A Great Resource for Audio/Video Receivers

One of our favorite brands of audio/video receivers is Integra. Integra is the higher end of Onkyo (like what Lexus is to Toyota). They have great features and sound fabulous! We have used Integra receivers to demonstrate our home theater systems at the past two T.H.E. Shows in Newport Beach. I also use one in my home theater.

We have a resource for great deals on Integra receivers that we’d like to share with you. We have a friend in a neighboring community who has a home theater store. He carries some of the finest equipment including Integra. He often gets factory refurbished units. These are usually current models. He sells these receivers for typically 30% off or more. They include a 2 year warranty. I don’t know why they call them refurbished. I’ve bought several and every one I’ve opened looked brand new to me and has worked flawlessly.

At these prices, they are hard to beat. For more info, contact Jay Frank at Evolution Home Theater (818)879-1312. Tell them we sent you. We don’t get anything for this plug.


Home Theater Receivers

One of the questions we get all the time is, “What audio/video receivers do you recommend with your speakers?” We enjoy that question.  Because we don’t sell any of the components it allows us to be impartial and we enjoy making our opinions known. Our speakers are pretty friendly to most receivers and it doesn’t take a lot to power them. However, manufacturers play games with power ratings in an effort to seem more competitive. Many receivers rate their power with only 2 channels driven. When you measure the power with all the channels driven, the ratings drop significantly.

Of all the components in your home theater system, you’ll probably have your speakers the longest. Next, will be your TV followed by your blu-ray player. Last will probably be your audio/video receiver (AVR). That’s because the features seem to change very rapidly. Many of today’s reasonably-priced AVRs are quite good. I think the sweat-spot for excellent results with our speakers seems to be in the $500-$1,000 price range. (more…)


Surveys – Give Me a Break!!

This is nothing to do with speakers, audio or home theater, but I’m sick of being constantly asked to participate in surveys! Anytime you call anybody for help, whether it’s your bank or your trash company, they want you to fill out a survey either through an email or by phone. And, if you buy a new car, forget about it. You’ll get a bunch of surveys. Some of them may even have a dollar bill in it in order to guilt you into filling out dozens of dumb questions that have nothing to do with you and provide answers that don’t fit the situation. And then there are the random phone calls (and don’t get me started!); “We’re conducting a survey, do you have a few minutes?” As a result, people don’t want to have anything to do with surveys.

It makes it hard for us. When people purchase our home theater speaker systems, we really want their feedback. While we get some, many people, although very satisfied don’t bother. We understand why. It’s because of all the surveys we get bombarded with. When we’d have the occasion to speak with them, they’d tell us how happy they were with our speakers. I think the world has gone survey crazy.


Big Time Improvement in Sound at reasonable cost

Many years ago, while at college, I set up a stereo system in my room the frat house. At the time, I also worked part time at a San Diego radio station. I noticed how great the playback system sounded in the studio, far better than my system. Yet, my system, which sounded very hollow and shrill, had better components and speakers than the one in the studio. The difference was that room at the frat house had hard wall surfaces and no carpeting. The studio had these white tiles with small holes in them all over the walls and ceiling. You may have seen studios like this in old movies. It was then that I understood how critically important room acoustics were. (more…)


A Great Blu-Ray Player Costs $150. Is a $500 – $1,000 Player a Great Investment?

My experience with an Oppo Blu-Ray player has changed my point of view. I speak with a lot of customers who want suggestions on what to purchase along with our speakers to complete their home theater systems. It continues to amaze me how technology has produced low priced components that are really terrific.

So, when it comes to blu-ray players, I have recommended inexpensive ones from companies like Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic. These players have really great video quality. When it comes to the audio, it’s usually decoded by the Audio/Video receiver anyway. So, I would normally tell a customer to go to his local Costco and pick one up for under $150 and people have been quite happy. Some of our customers would tell us that they own an Oppo blu-ray player.  Oppo has 2 models priced at $499 and $999. They are sold directly on their website http://www.oppodigital.com.  I thought, “Why do you need such an expensive player when an inexpensive one will work so well?”.



Years of crafting, refinement, and unwillingness to compromise have lead to this moment. The CG5 and CG25 are a masterful blend of artistry and science.

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