David Vaughn

David Vaughn  |  Dec 06, 2022  |  3 comments

Picture
Sound
Kaleidescape Scenes
Extras
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi begins with the words, “This is a true story,” not “based” on one, with a screenplay by Chuck Hogan that is based on the book from Michael Zuckoff. It steers mostly clear of the politics surrounding the attack and tells the story from the perspective of the people who were on the ground during the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Regardless of the politics, four Americans lost their lives that night: Ambassador Chris Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and CIA operatives Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy SEALs who were civilian contractors working out of a secret CIA Annex near the compound.
David Vaughn  |  Nov 21, 2022  |  0 comments

Picture
Sound
Kaleidescape Scenes
Extras
Game of Thrones is arguably one of the best TV shows in history — well, at least the first six seasons — and became a cultural phenomenon when it hit HBO in April 2011. It would go on to produce a total of eight seasons and one of the most controversial endings one could ever dream up. Co-creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were ripped to shreds on the Internet — and rightfully so, in this writer’s opinion — leaving viewers to wonder what effect this would have on further projects set within the universe George R. R. Martin crafted in his popular book series.
David Vaughn  |  Nov 07, 2022  |  0 comments

Picture
Sound
Kaleidescape Scenes
Extras
After surviving the near suicidal assault on Omaha beach, Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) and his band of brothers receive orders from the desk of General Marshal to find and bring home Private James Francis Ryan, a paratrooper lost in action behind enemy lines. Sadly, Ryan’s three older brothers lost their lives in the war effort so Miller and his team of eight men must risk their lives to save the Ryan family from further heartache.
David Vaughn  |  Oct 25, 2022  |  1 comments
A couple weeks ago I explored a different way of experiencing movies at home — one that doesn’t involve spinning 4K Blu-ray discs or streaming movies from Netflix and other services. I’m talking about the server-based movie system Kaleidescape introduced way back in 2001. The system, which is available only through custom integrators, has evolved over the years yet I never had the opportunity to experience it firsthand until recently when Kaleidescape offered to loan me the company’s Strato C Movie Player with a companion server, the 48-terabyte Terra. (You can read my impressions of the system in A Marriage Made in Movie Heaven.) To further explore the Kaleidescape ecosystem, Sound & Vision agreed to run bi-monthly blog where I review titles available from the Kaleidescape store. Here is the first installment.
David Vaughn  |  Oct 11, 2022  |  12 comments

Hands On with the Kaleidescape Strato C Movie Player and Terra 48TB Movie Server

Reviewing A/V products began as a hobby that led to some paid gigs starting 16 years ago. Years of reviewing fantastic equipment opened my eyes to two concepts: Better equipment does come with a cost, but there’s this thing called “The Law of Diminishing Returns.” For example, in the AVR world, a $1,000 receiver offers a lot more features and functions than a $300 one — more power, more HDMI inputs, more channels, more robust onboard EQ, etc. But what about a $3,000 model versus one that costs $1,000? Likely it will also offer more, but not necessarily three times the value.
David Vaughn  |  Aug 11, 2022  |  10 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $12,500

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Convenient one-chassis design
Superb dynamics and soundstage
Channels can be bridged to double the output
Minus
Amp runs very hot
–No legacy inputs

THE VERDICT
Trinnov’s Amplitude16 packs 16 channels of serious power in a standard size component and brings music and movie soundtracks to life in a thrilling way.

Last year I had the good fortune of reviewing Trinnov's Altitude16 surround-sound processor and loved it so much it became a permanent fixture in my A/V system. At the time, I raved about its performance and, after more than a year of daily use, I can honestly say that this 16-channel pre-pro is one of the best upgrades I've ever done in my theater.

David Vaughn  |  May 18, 2022  |  3 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.

Pages

X