This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Reviewed: MusicScope Analysis Software by Xivero
Fluance XL7F Loudspeakers Review
Luminous Audio Axiom II Passive Preamp Review
Denon PMA-50 Integrated Amplifier Review
CLONES Audio 25iR Integrated Amplifier Review
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Monday, 01 January 2001 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Apogee PSX 100 24-bit/96 kHz A/D Converter
Introduction You may be thinking, "Jerry, why are you reviewing a DAC? Everyone knows that DACs are an integrated part of AV preamps these days." I must admit that, while I own a pretty badass AV preamp (Proceed AVP), when I merged my dedicated music system with my theater system, I suffered a number of musical maladies. At the time, I had also moved all of the equipment to an entirely new room with all sorts of acoustic problems, including but not limited to a glass front wall and a 20-foot by eight-foot-tall mirrored left side wall. The result was a room that sounded understandably bright. You may consequently ask, "Hey, Jerry, why did you move to such a joint?" The answer is, the view, my man. Imaging is defined by being able to see from the Capitol Records Building to Catalina Island while jamming out to your system, but I had lots of ...
Sunday, 01 October 2000 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Sennheiser HD-600 Headphones
Introduction Headphones are not a particularly glamorous product and are often overlooked by many consumers. For years, I have paid practically no attention to headphones or headphone amplifiers. I didn’t know what I was missing but, after experiencing the best in headphones, I doubt I will ever be without a pair of good headphones again. I spent time listening to two top-of-the-line dynamic headphones, the Grado RS-1s and the Sennheiser HD-600’s. There are some more exotic designs, including electrostatic headphones costing upwards of $10,000, but these represent the top-of-the-line dynamic headphones from two well-respected companies. I turned to Tyll at Headroom, a company specializing in headphones and headphone accessories, to get started on this article. I received a quick lesson not only in headphones but also in headphone amplifiers. I used Headroom’s "Maxed Out Home" headphone amplifier, as well as a Grado Reference headphone amplifier, in my testing. The Headroom amplifier has special circuitry that provides amazing imaging ...
Sunday, 01 October 2000 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Grado RS-1 Headphones
Introduction Headphones are not a particularly glamorous product and are often overlooked by many consumers. For years, I have paid practically no attention to headphones or headphone amplifiers. I didn’t know what I was missing but, after experiencing the best in headphones, I doubt I will ever be without a pair of good headphones again. I spent time listening to two top-of-the-line dynamic headphones, the Grado RS-1s and the Sennheiser HD-600’s. There are some more exotic designs, including electrostatic headphones costing upwards of $10,000, but these represent the top-of-the-line dynamic headphones from two well-respected companies. I turned to Tyll at Headroom, a company specializing in headphones and headphone accessories, to get started on this article. I received a quick lesson not only in headphones but also in headphone amplifiers. I used Headroom’s "Maxed Out Home" headphone amplifier, as well as a Grado Reference headphone amplifier, in my testing. The Headroom amplifier has special circuitry that provides amazing imaging ...
Sunday, 01 August 1999 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
TMHLabs Audio Test Discs
Introduction From TMHLabs and the mind of Tomlinson Holman (creator of THX) comes a set of powerful test discs that provide a series of test tones for the calibration and performance measurement of two to 5.1 channel music and theater systems. The test tones were generated in the digital domain by computer programs that ensure accuracy and stability without actually needing tremendously expensive and hard-to-use instruments. All editing and mastering was conducted digitally, with no analog conversions along the way. The finished discs are guaranteed to correctly represent the original signals. Most acousticians and installers will tell you they need at least an AC voltmeter, an oscilloscope and a spectrum analyzer to do what this disc series promises. These discs were designed to make system tests simpler, requiring only a sound pressure level (SPL) meter that can be purchased at Radio Shack, a stopwatch (on occasion) and a functioning pair of ears. The Stereo and ...
Monday, 01 February 1999 ,  Written by John Sunier
MSB Digital Director Router
Introduction With the growing dependence on digital sound from sources like Compact Discs, DVD, DSS, Laserdisc, DAT, Mini Disc and other sources, the high end audio and home theater industry has a newly found shortage of digital inputs. You see, most A/V receivers and lower - to mid-priced A/V preamps, can not accept more than one or two digital inputs. Redesigning all of the A/V receivers on the market is going to take the better part of a year, if not longer. So what do you do if you want to have all of the best digital audio and video has to offer without investing in a big dollar high end A/V preamp? Enter the MSB Digital Director. If you have already experimented with configurations of your DAC and CD transport you probably realize that you can't just use any old audio cable or adapters to route digital data streams from one component to another. ...
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