Editorial - August, 1995

By John E. Johnson, Jr.


We finally are catching up with the reviews that sat around for a few weeks while we constructed the Web site. They were published in Volume 2, Number 3, 1995, just slightly behind schedule. From now on, reviews and other articles will be posted as they are ready for publication, which probably means several each month. Subscribers will be notified when each article is posted.

I am sorry about the inconvenience caused by the broadcast forum style of bulletin board operation on our subscriber mailing list. The "tons of messages in your face everyday" did not appeal to some readers, and frankly, I did not care for it myself. That has now been changed so that messages from readers are compiled and sent as one file now and then (a couple of times a week) to subscribers. As the messages grow in number, we will send the compiled file more often, but at most, you should never have to worry about reading more than one compiled message per day (unless you request a personal response on some matter of importance to you). We welcome suggestions as to specific equipment that you would like to see reviewed. Numerous messages to this point have already been received in our editorial department, and we are contacting manufacturers to obtain the requested units.

We have also had numerous requests for suggestions regarding good surround sound hi-fi as well as regular audio equipment on modest budgets. We have been looking at and listening to a large amount of equipment in several showrooms, and in the course of cranking one system to the wall, we blew out the main circuit breaker in the store! So, we are putting together a list of recommended systems based on our viewing and listening experiences, and we will present one system in each editorial. (These products are not necessarily reviewed in full as separate articles.) The systems represent our best estimate of what we found to have good performance, substantial features, and a nice bang for the buck.

The Editorial Recommended System for Volume 2, Number 4, 1995 is the following:

VCR: Mitsubishi HS-U650. Street Price $549. VHS stereo recorder/player. Has one set of audio/video inputs on the front. On the back are two sets of audio in, one set of audio out, one video in, and one video out (RCA). Audio input level can be manually set. Facility for automatically adjusting to type of tape being used to record. Superb freeze-frame. Very nice remote control design.

Surround Sound Receiver: Yamaha RX-V590. Street Price $549. 75 watts each to front left/right/center, 20 watts x 2 to rear. Dolby Pro-Logic, Dolby Pro-Logic Enhanced, and 6 other program settings, pre-out for all channels, subwoofer output, motor driven volume control (from remote), AM/FM tuner with presets. This is an extremely popular unit. If you want more power, you can add power amps to the pre-out jacks. However, there are no pre-in jacks to make separate use of the power amps in the receiver (if you are intent on AC-3, wait a little longer, and be prepared to pay quite a bit more for a receiver).

Speakers: Boston Acoustics CR6 bookshelf speaker. $200/pair. 10" x 6" x 8" - 7 1/2 pounds. Magnetically shielded with one 5 1/4" woofer and one 3/4" dome tweeter. We found them to have excellent bass, but a good subwoofer is always helpful with just about any system. The CR6 can be used as a center channel, but the CR1 ($130, one 4" active woofer, one 4" passive, and one 3/4" dome tweeter) is designed as a center channel speaker.

We have not found a CD player in the price range for the system listed above that satisfied us yet. Give us a little more time on this one (we may put the info in an appended editorial later). As I have stated previously, negative reviews are not published at our magazine site. One of the main reasons is that it is very expensive to store (archive) the back issues, and we don't feel that negative findings are worth the cost of storing them. We have to pay a monthly charge for the disc space at our server site, and it is not cheap. Even with the few issues that we have published so far, we are just about to go over our storage limit, and onto the next level, with an increase in cost to us. However, at the suggestion of numerous subscribers, we will discuss the equipment that we have declined to review on the bulletin board. You will need to subscribe in order to have access to this information.

Happy trails,

John E. Johnson, Jr.

Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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