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Wednesday, 09 December 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Valhalla Technology Vibration Damping Feet Review
Audiophiles are a restless lot, constantly looking for ways to tweak a system by any means possible, short of taking the plunge for new components. There are numerous forums dedicated to audio “tweaks”; some advice is good, some is laughable, but most is well-intentioned. One often discussed tweak is how to minimize the mechanical vibrations that occur within components and speakers during playback. A variety of vibration-dampening devices are available in a wide range of materials, from hard plastics to brass. Why bother with dampening and isolation? In audio, vibration causes distortion and introduces unwanted sound into each component. Vibration dampening feet are engineered to reduce the effects of mechanical vibrations that occur within a speaker, amplifier or other component, by transmitting them away from the source to optimize the audio you eventually hear. After spending several weeks with Valhalla ...
Thursday, 03 December 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Monster Turbine Pro In-Ear Headphones Review
During my last two years of high school, I would come home from class, put on my Koss headphones, take a seat behind my drum set and play along to music for about an hour. I played loud and needed the music equally so to hear above my own din. After every session I was left with a bit of buzzing in my ears that, fortunately, has yet to cause any permanent damage. But those couple of years spent learning Neil Peart's licks left me with little love for headphones. It seemed more like I was surviving the music rather than enjoying it, and have since never found headphones comfortable or pleasant to listen to. The worst for me have been the “ear-bud” variety that now pervades the market thanks to the astonishing success of Apple's iPod. Most have painful ...
Monday, 30 November 2009 ,  Written by Augie Bettencourt
ButtKicker LFE Kit Review
Tactile transducers have been around for years, but to be honest, I’ve always been a bit skeptical about them.  The thought of adding something to my home theater to shake my seating seems gimmicky and artificial.  After all, my reference system already includes two Velodyne DD-18, eighteen inch woofers capable of creating low frequency extension and sound pressure levels, far exceeding what any reasonable person would want.  Why would someone like me need to augment bass, when I already have bass in abundance?  A friend purchased Berkline Home Theater Seating with factory installed ButtKickers and convinced me they are worth trying.  TechnologyA tactile transducer is an electro-mechanical device that will shake almost anything.  Most tactile transducers are very similar to a loudspeaker woofer driver minus the cone, driven by an oscillating force (the voice coil).  They can operate at higher ...
Thursday, 08 October 2009 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Nuforce A/V Cable Roundup
Nuforce of Milpitas, CA is an established high end audio company now known for a wide variety of products. They make a music server, the MSR-1, a line of mobile audio products, preamplifiers, speakers and most well received, Class D “switching” amplifiers.  They also make a variety of cables. This includes analog interconnects, speaker cables, digital interconnects, Toslink optical cables, and last but not least, HDMI cables.The new Nuforce cable line is the subject of this review.  That includes the Speaker Cable SC-700 ($324 8 foot pair), The IC-700 Interconnect ($199) 1M pair, RCA), Precision 75-Ohm Digital Coaxial Cable (1M, RCA, BNC $99), Toslink Cable ($69 1M), and HDMI Cable ($99, 2M). I must say that it is rather brave of Nuforce to throw their hat into the ring, as the audiophile cable market is quite saturated.  Based on the ...
Monday, 01 September 2008 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Neptune Audio NeptuneEQ
Introduction It used to be that if you wanted the best sound out of your system, you started by tuning your room, which usually meant having large, cloth-covered panels along your front, back and side walls and a host of bass traps nestled in the all of the corners. If you were really crazy, you’d turn your attention to the ceiling and floor, creating a listening space that looked anything other than sexy or modern. While there is no faking good room treatments, especially on the first order reflections (in front of and to the left and right of your main speakers, as well as on the ceiling), apart from sneaking a bass trap or two into your room, the trend is increasingly moving toward using room correction software in an AV preamp or receiver to attempt to solve your acoustic ...
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