equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Filter And tX-USBhub Review
Simaudio 760A Power Amplifier Review
Bryston BIT-15 Isolation Transformer & Surge Protector Review
Carot One Titta Earbuds Review
In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
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Friday, 01 February 2002 ,  Written by Richard Elen
Sony SCD-CE775 SACD/CD Player
Introduction When Sony and Philips first released the Super Audio CD as the high-definition successor to the compact disc and competitor to DVD-Audio, players (notably those from Sony) were both expensive and limited to two-channel capabilities. Early Sony players were aimed at a stereo audiophile market, now virtually extinct everywhere except in Japan. Many initial disc releases, too, were stereo-only, and only Philips manufactured multi-channel players. That has all changed with the advent of lower-cost players that offer the full multi-channel performance of which SACD is capable, now available via mass-market outlets. One of the first easily affordable SACD multi-channel players is the Sony SCD-CE775. This unit lists at $420, but is available on the street for up to $100 less. The unit offers an affordable entry-level experience of the possibilities of multi-channel SACD, but it is an audio-only player, unlike more expensive products that also play DVD-Video discs. This machine is intended to replace an existing ...
Monday, 01 October 2001 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Linn Sondek CD12 CD Player
Introduction For many years I have found the pursuit of perfect musical reproduction to be equally a passion and a challenge. My love of music started very young, as did the understanding that music reproduced accurately provided a vastly greater musical experience. As a child, I was enchanted by the family stereo system, which at the time was one of the better systems on the block. By the time I was 14, I had convinced my parents to co-sign a loan for my very own system from a local high-end retailer, all in pursuit of my drug of choice – music. The only difference today is that there are many more choices and looming format wars that years ago were outside our wildest dreams. In the end, there is one constant that has not changed, which is the reason that we all have music playback systems – we want to get as close ...
Wednesday, 01 November 2000 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Rotel RCD 975 CD Player
Introduction It is easy to design a system that sounds great when you have lots of money to invest. You can pick from the most high end, most high performance products on the market with little regard for anything other than getting exactly the sound you want. Achieving this goal on a tight budget is a whole other story. Enter the Rotel RCD 975. Every good music and home theater system needs a good "front end." In Europe, investing the majority of your audio money into a front end is common, however in the US where bigger is better, we tend to opt for investing more funds into loudspeakers. The Rotel RCD 975 is a great compromise. At $750 (USD) the Rotel RCD 975 isn't cheap, but its performance is way above its price range. Technically the Rotel RCD 975 uses two continuous calibration digital to analog converters, one on each channel. Each DAC ...
Sunday, 01 October 2000 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Meridian 800 CD/DVD-A/V Player
Introduction Meridian’s 800 is their flagship source component, responsible for reference level playback of compact discs, DVD-Video discs, DVD-Audio discs and beyond. The 800, like its AV preamp brother, the Meridian 861, is vastly configurable and highly programmable, allowing the end user to elicit incredible playback feats with true ease. Pricing starts at $19,440 for a basic CD/DVD transport, while a fully loaded unit complete with 5.1 analog outputs, Meridian’s proprietary digital output and an internal video processor weighs in closer to $25,000. Music lovers dedicated to stereo-only playback can use the 800 as a CD player and/or high-performance audio preamp that drives the owner’s existing high-end stereo amplifier(s) and speakers. Alternatively, the 800 can be directly and digitally connected to Meridian’s cutting edge digital speakers. If you subscribe to the less is more theory, these configuration options are as good as it gets, and if you are simplifying a stereo system, you can sell off ...
Friday, 01 September 2000 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
Harman Kardon CDR 2 Dual Deck CD Recorder
Introduction Harman Kardon’s CDR 2 is a true dubbing deck, with a play-only and a separate record/play CD tray, allowing direct dubbing from the play deck to the recording deck. Matching the new sleek and modern styling of Harman Kardon’s new line of electronics, the $699 CDR 2 stands out in a crowd with its brushed aluminum disc trays and buttons. The CDR 2 essentially offers two separate players in a single chassis, with outputs for each deck. Both line level and digital (coax and optical) inputs are provided for the CD-R/CD-RW recording deck. Each tray plays CDs, providing sequential play when both trays are full (known as the single mode). In the dual mode, the decks can play simultaneously for multiroom applications. Entering this product line on the late side, Harman Kardon has made up for lost ground with a feature popularized by the computer industry. Offering 2x and 4x speed recording when dubbing ...
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