Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment


Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

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To Colin Smith,

While reading through your decision process on your speaker choice ("On Reference Equipment"), I really appreciated the way you valued the different key features. I probably would have chosen Focus FC 9 based on your sound criteria, but I like that you used the Paradigm Signature S8 v.3 as your top pick and compared everything back to that. I went through a similar process choosing my Epos ES30 speakers, but I bought them first and then I bought the reference electronics years after. The better the electronics and room positioning the better my speakers sound. If I had changed the speakers before the amps, preamp, cable, etc., I would never have realized the Epos speakers’ full potential. Many times I felt my speakers were the limiting feature on my quest for absolute sound quality, but I have learned that my room and the rest of the chain are more critical. I have concluded the biggest speaker development that I could justify a change for is the beryllium tweeter technology that has gathered positive reviews from all publications.

My next reference speakers will have this Be tech for sure.

Thanks,

John Andersen

Thanks for your kind comments John. The "On Reference Equipment" column seems to have resonated with a lot of people. Looking back on it, I suppose I was telling a story that's familiar to anyone who's put effort into building up a great sound system. I can't agree with you more on beryllium tweeters -- they are the bomb, especially Paradigm's. . . . Colin Smith

Congratulations on the new site. It looks great. I read something about covering home-theater equipment. There's a subwoofer review, but when will the other stuff start and where will it be?

Denis Boudreau

You won't see a formal home-theater section created. Instead, reviews of home-theater products will become commonplace in the "Equipment Reviews" section, and there will be articles on various topics that will appear in the "Feature Articles" section.

My receiver has a button called Tone Defeat. What does it do?

Richard

If the receiver has a Tone Defeat button, then it also has tone controls, which allow for frequency-response adjustments for the bass and highs. The problem with tone controls is that the circuitry can add distortion to the sound, even if the buttons are left in the neutral position. It’s a small thing, but it’s been apparent to me on the receivers I’ve used. The Tone Defeat button bypasses tone-control circuitry, meaning that you can no longer adjust the bass and highs, but you’ll have purer sound. Therefore, my suggestion is to use the Tone Defeat button if you’re not going to adjust the tone controls, but live with the subtle degradation in sound that the controls bring if you do.

I hope you can help. My Yamaha receiver is about ten years old. It worked fine until yesterday when it immediately shut off for no reason. I turned it back on and it clicks off again. I tried this more than five times. Any advice?

Bruce Jarrett

Your Yamaha might be at the end of its life and is certainly well past its warranty period. My suggestion is to not turn it on anymore. There is obviously something wrong with the unit and you should get it checked by a qualified technician if you wish to continue using it. Alternatively, it might be time to start shopping for a new receiver.

Thanks, that was a very good piece ("On Reference Equipment"). I am a bit of a novice and never quite understood what "reference" meant. Now I know, and I'll always remember your personal story. And now I have my own.

Regards,

DeWitt Brock