Tesla is breaking the S' preproduction testing into two phases, alpha and beta. Within each phase the automaker will be building multiple test mules as it attempts to home in on its targeted performance, range, and crash safety. Tesla also notes that the Alpha development phase has been in progress since last year, quoting its Vehicle Dynamicist Graham Sutherland when he states, "The first Alpha is amazingly agile for a car of its … Read more
LAS VEGAS--At last year's CES, we put together a slideshow called "Sexy sells at CES" that highlighted part of the human element that companies use to help make their gadgets stand out on the crowded show floor--or at least encourage people to stop at their booths.
For some reason, this slideshow proved to be rather popular with our readers, so we thought we'd cobble something together this year.
Don't get the wrong impression. Not every company hires models to show off their wares and talk about their products. And even when they do, the product … Read more
I recently discussed techniques for reviewing projects to improve their likelihood of success. Underlying this is the reality that projects do fail often, at a greater rate than we'd like to admit.
Some failures are spectacular. After spending tens or hundreds of millions of dollars over a period of years, nothing ever really works. The entire investment of time, money, energy, effort, and focus has to be completely written off. Those are the legends. The laughing stocks.
But it's a mistake to conflate failures and catastrophes. Most failures are mundane and much smaller scale. They result from changing … Read more
Tesla Motors will officially open the doors today on what may be the only automotive factory left in California.
The Fremont, Calif., plant was formerly a New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) facility that had been opened in 1984, but closed in 2010. Tesla bought the plant and has plans to renovate it to accommodate assembling its Model S electric cars.
The Model S is the Tesla Roadster luxury sports car's practical sibling. The all-electric sedan will have a range of 160, 230, or 300 miles on a single charge depending on which Model S Tesla battery pack option is … Read more
The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2010, held last weekend at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel, showcased the best and brightest high-end audio designs.
Hundreds of high-end manufacturers from North America, Europe, and Asia, from tiny one-person operations all the way up to industry giants like JBL were on hand. RMAF has a very different vibe than the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas every January--RMAF is a more grassroots affair.
Vandersteen Audio's incredible Model 7 ($45,000 per pair) features balsa wood/carbon-fiber woofer, midrange, and tweeter drivers individually hand-crafted by Richard Vandersteen himself. Each driver can take up to one day to build. The sound is more believably natural and realistic than that of any other speaker at the show. Stereo imaging was full-bodied and dimensionally convincing in ways no other speaker can match. Vandersteen speaker prices start under $1,000, and they're all made in Hanford, CA.
Vandersteen's sound just nudged past Kaiser Acoustics' stunning Kawero speakers. These slender towers are priced about the same as the Model 7, but were even more transparent and pure sounding. The made in Germany speaker's transient speed and dynamic punch were spectacular. The design is said to produce excellent sound quality in real rooms, without any acoustic treatment. Kaiser invested seven years into research and development of the Kawero speakers.
Entry-level audiophile gear from Napa Acoustic made an immediate strong impression. Their NA-208S ($199 a pair) speakers, mated with their NA-208A ($399) tube integrated, 25-watt amplifier sounded rich, with lots of detail. Napa's build quality is the best I've seen for budget-priced gear.
The best headphone sound came from the Audeze LCD-2 ($945). These full-size headphones had a huge, open sound, with effortless clarity. Audeze has a hit on its hands, and its customer waiting list is currently running to four weeks! I hope to get a pair for review soon. The LCD-2 was plugged into Red Wine's Isabellina HPA headphone amplifier, but the headphone can also work with iPods.
