Editorial

TVs? We Don’t Need no Stinking TVs – Third Generation Multi-channel Audio – Part 1

Conceptually, multichannel audio makes abundant sense. Practically, however, it has failed with a critical mass of listeners. Quadrasonic sound, circa 1971, was the first setback. While modern analysis of optimal multichannel reproduction now reveals the unfavorable placement of the rear channels, its primary undoing was the intractable challenge of lifting four high-quality discrete channels off a vinyl record.

Ten years ago, the industry tried again with optical disc media. A format war, coupled with the need for special equipment, resulted in little consumer interest, which was already a crowded space with the advent of home theater and portable MP3 players. The Blu-ray audio disc is the new promising third iteration owing to its seamless compatibility with home theater installations.

The audiophile and videophile have not merged into one species........This three-part series outlines the general concepts of an audiophile-friendly third-generation multichannel audio system.

Editorial: MP3 Music and Undersaturated Movies

I received an interesting e-mail today, from a reader who was concerned about all the movies that have been released over the past few years with little to no color in the image.

I have been planning to write an editorial about why I think young consumers are into MP3 music and don't really care about the high quality of lossless digital music that the rest of us have been trying to get them to switch over to, or at least give it a listen.

Alice in Wonderland: The Theater Movie as Seen with IMAX 3D vs. Dolby 3D

I recently had the pleasure of catching this movie in IMAX 3D, and then later in Dolby 3D.  I have not seen this film in a regular theater setting, but then the "buzz" around this film is all about the 3D.  One of our SECRETS team has commented on the current film along with his review of the vintage Alice films in the April, 2010 Movie Reviews.

Audio/Video Cables: The Science and the Insanity

Over the past several years, I noticed that some A/V cable companies have expanded their lines to include interconnects and speaker cables that cost in the thousands, no make that tens of thousands, of dollars. You can actually spend about $25,000 on one pair of speaker cables about 5 meters in length. For that same amount of money, you can purchase a Blu-ray player, top notch receiver, full set of 7.1 speakers, good subwoofer, 1080p projector, a projection screen, and all the A/V cables you need to connect them - in other words, a complete home theater system.

NAIM Audio Recap Tour

In my recent review of the Primaluna Dialogue Two I complained that tubes require maintenance. I didn't complain much as Primaluna does a great job of minimizing those requirements. I should have held my complaint for my solid state gear. That's right, even power supplies require maintenance. That's the message that Naim is sending out with their Recap Tour. That's 'Recap' as in 'Replace the Capacitors'.

What We Hear vs. What We Perceive

Audiophiles love to characterize the sonics of pretty much everything using words that really don't apply to sound. Terms range from the general such as "Tight", "bright", "laid back", "warm," to the absurdly abstract such as my all-time favorite, "pace."

THX-Certification

THX is almost a quarter century old, and its Consumer Branch has been around since 1990, yet people still do not have a proper understanding of THX. Maybe that's THX's fault, maybe it's ours (the press) . . .