Al Griffin

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Al Griffin  |  Nov 15, 2018  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $4,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Effective, easily configured room correction
Flexible bass-management
Powerful stereo amplifier
Extensive phono input settings
Minus
No built-in network streaming capability

THE VERDICT
ARC room correction on Anthem’s STR integrated amp makes it a must-audition option for anyone putting together a high-performance stereo system.

Anthem AVM series preamplifier/processors have been part of my home theater toolkit going back as long as I can remember. Though they perform A/V switching, audio processing, and video upscaling as well as anything else on the market, the main feature I’ve come to depend on is the company’s proprietary ARC (Anthem Room Correction), a Windows and iOS/Android app that lets you measure the effect of your listening environment on your speakers using either a calibrated microphone or the one built into your phone or tablet.

Al Griffin  |  Nov 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m upgrading my home theater for Dolby Atmos and have noted that various speakers are now being specifically marketed for this purpose. For example, I’ve seen compact speakers with sloped, downward-pointing baffles that are designed to be wall-mounted near the ceiling. Are these as effective in delivering overhead effects as an in-ceiling or Atmos Enabled speaker? Also, could an Atmos Enabled speaker be mounted in the same manner near the ceiling? —R. Hatton, via email

Al Griffin  |  Oct 26, 2018  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Like its sci-fi counterpart, the horror film genre is packed with “cult classics.” But there are only a few horror titles that can lay claim to “classic” film status. Universal Monsters films from the 1920s through the 1950s notwithstanding (see Boxes of Joy on page 28), my list is limited to The Shining, The Exorcist, Night of the Living Dead, Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby, Halloween, and Carrie.
Al Griffin  |  Oct 25, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Can I use an HDMI 1.3b cable to connect an Ultra HD Blu-Ray player to my regular HDTV? Will the cable downscale the 4K image to 1080p, or do I need to use an HDMI 2.0 cable for it to work? —Charles Kuforiji, via email

Al Griffin  |  Oct 19, 2018  |  4 comments
Clockwise from top left: Josef Krebs, Mike Mettler (right) with Graham Nash, Tom Norton, David Vaughn, Chris Chiarella with the comedian Gallagher.

A recent reader comment on this site gave high praise to the magazine’s AV equipment reviews, but then went on to condemn our “weak” attempts to review movies on Blu-ray disc. The gist of the message was that movie disc reviews are best left to websites that can cover them on a timely basis, as opposed to the weeks or even months that it can take for Sound&Vision to turn out reviews of the same titles.

Al Griffin  |  Oct 11, 2018  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’ve got a decent Velodyne subwoofer that I’d like to connect to a powered soundbar. Most soundbar manufacturers now use wireless subwoofer connections, however, so I’m struggling to find one that’s capable of connecting with my sub. Could you recommend a mid-level or a high-end soundbar that features a hardwired subwoofer output? —Jim O’Hara, via email

Al Griffin  |  Oct 11, 2018  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $599

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Impressive power from compact box
Built-in phono stage
Subwoofer output
Minus
Slightly forward sound on some tracks

THE VERDICT
PS Audio’s new Sprout 100 is a worthy option for anyone seeking a compact integrated amplifier/DAC that also handles vinyl playback.

The original PS Audio Sprout integrated amplifier/DAC was noted as being part of a new trend of ultra-compact ampDACs when Sound & Vision reviewed it back in 2015. We’ve since tested similar models from Elac and Teac, though it was the Sprout that most grabbed our attention due to its moving magnet phono stage—a feature those other models happen to lack.

Al Griffin  |  Sep 21, 2018  |  8 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I would like to use an Oppo BDP-93 as the Blu-ray player in my system connected to an Arcam AVR350 A/V receiver. Since the Arcam is a legacy AVR with no HDMI switching, I will need to use the Oppo’s component video output. Here’s my question: Will I be able to get high-definition resolution from Blu-ray discs with this setup? I have read that Blu-rays have embedded ICT (Image Constraint Token), which forces the player to downscale the video resolution to DVD quality. Also, are there any workarounds, like using an Oppo player with early (pre-ICT) firmware? —Lisa Kaye, via email

Al Griffin  |  Sep 09, 2018  |  0 comments
The EPV Screens booth at CEDIA highlighted one of the company’s latest projection screen offerings for ultra-short throw projectors. By filtering out light coming from overhead, the 0.5-gain DarkStar UST eFinity allows for pictures with ample brightness and contrast in high ambient light environments.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 07, 2018  |  0 comments
French streaming service Qobuz (pronounced “Ko-buzz”) set up tent at CEDIA to show off its extensive hi-res music catalog, which will be made available to U.S. audiophiles as soon as late October. Qobuz also provided a glimpse of the service’s app (PC, Mac, and Android/iOS are all supported, and there’s a web browser version).

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