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So far Jon Iverson has created 1137 blog entries.

American Psycho 4K

By | November 16th, 2018|Categories: Sound + Vision|

Picture
Sound
Extras

The controversial 2000 film American Psycho from co-screenwriter/director Mary Harron (Alias Grace) was based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Set in the fast-paced 1980s, it follows the privileged, handsome, and narcissistic Wall Street executive Patrick Bateman (Oscar winner Christian Bale) who is all about greed and self-aggrandizement. By day he builds on the fortune and material things he has already accumulated, but at night the eviler demons inside him slip out to experiment with a dizzying array of sex and violence.

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Anthem STR Integrated Amplifier Review

By | November 15th, 2018|Categories: Sound + Vision|

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value

PRICE $4,499


AT A GLANCE

Plus

Effective, easily configured room correction
Flexible bass-management
Powerful stereo amplifier
Extensive phono input settings

Minus

No built-in network streaming capability


THE VERDICT

ARC room correction on Anthem’s STR integrated amp makes it a must-audition option for anyone putting together a high-performance stereo system.


Anthem AVM series preamplifier/processors have been part of my home theater toolkit going back as long as I can remember. Though they perform A/V switching, audio processing, and video upscaling as well as anything else on the market, the main feature I’ve come to depend on is the company’s proprietary ARC (Anthem Room Correction), a Windows and iOS/Android app that lets you measure the effect of your listening environment on your speakers using either a calibrated microphone or the one built into your phone or tablet.

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Rotel RC-850 preamplifier

By | November 15th, 2018|Categories: Stereophile|

A few issues back, in my review of the Mark Levinson No.26 and No.20 (May 1988, Vol.11 No.5), I mused on the fact that the preamplifier, being the heart of a system, had a more significant effect on sound quality in the long term than, say, the loudspeakers. It was worth spending more on a preamplifier, therefore, than on loudspeakers. Needless to say, this viewpoint was regarded by many readers as dangerously heretical. I decided, therefore, to investigate the sonic possibilities of budget-priced preamps in this issue, even the most expensive being less than one-tenth the price of the Mark Levinson.… Read the full article

Counterpoint SA-4 monoblock power amplifier

By | November 15th, 2018|Categories: Stereophile|

Some audio products deliver truly superb sound of a kind that really makes all the frustrations of building a high-end system worthwhile; they also require exceptional attention and care. The Counterpoint SA-4 is a case in point. With the right speakers, it competes for the title of “Most Transparent Amplifier Available at Any Price.” On the other hand, this amplifier steadily loses output power as speaker impedance drops; it must be carefully matched to the right speaker. Then, and only then, can it produce one of the finest musical experiences available.… Read the full article

2018 Blu-Ray Gift Guide: 10 Standout Boxes

By | November 14th, 2018|Categories: Sound + Vision|

As a year packed with wonderful new high-definition and 4K discs comes to a close, we’ve selected ten standout box sets that are certain to bring a smile to the home theater buff in your life. Each box is special in its own way: some are hefty with gravitas, others have actual heft. All are sure to deliver ample audio/video pleasure plus a bounty of bonus features to enjoy through the new year and beyond.
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Nestorovic Alpha-1 power amplifier

By | November 13th, 2018|Categories: Stereophile|

The great debate that has long separated audiophiles is tubes vs solid-state. Other topics, CD for example, may temporarily steal the spotlight, but year-in and year-out no other subject is the cause of as much controversy as whether tubed or solid-state circuitry produces the more accurate sound. As is typical with long-standing feuds, the split runs deep, and tempers often flare.

Even if you are among the majority of audiophiles who keep open minds in this matter, making a decision between tube and solid-state electronics is one of the most difficult choices you can face.… Read the full article

Recording of June 1964: Joan Baez In Concert, Part 2

By | November 13th, 2018|Categories: Stereophile|

Joan Baez In Concert, Part 2
Joan Baez, vocals, guitar
Vanguard VTC-1679 (tape), VSD-2123 (LP). Maynard Solomon, prod., Reice Hamel, eng. TT: 48:00.

Well, we finally got ourselves equipped to review 4-track open-reel tapes, via a slightly modified Ampex F-44. All the tapes we have auditioned had noticeably higher hiss than the average stereo disc, but this was not loud enough to be distracting except when the tapes were reproduced at very high levels. Even then, we found the smooth, even hiss to be less objectionable than the ticks and pops from some discs played at the same level.… Read the full article

Ant-Man and The Wasp

By | November 9th, 2018|Categories: Sound + Vision|

Picture
Sound
Extras

The most fun thread in the Earth-bound tapestry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe owes much to the presence of star/co-writer Paul Rudd, whose comedic charms and dramatic sensibilities embiggen an otherwise diminutive hero. Two years after the fallout from Captain America: Civil War, when ex-con Scott Lang (Rudd) illegally fought as Ant-Man, he’s nearing the completion of his house arrest and ready to get his life back on track.

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NAD Monitor Series 1300 preamplifier

By | November 8th, 2018|Categories: Stereophile|

By far the most complicated of the three preamps i review in this issue in terms of facilities offered, NAD’s “Monitor Series” 1300 ($398) provides two buffered tape loops, an external processor loop (which can also be used as a third tape-recorder loop), a headphone output, a “null” switch, switchable bass equalization to extend the low-frequency range of small loudspeakers, and treble and bass controls, each with a choice of three turnover frequencies: 3kHz, 6kHz, 12kHz, and 50Hz, 125Hz, 250Hz, respectively.… Read the full article

Luxman M-05 power amplifier

By | November 8th, 2018|Categories: Stereophile|

Japanese audiophiles venerate American high-end audio components, paying huge sums for vintage Marantz tube amplifiers, racks of Levinson ML-2s, and early Audio Research tube preamplifiers. The balance of trade, at the high end anyway, hasn’t been reciprocated: Japanese high-end amplifiers and preamplifiers have not received as positive a reception in the US. Perhaps it was a matter of styling, but the sonics of the Sony Esprit line and the class-A Stax amplifiers did not receive the following they might have, had the products been American.… Read the full article