This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
iFi Micro iUSB 3.0 & Gemini USB Cable Reviews
Marantz M-CR611 Network CD Receiver Review
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive II Preamplifier Review
SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Filter And tX-USBhub Review
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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. ...
Thursday, 01 October 1998 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Sonic Frontiers Processor 3 D/A Converter
Introduction For those that have been participating in the sport of high-end music reproduction for any period of time, the name Sonic Frontiers and high quality digital playback is synonymous. Since Sonic Frontiers inception, in late1989, they have had the industry’s attention with several digital products that have been considered to be amongst the very best. The opportunity to review the Processor 3 was met with anxious anticipation. The first question that came to mind was whether the industry would tolerate another high priced digital front-end in this time of digital uncertainty, alluding to the eminent appending change of digital format. Much has been discussed in the past years about the change, and much discussion is to follow. Lets take a look at their latest digital flagship. Sonic Frontiers has long operated under the philosophy that superior parts provide the best opportunity for superior sounding products, and apparently made no exceptions with the Processor 3. The overall ...
Friday, 01 May 1998 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
SAS 770 Checkpoint 3D Speaker Alignment Tool
Introduction Sound Alignment Systems has developed the easiest and most intuitive instrument for hassle-free speaker alignment ever devised. A laser is placed inside a precision-machined aluminum housing, allowing an installer (or home enthusiast) a method for determining the optimum loudspeaker placement in a matter of minutes. This handy instrument has taken the trial and error out of speaker alignment for home theaters. In addition to the laser tool itself, SAS provides several optional accessories to assist in various alignment tasks. The R2-D2 Tripod Rotary Base is used to set the angular alignment of any speaker or component in relation to another object or room position. Base plates can be attached to the speaker baffle so the 770 can be fitted flush to the speaker for hands free operation. The lens kit includes a line lens, beam splitter, adapter base and protractor plate for specialized alignment procedures.
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