Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 20, 2016  |  0 comments

Audio Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $799

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Crisp, clear top end
FireConnect wireless capability
Attractive, simplified remote
Minus
Atmos limited to 5.1.2
Single-position room correction

THE VERDICT
The Onkyo TX-RZ610 is an excellent-sounding receiver with sensible ergonomics and unusual FireConnect wireless capability in addition to the usual Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and Bluetooth.

Onkyo has long been an industry leader when it comes to packing the latest and greatest features into their under-$1,000 A/V receivers. The Onkyo story has been just as interesting behind the scenes. A few years ago, Gibson Brands—yes, the guitar people—acquired a majority stake in Onkyo USA, while also investing directly in Onkyo Corp. (Onkyo Corp. also invested in Gibson, Onkyo reminded me; each CEO now sits on the other’s board.) More recently, in the spring of 2015, Onkyo Corp. acquired Pioneer’s Home A/V division. Together, Gibson, who is in essence partnered with Onkyo, and Onkyo, under the aegis of its corporate parent, now market three prominent AVR brands, including Onkyo, Integra (aimed at the custom installation market), and Pioneer (it’s actually four brands if you count separately Pioneer’s offshoot premium Elite brand). In the small world of AVR manufacturers, that makes this American/Japanese duo something of an empire.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 18, 2016  |  0 comments
You may not recognize the name of DLNA, the Digital Living Network Alliance. But you’re probably familiar with its implementation of plug-and-play technology, which enables AV receivers to access music from a connected computer. The standard continues to evolve.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 13, 2016  |  0 comments
You’re kicking back with your smart TV. Suddenly the screen locks up. Even more surreal, your TV claims to represent a law enforcement agency and accuses you of crimes you haven’t committed...
Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 07, 2016  |  3 comments
To buy or not to buy? That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler to pay an Ebay seller several hundred bucks for an ancient Luxman L-80 or take arms against a sea of regrets—that is what has been troubling me for years as I've ogled this stereo integrated amp from 1975. I don't need it; yet I want it. I'm suffering from non-buyer's remorse.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 04, 2016  |  0 comments
MQA Is Coming to NAD’s BluOS operating system, which covers a variety of wireless-savvy audio components. MQA can stream hi-res audio at CDquality data rates.

Lionsgate Is Adopting Dolby Vision HDR, making it the second movie studio to do so after Warner, as well as Dolby Atmos surround, making it number six following HBO, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner. Dolby Vision boasts 35 streaming titles, but no Blu-ray yet...

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 20, 2016  |  2 comments

Audio Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,800

AT A GLANCE
Plus
CI focus, including eight-port Ethernet hub
9.1 channels for 5.1.4/7.1.2 surround
Redesigned setup mic
Minus
No Bluetooth, AirPlay, Wi-Fi, or DLNA

THE VERDICT
The Sony STR-ZA5000ES combines a hard-kicking amp with custom-install-friendly features.

In Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story “Silver Blaze,” from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, the great detective has this conversation with a police inspector, who speaks first:

“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

Just as the dog that didn’t bark enabled Holmes to identify a killer, the features that the Sony STR-ZA5000ES doesn’t have are clues to its identity. This $2,800 receiver doesn’t have Bluetooth, AirPlay, Wi-Fi, or any other wireless connectivity or network audio option—not even DLNA to work with its Ethernet jacks.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 16, 2016  |  0 comments
Dynaudio says the soft dome tweeter in its new Contour Series is the best one it's ever used.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 16, 2016  |  0 comments
The BMR flat-panel driver has been featured in several Cambridge Audio speaker lines. Its latest iteration is the Aeromax series.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 16, 2016  |  0 comments
Bose aggressively downsized satellite speakers long before it became fashionable. The new Lifestyle 650 system continues the campaign with the OmniJewel, Bose's smallest satellite yet.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 16, 2016  |  0 comments
Montreal's Totem Acoustic is a speaker brand we haven't celebrated as often as we'd like because for many years its lines didn't reflect a surround sensibility. But CEDIA 2016 turned up two new lines—one with a center speaker, the other with an LCR—that got our attention.

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