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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
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
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Monday, 25 January 2010 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Hegel HD10 DAC Review
I'm pleased to see a number of high-end audio manufacturers designing equipment for computer audio use. Even more encouraging is watching a brand hitherto unavailable make its entry. Hegel (www.hegel.com) is a Norwegian hi-fi company whose products have recently been introduced into the United States thanks to the efforts of national sales manager Ben Gosvig, who runs the American operation from Fairfield, Iowa. Gosvig was kind enough to send two of the latest Hegel products for review: the HD10 DAC and H100 integrated amplifier (review coming soon).I think most audio hobbyists can see the benefits of an outboard DAC – a stand-alone unit can handle error correction, jitter reduction and the digital-to-analog conversion better than most digital players that house a transport and DAC under the same roof. Bring such refinement to computer audio and the opportunities for sound improvement ...
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Trends Audio PA-10 Tube Headphone/Pre Amplifier Review
Trends Audio is a relatively new company that is part of the now established Chinese high end audio market.  They are also among the new breed that are trying to gain acceptance in Western markets. Many have already done so as you may have heard of Shanling, Melody, Audio Space, Antique Sound Lab, Eastern Electric, and a host of others. Chinese designers have been steadily improving the performance, reliability and the build quality of their gear.  Many of the products produced in China can compete with the most exotic American and European brands in terms of sound quality. This all spawns from a deep passion the Chinese have had for high fidelity going back decades.  I saw this first hand when I visited Hong Kong and Mainland China last October and was quite surprised at how many Hifi shops were ...
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Valhalla Technology Vibration Damping Feet Review
Audiophiles are a restless lot, constantly looking for ways to tweak a system by any means possible, short of taking the plunge for new components. There are numerous forums dedicated to audio “tweaks”; some advice is good, some is laughable, but most is well-intentioned. One often discussed tweak is how to minimize the mechanical vibrations that occur within components and speakers during playback. A variety of vibration-dampening devices are available in a wide range of materials, from hard plastics to brass. Why bother with dampening and isolation? In audio, vibration causes distortion and introduces unwanted sound into each component. Vibration dampening feet are engineered to reduce the effects of mechanical vibrations that occur within a speaker, amplifier or other component, by transmitting them away from the source to optimize the audio you eventually hear. After spending several weeks with Valhalla ...
Monday, 01 September 2008 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Neptune Audio NeptuneEQ
Introduction It used to be that if you wanted the best sound out of your system, you started by tuning your room, which usually meant having large, cloth-covered panels along your front, back and side walls and a host of bass traps nestled in the all of the corners. If you were really crazy, you’d turn your attention to the ceiling and floor, creating a listening space that looked anything other than sexy or modern. While there is no faking good room treatments, especially on the first order reflections (in front of and to the left and right of your main speakers, as well as on the ceiling), apart from sneaking a bass trap or two into your room, the trend is increasingly moving toward using room correction software in an AV preamp or receiver to attempt to solve your acoustic ...
Sunday, 01 July 2007 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Audyssey Sound Equalizer
Introduction More than speakers, equipment, cables and even source material, your room is the single most important component in your audio/video system. While this comes as no surprise to many enthusiasts, be it two-channel or home theater, the room and its interactions (good or bad) with the sound is often overlooked, or worse, ignored. The science of sound can be a bit daunting and not quite as fun or interesting as reading about the latest Blu-ray player or high-dollar power amplifier, yet in many ways, it is vastly more important. I’ve heard million-dollar systems sound less than impressive, while some of my most memorable aural experiences can be traced back to a pair of $300 a pair mini-monitors powered by a simple stereo receiver. How could this be? The room acoustics and tuning have a lot to do with a successful system. Your room is so important that many companies offer services, ranging from acoustical ...
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