KEN KESSLER

Home Electronics: View Master

A subset of video processors is drawing attention from two disparate groups: videophiles, who are excited by even the slightest improvement in picture quality; and the rest of the world—people who are happily unaware that video is processed at all. Yet enthusiast and apathetic alike are lured to these machines for a relatively small reason: […]

Home Electronics: Tube Coup

Tube amplifiers were supposed to be passé by now. Following World War II, transistor, or solid-state, amplification was to be the order of the day. Transistors were expected to replace vacuum tubes because they take up less space, operate more efficiently, run much cooler, and cost less—a classic example of electronics evolution. The only problem […]

Personal Technology: Out of Our Heads

An unintended consequence of the recent surge in popularity of portable audio players has been a renewed interest in headphones. When Sony created personal hi-fi with the Walkman almost 25 years ago, it lifted the headphone out of its niche as a useful but hardly essential accessory. Still, it remains a common misconception that headphones […]

Home Electronics: Panel Discussion

When you think of speakers, you probably picture a box. Whether its casing has a natural wood veneer or is painted a glossy black, or whether the grille protecting the drive units is cloth or foam, the image is still Cubist. And regardless of its appearance, its technology will be almost identical to those of […]

Home Electronics: It Takes Two

Outside the audio industry, the name Niro Nakamichi may not be recognized, but within the business, he is held in the highest esteem. For nearly three decades his family’s company has been producing high-end electronics, including the first true hi-fi cassette deck in 1972. So when a relatively new company announced that it had created […]

Personal Technology: Cable Guys

Audiophile-grade cables—the elaborate wires that connect the components in an audio/video system—have done more to undermine the credibility of specialty audio than any technology, product, or claim. The debate over the benefits of high-end cable began some 25 years ago when manufacturers attempted to improve the pipeline carrying the signal by improving the quality of […]

Personal Technology: Raising the WAF

Wives (sorry, but it is always the woman) have been waging war against speakers for decades. They do not want them intruding into their living space. They even hate the gorgeously styled speakers from Italy and those colored to match anything in the Pantone chart. Their ire has risen as the number of speakers in […]

Home Entertainment: Two in a Million

Most early adopters, people who installed home cinemas a decade or more before DVD and high-definition television, are now finding that their setups are not aging well. VHS tape, laser disc, and even CDs are past their primes. In addition, the past two years have witnessed one of the greatest leaps in screen and projector […]

Home Electronics: Drivers Wanted

An undeniable revolution in sound reproduction has begun. A new all-digital sound projector (first available from Pioneer), featuring innovations from the British technology research company 1Limited, will have you rethinking everything you know about surround sound. Instead of requiring center, left, and right front and rear speakers, plus a subwoofer, the PDSP-1 speaker delivers 500 […]

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