWCB-626's were mounted behind an acoustically transparent Screen Research screen, together with dipole surrounds and subs. The projector was a small Crystal View single chip DLP, which appeared to be a variation on a modestly-priced Mitsubishi design. Nothing fancy here, but simply a solid demo all around of a system that is not outrageously priced. Featured were some particularly fine HD trailers from the upcoming films <I>Flyboys</I> and <I>A Night At The Museum</I>.

Tom Norton  |  Jun 01, 2006  |  Published: Jun 02, 2006  |  0 comments

Fred Manteghian beat me to the punch in his description of the fabulous-sounding Wilson Watt Puppy 8s ($28,000/pr minus change). Unclothed, they look pretty much liked the previous WP 7, but sound both more refined and dynamic than my recollection from the last time I heard that earlier model (admittedly, a few years ago). Another 2-channel demo, but Wilson also makes suitable center channel speakers, surrounds, and subwoofers.

Tom Norton  |  Sep 24, 2010  |  0 comments
The Chorus 826W ($3475/pair) is the latest entry in Focal's mid-priced Chorus lineup. In fact it is the only Chorus model to incorporate the "W" sandwich cone construction previously available only in the more upscale Electra and Utopia series (the other Chorus models use a less sophisticated cone design). Unfortunately, there is as yet no matching center channel or surrounds, and the availability of such models has not been announced.
Tom Norton  |  Jan 09, 2008  |  0 comments

My rounds at the high-end audio exhibits at the Venetian Hotel only let me sample a few rooms that looked interesting, or appeared to have some semblance of relevance to both music <I>and</I> home theater. But If I diverge a bit from the home theater tack in a one or two of the following entries, well, it's stuff I found interesting.

Tom Norton  |  Jan 13, 2012  |  0 comments
Wharfedale demoed the top model in its new Jade series, the floor-standing Jade 7. Using vinyl as a source, it sounded most impressive, which was good because a complete surround package built around the Jade 7s is on hand at Home Theater for a future review.
Tom Norton  |  Jan 15, 2012  |  0 comments
Here are the beryllium cone drivers seen in the new, $50,000/pair 8T speakers from Status Acoustics and described elsewhere here.
Tom Norton  |  Sep 11, 2009  |  0 comments
Sometimes it's easy to forget that CEDIA is aimed for custom installers. And installers need tools. The mad dogger from Mad Dog tools was busy demonstrating his all purpose, drill and mixmaster Cujo thingy.