Culinary additions to my holiday gift guide: I love to cook and every once in a while I find something that warrants inclusion in the column, like the Panasonic Countertop Induction Oven I raved about in 2017. Here are two nifty cooking machines that will make great gifts.
Panasonic High Speed Toaster Oven NB-W250S with Convection, $99: This ...Read more
Q. I have a 25-by-25-square-foot listening room with a high-end sound system. I have had my system for many years and would like to upgrade to get better sound. I currently have Avant Garde RX20 speakers and the amplifier (a Simaudio Moon model with a separate preamplifier) is only 100 watts per channel. Is it possible to upgrade everything and ...Read more
Q. The room layout of the furnished apartment we are renting does not have a good place to put a flat-screen television that is big enough to satisfy us. However, there is a table where the cable box and our Blu-ray player would go, and if I put a projector there it could project on a plain, smooth white wall across the room about 10 feet away. ...Read more
Q. I planned on buying the $699 Oppo planar-magnetic headphones you recommended and have been saving up for them. Now that I am finally ready, I see Oppo is no longer producing headphones. What would you recommend as the next best thing?
-- L.R., Milwaukee
A. Your timing is actually perfect because now you can get better headphones while ...Read more
Black Friday comes now: I have found three "early Black Friday" offers on products I have highly recommended the past few months. If you were looking for a better deal when you first read about them, now is your chance!
The first is Cambridge Audio Yoyo(S) Bluetooth speaker. Cambridge Audio Bluetooth speakers are some of my very favorites, due ...Read more
Q. What CD player would you recommend for use in a high quality component stereo system that originally cost around $2,000?
-- R.B., St. Paul, Minn.
A. I have received several variations of this question lately. With the ongoing vinyl record renaissance many people are building stereo systems with a turntable as the centerpiece, systems ...Read more
Q. I have a Pioneer SX850 stereo receiver and Pro-ject Debut Carbon turntable with the Ortofon 2M Red cartridge (a recommendation from you that I am very happy with). I'm looking for a recommendation for quality bookshelf speakers. I currently have Bose 201 Series III speakers connected, but would like to upgrade to something in the $500 per ...Read more
Q. I am looking for a new phono preamp, priced up to $1,500. What do you recommend in this price range? I have the LP Gear The Vessel R3SM cartridge that won the 11-cartridge shootout on your website, mounted on a Technics SL-1200GR turntable. I figure it is time to add a phono preamp that matches the quality of the other components.
-- J.C., ...Read more
Q. We're part of the older generation that has trouble understanding what folks on TV are saying. We have a set of earphones, which do make the voices clearer, but they're not comfortable for more than an hour or two. We tried a soundbar, which made the music better, but did not help much with the voices so we returned it to the store. I realize...Read more
Q. Do any manufacturers make a DVR that has a broadcast tuner and internal memory, so a person can set a particular time and channel to record, and then review the program at their leisure? I am looking for something that works much as the old VCRs worked. All the products I have been able to find use proprietary program guides and it seems the ...Read more
Q. I might purchase the Yoyo (L) from Cambridge Audio since their Air 100 and Air 200 speakers that you highly recommended are no longer available. Have you had a chance to listen to the Yoyo (L) model yet and, if so, would you highly recommend it for its overall sound quality? I know you have stated in your weekly column that you plan to review...Read more
Q. I need a phono preamp for a Denon high output moving coil cartridge. What would you recommend under $500?
A. A high output moving coil cartridge will work with any phono preamp with a moving magnet (MM) input. A moving coil (MC) input is only needed with a low output moving coil cartridge. Many phono preamps have settings for both ...Read more
Q. I am interested in security products for the home. I don't want an expensive service with subscription fees and am looking for simple devices I can easily employ myself. Is there anything noteworthy you can recommend?
-- S.C., Sewickley, Pa.
A. Panasonic recently introduced the HomeHawk Home Monitoring System and it is extremely impressive....Read more