Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 01, 2017  |  2 comments
It started with Thelonious Monk. I was playing Thelonious Alone in San Francisco when a rhythmic swishing sound began to make itself heard. It was not present at the beginning of the disc, but it faded up slowly toward the middle and became an excruciating noise by the end. This was the first audible manifestation in my music library of something I'd been dreading for some time: CD rot.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Aug 17, 2017  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $500

AT A GLANCE
Plus
11 drivers in system, including side tweeters
Separate surround speakers
8-inch wireless sub
Minus
Cabinet resonance in sub and sats
No stereo mode
Odd remote volume-key positioning

THE VERDICT
The Shockwafe Pro 7.1 is a beautifully designed soundbar that delivers solid surround performance, especially with movies.

Founded in 1948, Nakamichi became best known in the 1970s for building the booming audio industry’s highest-end cassette decks, both under the company’s own name and for other brands. Nakamichi pioneered three-head decks, which used the extra head to read and monitor a recording in progress. The company has also dabbled in CD changers, A/V receivers, and even TVs, and they provided audio systems for the Toyota Lexus from 1989 to 2001.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Aug 16, 2017  |  1 comments
The television broadcast spectrum, the oldest source of programming, is getting a spiffy new broadcast standard but may suffer from regulatory changes that would consolidate ownership and dilute local programming.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Aug 16, 2017  |  0 comments
Fidget spinners, the latest way to distract the human mind through the wonder of ball bearings, are now available for smartphones.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Aug 08, 2017  |  0 comments
Amazon is many things to many people, and now it’s become the king of the smart-speaker market. Parks Associates reports that the online retail giant dominates smart speakers with 70.6 percent of sales, adding that smart speakers are in 11 percent of U.S. broadband households.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Aug 04, 2017  |  5 comments
I live in a dense urban neighborhood where it's not uncommon to see secondhand LP dealers plying their trade on the sidewalks. One day I was pawing through dirty old LPs when I came across something decidedly odd. The jacket mentioned a singer named Marni Nixon; no relation to the president, but if you grew up during the Nixon era, the name would catch your eye. Backing her was an all-cello chamber ensemble. And the titles of the works, by Villa-Lobos, were Bachianas Brasileiras Nos. 1 and 5. I knew nothing of the Brazilian composer then but have always loved Bach. Curiosity pried $1 out of my wallet and I carried home my prize.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Aug 03, 2017  |  3 comments

3000 5.1 Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

3070 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $900

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Sweet and smooth sats
Dual 6.5-inch sub
Minus
Deep sub juts out from wall

THE VERDICT
A sweet-sounding system, with a sub worthy of the satellites, the Q Acoustics 3000 is one of the best under-$1,000 5.1-channel setups I’ve heard.

Tube amps. Mono pressings. And now, 5.1? Has bedrock surround sound indeed joined the ranks of retro audio technologies? Surround receivers beyond the most entry level nearly always have more than five channels (though their uses vary), while Dolby Atmos and DTS:X have made seven (5.1.2) the new minimum system configuration. What happens when you go in the other direction? The flood of 5.1 speaker sets that I used to review in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has tapered to a trickle. I see fewer new ones at CES and CEDIA, and plain old stereo is dominant at the rest of the domestic and international audio shows. However, the British manufacturer Q Acoustics has been marketing 5.1-channel speaker sets since the company’s inception about a decade ago and continues to actively develop them. The brand’s latest entry is called the 3000 5.1 Home Theatre System.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Aug 02, 2017  |  0 comments
Vizio Is Bringing HDR10 to its E-Series models with a firmware update. Models range from 55 to 80 inches, at $550 to $3,400, and include 16 zones of full-array LED backlighting...

TBS and TNT are expanding their mobile presence to include the Roku, Chromecast, and Vizio SmartCast platforms. They are already on Android, iOS, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire...

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jul 19, 2017  |  1 comments
We’ve lived with wall-mounted TVs long enough that they’ve become a cliché—or worse, a visual intrusion. Samsung addresses that problem with a TV called The Frame. This wooden-framed TV imitates a framed picture with an “art mode” that lets you select from 100 different still images in 10 categories, including landscape, architecture, wildlife, action, and drawing.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jul 19, 2017  |  0 comments
Delta flyers in first and business classes are in for a treat. The airline has upgraded their headphones to a version of the LSTN Sound Co.’s Troubadour, a full-size over-the-ear model with wooden earcups and noise cancellation. Similar (but not identical) products sell on the LSTN website starting at $149. The partnership will support the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which has provided ear care and hearing aids to 22,000 people around the world.

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