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Sound Advice: Wal-Mart can do high-quality photos

  • Article by: DON LINDICH
  • Special to the Star Tribune
  • November 23, 2012 - 1:17 PM

Q My boyfriend and I recently had portraits taken by a photographer who gave us a CD with all the pictures so we can have them printed ourselves. There is a mixture of sepia, color and black-and-white pictures. Where can we go to get good-quality prints and enlargements made?

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. If you aren't happy with the results, Wal-Mart will reprint them for you at no charge.

I doubt you will be unhappy, though, because Wal-Mart uses Fuji Crystal Archive paper and the Frontier machines are maintained to precise specifications. It's cheaper than printing at home, the quality is better and the prints will last longer. I've used Wal-Mart for years.

One more super soundbar

GoldenEar Technology (www. goldenear.com) has quickly become one of my favorite speaker companies.

Its new SuperCinema 3D Array Soundbar ($999) is a 3-channel model incorporating the front left, center and right speakers along with signal processing similar to that found in high-end 5-channel models. Although it doesn't incorporate surround speakers, when you turn off the surround channels on the receiver it will mix the surround information into the front left and right speakers at a slightly lower volume.

A subwoofer is required, so I tested the soundbar with GoldenEar's tiny, powerful ForceField 3 subwoofer ($499).

The GoldenEar soundbar has played to rave reviews, with special praise heaped upon its performance with music, which is harder to reproduce satisfyingly than movie soundtracks. I gave it a workout with a mix of musicals, TV programming and action films, and its prowess was proven in every instance.

The sound is incredibly smooth and detailed. Vocals and dialogue are clear and easy to understand. It did an amazing job of creating room-filling, spacious sound.

For the ultimate sound, you can add the SuperSat surround speakers ($498 a pair) to create a full 5-channel system, but I don't consider the surround speakers necessary to get a satisfying home-theater performance. But if you want the most immersive surround experience from the extra speakers, go for it.

The GoldenEar Technology SuperCinema 3D Array soundbar is one of the best soundbars on the market. The complete GoldenEar system with subwoofer and surround speakers is $1,996, and soundbar with subwoofer is $1,498. If you want GoldenEar quality for a bit more than $1,000, you could even pair the soundbar with the $85 Monoprice 12-inch subwoofer, making for a complete soundbar setup that would be pretty much impossible to beat for under $1,100. Highly recommended.

Send questions to donlindich@gmail.com. Get more recommendations and read past columns at www.soundadviceblog.com.

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