David Vaughn

David Vaughn  |  May 18, 2022  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $5,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Deep bass response with extremely high output
Impeccable build quality
THX Dominus Certification
Minus
No built-in parametric EQ or room correction
No control app or handset

THE VERDICT
The performance of M&K Sound’s THX Dominus Certified X15+ is over the top. Highly recommended if you demand bass that can go extremely deep and loud even in the largest of rooms.

Let me state from the outset that I'm a fan of M&K Sound speakers. I have owned an M&K S-150 surround system for the past 18-plus years and have zero desire to change it out anytime soon. The first time I auditioned it in a Magnolia Hi-Fi store back in 2002 made me an instant admirer of the brand, and it took me two years of saving up to be able to afford a full 7.1 speaker package. I fully bought into M&K's—and THX's—principle that using a subwoofer/satellite configuration to separate and optimize the reproduction of low frequencies improves midrange purity and accuracy.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 04, 2022  |  0 comments
Performance
Sound
In all honesty, I had never heard the name Bernie Dresel until I was sent The Pugilist, the latest disc from his jazz band, The BBB Featuring Bernie Dresel, to review. The outfit is a collection of studio musicians who play together at Los Angeles-area jazz clubs, but chances are you've heard their various talents before. For example, Dresel has 25 movie credits to his name, with A-list soundtracks such as Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek (2009), and Spider-Man: Far from Home, just to name three. Other members of the band also have extensive backgrounds with various Hollywood productions, and this ultimately brought them together back in 2014.
David Vaughn  |  Feb 16, 2022  |  1 comments
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $1,799

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Powerful output
Intelligent Phase Control allows for precise alignment with main speakers
Useful remote control
Minus
Large size makes optimal placement difficult
No custom EQ options

THE VERDICT
Definitive Technology flagship subwoofer delivers extended bass and impressive output, but lacks the app-based custom EQ controls found on many other models.

Watching a movie at home is one of the things I always look forward to when coming back off the road from a long business trip. My home theater has evolved over the years from a modest 5.1-channel setup with a rear-projection TV into a system I never dreamed I'd attain: a JVC RS2000 4K projector, 110-inch Stewart FireHawk scope screen, and a full Dolby Atmos speaker system brought to life by a Trinnov Altitude 16 processor and ATI N-Core amps. I truly am living the home theater dream.

David Vaughn  |  Jun 23, 2021  |  3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $18,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Phenomenal sound quality
Software-based platform makes upgrades easy
Superior room correction processing
Minus
Pricey!
Basic remote control
Typically requires pro installation

THE VERDICT
The Altitude16 may be a luxury purchase, but for those seeking an upgradeable surround sound processor with fantastic sound quality, cutting-edge room correction, and support for all the latest immersive audio formats, it's a true standout product.

I've been reviewing A/V gear for over 15 years, and it's rare that something new comes along that will intimidate me. But all that changed when I found out I'd be reviewing the Trinnov Audio Altitude16, an $18,000 surround sound processor offering up to 16 discrete output channels plus the company's proprietary Optimizer speaker/room correction, that's arguably the most sophisticated and flexible offering of its kind on the market.

David Vaughn  |  May 19, 2021  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE SB-1000 Pro: $499.99 (Black Ash), $599.99 (Piano Gloss Black/White); PB-1000 Pro: $599.99 (Black Ash)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
ig, deep bass from a small box
Best-in-class control app
45-day in-home trial period
Minus
No auto-calibration/room correction
Best suited for smaller rooms

THE VERDICT
SVS outdoes itself again by offering a pair of budget-friendly subwoofers controlled by the company’s best-in-class app.

Innovative technologies tend to debut in more expensive goods so that companies can recoup their research and development costs. Take Mercedes, for example. When new tech gets introduced, the company does not debut it in its A or C class of cars, but instead reserves it for its S class to entice buyers to "trade up" to the more expensive—and likely more profitable—model.

David Vaughn  |  Jun 05, 2020  |  6 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
One of my favorite movies from the 1980s, Top Gun stars Tom Cruise as Lt. Peter Mitchell, call sign "Maverick," a young hot-shot pilot picked to attend the prestigious "Top Gun" flight school and hone his air-to-air combat skills. Also appearing are Val Kilmer as "Iceman," Anthony Edwards as Maverick's RIO (radar intercept officer) "Goose," and Tim Robbins as "Merlin." Rounding out the cast is Kelly McGillis as Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood, a civilian instructor who is an expert on Russian aviation.
David Vaughn  |  May 29, 2020  |  1 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Def Leppard got its start back in 1977 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England when Rick Savage, Tony Kenning and Pete Willis formed a band called Atomic Mass. Joe Elliott joined the band a short time later and became the lead singer and proposed a new name for the band, "Deaf Leopard," which was ultimately adopted with some modified spelling. Kenning ended up leaving the shortly before their first recording session and was replaced by a fifteen-year-old drummer by the name of Rick Allen.
David Vaughn  |  Mar 11, 2020  |  5 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,500

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Powerful output for a compact model
Onboard Digital Automatic Room Optimization
Dual-sub setup option
Minus
Lacks below-20Hz extension
Gloss black finish attracts dust

THE VERDICT
The f110v2 lacks the output and extension of a larger sub, but packs quite a punch given its modest size.

According to Merriam-Webster, a fathom is a unit of length equal to six feet that's used to measure the depth of water. But for JL Audio, Fathom is a family of subwoofers that dig deep into the lower depths of the audio spectrum. The company, which has been around north of forty years, was started by Jim Birch and Lucio Proni, who started building loudspeakers during their summer break back in the 1970s and never stopped.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 04, 2020  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $400 + service fees (varies by plan)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Supports 4K/HDR, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos
Voice-activated search
Terrific program guide
Minus
High up-front cost
No Disney+ or Apple TV+ support
TiVo+ Network is a work in progress

THE VERDICT
TiVo's next-gen DVR is a timely update that adds support for Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound, along with a more sophisticated voice search feature.

When TiVo burst on the scene in 1999, it changed the way millions of people watched TV. Gone were the days of manually setting up a recording on your VCR and then having to wait for a program to finish. Now, by using TiVo's DVR, you could not just record but pause Live TV in order to answer a phone call or take a bathroom break.

David Vaughn  |  Apr 24, 2019  |  9 comments

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE Price: $1,099 (piano gloss black), $999 (black ash)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Outstanding performance for price
Excellent iOS/Android control app
Compact form factor
Minus
Lacks auto-calibration/room EQ

THE VERDICT
SVS continues its tradition of providing more than ample bass for your buck, this time in a relatively compact subwoofer accompanied by a useful setup and control app.

Over the past 15 years I've reviewed more A/V products than I can count, but the ones I most look forward to watching the FedEx guy hoist off the delivery truck are subwoofers. That's mainly because I love hearing bass—the more the better. Also, the reviewing process gives me an opportunity to revisit some of my favorite movie bass torture-test scenes to see if the latest, greatest subwoofer is up to snuff.

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