Al Griffin

Al Griffin  |  Jun 22, 2021  |  3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My partner and I want to get set up for high-resolution audio and are hoping to use the Tidal service for better-than-CD-quality streaming. We have a Sherwood stereo integrated amplifier from the 1980s, along with big, beautiful, fantastic-sounding speakers and we don’t want to give those up. I’ve tried researching the huge range of available tech options but just don’t know how to make it work. We use Android devices and own a Fosi Audio DAC-Q4 [digital-to-analog converter/headphone amp]. We also have a spare computer that can be used to run Tidal. —Victoria Baker, via email

Al Griffin  |  Jun 18, 2021  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
As the first film to launch the MonsterVerse, a "cinematic universe" featuring enduring monster movie icons, this 2014 reboot of the Godzilla franchise set the template for several movies to come, including Kong: Skull Island and the late-pandemic sensation, Godzilla vs. Kong. Here's the deal: After escaping a nuclear weapons assault (cloaked by authorities as a "nuclear test") in the 1950s, Godzilla went deep underground.
Al Griffin  |  Jun 10, 2021  |  1 comments
Yes, it had to be done. Consider it a form of spring cleaning. The “it” is in this case is a streaming service — HBO Max to be specific — that I decided to drop. My video streaming plate had become over-filled during the pandemic as I spent much of my free time at home, and now that I was vaxxed up and ready to re-engage (as much as possible) with the world, I made the decision to dump at least one service. It’s not that I wanted to lose it — in the final days of my active subscription, I of course happened upon a new original series, Mare of Easttown, that was right up my alley — but something had to give, and it was going to be HBO Max.
Al Griffin  |  May 26, 2021  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Ample brightness and good contrast
Flexible zoom and lens shift range
Built-in streaming apps
Minus
Requires calibration for best performance
Smart features may be overkill for some

THE VERDICT
LG's 4K laser DLP projector is packed with smart features and offers impressive all-around performance at a reasonable price.

As the "Smart TV" has become the norm, projectors in contrast have remained steadfastly dumb. For many home theater enthusiasts, that arrangement has worked out just fine, with streaming, voice control, and other forms of internet-connected interaction handled by front-end components on the A/V rack and the projector serving as little more than a means to display an image.

Al Griffin  |  May 25, 2021  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q What’s the best way to connect a subwoofer used mainly for music listening? I’ve been trying both the stereo RCA and mono LFE input connections on my Klipsch R 120SW subwoofer, but am not sure which works best, and also where I should set the low-pass/LFE filter on my Onkyo TX-NR717 receiver. My front speakers are Klipsch R-28F towers. I would appreciate any recommendations on crossover settings for the receiver and the subwoofer itself. —Ken Zarubi, via email

Al Griffin  |  May 05, 2021  |  0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $3,195 (as tested)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Crisp, near full-range performance
R900 module delivers immersive sound
Impressive build quality for price
Excellent value
Minus
Revealing sound can be slightly bright with some sources

THE VERDICT
Packed with tech developed for Polk Audio’s flagship Legend series, this Reserve series speaker package delivers dynamic and immersive sound at a budget-friendly price.

Back in 2019, Polk Audio rolled out its Legend series speakers. For a brand known to maintain a laser-like focus on value, the Legends, with their finely constructed cabinets (featuring real wood veneer) and fully redesigned driver complement, not to mention an enhanced version of the company's SDA (Stereo Dimensional Array) technology in the line's flagship L800 tower, seemed an atypically cost-no- object offering.

Al Griffin  |  Apr 22, 2021  |  0 comments
In a recent letter to the editor, reader Paul Brians makes the case that current home theater systems, including ones that use a 65-inch TV, offer a superior viewing experience in comparison with a typical movie theater. I’ll confess to having had that same thought many times, even as I continue to be a fan of theatrical venues such as the Cinerama in Seattle that Mr. Brians mentions.
Al Griffin  |  Apr 14, 2021  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $179

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Inexpensive
Compact form factor
Good extension and output
Minus
Limited features
No wireless option

THE VERDICT
There’s nothing fancy about OSD Audio’s Nero TubeBass 10, but if you’re looking to get decent bass performance in smaller-size room without a paying a premium, it’s well worth a listen.

As someone who appreciates the benefit deep bass brings to music and movie soundtracks, I've come to accept that having a box the size of a small refrigerator in my living room is a reality of life I need to contend with. That box, of course, is a subwoofer, and welcoming one into your space is the deal you must strike in order to get deep bass. Some cleverly engineered models use innovative DSP-driven solutions, along with serious amplifier power, to coax extended bass from compact boxes— certain subs we've reviewed from JL Audio and KEF come to mind. And while such models definitely make a better fit with non-mancave-like interior spaces, you'll pay handsomely for the tech wizardry that brings about the bass miniaturization.

Al Griffin  |  Apr 08, 2021  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am planning an upgrade to Panasonic DP-UB9000 Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Can I can connect the player’s 7.1 analog output to my Yamaha AVR’s multichannel input (like I currently do with my Oppo player) and hear Atmos/DTS:X? —Rick Poage, Fairfax, VA

Al Griffin  |  Mar 25, 2021  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Do the preamp outputs on A/V receivers work as well as those on a standalone preamp-processor? What functionality does one lose when using pre-outs on a receiver? —Ravinder Dhawan, Watchung, NJ

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