Science & Technology



Sound Advice: A good phono preamp can make a major difference in vinyl sound quality

Q. I need a phono preamp for a Denon high output moving coil cartridge. What would you recommend under $500?

-- S.O.

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

Sound Advice: HomeHawk Home Monitoring System is impressive

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

Sound Advice: If not an Oppo player, get a Blu-ray player from your TV's manufacturer

Q. I have a new TCL 8-series 65-inch 4K television. I now need a 4K Blu-ray player to go with it. I know you have a strong preference for Oppo players, but not only do I think this high-end product is more than I need, prices have gone up dramatically since Oppo ended production. Can you recommend a different player for me?

-- D.A., Eden ...Read more

Sound Advice: Technics SL-1200GR turntable is your best bet

Q. I read the cartridge comparison test on your website and saw how much you liked the new Technics SL-1200GR turntable. I am in the market for a turntable, price up to $2,000. Do you think it is my best bet? Is it much different than the old Technics SL-1200 models?

-- F.J., New York

A. I do think it is your best bet, ...Read more

Sound Advice: Cambridge Audio to release limited amount of Air 100 in September

Reader email: I read your article this weekend and ordered a Cambridge Audio Air 100. I consider myself lucky that there were still some available. Well, it arrived this morning and it is fantastic! Setup was a breeze, it's not too big and the sound is enormous. I'm testing my jazz collection over AirPlay, it's easy and sounds great. I should ...Read more

Sound Advice: What's the best soundbar with a 1080P Panasonic plasma?

Q. In recent columns you gave high praise to LG OLED televisions and the ZVOX SB500 soundbar. I have a 1080P Panasonic plasma and the picture and color using HD broadcasts are so good I am wary of changing anything. I host our Super Bowl party every year and everyone still raves about how good it looks.

I use Sennheiser wireless digital ...Read more

Sound Advice: Cambridge Audio Air 100, 200 sale one of the best Don Lindich has seen

The best audio deal I have ever seen: Several years ago I wrote about the Bluetone 100 Bluetooth speaker from British audio manufacturer Cambridge Audio. (Not to be confused with American manufacturer Cambridge SoundWorks, producer of the OontZ speakers.) The Bluetone 100 sold for $299 and I considered it to be the best-sounding Bluetooth ...Read more

Sound Advice: Onkyo TX-8020 a better receiver than TX-8220

Q. You often recommend the Onkyo TX-8020 as the top pick in an affordable (under-$200) receiver. Have you ever evaluated the new Onkyo TX-8220, which includes Bluetooth?

-- B.R., San Jose, Calif.

A. I have not evaluated the TX-8220 and after looking at the specifications, I don't need to. I would not buy one and will still be recommending the ...Read more

Sound Advice: How to repair vintage Panasonic camera

Q. The lens of my husband's "action camera" has a scratch right in the middle. The camera is a nice little Panasonic DMC-ZS3. It has a Leica lens that goes down to an effective 25mm wide angle, and this very wide angle is very useful. He is considering having a repair shop replace or repair the lens. Do you have any suggestions as far as repair?...Read more

Sound Advice: Record cleaners can make a difference

Q. I purchased the $1,000 vinyl record system you recommended in the column and on your website, consisting of Polk Audio S20 bookshelf speakers, Music Hall MMF-1.5 turntable and Onkyo TX-8020 receiver. It has exceeded my expectations and now I find myself wanting more. What are some other things I can do to improve the sound of my system ...Read more

Sound Advice: Polk Signature tower speakers are impressive

Q. We are moving to a new home and want to make changes to our audio system. We currently have a surround system with a Marantz AV receiver, small Klipsch speakers and a subwoofer. The new music room is about 20-by-20 feet and we will use the Marantz receiver in it, with new speakers, but just stereo this time. We have about a $500 budget that ...Read more

Sound Advice: Sbode Sport Bluetooth Headphones are about to become an even better deal

I know Sound Advice readers love deals, so I will start this week with news from Sbode, an up-and-coming manufacturer of portable electronics.

Earlier this year I wrote about Sbode Sport Bluetooth Headphones, which are a standout for their sound quality and value. Selling for only $23.99, they were the best sub-$25 earphones I had ever heard, ...Read more

Sound Advice: LG OLED TVs, ZVOX SB500 soundbars are best bets

Q. I'm looking to replace an older 46-inch television and an Insignia soundbar. They both sit above a fireplace. I have a budget between $3,000 and $4,000 and want a 55-inch set. I want great sound but prefer to stick with a soundbar. What do you like these days?

-- S.Y., San Ramon, Calif.

A. What I like these days has not changed over the ...Read more

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