Jim Milton

Speakers with No Box Enclosure

I heard some speakers at a local HiFi show and they were mounted on a single board with no box enclosure, so you could look behind the board and see all of the speakers, wiring, and cross over network. What is supposed to be the desired effect of mounting them this way?

- Steve G
Atlanta, GA

Al Jolson Jazz Singer

Known as the "Father of the Talkies", The Jazz Singer was the first film to match sound and picture. By 1927, some short subjects had already been "talkies," and even a few features had some bits of synchronized music, but The Jazz Singer was the first to put them altogether on the Silver Screen.

Francis Ford Coppola

Just in time for the New Year celebration, I received a copy of a new Blu-ray collection from Lionsgate Studios of some of Coppola's best films. This set contains Apocalypse Now/ Apocalypse Now Redux (1979), The Conversation (1974)...

Legacy Audio Factory Tour

Looks like this is a month of factory tours for us here at SECRETS. I happened to be visiting family in Springfield, IL this week and my son-in-law reminded me that Legacy Audio was located across town.

Paradigm Soundtrack (Soundbar and Subwoofer) Speaker System

There is no question that soundbars are a "hot item" for home theater enthusiasts. The soundbar category grew a whopping 68% over all of 2012, with a monumental surge in Q4 2012 alone. Unit sales for Q4 versus Q3 were up 158%, even better, the category of soundbars with a companion subwoofer increased 126% in 2012 versus the prior year. This according a new report from Quixel Research. I can't think of any major speaker manufacturer that does not offer at least one soundbar in their line up.

 

Pioneer VSX-43 7.1 Elite A/V Receiver

Back in my college days, I had a roommate that had a nice stereo Pioneer receiver. It cost him a few hundred bucks. Since it was pre-digital, the inputs were pretty basic. Simply hook up to a cassette deck and turntable and we reveled in the audiophile sounds that its 30 watts/channel produced. Ah, the 70's were the "golden era" of audio. Point being, everybody has to start somewhere in their journey to musical nirvana. Fast forward to 2013 and now for around $500 you can get a 7.1 surround, network capable, DSP loaded, phone/Android integrated, Bluetooth, 80 watt/channel Elite receiver from Pioneer. True, the VSX-43 is their entry level Elite receiver, but it is packed with features that would have cost you a lot of money, even just a few years ago. But does the VSX-43 have what it takes to be the brain and brawn you are looking for in a modern home entertainment system?

Newform Research Ribbon Tower Speakers

Made in Canada, Newform Research manufactures unique ribbon loudspeakers and sells them factory direct worldwide. Their ribbon designs offer the transparency, detail and sound staging of the classic large panel electrostatic and ribbon loudspeakers, but because of their narrow compact footprint, are easier to drive and setup, even in smaller rooms. Here, we review a pair of their ribbon towers, which are a hybrid design, with a 15" ribbon as the tweeter, and six conventional cone drivers for the mid/bass.

MartinLogan Motion Vision Soundbar

I have always wanted to experience the MartinLogan planar speaker systems, but I lack the room size that is needed to really allow them to breathe. ML's new Motion® series allows for a planar speaker that is designed to resemble a more conventional box speaker, and is designed for placement under a flat panel HDTV.

Universal Classic Monsters

Since the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has always been known as the home for the greatest movie monsters. This review will showcase a collection...

Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection

Since the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has always been known as the home for the greatest movie monsters. This review will showcase a collection of 8 of the greatest, most iconic movie monsters every enshrined on celluloid by Universal Pictures and Carl Laemmle and his son: Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933 ), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), The Phantom of the Opera (1943), and The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954). Full high definition 1080p and they all sound fantastic.

ZVOX Zbase 555 Speaker System to Place Under Your Flat Panel HDTV Pedestal

So here is the problem. Actually, there are two problems. Problem one: the new HDTV flat panels are getting thinner and thinner. The speakers inside those panels are also getting thinner and thinner. The sound from those speakers…well...

ZVox comes to the rescue with a powered speaker system that sits underneath the pedestal of your flat panel HDTV. Called the Zbase 555, it retails for only $399.

THIEL SCS4T Floor-Standing Speakers

The late Jim Thiel and company have been making speakers in the heartland of Kentucky for over 30 years. THIEL has amassed a staggering 55 accolades from international press, including the high performance audio industry's most prestigious publications. The SCS4T is part of the J.E.T. series and offers the most affordable line of speakers that THIEL currently manufactures.

GoldenEar SuperCinema 50 Home Theater Speaker System

I consider myself a lucky guy. Not only did I get a chance to go to Las Vegas to cover CES, I also got to sit down with Sandy Gross and have a personal audition of his new Triton 2 towers. Sandy has had an illustrious career with Polk Audio and Definitive Technology and has more recently helped start up a new company called GoldenEar Technology. Here, we review their new SuperCinema 50 Home Theater Speaker System.