Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 04, 2020  |  2 comments
Star Wars imitators were both inevitable and plentiful in the late 1970s. The Buster Crabbe science fiction/adventure serials of old were a strong influence on that blockbuster, and whereas Buck Rogers was destined for a television reboot, mega-producer Dino De Laurentiis had already acquired the movie rights to Flash Gordon years prior. And so the space-faring hero returned to the big screen, reimagined in a lavish international production.
Bob Ankosko  |  Sep 03, 2020  |  0 comments
New products keep the world of home entertainment moving forward. Though the pace of introductions slowed to a trickle this spring as America was forced into pandemic lockdown, A/V makers are regaining their footing as supply chains slowly return to normal. The last full month of summer saw introductions from the likes of Rotel, Marantz, and many other familiar brands. Here’s the skinny on a dozen recently announced products — from headphones and AV furniture to more cool gear from McIntosh, NAD, and Bowers & Wilkins.
Michael Trei  |  Sep 02, 2020  |  6 comments

Build Quality
PRICE $650/pair

Extraordinary sonic transparency
Large, well-focused soundstage
Bargain-priced exotica
Requires adequate amplification
Finicky about placement
No deep bass

Magnepan's latest entry level speaker can be demanding, but it delivers compelling performance when set up properly and matched with the right gear.

Imagine that Ferrari introduced a new mid-engine sports car that sold for only $30,000. Sounds like a killer deal, but would you jump at the opportunity? The answer to that question will probably depend on your life situation. For a single person who just wants to head out and have fun, then maybe. But if you have three kids who need rides to school and soccer practice, probably not.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 01, 2020  |  3 comments
Outlaw Audio has been in the amplifier business for over 20 years. I reviewed their first entry, the 5-channel Model 750, in the late ‘90s for the long-departed Stereophile Guide to Home Theater. It’s still here, now serving to drive my four Atmos speakers with one channel to spare. Many Outlaw amps have passed under the bridge since then, with many (perhaps most) made by ATI in California, so I was intrigued when Outlaw sent me their latest 7-channel amp — the 7220 — to have a look and listen.
SV Staff  |  Sep 01, 2020  |  1 comments
Marantz today announced the Model 30 Integrated Amplifier ($2,500) and SACD 30n Network Audio Streamer & SACD Player ($2,500). The offerings are the first to launch with the brand’s striking new industrial design, one that celebrates and updates the signature elements of Marantz products from hi-fi’s golden age.
Al Griffin  |  Aug 31, 2020  |  0 comments
A/V retailer and e-commerce site Audio Advice has introduced Home Theater Designer, an interactive 3D design tool that lets consumers model a virtual home theater system. Users simply enter their room’s dimensions, and the tool helps them to create a three-dimensional visualization of an optimized A/V space complete with speakers, TV or projector, and seating. The Home Theater Designer is available for free on the Audio Advice website.
Mike Mettler  |  Aug 28, 2020  |  0 comments
Composer Michael Kamen had a vision. Back in April 1999, he convinced Bay Area metal overlords Metallica to team up with the San Francisco Symphony in Berkeley, California, for S&M, a 2.2-hour concert wherein classical music met aggro-rock head-on. Not only that, but Kamen's skilled orchestral re-arrangements of 20 Metallica classics also revealed how many of the band's subversive originals were perhaps more progressively inclined than others may have previously thought.
Bob Ankosko  |  Aug 27, 2020  |  0 comments
We spotlight 13 products that made Sound & Vision’s Top Pick list over the past three months, starting with affordable noise-canceling earbuds from an unexpected source and ending with a super-refined speaker system for enthusiasts seeking the very best in music and movie reproduction. In between, you’ll find an eclectic mix of soundbars and speaker systems, affordable 4K TVs, and a home-theater amplifier that delivers an insane amount of power from a surprisingly compact chassis.
Rob Sabin  |  Aug 26, 2020  |  0 comments

PRICE $3,000 (system bundle, minus installation; $4,000 as tested)

Superb sonics
WiSA wireless connection for surrounds and sub
Integrated Savant automation platform
Control via app or touchscreen remote
No Dolby Pro Logic or other stereo surround mode
No HDMI-ARC connectivity
No processing for lossless surround formats

Savant's smart soundbar may be a gateway to home automation, but it distinguishes itself first through its excellent sound quality.

Sound & Vision readers will know Savant as one of two upstarts that, along with Control 4, arrived in the early 2000s to challenge Crestron and AMX in the emerging home automation market. Today, some 15 years after its founding by tech entrepreneur/billionaire Bob Madonna, Savant continues to expand its Mac-based smarthome solution, and with some recent acquisitions, to broaden its market reach. Most notable is the high-profile purchase this year of GE Lighting.

Barb Gonzalez  |  Aug 26, 2020  |  1 comments
Disney's Mulan will be available to buy on September 4th but there's a catch.