I can't claim to be any sort of expert when it comes to computer/PC speakers, but if my recent CNET reviews of Bose, Creative, and M-Audio speakers are any indication of what's out there, the Audioengine 2 is a truly awesome design. I auditioned the Audioengine 2s at home where my desktop workspace is pretty crowded, but the speaker's tiny 4 by 5.25-inch footprint was easy to accommodate. It's 6 inches high.
Judged as a speaker, and I've reviewed well over 500, the Audioengine 2 is terrific. It's so good you don'… Read more
Back in the day, we built great cars and the best TVs. And our advanced engineering was the envy of the world.
That was a long time ago. Today "world-class" design and manufacturing is mostly sent off-shore to Europe and Asia. American companies market and distribute products made somewhere else. According to American Economic Alert, the U.S. has imported $250 billion worth of goods and services more than we exported so far this year.
High-end audio is one area where made in America products are still truly world class. While the major brands like Audio Research, Ayre, … Read more
The Federal Economic Stimulus program checks are in the mail. When you get yours try and be a good consumer and spend it right away. That'll help our economy and remember the checks will do the most good if they're spent on made in America products. One of my favorite high-value, high-end audio brands, Outlaw Audio, would be a good place to start. Its multi-channel home theater power amplifiers are in fact proudly made in the USA. Outlaw sells direct on its website and all of their amps are now on sale--with free FedEx Ground shipping! If you'… Read more
Audiophile gear is always really expensive.
Not true. While there's no shortage of stupid expensive audio toys, there's lots of affordable stuff too, such as Rotel's beautifully built RA 1062 integrated amplifier ($699).
Audiophiles rarely embrace new technology.
Guilty, with an explanation. Audiophiles don't jump on every new tech gizmo that comes down the pike, so we steered clear of iPods for the longest time. But now that we can get uncompressed digital directly out of the little buggers with devices like Wadia's 170iTransport, audiophiles are getting with the program. We were just waiting for … Read more
Even hardcore audiophiles have to face the music--brick and mortar record stores are fading fast--and it's starting to look like the CD is on its way out. Sure, no card carrying audiophile would be caught dead downloading MP3s or iTunes, the sonic sacrifices are too drastic. Well, what if there was a site that offered bona fide CD quality downloads, would audiophiles go for it? That's HDtracks' prime directive, but I don't think the high-resolution download store is just for audiophiles.
Then again I never understood why anyone would pay more or less the same price for … Read more
I first became a huge Howard Stern fan when he was on WNBC here in New York. This was back in the early 1980s when he radically advanced the state of the art of humor on the radio. Despite his huge ratings he had endless clashes with the NBC brass, which led to his firing. Clearly, the hostile environment wasn't a radio "bit," it was real. Stern was always keeping it real. It was all such compelling radio Stern based his biopic movie, "Private Parts," mostly on that time period.
After the NBC canning the … Read more
As reported in Bloomberg.com D & M Holdings Inc, makers of Denon, Marantz, McIntosh, Snell Acoustics, Boston Acoustics, and Escient, is on the sales block. I can't comment on the business aspects of the deal, but speaking as an audiophile I'm concerned. These companies are in the upper echelons of audio, the Marantz name goes back 50 years, McIntosh has been building some of the world's best electronics in Binghamton, New York for 60 years, I was a friend of Peter Snell, the founder of Snell Acoustics, and the D & M Holdings owned company still … Read more
Onkyo's home theater in a box systems have always been among our favorites, and now they've introduced three new entry-level home theater systems. Unlike some HTIBs that rely on underpowered DVD player/A/V receivers, these Onlyos come with bona-fide HDTV-capable receivers.
HTIB speakers, even some of the ones packed with upper end Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony systems don't always have tweeters on all of the speakers, but the Onkyo speakers are two-way, tweeter and woofer designs. If my past experiences with previous generations of Onkyo HTIBs apply, the new HT-S5100 ($579 SRP) 290 watt subwoofer will … Read more
Went to see Martin Scorsese's new concert film Shine A Light with the Rolling Stones, and I have to admit the aged rockers put on a good show. Sure, Mick and Keith's life-long love affair with the blues is still going strong, but their music has become strangely soulless. They jump around, make faces, and the energy level is high, but I didn't care. I've seen it all before, better--the Rolling Stones are now just a machine, reveling in their own outlaw, devil-may-care ethos, a mere simulation of their former selves. Kinda makes me glad the … Read more