Thomas J. Norton

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 24, 2022  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Based on the Broadway musical from Leonard Bernstein, Steven Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents, West Side Story involves two teenage gangs, one Anglo (the Jets) and the other Puerto Rican (the Sharks), that fight constantly over turf and ethnicity in the mean city streets of 1950s New York. When Jets-member Tony falls head-over-heels for Maria, the sister of a Shark, you don't need a roadmap to see where this will end up. Hint: Think Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 14, 2022  |  1 comments
Looking to improve the sound of your system? Before you start switching out gear, assess the acoustics of your room. You may be surprised by what you find.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 02, 2022  |  4 comments

Performance
Features
Value
PRICE $199

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Superb setup flexibility
Adjustments shown in simplified parametric EQ format
Processing can be applied to full or limited frequency range
Minus
Requires a PC to run program
Steep learning curve
Not compatible with all AVRs featuring Audyssey
Software not transferrable

THE VERDICT
Audyssey's latest version takes room EQ processing to the next level via a PC software app offering an unprecedented degree of options to tune all channels in your system.

Electronic correction for the flaws common to any listening room wasn't always a thing. My first exposure to it came over 20 years ago with the Snell Acoustics RCS1000 Room Correction System, a complex device that never made a splash in the market before that innovative company folded. It wasn't until 2002 that room EQ took off with the launch of Audyssey, which was founded at the University of Southern California by USC professors Chris Kyriakakis and Tomlinson Holman, the latter famous for his work in the development of THX while at LucasFilm.

Thomas J. Norton  |  May 31, 2022  |  3 comments
Spring is traditionally prime time for the audio industry to dust off the cobwebs and bring out their best and latest gear at a hi-fi show for the public to see, hear, and touch. But the pandemic of the past two years wreaked havoc on the show front.
Thomas J. Norton  |  May 17, 2022  |  2 comments
It's been a strange two years for home entertainment as Covid came and went, came and went, came and... It's been even stranger for home theater.
Thomas J. Norton  |  May 11, 2022  |  0 comments

R5t Tower
Performance
Build Quality
Value

D15s Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $7,000/pair (R5t tower), $5,000 (D15s subwoofer)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Clean, uncolored sound (R5t)
Surprisingly powerful bass (R5t)
Excellent build quality (R5t)
Stunningly dynamic performance (D15s)
Excellent build quality (D15s)
Minus
Pricey (both)
Not the best option for very large rooms (R5t)

THE VERDICT
Perlisten Audio's R5t towers and D15s subwoofer offer stunning performance and good looks, but in this case the great sound and build quality will cost you.

Even the most veteran A/V enthusiast is unlikely to have heard of Perlisten (short for Perceptual Listening) Audio, but that situation should soon change. Founded by a group of audio industry veterans, the company was formally launched in 2021. For a new speaker outfit, the number of Perlisten models is astonishingly long and encompasses towers, standmounts, center and surround speakers, in-walls, and subwoofers, all of them engineered in the U.S. and manufactured in China.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 26, 2022  |  2 comments
Audiophiles have an inherent advantage over home theater enthusiasts: when it comes to setting up their systems, they need only make room for two loudspeakers plus a convenient location for the sources and amplifiers needed to drive them. For a home theater we need to find space for more, often much more. Those multiple speakers must also support the screen, and often there isn't much flexibility in where to put the latter—be it a TV or a projector with a separate screen. In any home theater setup the locations for the center, surrounds, and perhaps overhead speakers are then usually fixed by the placement of those front speakers and the main listener/viewer positions, with little room for deviations in a proper setup.

But positioning one or more subwoofers for the best results is a chore that takes time and patience. Subwoofers are relatively rare in 2-channel systems, which is unfortunate because they can achieve soul-satisfying bass while limiting the need for hulking, and expensive, front left and right loudspeakers.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 12, 2022  |  6 comments
All full-range loudspeakers have a tweeter, apart from relatively uncommon, single driver designs. A tweeter's performance can vary widely, but generally reflects the budget and/or the intentions of the designer. Most buyers are happy with the tweeters in their loudspeakers, but are they missing something?

Aperion Audio believes they are. They offer three different super tweeters as add-on devices to your current loudspeakers. There are other super tweeters on the market, but as a category they're rare. Aperion sent me one of each — the pure Aluminum Ribbon at $649 (shown in the photo above), the Planar-Ribbon at $399, and the pure Dual Aluminum Ribbon (radiating toward both the front and the back) at $999.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 01, 2022  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
As young Alma and Pedro Madrigal flee from war in their native Colombia, Pedro is killed. Alma clutches their children as a magic candle appears, smiting Pedro's killers and promising endless magical gifts for the Madrigal family—as long as the candle burns. Alma and her children settle in a small village where the candle creates an enchanted Casita (home) for them.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 29, 2022  |  0 comments
When I wrote about the new film version of Dune some months back my reaction was positive. I saw it in a movie theater—my first visit to one in two years. There was plenty of social distancing during my visit; with a dozen or so other attendees at a midweek, midafternoon showing I could have swung a cat on a 10 foot rope without hitting anyone (with apologies to cat people). I enjoyed the film, but as I noted in that October 2021 blog, I was disappointed by the quality of much of the cinematography. This was surprising, since it was the Dolby Cinema in my local AMC-plex. Dolby Cinema is by far my favorite way to see a movie in a commercial theater. It wasn't the sort of disappointment the average viewer would feel, and even I could set my concerns aside once I got into the film. But I know Dolby Cinema can do better and the film deserved it.

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