Industry leaders in the news: TEAC reinvents Digital, SIM2 rethinks 2D

Четверг, 5 Декабрь 2013, 21:27
Размещено в рубрике English Special и имеет 0 комментариев.


by Vladimir Yelbaev, The YelbTrib owner


TEAC's new era VRDS: not cheap

TEAC's new era VRDS: not cheap

As presented by TEAC envoy to Moscow,  the 60 year old Tokyo Television Acoustic looks poised to put DCS  to shame. Slated for worldwide export in 2014 is a 18 kg mono amp boasting 1200 Watt clean power at 2 Ohm — and lower down. A couple of those beauties to take it up from an existing pre or an upcoming crop of dedicated CD players/DACs. While breaking a power section apart from a CD transport is no news – feeding a CD spindle motor with one sure is. As well as building a 48 bit and a 36 bit procession to watch over the transportation, the data streaming schematics and the boggling ES-Line4 HDMI data transmission. In fact, the procession takes place before, not after the DA conversion… which again is 36, rather than 32 bit accurate. Needless to say, wordclock stays faithful and jitter combated hands down. 

Top flight monsters are designated Esoteric Grandioso while NP H750 integrated and a host of ”TEAC juniors” target lower mass market with own thrills like full networking and 1795 BurrBrown conversion of 32 bit accuracy, to name few. TEAC engineers redesigned even the balanced audio approved idiom. They argue in the current 500 series positive and negative signal parts pass a lengthier phasing stage for the sake of accuracy. But what really convinces a consumer is a blown view of TEAC schematics.

From sturdy elaborate transformers to neat cap and op-amp studded boards, to conservative (albeit mini) output cooler rails (no noisy vents) – these match perfectly the brushed thick alumina panels, the heavy knobs complete with loudness switches, the arrow meters. Unlike generally dismissed, the new “scaled economical” remake of their famed VRDS drive appears as expensive and pro industrial as wished. In fact, nowhere in their presented new line CD players did we find an ordinary computer drive.

Perhaps, TEAC engineers run away occasionally with their “overboard digital” thinking. They have improved the  920 retro radio-CD boombox with added amp power, a playback only function and the advanced Bluetooth signal transmission. Their line of pseudo 70s “muzak centers” employ Bluetooth to transmit analog originating from a ceramic (!) pickup of a mundane primitive tonearm of the built-in record player job. For some (nostalgic?) reason they have housed stereo speakers in the same body, in one model bound to spark up a curio collector. So far I can see, all of those are multimedia friendly and gadget compatible. Weird.

Having survived the presentation function’s “journalist questions” session, I can also see the source of most odd design ideas. One actually came from the “journalist underworld”: to replace the Bluetooth with USB interface for “quality hi-end” sound. Hopefully, this be ignored by TEAC brains.

TEAC/Esoteric clearly steer close to solid ground of analog but won’t relinquish the multimedia tricky streams either. We can reap the wonder products bordering on both these elements in 2014. God save TEAC.


Cubic non-offender

SIM2 budget-end Crystal Cube: absolutelly in place

SIM2 budget-end Crystal Cube: absolutelly in place

SIM2, rumored the last remnant of European manufactured home/pro video projectors, has unveiled yet another typical performer. Crystal Cube is a 3D super bright one at specified 2300 AINSI lumen and single chip DLP housing a 250 watt bulb. Unpacked, the machine was presented briskly at A&T Trade distributor premises, and the very first glow of a scene knocked out what cheeky questions I had prepared. It pleased and relaxed so I forgot all about the bulb resource hours. On second thoughts I see no problem in replacing it – if and when the bulb expire. The preference issue is resolved by virtue of the approved DLP chip since no other “safer” projection types deliver nearly as good as DLP at SIM2. By same token, any SIM2 DLP projector outlives a plasma / LED / tube TV. 

At the demo, I reveled in sheer picture quality – trademark crystal mountain air-like over everything fed into the BD/DVD player. Once again I have to vote for SIM2 prowess in color balance and clean undisturbed view. Top models from the competition a-l-w-a-y-s  betray a twist inferior to SIM2 airiness:  American brands overwhelm and finally tire with grandeur, Japan’s Sharp favors raspberry for blood-red, Panasonic warms on brown, Samsung fails on pixel definition, LG splashes with sandy yellow, Sony sort of keeps distance on planes, Mitsubishi tones down everything a tad and German brands overplay cold blue. Well, the Italian positioned SIM2 has none of those laps in being virtually the most natural, pleasing and welcome one. The new Cube model no exception to the rule.

In fact, Cube is the easiest most to adjust I have seen till date. We watched as is, with factory adjustments. Then I asked to “give a run thru” the temperature and, most importantly, the gamma settings. To my surprise, no position brought in a distortion – just a different character, an added density or intense color. The range of adjustments was large to register them – that’s it. No betrayal of grain either, no matter what we watched. Jerky movements none of the projector (or even player’s) fault as production and disk’s formats differ.

The Cube’s interior modernist design lets the thing sit on a coffee table gracefully and unobtrusively. Its focusing  exactly suits the position in most homes – as well as the rear ceiling position. Again, the European approach at work: how many times did I meet with Sharps and Sanyos too bulky and too fussy for home, perhaps for a business presentation or a pathetic hifi exhibition fair only…

As regards the once-busy 3D preference issue… we watched only 2D this time around, due to RF glasses and the emitter left unpacked. The viewing was clearly superior to anything I can recall with projector demonstrations and testing for the past year or two (excepting perhaps SIM2 demos). The images retained volume of traditional cinema and the planes of the scenery were defined without tire, at any time. This was the video I like to live with. 3D loses fans over the world, what with its flat imagery and controversial details. I trust this Cube manages 3D to the best of the format. I recommend the reader to check it out. Period.

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