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Audio News for July 17, 2015

Ettore Stratta Dies – The Italian conductor, pianist, composer, and producer was known as “The Pioneer of Crossover”. He created “Switched on Bach” for CBS and produced many historic crossover recordings which he also conducted. His own orchestra made over 25 recordings, and he performed with Placido Domingo, Yo-Yo Ma, Stephane Grappelli, Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, George Shearing and many others. He conducted for Michel Legrand for ten years and Grappelli for 25. He and his partner ran the annual Django Reinhardt Festival and he created Absolut Concerto in NYC with major orchestras and commissioned composers. In 1986 he was nominated for Conductor of the Year together with Leonard Bernstein and Andre Previn.

Bowers & Wilkins Expands Custom Speakers – Three new architectural speakes have been launched, including the rectangular CWM Cinema 7 in-wall and the CCM Cinema 7 in-ceiling speaker. The full-range CCM632 is the third, sold in stereo pairs and available with either round or square grille/bezel assemblies that attach magnetically. The ceiling speaker is a two-way with a 7-inch bass/midrange Kevlar cone woofer and a 1-inch Nautilus aluminum dome tweeter – both angled to direct sound towards listeners so dialog is clear and special effects are accurate. The in-wall speaker can be used as a left, center or right speaker and can be mounted beside, above or below the screen. Both Cinema 7 speakers come with QuickDogs spring clamps that rotate and clip into place, enabling installers to fit the speaker frames securely with one hand without tools. The CCM632, with its 3-inch full-range driver, will most likely be used for surround speakers.

ZTE’s Axon Pro Smartphone Stresses AV Performance – Input from the U.S. market enabled ZTE USA to provide in their flagshiip smartphone “the highest sound quality from any smartphone in the U.S.”  It has a 192K/24-bit DAC and separate 192/24 ADC from AKM Semiconductor. On the video side, it delivers 4K 30fps video capture, boosts low-light performance, and delivers faster image capture. It has dual main cameras, auto focus, shutter speeds up to 1/90,000th of a second, and aperture opening to f/1.0. It has 4GB of RAM, a 64-bit 2GHz octa-core processor, and the ability to charge up to 50% in 30 minutes.

Samsung Expands SUHD TV Lineup – At prices that range from $1299 to $299, Samung has expanded its SUHD lineup of 50-, 55- and 60-inch flat-screen LED TVs. SUHD uses a proprietary form of quantum-dot technology to expand the color gamut to close to Digital Cinema Initiative standards, to provide a more cost-effective alternative to OLED TVs. They feature local dimming to minimize black loss, improve contrast and deliver deep blacks without loss of detail. The new models can display high dynamic range (HDR) content, and a 120Hz refresh rate plus a full web browser.

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