Lincoln Walsh died a year before his radically innovative speaker technology made its commercial debut in the Ohm Acoustics F in 1972. The speaker featured an omnidirectional Walsh driver that projected a massive stereo soundstage. At the time of its introduction the $900 per pair Ohm F was hailed as one of the greatest speakers of all time by the international press. It sounded like nothing else, and the single 12-inch, truncated cone driver produced bass, midrange and treble frequencies (37Hz to 17kHz). The driver had a titanium top section, aluminum midband and paper bottom, with a single voice-coil at … Read more
DETROIT--Volkswagen has been much better known for its high-mileage diesel models than hybrids. Yet here at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, VW showed a concept car featuring a new transmission that will let it turn almost any car in its lineup into a hybrid. The company also showed a new, more efficient direct-injection 1.8-liter engine making 250 horsepower.
The CrossBlue concept, a diesel hybrid, relies on what VW board member Ulrich Hackenberg referred to as an eDSG in an interview with CNET. The eDSG is a new version of VW's Dual Shift Gearbox (DSG), a transmission … Read more
Schiit Audio's very first product, the Asgard headphone amplifier, left me shaken and stirred back in 2010. It sold for $249, looked and sounded amazing, and to top things off, it was made in the U.S. -- not just assembled here. Most of the Asgard's parts are sourced from U.S. companies.
The Asgard is still in company's product line, and it's still $249. But Schiit has grown since then, and now offers a full line of more expensive headphone amps and USB digital-to-analog converters (DACs) -- which is great. But the company's most recent offerings sell for just $99 each! The Magni headphone amp and the Modi DAC are also made in America, and they sound spectacular. … Read more
Somehow "Mad Men" just sounds cooler than "Sili Men." Still, there's no telling what sort of martini and microchip soaked show some wild-eyed TV exec might concoct after seeing PBS' upcoming "American Experience" documentary on the origins of Silicon Valley.
Take a peek at the photo above. Just look at that chrome-y Fairchild Semiconductor logo in that oh-so-midcentury interior. Check out those natty suits and spectacles. And (sigh) look at that dreamy, tieless rebel in the foreground -- he makes Don Draper look like a wuss.… Read more
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On this week's show, we check out Tailly, a wearable robotic tail that wags when you get excited. If that gets you wagging, then you'll definitely want to have a look at the Satis Bluetooth toilet that can flush with your smartphone. And in honor of winter, we look at how a snowflake is born. It's the last show of 2012, and we bid you farewell until the new year. The show returns on January 18. … Read more
I've covered a lot of great sounding budget gear this year, but the very best audio is far from cheap. That's hardly unique to high-end audio; the best cars, cameras, and clothes are always pricey, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that cutting-edge audio can be crazy expensive. What follows is a list of most astonishing gear I listened to this year. I love my job!
WASHINGTON, D.C.--It doesn't take a sophisticated algorithm to know that Pandora's pitch for a new music royalty rate has been a dud.
Pandora says Web radio services pay too much in music royalties and is backing the Internet Radio Fairness Act. If passed, this federal legislation would reduce the rate these streaming services would pay. Pandora gets another chance tomorrow to convince the public and lawmakers of the bill's necessity during a hearing before the U.S. House subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet.
The music industry, which will also send representatives to … Read more
America may not design world-class cars anymore. We don't build TVs, phones, tablets, cameras, or all that much consumer technology, but we're still at the top of the heap in high-end audio! That's why the White House should have an American engineered and built hi-fi system for use by the president and his invited guests.
I'll volunteer my services to coordinate and help assemble such a system (presumably donated by the manufacturers). On a leap of faith, I'm assuming the president still plays LPs, so I'd recommend the Spiral Groove turntable and tonearm from … Read more
Pacemaker users currently have to undergo surgery every 5 to 10 years to replace their device's battery. A new advance, however, could one day make pacemaker batteries obsolete.
A study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2012 shared the results of an experiment using piezoelectricity to power a pacemaker. Essentially, this refers to the concept of turning motion into electricity. That means the beating of the heart could generate the power needed for a pacemaker to operate.… Read more
Fake Instagram accounts for American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and JetBlue have been set up with the promise of free flights.
The accounts, @americanairlines_giveaways, @united_giveaways, @jetbluegiveaways, and @delta_giveaways, all work very similarly. They promise a free airline ticket or round-trip ticket to the first several thousand followers, which vary depending on the account.
The accounts have been pretty effective at garnering followers. Delta's fake account already has 21,000 followers after it promised a free trip for the first 20,000 people who followed and shared the account. Likewise, the JetBlue account has 20,000 followers. The American Airlines profile … Read more