Wine and entertaining just go together like, well wine and cheese. However, while cracking open a bottle is a sure-fire way to get the party started, said bottle of wine usually requires some preparation. While the libation isn't as prep dependent as say, absinthe is, specific wines do benefit from being served at specific temperatures. Thankfully when it comes to wine any preparation needed to drink the bottle is painless--and can even be relaxing.
I've never heard anything quite like the Audeze LCD-2 before. This headphone somehow produces extraordinary clarity, openness, and articulation, but without exaggerated detail or annoyingly overdone treble. The Audeze LCD-2 is a game changer; no wonder it's getting raves from the online high-end mavens at Head-Fi. Audeze's co-founders, Alex Rosson and Sankar Thiagasamudram, are onto something.
The headphones feel great in your hands. Build quality is robust, but the design is nowhere as sleek as Sennheiser's high-end headphones. The LCD-2's impedance is 50 ohms, and the maximum power handling is a remarkable 15 watts, which corresponds to a superloud 133 decibel output! You'd be hard pressed to blow this headphone up by playing it too loud. The LCD-2's tonal balance is noticeably warm, but I never felt it was smearing detail or lacking in resolution. It also sounds great at quiet listening levels. Sure, one of the advantages of headphones is you can play music as loud as you want, but it's still nice to have the option of listening low, without losing detail or presence.
The LCD-2's unusual technology (planar magnetic, or orthodynamic) is currently only used by one other headphone manufacturer, Hifiman, and I raved about its HE-5 headphones last year. The LCD-2's huge headphone drivers (6.17 square inches each) are many times the area of any dynamic headphone I know of. Audeze's very large drivers project sound over most of your outer ears, and that may be the reason why the LCD-2 sounds more speakerlike than other headphones. It weighs a rather hefty 19.4 ounces (550 grams), but I found it comfortable over very long listening sessions. The LCD-2 is handmade in the U.S., with real lambskin leather-covered earpads, and real Caribbean rosewood earcups.
The LCD-2's headphone cable is detachable, via very secure mini-XLR plugs, and is therefore user replaceable. I opted for a Chain Mail 8, an audiophile upgrade cable from ALO. It seemed to enhance everything about the LCD-2's sound, which was awfully good with the stock cable.
The LCD-2's big drivers make bass, oh boy, do they make bass. If you really want to hear amazing bass, you have to get "Kodo: The Heartbeat Drummers of Japan" CD. The drums' big sound is beyond the abilities of most headphones, but here, over the LCD-2, the drumbeats were clear and powerful. Not the sort of flabby, thick, or overdone bass you get from DJ headphones, no, I'm talking about pitch-accurate, highly defined bass that also digs deeper into the very low bass regions than other full-size 'phones.… Read more
NAPA VALLEY, Calif.--It's 6:45 in the morning, and the crew that's just about to begin working is only picking up from where the overnight team left off.
We're here, deep in some of the most valuable terroir, or vineyard land, on the planet, and for about two days only, it's a race against the clock--actually, the thermometer--to get more than 30 tons of premium grapes off the vines in top condition.
Where I'm standing is in the middle of the Horton block, a 15-acre piece of prime winemaking real estate owned by the … Read more
It is about an hour's drive from my house to Napa and Sonoma. And about four hours back.
That's the disclosures out of the way. So now might I concentrate and tell you about an enterprising and clearly refined tech CEO who is attempting to discover whether all the tech brains and chips at the world's disposal can perfect the art of wine making?
This is an emotive subject. The more time you spend with the wine community, the more you realize that these are wonderfully temperamental artists.
There are any number of ways things can get messy when cracking open a bottle of wine. For the purposes of this discussion, however, we shall limit the conversation but to one: the ice bucket. When chilling wine in a soupy bath of cold water, inevitably drips and drops progress from bottle to bucket to everywhere else. Though there may be no getting around the occasional spill of the wine, the wine bottle, however, can be safely ensconced in place as it rests in its chiller.
It's not easy to keep a wine collection on hand ready to be served at the correct temperature. First, of course, are money matters. Not many of us have the disposable income just waiting to be put toward a wine cellar. Even living in a land of make-believe where money is no object, the next roadblock may be a much more down to earth consideration: space. It's not always easy to find room for cases of wine. But knock down the price of storage as well as the space needed and all of a sudden, having a few … Read more
A group of scientists and engineers in Norway are testing a flotation device that could support offshore wind turbines so that they don't have to be built on shoals.
StatoilHydro, a division of the oil giant Statoil, said Thursday its Hywind floating wind turbine installed about 10 kilometers off the coast of Karmoy, Norway, in June 2009 is a success.
As a result, the company is planning to test an entire farm of Hywind turbines in Norway, and is looking to install more test farms in rough-water areas like Scotland and Maine.
The Hywind turbine is not a completely … Read more
Entertaining always requires a certain amount of planning. Hosts have to ask themselves what to serve, how to serve it, and who to serve it to. When it comes to wine, choosing the right varietals is only the start of the discussion. Whether it be white, red, or something in between, serving temperature is always an important facet to consider. A bucket of ice doesn't always cut it.
The Cavanova Open-Top Four-Bottle Wine Chiller is a convenient solution for wine-serving needs. Featuring an adjustable temperature range from 44 degrees to 64 degrees, the thermoelectric wine chiller keeps four standard-size … Read more
Counter space is always an issue when looking to bring a new kitchen appliance into the fold. Quite often, an overexuberance of gadgetry spills out onto every available surface. And that includes the floor. Normally, one wouldn't want to start storing appliances on the floor, but there are the rare exceptions when it makes sense. Wine refrigerators, for example: they are usually meant for the floor. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't look better on the wall.
When it comes down to it, an ice bucket is an ice bucket. When you're chilling champagne or wine for a special occasion, you want something a little fancier than a bucket. The Exaco Nice Ice Cooler offers you the option of creating an ice sculpture just for your bottled beverages. It's a mold that shapes ice to keep wine or other bottled beverages chilled for up to 6 hours at a time. Because you're starting with plain water, you can easily add citrus, flowers and any other ornaments that will freeze well to your ice sculpture--and … Read more