LATEST ADDITIONS

Wes Phillips  |  Jan 11, 2006  |  0 comments
Jimi Hendrix on Swedish television in 1967. Need I say more? Computer speakers don't do it justice, turn it up.
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 11, 2006  |  6 comments
Make mine a Venti? Give me a break! I once asked a Starbucks counterperson why they called their humongous-sized hot-milk drinks "ventis." "That's Italian for twenty," the barrista said. Riiiight, like any Italian I've ever met would slam down 20 oz. of coffee at a time.
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 11, 2006  |  0 comments
This is so cool—the Library of Congress has posted excellent scans of pages from its exhibit of manuscripts from the era when Timbuktu was not synonymous with "as far away from here as you can get." Nine hundred years ago Mali was a flourishing trade center, serving as the entry point for goods from the Mediterranean and exit point for African trade. And, at the height of the Middle Ages, it was a nexis for scholarship and science.
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 11, 2006  |  0 comments
Learning rejuvenates the brain; going without sleep impairs cognitive function. That single sentence repudiates my whole strategy for getting through college—no wonder I find myself going, "It's just like wassisname said . . ."
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 11, 2006  |  0 comments
Simple? Then explain what happens when liquid converts to gas. Hah! Not all that simple, eh smartypants? No, I can't do it either, but Eldred Chimowitz and Yonathan Shapir have created a mathematical model that might just do the trick.
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 11, 2006  |  0 comments
After a week in a Vegas hotel, it was such a relief to come home to real water pressure in my shower, although I do understand why a city in the desert legislates low-pressure nozzles. I'm not sure I am unreservedly in favor of hacking showers, however. I stayed in a hotel in Sicuani, Peru once where the hot water function was a bare 220V wire wrapped around the water pipe. That woke me up—as did the cold shower I took after making sure the wire was disconnected. I think I may have even turned off the bathroom light just to be on the safe side.
John Atkinson  |  Jan 11, 2006  |  1 comments
A line of speakers that impressed me when I auditioned them at the 2004 London Show was the Vivids, from South Africa. Designed by Laurence "Dick" Dickie, the engineer primarily responsible for B&W's groundbreaking original Nautilus design back in the mid-1990s, the Vivid speakers use proprietary metal-diaphragm drivers in enclosures formed from composite materials rather than wood. Seen here in one of the Audiophile Systems rooms, with VTL amplification and dCS's new P8i SACD player (review forthcoming), the Vivid B1s produced a clean, open sound. It was announced at CES that Vivid is being distributed in the US by Musical Surroundings.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 11, 2006  |  2 comments
Audiopax, the Brazilian manufacturer of the Model 88 single-ended tube amplifier that I reviewed most favorably three years ago, introduced the Model 55 amplifier at T.H.E. Show. Solid-state rather than tubed, the 55 is still single-ended and still features the unique "Timbre Lock" control. According to designer Eduardo De Lima, this MosFET design sounds very close to the Model 88. Price is $11,990/pair (compared to the $14,990/pair of the current Model 88 Mk.II).
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 11, 2006  |  1 comments
I've always thought of Fujitsu-Ten as a company that manufactures car stereos. However, it turns out that they have a special division producing a line of home-audio speakers using single drivers of their own design. That's right: no woofer, no tweeter, no coaxially mounted woofer and tweeter—just a single cone driver, claimed to cover the range from 40Hz to 20kHz. In the top model, the TD712z ($7000/pair), this drive-unit is mounted in a rigid, egg-shaped enclosure. The sound of these speakers, driven by an Audion Sterling Plus Mk.II tube integrated amplifier ($2950), was simply stunning in its clarity and focus.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 11, 2006  |  2 comments
Sonics is the name of a new line of speakers designed by Joachim Gerhard, the founder of Audio Physic, and imported by Allen Perkins (Immedia), formerly the US importer of Audio Physic. The top-of-the-line is the PassionS, a tall, striking-looking speaker that consists of angled modules, with each driver having its own enclosure. The price is $32,000. Allen obviously loves its sound!

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