Al Griffin

Al Griffin  |  Nov 14, 2019  |  0 comments
Depending on how you look at it, the arrival of Apple TV+, Disney+, and other streaming options — some still on the horizon — is either a glut or an embarrassment of riches.
Al Griffin  |  Oct 25, 2019  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
"The avant-garde art of the past becomes the wallpaper of the future." This statement, from a new introduction by Francis Ford Coppola contained on the Apocalypse Now Final Cut Ultra HD Blu-ray release, ultimately explains the acclaimed director's motivation to revisit his Vietnam War epic, ranked number 30 on the American Film Institute's 2007 list of the 100 Greatest American Films, and create yet another cut after already having done so in 2001 for Apocalypse Now: Redux.
Al Griffin  |  Oct 24, 2019  |  17 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

If I subscribe to Tidal Hi-Fi should I bother with 24-bit/192-kHz playback or is 24/96 all I need?

Al Griffin  |  Oct 23, 2019  |  9 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $5,998/pair

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Enveloping soundstage from SDA-Pro tech
Dynamic, full-range sound
Flush-mounted elevation module option
Minus
Somewhat bulky cabinet design
Requires SDA-Pro interconnect cable

THE VERDICT
SDA-Pro, the latest refinement of Polk Audio's proprietary tech, elevates the performance of its impressive flagship speaker.

Many years ago (the early 1980s, to be precise), Polk Audio produced the first speakers to feature a technology it had developed called SDA (Stereo Dimensional Array). The idea behind SDA was to eliminate a problem called interaural crosstalk that's a necessary artifact of typical two-channel speaker configurations. Basically put, when listening in stereo, your left/ right ears hear not just sound emanating from the respective left/right speakers, but sound coming from the other speaker as well. According to Polk Audio, this has a constricting effect on the presentation, with the width, height, and depth of the stereo image coming across as a pale representation of what's actually contained on the recording.

Al Griffin  |  Oct 15, 2019  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $269

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Warm yet detailed sound
Ultra-compact form factor
Bluetooth streaming
Minus
No front panel volume control
USB input support maxes out at 24/48

THE VERDICT
The A2+ combines audiophile-friendly sound with the convenience of Bluetooth to create a broadly appealing compact speaker package.

Audioengine is well-known for making affordable powered and passive speakers that are compact enough for desktop use. Like several of the company's previous offerings, its most recent model, the A2+, is a petite powered speaker with multiple connectivity options, including wireless aptX Bluetooth streaming. What makes it stand out from other Audioengine speakers? The price: at $269, the A2+ is the least expensive powered Bluetooth model in the company's lineup.

Al Griffin  |  Oct 03, 2019  |  5 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q What are the realistic and/or legal options (if any) for transferring a collection of DVD and Blu-ray discs to a server or hard drive? Can this be done while maintaining full quality? Is iTunes an option? I have a Mac computer connected to my TV if that helps. —Kenny Youngers, via email

Al Griffin  |  Oct 03, 2019  |  Published: Oct 02, 2019  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $5,495

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Impressive sound quality
Extensive feature set
Flexible control app
Minus
Limited remote control IR range
Pricey

THE VERDICT
With its extensive features and flexible sound output options, Cary Audio's DMS-550 network audio player represents digital audio playback done right.

Network audio players are an emerging component category aimed at audiophiles who have made a full leap into music streaming. Many such components can also act as a preamplifier by accommodating externally connected sources such as a CD player or turntable and passing on a line-level signal to an amplifier. Because they are network-connected, streaming high-res audio files from a computer or NAS is also on the features menu, and higher-end models are often Roon Ready and MQA Certified.

Al Griffin  |  Sep 24, 2019  |  0 comments
Following an overriding trend that started many years back, the annual Custom Electronics Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) expo, held this year at the Denver Convention Center, showcased an abundance of home automation technologies — everything from networked, voice-controlled window shades and lighting to home security systems. The show even had “wellness rooms” that seek to bring the outdoor experience indoors via circadian lighting, purified air, and ambient nature sounds.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 16, 2019  |  0 comments
The debut of Elac's new Debut Reference actually happened at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest a week prior to CEDIA, but the new speakers nonetheless occupied a prominent place at the center of the brand's CEDIA booth.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 15, 2019  |  0 comments
Among the many architectural audio products lining the Optimal Speaker Design booth at CEDIA was the company’s TheatroX11 amplifier, an oversize 11-channel model with a form factor not unlike a cooler you’d hoist along to a tailgate party. The amp even has carrying handles—a good thing, too, since it weighs 234 pounds.

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