equipment reviews
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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Monday, 26 October 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz M-CR611 Network CD Receiver Review
There has never been a time in high-end audio where customers have demanded plug and play devices that can accommodate a slew of sources like the current market. Ironically, early on, the home hifi industry offered stereo “consoles” with integrated speakers, a record player, and an amplifier. Back in those glory days, sources were limited to vinyl and tape, which certainly made things simpler. A bit later on, audio component manufacturers figured out they could sell multiple boxes, each dedicated to a specific task, and maximize sales. This also allowed for “upgrading”. Marantz happens to be one of the grand old companies who were around during the so called golden era, the early days of high fidelity. Marantz has always looked forward, being one of the earliest high-end companies to mass produce CD players, home theater products, SACD players, ...
Friday, 26 July 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity M1 CDT Transport Review
British firm Musical Fidelity is a fascinating high-end audio company. They fly in the sky with statement products costing as much a sports car, yet offer a full line of incredible value products that audiophiles of any means can afford. Trickle down? Maybe. But I can tell you from experience that entry-level products like the V-DAC II and the V-Link 192, they offer very little compromise unless compared to the very best. The V series can also be upgraded with external power supplies. The M1 series, one step up, is filled with amazingly versatile products like the M1 CLiC. As a matter of fact, Musical Fidelity has a new line of “V90” series products coming to the market. I can only imagine the company is trying to keep up with the rapidly changing and fiercely competitive entry-level market. This especially ...
Friday, 13 July 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Unison Research Unico CDE CD Player Review
I reviewed the Unison Research CDPrimo tubed CD player a while back, and found it to be a great sounding, fairly priced source component. I thought it only fitting to review the Italian company’s flagship player, the Unico CDE. They share some of the same design characteristics, but are very different animals, as reflected in their price points and performance. The $2295 Primo sounded terrific, with an output stage built around a 12AU7/ECC82 tube, a USB digital input, and a 96/24 upsampling DAC chip. The Unico CDE, also a 24/96 upsampling CD Player, has four twin triode tubes in the analog output stage. The build quality is extraordinary, taking things to a whole new level. There is a digital input via coaxial RCA, and both single-ended and balanced outputs. The CDE, like the rest of the Unico line, is available ...
Monday, 05 March 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Unison Research CDPrimo CD Player Review
Unison Research is a family owned high end audio company based in Treviso, Italy. They have been making tubed, solid state, and hybrid components since 1987.  There are a number of unique things about Unison Research, one of them being that all their products are still made in their factory in Italy. You can bet that is one factory tour this reviewer would jump at the chance for!  Also unique is the fact is that they are the sister company to Opera, who make wonderful loudspeakers. I have read about Unison Research for years now, and when I was assembling my first real “reference” system”, which I was determined to make tube based, a friend mentioned Unison Research should be on my short list. Unfortunately, at that time there was no local dealer. Fast forward to CES 2012 when I ...
Tuesday, 29 November 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Bel Canto Design CD3t Disc Transport Review
Bel Canto Design, out of Minneapolis, has an the envious reputation of making a full line of very well reviewed Class D amplifiers, preamps, DAC’s, CD players, and transports.  Their products have a unique and stunning appearance. They also have a loyal customer base, and their products are designed and manufactured in the USA. The company is small but manages to distribute its products through a nice sized dealer network domestically and in thirty five countries worldwide. John Stronczer, Bel Canto’s head honcho, founded the company in 1990. He has a serious technical background, having worked as a research scientist in some very high tech environments.  Interestingly, when Stronczer founded Bel Canto, he was making tube amplifiers. Ironically they are best known for digital products and switching amplifiers. ...
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