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Wednesday, 26 May 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Tweak-o-Files: Volume 3
Rockler Benchcookies:Just by accident, I found out about Bench Cookies (patent pending) sold by Rockler, the wood working chain store. The Bench Cookies are used to stabilize a piece of wood or any item on a work area while you sand, saw, or nail. In that regard it works perfectly. If you place an object on the Cookies, and try to move it, it will not budge. They are sold in a set of four. They look amazingly like high end resonance control devices. I decided to buy two sets and use them under components in a "what the hell" moment. First, I removed my Symposium Rollerblocks and placed one Bench Cookie near each of the four feet of my preamp.  I was impressed. The sound was smooth, detailed, and imaging was excellent. The other big benefit is that your ...
Thursday, 06 May 2010 ,  Written by Daniel Hirshleifer
Seven Online Music Sources: The Standouts
Of all the forms of media, music is the one that has most completely melded with the internet. In fact, getting music online has become so ubiquitous that CD sales have significantly declined and, Record Store Day notwithstanding, online has become the main source for music purchasing. Online radio is also quickly surpassing terrestrial radio, with all sorts of options popping up for getting music on demand without downloading any files. While HD Radio is trying to make regular radio new again, it does require new hardware and doesn’t seem to be making significant inroads. So, like it or not, music is here to stay. Now that the internet is the first stop for getting your music, where does one go? We’re taking a look at the most popular and well-known services to see what they have to offer.Napster is ...
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Tweak-o-Files: Volume 2
Welcome to the second installment of my column concerning perfectionist audio tweaks, that gray area where there often seems to be questionable ROI, but where carefully chosen and implemented, can absolutely allow a high end audio system to perform at its very best. As before, here are some tweaks and system improvements that I have first hand experience with, and some that I don't, but were recommended by reliable sources or seem interesting enough to take note of. As always, Caveat Emptor!Auric Illuminater:The Auric Illuminator is a compact disc cleansing and treating product made by Audience LLC. Audience is a very highly respected maker of high end cables, capacitors, and now speakers and electronics. I have been using it for three years now. No crazy snake oil here. The kit consists of a clear gel that Audience says does a ...
Thursday, 15 April 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Tweak-o-Files: Volume 1
Welcome to my new column covering perfectionist audio tweaks. This can be the realm of the wild, weird, and wacky, but also of legitimate sound improving products that can take a high-end system to its utmost potential. Some tweaks are certainly a bit of snake oil, preying on audiophiles with too much time and money on their hands.  But there are many finely engineered, superbly crafted tweaks that absolutely work as described. Unfortunately, a high end audio system has to battle its environment while trying to provide listening pleasure for its owner. Variables like airborne resonance, internal chassis resonance, EMI and RFI interference, and countless other problems can detract from the listening experience. Below are a variety of tweaks I have first hand experience with, and a few tips I have gotten from knowledgeable audiophiles who have little time to ...
Thursday, 08 April 2010 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
5 Ways the iPad Will Reshape Consumer Electronics
We have been playing with iPads in our offices nonstop for the past few days.  It’s really a captivating device, specifically for media consumption.  Every time I walk around to take a look at the nearby iPads, I see great apps like Netflix instant streaming, Pandora and iBooks running.  If you read our 30 iPhone / iPod Touch Apps for Your Home Theater article, you would see that much of the consumer electronics industry is already jumping into the mobile touchscreen market for everything from system control to audio / video calibration.For those unfamiliar, the iPad is a touchscreen tablet released by Apple a few days ago.  It sports a brilliant 9.7” LED-backlit screen at 1024 by 768 resolution and comes in three capacity sizes (16GB, 32GB, 64GB).  If you have used an iPad Touch or an iPhone, you will ...
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