When I dropped by the Oswalds Mill Audio (OMA) showroom/loft space, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I'd heard OMA speakers at hi-fi shows and was always impressed by the sound, but the full immersion OMA experience was a very different trip. The wildly retro-futuristic designs looked more extreme than I remembered them. Jonathan Weiss, OMA's founder and CEO and also my tour guide put on quite a show, but not by hammering my ears with a high-decibel attack. I have no doubt Weiss' huge Imperia four-way horn speakers and 21-inch subwoofer could easily reproduce … Read more
I cover a lot of great-sounding gear on this blog, ranging from the $22 Lepai LP 2020A stereo integrated amplifier, $129 Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers, and the $650 Tekton M-Lore towers. This time I'm going all the way with a true state-of-the-art contender: the JBL Everest DD66000. It's the speaker equivalent of a fire-breathing Ferrari. I got the chance to spend quality time with a pair of these outrageously awesome speakers at EarsNova in New York last week for about an hour. Viva Audio tube amplifiers were driving the speakers, and the digital converter was by dCS Digital.
I … Read more
Live concerts are louder than ever, but home audio systems that sound great turned up loud are increasingly rare. If you're into loud music and lucky enough to live in a place where maximum volume won't get you evicted or arrested, or earn the wrath of neighbors, treat yourself to a set of big speakers.
Sure, small satellite speakers with a powerful subwoofer can sound great, but not in the same league as large speakers. Big systems really do have huge performance advantages over even the best small ones. If you've got the space to accommodate a pair of Klipsch Reference RF-7 II speakers, they deserve an audition. The only downside to listening to the RF-7 IIs is you'll never be satisfied with a Bluetooth speaker ever again.… Read more
As we move further away from our analog roots and become more entrenched in digital music, what are we to do with the forgotten musical instruments of yesteryear? Austin, Texas, artist and art teacher Christopher Locke has an idea. He salvages old horned instruments to create incredible audio players for the most ubiquitous digital music devices around. … Read more
These horn speakers from Ring Audio are both aesthetically pleasing and sonically efficient on paper.
They can easily pass as art pieces at a glance and are available in different finishes, ranging from natural wood grains to composite materials, as well as contrasting colors, such as piano black and white.
The German speakers are also capable of producing rumbling deep bass up to 35Hz despite their small 4-inch drivers. What's more, this level of performance can be achieved with only 10W of power making them compatible with tube amplifiers, whereas most non-horn-type models require many times more power.
However, … Read more
You might wonder where Mr. Whiskerpuffs goes after he's let out the back door. You may imagine that he lounges around in the sun and swats at butterflies in the neighbor's yard. He may actually be holding down a 5-acre territory.
A master's thesis study, led by former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate student Jeff Horn, tracked 42 feral and pet cats as they collectively roamed more than 6,000 acres over the course of two years.
Radio telemetry and movement sensors gave the researchers a pile of interesting data. The largest range for a single cat belonged to a feral male that claimed 1,351 acres of room to roam. Pet cats tended to keep things much closer to home.
One unsurprising (at least to cat owners) finding was that the pet cats were lazy little fluffballs. They were asleep or in a low-activity mode for 97 percent of the time. The feral cats didn't have such cushy situations. They were in high activity mode for 14 percent of the time. It takes extra effort to make a living when you don't have a bowl of Friskies waiting at home.… Read more
Matt Van Horn, business development director at social-news site Digg, is departing for Path--the ultra-stealthy start-up co-founded by former Facebook executive Dave Morin and Napster co-founder Shawn Fanning. Van Horn's departure comes right after Digg rolled out its much-hyped "Version 4" revamp to the general public.
Van Horn was a hardcore Digg loyalist, something that comes across in a note he sent to colleagues Thursday announcing the job change.
"When I graduated college in 2006, it was a crazy dream to move to the Bay Area and join a tech start-up. So I took it … Read more
Vuvuzela 2010 is a free vuvuzela simulator--an iPhone and iPad app for reproducing the droning buzz of the globally infamous stadium horn heard in every World Cup 2010 soccer match.
Vuvuzela 2010 has a simple interface: a long vuvuzela fills your screen lengthwise, and you just tap it (or, even better, shake your device) to produce a loud, realistic "vuvu" drone, which sounds even better on speakers or headphones.
You can tap (or shake) it repeatedly to create a looping--and potentially even more irritating--sound, and you can customize the horn's color by tapping one of 10 jerseys … Read more
Heard, but hardly seen speakers aren't new.
There's a number of glass and clear plastic speakers on the market, but these fetching British models are something else again. People seem to want speakers and audio gear that "disappears" and still sound great. Ferguson Hill makes a full line of see-through designs, and from the looks of it the FH001 just might be a real contender.
It's a "horn" speaker made of clear acrylic, and its ultrahigh efficiency design allows it to play nice and loud with as little as 3 to 50 watts. So there's no need to use the FH001 with power hungry amplifiers! Horn speakers are easily the "greenest" of speaker types, and work well with even the smallest, most power-efficient amplifiers. I first heard about Ferguson Hill on the Ultimate AV Web site.… Read more