equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
iFi Micro iUSB 3.0 & Gemini USB Cable Reviews
Marantz M-CR611 Network CD Receiver Review
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Tuesday, 01 January 2008 ,  Written by Adrienne Maxwell
Samsung LN-T4681F 46-inch LCD HDTV
Introduction Oh, dreaded backlight, what a bane you’ve been to manufacturers trying to perfect the evolution of the LCD as a home theater display technology. Sure, you provide the illumination required that produces an image on the screen, but you’re also responsible for LCD’s two primary drawbacks compared with other display technologies: black level and motion blur. Since LCD first crossed over from the PC to the TV screen, designers have experimented with technologies to reduce black-level and motion limitations. In-plane switching changed the orientation of the liquid crystals to block the light differently, in hopes that this would improve black level and viewing angle. The adjustable backlight lets you turn down the light’s brightness to get a better black level, while a flashing backlight can provide the break between frames that your eyes need to reduce motion blur. The hot ...
Thursday, 13 December 2007 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
title: Star Wars Ushers In Surround EX category: Feature Article reviewed by: Kim Wilson Star Wars Ushers In Surround EX Gary Rydstrom It’s the summer of 1977 and a small, low budget sci-fi film is released with an unassuming title, Star Wars. Unknown to its director and creator, George Lucas, it would not only dramatically change his life, but the future of filmmaking, forever. Star Wars raised the bar on visual effects bringing a whole new era in hyperealistic special effects movies. On a more subtle level, Star Wars also introduced the world to a multichannel soundtrack with the assistance of Dolby Stereo, forcing audiences to look behind them whenever Star Destroyers and Tie Fighters flew by.
Thursday, 01 November 2007 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Slim Devices Transporter Digital Music Player
Introduction Whether we are in the car driving to the grocery store or on a plane suffering through yet another painful flight to somewhere, music lovers are able to access what used to be an impossibly large music collection right in the palms of our hands. Why shouldn’t we be able to do the same when we are at home? Over the past few years, has reviewed several top-notch music servers from the likes of ReQuest, Escient QSonix and others that give music lovers better than iPod audio quality, along with larger than iPod storage. In 2006, we reviewed the very affordable ($299) Squeezebox from Slim Devices (since purchased by Logitech) which differs significantly from the aforementioned competition in that Squeezebox does not have a hard drive to store music, but rather interfaces with your computer system to access the music files stored therein, as well as Internet radio. The Slim Devices Transporter, which retails ...
Saturday, 01 September 2007 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Samsung BD-P1200 Blu-ray Player
Introduction I’m sure you are all aware of the format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD. Both sides seem to be dug in for a hard-fought and lengthy battle. Some consumers, still bitter over the last format war between SACD and DVD-Audio, are choosing to sit this one out. Others, myself and other writers included, are taking a drastically different approach. I personally have purchased more than five players from each of the two HD formats since they have been released and have been enjoying both formats to their fullest. There is simply no substitute for the increased resolution these discs offer over even the best scaled standard-definition DVDs. Samsung was the first company to produce a player with true 1080p output, the BDP-1000, and is now shipping their second-generation Blu-ray player, the BD-P1200. Carrying a retail price of $599, the new BD-P1200 promises to significantly improve on load times and the generally clumsy ...
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Sunfire XT Series True Subwoofer Super Junior
Introduction Speakers have under gone huge leaps in evolution, from the once common rectangular box with one or more drivers on the front to multi-cabinet designs. Newer manufacturing techniques and materials have allowed unique shapes previously only dreamed of to become reality. The upsurge in flat panel displays and the huge increases in real estate values have energized the market for smaller, more ergonomically sensitive speakers. Audio guru Bob Carver is well aware of these new market factors and has created a very compelling new loudspeaker solution for real world systems that don’t want to compromise on old-world audiophile excellence. Carver is well known for making products that outperform their size. This goes for his amplifiers, which usually weigh a fraction of others in their class, to his legendary subwoofers that have redefined size and performance expectations, and now the Cinema Ribbons. Standing at just over eight inches high, these new speakers are designed to give ...
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