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Monday, 25 January 2010 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Hegel HD10 DAC Review
I'm pleased to see a number of high-end audio manufacturers designing equipment for computer audio use. Even more encouraging is watching a brand hitherto unavailable make its entry. Hegel (www.hegel.com) is a Norwegian hi-fi company whose products have recently been introduced into the United States thanks to the efforts of national sales manager Ben Gosvig, who runs the American operation from Fairfield, Iowa. Gosvig was kind enough to send two of the latest Hegel products for review: the HD10 DAC and H100 integrated amplifier (review coming soon).I think most audio hobbyists can see the benefits of an outboard DAC – a stand-alone unit can handle error correction, jitter reduction and the digital-to-analog conversion better than most digital players that house a transport and DAC under the same roof. Bring such refinement to computer audio and the opportunities for sound improvement ...
Thursday, 14 January 2010 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Another CES is behind us.  The monstrous screens and massive subwoofers are no longer there, and neither are the innovations that make the show so great.  The purveyors of sadder products have gone home as well.  The people that make shoe shaped speakers and unbreakable cell phones that crack on live television have returned to the drawing board for another year. It’s time to reflect on the Consumer Electronic Show, and take a look at some of the impressive (and less impressive) technologies that make the show worth going to year after year.HITTransparent OLED – This one took me by surprise.  Transparent OLED screens have gotten a buzz in the last few months as they’ve been placed into laptops and cell phones.  Until I got up close with Samsung’s IceTouch, I dismissed it as something pretty but not practical.The IceTouch ...
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 ,  Written by Andre Marc
The story that that has dominated domestic and international headlines after last year’s presidential election is the state of the world economy, specifically the recession that has affected virtually every sector of the world’s markets.  Between unemployment numbers, devaluation of securities, the tightening of credit lines, the weakening of the U.S. dollar, and reluctance of consumers to spend during such uncertain circumstances have put a halt to capital expenditures. In short, it is the classic vicious circle.Mainstream retailers have been especially hit hard. Long standing businesses such as CompUSA, Circuit City, KB Toys, and Linen N’ Things comprise a very short list of companies that had to close up shop and liquidate.  Along with retail, the travel and hospitality, automotive, and general services sectors have been dealt knockout punches.The consumer electronics industry is down, but has fared better than was ...
Thursday, 23 July 2009 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
New brands are popping up on Twitter daily and the high-end CE industry is no exception.  Whether it's a large audio manufacturer, a high-end dealer, trade show representatives or simply a fellow publication, Twitter is primarily being utilized by companies that want to broadcast news or link potential customers to their home page. Most brands are simply using Twitter to make sure new and existing customers have an alternative method to finding them, but there are savvy, intelligent brands within our industry that are using Twitter as more than a simple soapbox.  These companies have figured out that it doesn’t matter how many Twitter followers you have, but rather how you interact with them in a meaningful, impacting way to ensure future success.  Regardless of all the social networking methods out there, there’s no method of communication that allows such ...
Thursday, 09 July 2009 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
Harman Kardon BDP 1 Blu-ray Player Review
With their signature two-tone, slick yet simple aesthetic and a penchant for quality in the audio / video spectrum, especially with a range of excellent receivers, Harman Kardon have always had a way with throwing together capable machines that also project a certain electronic sex appeal.  It’s only natural that their flagship Blu-ray player, the BDP 1, carries along the same blend of sharp looks and capableness in the quality department.   Though lighter on features when compared to other models within its price range (namely the OPPO BDP-83) and fairly skimpy on personal adjustment, Harman Kardon have justly taken their stronger qualities into consideration and built a proficient 1080p/24, Profile 2.0 Blu-ray / upscaling DVD player with an eye for streamline design.Out of the Box:Coming equipped in a sturdy standard cardboard box, Harman Kardon’s unit impresses out of the gate ...
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