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Q In 1996 I purchased a stereo system with a receiver. I recently started hearing static in the treble from all three sources, so it seems the problem arises from the receiver. Do I need a new receiver? Or what else should I do?
A: With time and use, dust finds its way into the rotary volume, balance and tone controls, causing static. You can have it cleaned professionally, but I would try to fix it yourself first. Get some electrical contact cleaner, pull off the control knobs and spray in the cleaner. Rotate the controls lock-to-lock several times, then repeat the process. This should eliminate the static.

In praise of Alta Audio

I don't discuss high-end audio equipment very often, but I know there are readers interested in purchasing it and others who like to learn something new about the hobby and the industry. I heard Alta Audio ( speakers at the AXPONA audio show in April, and it reminded me that every time I come across them at these expos, they consistently provide some of the very best sound at the show. If you are shopping for a high-end music system, Alta Audio speakers are a great place to start.

The cabinetry compares to the finest furniture. The graceful, sloping lines are both functional and beautiful. The ribbon tweeters have impeccably sweet sound that is also realistic in tone. Bass is tightly controlled, defined and deep. These speakers are expensive, but given the looks, workmanship, finish and sound, they absolutely are worth it.

The prices start at $5,000 a pair for the Alyssa stand-mounted speakers. Despite the size, they sound like a full-range tower speaker. Moving up a couple of steps, the Adam towers are especially impressive. They start at $17,000 a pair. It might be hard for some to consider speakers this expensive a "value," but building a system around them is a sure-fire path to success.

Great traveling duo

When I travel, I like to bring two items with me for enjoying music and onscreen entertainment: noise-canceling headphones for the flights, and a Bluetooth speaker for my hotel room. I have written about how well-suited ZVOX ( AV52 headphones are for flying because the AccuVoice feature makes it easier to hear the voices when viewing in-flight entertainment. The AV70 Bluetooth speaker is a great companion for watching programming on an iPad because it also makes dialogue clearer.

I recently came across a deal that makes it easy and inexpensive to get them both. Through the end of June, if you buy both the AV70 speaker and the AV52 headphones, the price for the combo is $99.99. How remarkable a deal is this? If you buy the speaker alone, the price is $99.99. Buy the AV52 headphones by themselves, and the price is $149.99. I usually subscribe to the theory that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. But in this case, it is all for real.

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