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Extremely high-end audio and video equipment

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Listening to Sinatra and Basie live from the Sands Hotel through a pair of $50,000 speakers sounds life-like in a way our camera and your television fail to communicate.

Elliot Fishkin bailed on a career as a city planner to start selling stereos 40 years ago. Today, in the basement of a building on the Upper East Side, his business boasts five audio and video showrooms unmatched by anyone else in the city.

"The reason for the high-end products I sell is that it helps you understand things better," Fishkin said.

A $12,000 projector and a $15,000 screen provide higher-quality video and audio than one can find in any movie theater.

"The ascension of size in TVs is a very natural thing, so things become more realistic," he said.

Giant TVs, such as Samsung's new 110-incher that sells for a $150,000, capture public interest and industry headlines. But Fishkin measures the quality of a product by how successfully it allows the user to connect.

"Although it's a little strange that a 64-year-old guy is talking about emotion with a bunch of electronic things around them, that's really the purpose of them," Fishkin said.

He sees watching a movie through a piece of glass as an experience inferior to that of the best projectors. He said he admits he'd spend his money improving audio.

Sinatra and Basie through a $50,000 sound system? Background noise compared to Muddy Waters through $200,000 speakers, with the same 400-pound doors you find at Carnegie Hall sealing out every other possible distraction.

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