Ken Kessler

FrontRunners: Loud and Clear

Ferguson Hill (+44.20. 7284.0969, http://www.fergusonhill.co.uk) is already planning at least one cosmetic improvement to its new FH 001 transparent horn loudspeaker. The London company is going to add illumination along the speaker’s 6-foot-tall, 3-foot-wide oval rim. “We’ve had reports of people walking into it and earning a nasty bump on the head,” says Simon Kynaston, […]

FrontRunners: Sound Advice for PC Listeners

Considering the ubiquity of iPods and the accessibility of high-bandwidth Internet content—music, video, games—it should come as no surprise that a hi-fi company has recognized the need for better-than-average sound for computer listeners. The Xducer 2.1 Loudspeaker System from Xhifi (866.559.4434, http://www.xhifi.com) is one of the first, and certainly the most comely, in the burgeoning […]

Best of the Best: Home Theater

Happy Medium A theater with bespoke quality and off-the-rack convenience.   At one end of the home theater spectrum are the all-in-one packages that offer simple, instant solutions to your entertainment needs. At the other end are the massive, custom-designed and custom-installed surrogate cinemas. The home theater we have assembled falls somewhere between the two […]

Best of the Best: Pens

David Oscarson Harvest Collection Collectors reap what this artisan penmaker has sown.   With designs that address function and aesthetics in equal measure, David Oscarson’s eponymous company stands out among the new wave of artisan pen manufacturers.  Oscarson’s fourth series is the Harvest Collection, which, unlike so many pen collections, was inspired by neither event […]

Best of the Best: Sound Decisions

Sound Decisions Components that will make your music collection sing true.   An audio system is only as good as the music’s source, and in the minds and ears of many audio purists, the best sound comes from vinyl. The component best suited for making contact with the LP is the Lyra Titan moving-coil cartridge […]

Best of the Best: Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect A secondary system that is first rate.   Fashion, technical innovation, and performance may be equally important considerations when selecting an entertainment system for an office, a bedroom, or any space that serves more than one function. With the rapid evolution and adoption rate of Apple’s iPod and its myriad rivals, wireless connectivity, […]

FrontRunners: Over the Moon

The Calibre DB-15, the latest offering from De Bethune (305.695.1435, +41.24.454.22.81, http://www.debethune.ch), features the company’s first movement conceived and crafted entirely in-house. This feat has enabled the young watch brand to achieve the coveted manufacture status. De Bethune has also applied for four different patents related to the DB-15’s design. Technical Managing Director Denis Flageollet […]

FrontRunners: Net Gains

Despite a new pool overlooking the Indian Ocean, a refurbished lobby, and a revamped restaurant menu and decor, Mauritius’ La Pirogue (+230.401.1688, http://www.lapirogue.com) remains a model of old-island charm.   Located off the coast of Madagascar, Mauritius is an isolated, unspoiled destination—and La Pirogue its finest place to dwell. The pool, lobby, and enhanced eatery […]

Home Electronics: Pure Gold

Remembering some of the best audio products of yesteryear can be particularly nostalgic: It is impossible to separate the machine from memories of the music it played. In the next few years, several audio brands will be marking milestone anniversaries, occasions that will celebrate collectible classics and category benchmarks, inspiring the type of reminiscing that […]

Home Electronics: String Trio

Sonus Faber, the Italian company universally acknowledged for revolutionizing the shape of dynamic loudspeakers, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year with not one, but two significant events. The first was the construction of a 12,000-square-foot factory in Vicenza. The building opened in September, in time to commence manufacture of the other anniversary marker, the Stradivari […]

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