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Hi-Res Audio explained

25/09/2017 8:30 am


Chord PolyHigh-Res audio is supposed to be the be all and end all in digital music.  

But what does the little gold and black 'Hi-Res Audio' logo mean. Is Hi-Res Audio really such a big deal? Should you pay attention to it? How is it different to other digital music files? And what do you need to listen to it? 

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2 Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Bart Brichau

home theatre

With CEDIA 2017 under way, we are getting bombarded with new products. If keeping up with all the new and improved AV products is doing your head in, you’re not alone. The question to ask is, is it really necessary to forever update your AV system? Are we really talking about an improvement, or are we just buying into the next marketing trick?

The life cycle of electronics is extremely short these days. Do you need to upgrade? The answer to that question is more often you might like to think: ‘no’.

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

Headphone wizardry

11/09/2017 8:00 am

Focal Utopia

When buying a pair of headphones, people tend to have a pretty good idea of the style of headphone they want. Whether it is a pair of in-ear, on-ear, around-ear headphones; whether to go wired or wireless and whether to opt for such extra features as active noise-cancellation to help muffle ambient noise. Oh, and then there's price. Everybody has a budget.

But unbeknownst to most people, choices go a bit further than that. Knowledge is the key to getting it right, so here’s what you may need to consider, before getting out the credit card.  

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

The Optoma UHD65 shakes it up

4/09/2017 8:00 am

Optoma UHD 65

We’re a rather lucky bunch at Rapallo. We get to play with the best ‘toys’ available in the market, test them, compare them and show them off to our customers. The last few weeks, thanks to the good folks at JVC, Epson and Optoma, we have been able to see with our own eyes what is happening in the world of projectors. Let’s just say things are moving in projector world.

 

This week, we received the first production model to hit NZ shores of the Optoma UHD65 4K UHD DLP projector. We were sceptical, as we had never really been impressed with the price/quality point of DLP projectors before. Add to that that the BenQ 4K UHD projectors were a disappointment. So.... how did the even cheaper Optoma fare?

 

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

Tweeter design challenges

28/08/2017 8:00 am

Elac jet5

Speaker design is quite a science. Look at the complicated speaker schedules done by Andrew Jones for the design of the yet to be released Adante speakers and you will get a bit of an idea of what we are talking about.

 

We’re not speaker designers by any means. But it doesn’t stop us from finding it very fascinating and admittedly, when done well, we’re in awe. Crossovers, mids and lows get a fair amount of attention, but we’ve been feeling compelled to have a look at what happens in the world of tweeters.

What makes a good tweeter? Shape? Material? What else? 

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

Definitive Technology all-weather

While the changes are subtle, there is no denying that winter is on its last legs and spring is just around the corner. The neighbours were already firing up their BBQ last weekend and frankly, we are just as impatient to get the tomato plants moved into the open garden. I know…

 

As soon as the sun comes out, we’ll be spending more time outdoors. Whether you're working in the garden, reading on the patio, or just relaxing in the shade of your favorite tree, outdoor speakers make total sense with our outdoor Kiwi lifestyle.

 

And just as much as with any AV set-up, planning is the word. The last thing you'll want to do is rush the process. It helps to consider all the elements and steps involved beforehand. Here's what you should know ahead of time.

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

Karson

We take it for granted, but just imagine being handed back our flip phones instead of our iphones (or androids for that matter). I have no doubt we’d be very surprised how much has changed since the arrival of smart phones.

 

It may be a slightly slower process, but a very similar revolution is happening right now, turning our homes into smart homes. ‘Not for me’, I hear you sigh, probably accompanied by a massive eye-roll. But before you click away, you may want to read on just a bit further. 

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

app control

As you would expect us to do, we are constantly keeping up with what is happening in the industry: talking to suppliers, reading up on forums, testing new gear, visiting trade shows when time and budget allows, researching and learning (always!) new insights, and obviously keeping an eye on reviews and how to guides that are out there.

One of the articles that caught our eye was an article on ‘three awesome audio controls’ that was put out by Crutchfield (a massive USA retailer of AV gear amongst lots of other electronics). Well, believe it or not but their top 3 picks happen to be exactly our pick of the bunch.

A coincidence? We should think not! Of course, we need to share it with you… and add our own comments and thoughts.

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

SVS dual subwoofer

Bass is the problem-child of the acoustics family. It’s unruly and difficult to handle. Which is why you might bump into all sorts of advice around bass management.

 

One of the most often recommended measures is the use two or even more subwoofers to handle unruly bass. While you might assume this is for added SPL, the greatest benefit will actually be taming the stroppy sibling with smoother and more consistent bass response as a result.

How to go about it? Let's be clear: there is no 2 minute solution. But if you allow the time and effort, the rewards will be absolutely worth it. 

 

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

ELAC BS403

Rapallo’s new kid on the block Deano is making investments. Not in real estate or some fancy overseas bond. No, he’s putting some money towards his ever-evolving audio room. Not that it was in the plans.

Sometimes good audio equipment just finds you, rather than the other way around.

Here’s what happened: As part of his ‘training’, long-term audiophile Deano has made it a habit to take some of our demo material home for an in-depth familiarization with the products. After all, it is important for us to know the ins and outs of the products we recommend to our customers.

This is the story of how a pair of the ELAC BS403’s unexpectedly found a permanent place in his set-up. 

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Comments | Posted in Reviews By Deano R Lambert

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