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Thursday, 08 October 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Polk Surround Bar 50 Preview
The Polk SurroundBar50 is the largest of the sound bars in Polk Audio’s SurroundBar series.  The 51” long shell holds a total of nine 3.5” drivers with composite cones and a trio of ¾” silk tweeters. The SurroundBar50 takes advantage of Polk’s Front and Rear Stereo Dimensional Array (SDA) Surround Sound technology.  Using SDA, Polk Audio’s surround sound bar line is able to create the illusion of sound coming from all angles, enabling a virtual surround sound experience.  Front SDA Stage Array uses a pair of drivers, in addition to the standard left and right sound channels, to expand the sound stage.  Rear SDA projects sound around the listener, and completes the 360 degree wrap around.While other sound bars do promise a similar experience, they tend to use the reflective surfaces of a room to bounce sound to the listener.  ...
Thursday, 08 October 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Pioneer SC-09TX AV Receiver Preview
The SC-09TX from Pioneer is the flagship A/V receiver in the Pioneer Elite line.   It sports a unique look and is the only Pioneer receiver that currently features a front LCD display.  Pioneer’s SC-09TX “Susano” receiver offers a robust feature set for both video and audio enthusiasts.Pushed as the top of the Pioneer Elite receivers, the SC-09TX includes Qdeo video processing for all six of its HDMI inputs.  The receiver also has five component inputs, four for S-video, and eight for composite.  Video processing features include HDMI x.v. Color, a component video converter, and support for videos straight from an iPod.  Curiously, HDMI signals receive no video processing, and pass through unaltered.The Pioneer SC-09TX is a 10 channel receiver and is able to be set in a variety of configurations, including standard 5.1 and 7.1 setups.  Each channel boasts a ...
Monday, 02 February 2009 ,  Written by Julianne Stilson
Plinius Tautoro Preamplifier
The Basics:Preamplifiers are essential elements in the audio chain for sound systems and home theaters. The Plinius Tautoro is on the top tier of high-end preamplifiers in with high –quality manufacturing and design. However, it is also on the top tier of price tags at an MSRP of $8,395.The Plinius Tautoro’s exceptional construction and design features simple front / side panels which are ergonomically sound. The source selection buttons are adequately lit and appropriately sized. The front panel also features a volume control wheel that is both big and tactile. You will also find a ¼” headphone jack that is, despite being traditionally standard, very rare in many of today’s models. Moreover, turning the Plinius Tautoro around, the rear panel has well-organized, high-quality WBT socketry.As a multi-source, superior system, the Plinius Tautoro features generous input and output options for easy, ...
Monday, 02 February 2009 ,  Written by Donald Tibbs
Paradigm Servo-15 V2 Subwoofer
The Basics:While the Paradigm Servo 15v2 Subwoofer weighs in at 115 lbs. and measures an sizeable 20” H x 18” W x 21” D, it can still be a manageable part of your music system or home theater system. The same can be said for its suggested retail price of $2,500, which makes it affordable.Subwoofers are crucial components for home theaters in order to deliver dynamic and detailed sound. It can also be vital to support the bass when listening to music. The Servo 15v2 lives up these two functions and integrates easily into high-end home theater systems. In addition, even though it is quite large, it still allows for easy integration into larger and small rooms.Encased in a sealed, acoustic suspension design enclosure with a 15” woofer in the front, the Servo 15v2 Subwoofer has a die cast aluminum ...
Monday, 26 January 2009 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
Panasonic TH-42PZ80U Plasma HDTV
With the rapidly depleting prices of flat-panel televisions in the current climate, 1080p is quickly becoming both a buzz phrase and a necessary technology to common consumers instead of a strictly enthusiast’s tool.   The fact that a rash of 32” 1080p sets has hit the market is clear indication of that fact.  But the mainstream integration of this new resolution has created a stirring new trend in the panel market, aside with changing economic conditions: the price of flat-panel, full-resolution sets is dropping quickly.  Because of this weariness for price and budding “requirement” for 1080p resolution, the popularity for 42” televisions has spiked within that niche.   Blending the result of scientific analysis, price conscientiousness, multi-functionality, and consumer space constraints, many consider this to be the go-to framework for an everyday use television.Staying their course, Panasonic have continued their ever-popular PZ ...
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