Chris Eberle

NAD D 3020 Hybrid Digital Stereo Amplifier

When I left home for college in 1984, I brought my stereo system along. It consisted of a Kenwood receiver, Technics turntable, and a pair of Fisher 3-way speakers. After discovering a few high-end stereo shops in Boston, and having my turntable set up properly; I started shopping for a better amp. My meager funding ruled out separates but the proprietor of a small hi-fi shop pointed me to that now-familiar brown box. I returned to my dorm room clutching a brand-new NAD 3020, for which I believe I paid around $220. My reward was the cleanest sound I'd ever heard, bar none. I used that amp all through college and probably for another 10 years after. Today, NAD has recreated this amazing product for the digital age. Where we once relied on vinyl and ferrous tape, now it's all about bits and bytes. The timeless philosophy of clean high-quality sound, versatile operation, and a low price has now given birth to the all-new D 3020 Hybrid Digital Amplifier.

Projectors: Buying higher-end used or reconditioned models, considerations?

I will have a spot in the basement of my new home for a small home theater. My budget is limited for what I can spend on a projector and screen, however. Rather than buy an entry-level 1080p projector, I am considering buying a higher end model from the used or reconditioned market. Is the risk worth the reward? For example, I can buy a Sony VPLHW30ES for about $2K or a JVC DLAX3 for around $1,500. I have a Pioneer plasma, so I know that black levels are important. What do you think?

- S Knapp

NAD VISO 1 AP AirPlay Music System

NAD introduced its own iPod dock, the VISO, last year at CEDIA. As one would expect from this high-end company, little expense was spared in its design as it sought to bridge the iPod, and other digital music players, with quality amplification and speakers while keeping it all in a compact package. With the proliferation of AirPlay streaming, it made sense that the second generation product should include this super-convenient feature. Hence, we have the VISO 1 AP, the subject of today's review. Where last year's VISO required you to chain your iPod to the unit, the AP lets you keep your iPod in your pocket so you can control your music from anywhere within reach of your WiFi network.

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5020UBE 3D LCD Projector

Recently I reviewed Epson's new Home Cinema 3020e projector and found it to be a tremendous value in the under $2000 class. It offers killer 3D, wireless HDMI, and superb image for less than the price of a 60-inch TV. It was only natural that I should also check out its big brother, the Home Cinema 5020UBE.

Axiom LFR1100 Omnidirectional Speakers and ADA-1500 Power Amplifier

About a year ago, Ian Colquhoun, founder of Axiom Audio, contacted me to talk about an exciting new design he was working on. It was the LFR1100 omnidirectional tower speaker and it represented a radical departure from not only their other products, but from traditional speaker construction. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to review them, but tremendous customer demand prevented me from getting a pair right away. When a surprise phone call came recently asking where I'd like the speakers delivered, I couldn't help but get excited!

Mitsubishi HC8000D-BL 3D DLP Projector

Whenever I attend the CEDIA Expo, I visit all the projector manufacturers, both large and small. While Mitsubishi is a large company, their projectors are not as well-known as other brands. At the 2012 Expo, I had a chance to check out their all-new DLP models. In this review, we test the Mitsubishi HC8000D-BL single-chip DLP 3D projector.

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e LCD Projector

For several years now, Epson has been the undisputed leader in the LCD projector market. They took a technology that seemed forever destined for boardrooms and churches and improved it gradually, until it became hard to tell apart from high-end LCoS and DLP designs. Enthusiasts who would have never considered an LCD are now taking a serious look at Epson's offerings. One of them might be the 5010e, reviewed here.

NAD T 187 7.1 A/V Processor & T 975 Seven-Channel Power Amplifier

NAD, which stands for New Acoustic Dimension, was founded in 1972 with one simple goal: to reproduce sound as faithfully as possible. Eschewing bells and whistles, NAD products are all about simplicity, value and performance. From their earliest components, like the legendary 3020 integrated amplifier, to today's multi-channel amps and preamps, they have never wavered from this mantra. Here, we review separates: the NAD T 187 7.1 A/V SSP and the T 975 seven-channel power amplifier.

Optoma HD8300 3D DLP Projector

Now that 3D has become commonplace in HDTVs, projectors are following suit. Most of the new models introduced at CEDIA 2011 incorporate 3D into their feature set. While 3D has not lured me into upgrading my reference equipment just yet, I can't help but wonder when I might really want to watch Avatar in 3D. So, I managed to obtain the new Optoma HD8300 DLP projector which just happens to have 3D capability.

BenQ W1200 1080p Single-Chip DLP Projector

With a steady flow of new models hitting the market since the CEDIA Expo, I've had plenty of projectors passing through my theater of late. When I got the opportunity to review the BenQ W1200, I realized it was my first time evaluating a product from this company. The W1200 is a full 1080p single-chip DLP projector.

Sony VPL-HW30AES 1080p Three-Chip LCoS 3D Projector

Since so many displays, both flat panel and projector, are now adding 3D to their feature lists, it's getting harder and harder to write a witty intro for these products. Suffice it to say that 3D is here and we're going to have it in our next TV or projector whether we like it or not. The new Sony VPL-HW30AES projector uses three LCoS chips, has full 1920x1080 resolution, and is up to speed with 3D capability.

Screen Innovations Black Diamond Zero Edge Projection Screen

When designing a home theater, the screen is often the last consideration in the plan. After all, it's much more interesting to research electronics and their associated specs than to look through screen material samples and frame designs. Other than size, few of us think much about our choice of screen. Screen Innovations markets projection screens in all sizes, aspect ratios, and gain (screen brightness). In this review, we take a look at their Black Diamond Zero Edge projection screen.

BenQ W1200 DLP Projector

With a steady flow of new models hitting the market since the CEDIA Expo, I've had plenty of projectors passing through my theater of late. When I got the opportunity to review the BenQ W1200, I realized it was my first time evaluating a product from this company. The W1200 is a full 1080p single-chip DLP projector.