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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, 15 April 2010 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
For one reason or another, home media production companies seem to operate on separate timetables for their releases. Whether it’s because they believe an item wouldn’t sell or if the costs are too high compared to the revenue it might generate, they all have their reasons.  Even with the support from enthusiasts, a film can sometime swim in an unreleased nebulous for far longer than it should.  Case in point being Paramount’s recent release of The African Queen, a great John Huston adventure starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn that, though it saw the light of day in the United Kingdom, didn’t hit American soil until the idea had been hammered into the studio’s minds for many years.  In order to obtain a copy of the film before that, enthusiasts either had to endlessly hope for it to hit the ...
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 ...
Thursday, 18 March 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
In 1979, Ray Kimber was working in professional sound and lighting and was trying to solve what was then a relatively new problem. The speaker cables he was working with at the time were picking up noise from the lighting system and causing a clearly audible drop in audio quality. His solution was to counter braid the conductors, surmising this would cancel out any magnetic interaction. A solution provided through ingenuity, thus Ray decided he had a marketable idea and began Kimber Kable. He literally began by hitting the pavement, walking into dealers with his cables to demonstrate the difference, and his reputation quickly spread.Fast forward to today and Kimber Kable is one of the most well-known cable manufacturers in high performance audio. Kimber has an interesting business model in that they offer products that cater to audiophiles in every ...
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