Thursday, November 30, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
KEF’s unique fivetwo Series speakers provide an elegant solution to the dilemma of blending a home theater speaker system into today’s custom interiors. The fivetwo Series build on KEF’s award winning Instant Theatre technology and brings it to new applications and levels of performance. The fivetwo Series Model 7 and Model 11 offer a unique patented acoustic solution to those who either cannot or would prefer not to accommodate five separate speakers and the associated wiring spread around their room, but would still like to enjoy the exciting experience of true 5.1 channel home theater sound.
The fivetwo Series speakers’ name derives from their ability to produce true five channel surround sound from just two patented speaker enclosures. The completely new line is comprised of the Model 7 bookshelf speaker system (seven drivers) and the Model 11 floor standing speaker system (eleven drivers). Both models feature a slender and elegant “racetrack” shaped enclosure and are available in either a matt silver or high gloss black finish to match most of today’s popular flat panel displays. Optional matching floor stands and wall brackets are available for use with the Model 7s.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Why settle for a sweet spot when you can have a sweet room?
There's nothing unusual about a father who's eager to show off pictures of his kids and rave about how great they are. This is one of those moments, except Ken Hecht, the president of Phase Technology, isn't showing me pictures (I'm getting a real-life look), nor is he exaggerating how good these particular offspring are. In truth, we're not talking about little people at all. What Hecht is so proud to show me is a very special—I know, that's what they all say—home theater speaker system he's been dreaming about and working on for the better part of 15 years. It's a system that, he tells me, "will make any room sound like the best theater in the country." As if that weren't enough, he claims that the system can expand the sweet spot from the typical single-pair-of-ears hot seat to an area large enough for half a dozen or more people to sit comfortably and enjoy a movie. He's christened the system with the name Digital Audio Reference Theater System, or dARTS for short. (Thankfully, his real children have names that roll a little more easily off the tongue.)
Monday, November 13, 2006
What was most mind-blowing was the very effective pseudo-surround from almost any stereo or multichannel source. I at first thought I had enabled the SRS TruSurround in the Samsung, but discovered that the particular option was off (using either the menu or just pressing the SRS button on the remote) and what I was hearing was the generic Virtual Surround circuit built into the Oppo DVD player. The most enveloping surround - with imaging on the sides and even behind in some cases - came unexpectedly on the original soundtrack music in stereo for some of the silent films in the Kino DVD set I just reviewed. I later turned off the surround option in the Oppo and tried the one provided in the Samsung - which wasn’t quite as noticeable.
I’m not suggesting that anyone going for this display should forego the usual addition of a complete six-speaker home theater speaker system including subwoofer. That is always going to be the ultimate accompaniment to the HDTV display, whether it is a large or small one. However, if space/decor/money/time considerations rear their ugly heads, you could do worse than investing in a pair of the tiny Orb speakers and accompanying subwoofer plus a simple stereo amp, and use the pseudo-surround feature to fill out the HT soundfield.