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Sound & Vision

Sound & Vision September 2016

Sound & Vision is at the forefront of the ever-changing, always dynamic world of electronic entertainment. Authoritative and accessible, written with insight and humor, Sound & Vision is the preeminent source for consumers of home theater, audio, video, and multimedia products.

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United States
AVTech Media Americas, Inc.
10 Issues

in this issue

15 min
return of the monolith

Definitive Technology BP9080x Speaker System PRICE $7,194 as reviewed AT A GLANCE + Plus Spacious bipole sound Seriously full-range with powered bass section Astounding dynamics - Minus Big and demanding of floor space Reflective bipolar reproduction may not suit every room, taste DEFINITIVE TECHNOLOGY’S monolithic bipolar towers —which launched the brand in 1990—have been around in one form or another almost as long as that thing in 2001: A Space Odyssey. With the fourth generation bowing recently, the Baltimore-area manufacturer set us up with a full suite: BP9080x fronts, CS9080 center, a pair of smallerbut-still-huge BP9060 towers for surrounds, and the A90 elevation speakers (Dolby Atmos-enabled and compatible with DTS:X) to go on top of those surrounds; the marquee BP9080x fronts have the same elevation componentry to bounce height-channel signals off the ceiling built right…

2 min
everybody was kung fu fighting

Director Wilson Yip returns to helm the third and ostensibly final installment in the Ip Man saga with Ip Man 3. As with the previous films, international star Donnie Yen returns to the role as wing chun legend Ip Man, and the film also, questionably, brings Mike Tyson on board as a ruthless and violent American real estate developer. In the first two acts of the film, Ip Man (Yen) is drawn into a brutal conflict when underhanded property developer Frank (Tyson) sends his goons to pressure a local school into selling their property. The last act of the film has Ip Man and his wife dealing with personal tragedy while Ip Man is also issued a challenge by another wing chun master (Zhang Jin) who wants to claim Ip Man’s…

2 min
every dystopian series must come to an end

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2 is actually the fourth installment in the Hunger Games trilogy. Splitting the last book of a series into two movies can allow for complexity (i.e., Harry Potter), but here it should have been avoided. Part 1 is mostly filler, and even Part 2 has some pacing issues. If you’re new to The Hunger Games, start at the beginning. Of all the teenage dystopian movie series, this one is the best conceived: Underlying the action and drama, it’s a believable look at PTSD and the personal cost of brutal dictatorships. It also has, by far, the best acting. So what does a believable look at dystopian dictatorship look like? Not realistic. Outdoor scenes in The Capital have a blue-green tint to them, making everything look a bit…

9 min
a view to a thrill

PRICE $890 AT A GLANCE + Plus Impressive brightness Clean, detailed picture Good overall 3D performance - Minus So-so contrast Relatively high fan noise WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE benefits of buying a 1080p projector, the main one that should come to mind is price. There are a few native 4K models, including ones with high dynamic range capability, but they still remain costly, with the cheapest being Sony’s VPL-VW350ES at $8,000. Even those that accept 4K signals and deliver a faux 4K picture, such as JVC’s e-shift models, remain in the several thousand dollar range. Survey the plain ol’ 1080p field, on the other hand, and you’ll find plenty of bargains, including ViewSonic’s LightStream Pro7827HD DLP projector, with a list price of $890 and an online street price of just $799. What makes the Pro7827HD…

1 min
hafler and dynaco are back

Hafler and Dynaco, two historic high-end audio brands, were relaunched at the High-End Show in Munich. New owner Radial, with roots in pro audio, is restarting the brands with two step-up transformers, two phono preamps, and two headphone amps (including the tube-driven “vintage inspired” HA75 shown below), all made in Canada, at prices from $500 to $1,200. Both companies were founded by David Hafler (1919–2003), who pioneered affordable high-end gear under the Dynaco brand. You’ll still find the legendary ST 70 stereo tube amp all over eBay. Consumers had the option of buying the amp as a DIY kit, and many of today’s graying audiophiles fondly reminisce about assembling one.…

1 min
bowers & wilkins sold

West Sussex, meet Silicon Valley. Bowers & Wilkins, the legendary British high-end loudspeaker maker, has been sold to EVA Automation of Redwood City, California. And who is that exactly? Says EVA’s website: “We are passionate about home entertainment and creating easier and better ways for people to use the products they love.” EVA is backed by the same venture capitalist that sold the virtual-reality outfit Oculus to Facebook. “Since I founded EVA Automation two years ago,” writes chairman Gideon Yu, “we have been working hard to create fantastic home A/V user experiences. When it was time to seek out partners for our journey ahead, Bowers & Wilkins was unquestionably our #1 choice.” How they might mesh remains to be seen, but EVA’s mission includes multiroom products. And as S&V editor-in-chief Rob Sabin notes,…