I had a great chat with headphone guru and Head-Fi founder Jude Mansilla about the future of high-end audio. Our conclusion: today's younger headphone audiophiles will be tomorrow's high-end audiophiles. That is, headphones are a great way to discover what high-end sound is all about, for a fraction of what a speaker-based high-end system would cost. Mansilla promised to introduce me to a bunch of young Head-Fi-ers, who are just starting to get into speakers. The next-generation audiophiles are an intensely passionate group of people! I'll report back soon about what they have to say. … Read more
Panasonic makes some of the best cordless phones we've reviewed, and now the company is offering Crave readers the chance to win one of its latest models. The Panasonic KX-TG6582 is a two-handset system that offers the latest DECT 6.0 Plus wireless for optimal interference-free reception over the longest distances possible. In addition to its built-in answering machine and easy-to-see high contrast screen, the KX-TG6582 also features "Link-to-Cell" support, which means you can use its built-in Bluetooth radio to make or receive calls from your cell phone via these home phones. While we haven't reviewed … Read more
Tivoli Audio makes some stylish and great sounding tabletop radios and for this week's giveaway, Tivoli is offering Crave readers the chance to win one of its classy Platinum Series Model 3 AM/FM clock radios. CNET's audio guru Steve Guttenberg liked its sound, calling it nicely balanced, and said the Tivoli Model 3 "is a great solution for anyone in the market for an upscale tabletop clock radio." This newer version features a hand-lacquered and polished high-gloss finish.
Normally, the Tivoli Platinum Series Model 3 would cost about $400, but you have the chance to … Read more
OnStar to show up in retail stores, Chrysler backs away from hybrids and electric cars, can technology end crashes in intersections, and we drive the new 2011 Ford Fiesta--was it worth the wait?Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) Episode 180 SHOW NOTES
There was a time when table radios didn't get any respect.
That's no longer true now that some radios come jazzed up with iPod/iPhone docks, CD players, Internet radios, and all sorts of features. But they still sound like table radios--even the ones featured in full-page ads in magazines and newspapers that sell for $349 or more. The sound isn't bad, just inoffensive, and they make do with fake stereo. True, they may sport two speakers, but since the radios are just 15 or so inches wide, stereo imaging isn't part of the plan.
Enter the Cue Radio Model r1 Outlaw Audio Signature Edition; it's a table radio that aims higher, and mostly hits the target. It's the best-sounding table radio I've tried at home.
Styling is iPod-inspired and elegant, with a black high-gloss body and large backlit display. The Cue radio sports a built-in iPod/iPhone dock, dual alarms, remote, etc. Stereo? It's an unabashedly mono affair, with a single two-way, tweeter/woofer driver hunkered down on the right side of the cabinet, but you can add Cue's matching Model s1 speaker and get bona-fide stereo. That feature alone elevates it over most of the competition, and automatically ups the Cue radio's hi-fi quotient by a few notches.
Cue's 3/4-inch silk dome tweeter is mounted on a waveguide, strategically centered over a 3.5-inch woofer. The combined driver is a proprietary design, and it's a honey. The Cue Radio is "bi-amplified," meaning one 25-watt amplifier drives the tweeter, another 25-watt amp drives the woofer. The radio has two more 25-watt amps standing by for when you run stereo speakers. There's a 3.5 mm stereo Aux input jack on the rear panel for connecting CD players, MP3 players, computers etc. It's too bad a headphone jack didn't make the cut. The radio is 10.5 inches wide by 4.25 high by 6.5 deep and weighs six pounds.
I'm reviewing the Cue Radio Model r1 Outlaw Audio Signature Edition, which sports a couple of features missing from the standard Cue Radio Model r1, but both models retail for the same price, $399 for the radio, or $479 when bundled with the stereo speaker. In either case, the radio is assembled by hand and tested by Cue in the U.S..… Read more
Twitter is getting into the online shopping business--or at least pointing to places where deals can be had.
The company's new service, aptly named @earlybird, is an official Twitter account that the company plans to feed with deals at both online and offline retailers, as well as "sneak peeks and events." Users who follow the account will see these entries just like any other tweet in their stream.
While it might seem to be a minor offering, @earlybird is notable in that Twitter plans to monetize it. The company is partnering with companies to provide the deals, … Read more