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October 1, 2009

A/V Tip: Back to Basics in Bass

Filed under: AV Tip of the Month — Tags: , , — Alan @ 10:44 pm

The driving rhythms of deep powerful bass in rock and pop music as well as the timpani, bass drum and double basses of an orchestra complete the bottom few octaves of humans’ hearing range. Without it, music sounds shallow and anemic, so it’s no surprise that bass is a requirement of even the most basic hi-fi or home theater system.

Judging by the questions that arrive in my email about bookshelf vs floorstanding speakers and subwoofers, it’s time to cover a few bass basics that even old hands may have overlooked.

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Question of the Month: Difficulty Transmitting a Digital Optical Signal

Q. I’m having difficulty transmitting a digital optical signal about 75 ft. from a remote Dish satellite receiver to an A/V Home Theater receiver. I’ve added a Toslink repeater/amp device, but to no avail. Do you have any suggestions? – George.

A. Thanks for your e-mail and interesting question.

I suspect the optical pulses are much too weak, even with the Toslink repeater/amp device. I quizzed Axiom’s chief engineer, Tom Cumberland, who stated that a normal plastic fiber-optic link is only good for about 6 to 10 feet. Over longer distances, the plastic fiber-optic link causes the pulses to “blur,” so the optical receiver in the AV receiver can’t distinguish between the “on” and “off” optical pulses that relay the digital code.

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Insider’s Guide to Great Sound at Home

Filed under: Audio Knowledge — Tags: , — Alan @ 1:02 pm

As the days in the Northeast, Northwest and Midwest get chillier and darker with fewer daylight hours, we tend to move indoors and spend more time with our electronic entertainment. Getting cozy in front of the electronic hearth with music or movies over the winter months is a modern tradition. With that in mind, here are some guidelines for both newcomers as well as enthusiasts who want to enhance their home listening and movie-watching experiences.

Abandon Long-Held But Misguided Beliefs About Stereo

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