Q My boyfriend and I recently had portraits taken by a friend who used to be a professional photographer. He gave us a CD with all the pictures along with a copyright release so we can have them printed ourselves. There is a mixture of sepia, color and black-and-white pictures on the CD. Where do you recommend we go to get good quality prints and enlargements made?
-- J.C., Plymouth, Minn.
A Find a Wal-Mart Photo Center with a Fuji Frontier machine. The prints are inexpensive and the quality is excellent. It will handle the different kinds of pictures and if you aren't happy with the results they will reprint them for you at no charge. I doubt you will be unhappy, though, as they use Fuji Crystal Archive paper and the Frontier machines are maintained to very precise specifications. It is cheaper than printing at home, the quality is better and the prints will last longer. I've used and recommended them for years.
Super soundbar: Last week I mentioned I had one more soundbar to talk about this year. It's from GoldenEar Technology, which has quickly become one of my favorite speaker companies.
The new SuperCinema 3D Array Soundbar ($999) is a 3-channel soundbar incorporating the front left, center and right speakers along with signal processing similar to that found in high-end 5-channel surroundbars. Though it does not incorporate surround
The GoldenEar soundbar has played to rave reviews ever since it was first shown to the press, with special praise heaped upon its musical performance. Music is much harder to satisfyingly reproduce than movie soundtracks, making this high praise indeed. I gave it a workout with a mix of movie musicals, television programming and action films, and its prowess was proven in every instance. The sound is incredibly smooth and detailed, with a completely effortless feel accompanying startling clarity and rich tonal character. Vocals and dialogue are clear and very easy to understand. It did an amazing job of creating room-filling, spacious sound, holding up to the manufacturer's claims. For the ultimate you can add the SuperSat surround speakers ($498/ pair) to create a full 5-channel system, but I don't consider the surround speakers 100 percent necessary to get a very satisfying home theater performance. If you want the most immersive surround experience and don't mind placing the extra speakers, go for it.
The GoldenEar Technology SuperCinema 3D Array soundbar is one of the very best soundbars on the market. The complete GoldenEar system with subwoofer and surround speakers is $1,996, and soundbar with ForceField 3 subwoofer is $1,498. If you want GoldenEar quality for a bit over $1,000 you could even pair the soundbar with the $85 Monoprice 12-inch sub, making for a complete soundbar setup that would be pretty much impossible to beat for under $1,100. Highly recommended. www.goldenear.com
Contact Don Lindich at www.soundadviceblog.com and use the "submit question" link on that site.