equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
CLONES Audio 25p Power Amplifier Review
Audioengine A2+ Desktop Speakers Review
Darwin Truth Silver Cable Review
Anthony Gallo Acoustics A’Diva SE Loudspeakers & TR-3D Subwoofer Review
Denon DA-300USB DAC Review
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Saturday, 01 April 2006 ,  Written by Ben Shyman
Lexicon RT-20 Universal Disc Player
Introduction When Lexicon first introduced the RT-10 Universal Disc Player in 2003, it was considered by many an ambitious project. Subsequently, the Proceed Audio brand was discontinued and the Harman Specialty Group (HSG) was formed. Harman International formed HSG on the cornerstone of three key brands: Mark Levinson, Lexicon and Revel. The RT-10 would be scrutinized by home theater industry experts and consumers alike, not only because it was HSG’s first foray into source componentry – the Mark Levinson brand did not and still does not manufacture a video source component although the No. 51 will be available soon – but also because it came on the heels of Proceed’s $6,000 PMDT universal transport, which had a litany of reliability issues until it was eventually discontinued. In addition, Lexicon would enter this high-stakes reference-quality segment of the market by designing the RT-10 as a hybrid player featuring two new technologies: Super Audio CD (SACD) and DVD-Audio ...
Tuesday, 01 November 2005 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Denon DVD-3910 Universal Disc Player
Introduction My audio/video system has changed dramatically over past couple years. A while back, my rack consisted of a CD player, SACD player, DVD player, VHS deck, preamplifier, surround sound processor and several power amplifiers. Of course, then there were the miles of cable it took to hook the endless string of components together. Not to mention the remotes. But that was then, and this is now. Today’s modern audio/video enthusiast has options, like receivers and universal disc players, which over the years have made huge strides in quality and performance, leaving a lot of the “traditional” solutions in the dust. Enter Denon’s 3910 single-disc, DVD-A/SACD Progressive Scan Universal Disc player, a source component that literally plays everything. One player, multiple formats: what could be better? I have been on the lookout for a good universal player for several months, because I’ve just had it with maintaining multiple players. Luckily Denon, as well as other manufacturers, ...
Saturday, 01 October 2005 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Linn Unidisk 1.1 Universal Disc Player
Introduction The world of ultra-high-end audio has had to adjust their business model quite a bit over the last decade. With technology developing in new and exciting ways, equipment manufacturers clamored to produce real-world digital products that would support the new emerging software formats when, historically, high-end audio was an industry based around excellence more in analog (preamps, amps, speakers, turntables) products. While most of the high-end equipment manufacturers steered clear of machines that supported future and uncertain formats, Linn Products, a company known for taking bold and adventurous steps in the name of uncompromised sound, took new audio formats for music and movies as a challenge. Not surprising, considering that Linn produced and sold, very successfully I might add, one of the world’s best and most expensive dedicated CD player at $20,000. Linn’s solution to the ever-growing need for a universal high-end player, which can unite all aspects of optical disc playback, is the Unidisk 1.1 ...
Thursday, 01 September 2005 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Integra DPS-10.5 Universal Disc Player
Introduction With the advent of high-quality universal players, the need for dedicated CD, SACD, DVD-Audio and DVD players is a thing of the past. Equipment racks around the world gave a sigh of relief and those people out there who were fretting over the DVD-Audio/SACD format war could rest easy, knowing they can have both formats at their fingertips in one single player. Integra has a very nice lineup of universal players for all budgets, with the crowning jewel in their roster being the $2,500 DPS-10.5 THX Ultra certified universal player. Anyone who scoffs at the price of this universal player compared to the lower-priced players they see advertised by electronics megastores in the Sunday newspapers need to hold this it to see that it’s in a whole different stratosphere of quality. One look at the front panel of the DPS-10.5 tells you that you are dealing with some serious playback hardware. Embossed DVD-Audio and ...
Monday, 01 August 2005 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Marantz DV9500 Universal Disc Player
Introduction The DV9500 is Marantz’s latest universal disc player, situated at the top of their line. The player boasts an impressive set of features in both performance and convenience. At $2,099, the DV9500 is not cheap, but there is much to set it apart from the $300 universal disc players found at your local retailer. Upon lifting the box, I immediately noticed that the DV9500 was a lot more substantial than most other single-disc transports at 18-and-three-quarters pounds. Once I opened the box and removed the player, which measured a fairly standard 17-and-one-sixteenth inches wide by four-and-a-half inches tall by 15-and-one-eighth inches, it was apparent that a lot of effort went into making sure that the chassis was solid and free of resonant chatter. Some of the DV9500’s numerous convenience features include the ability to read the following formats, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, SACD-stereo and SACD multi-channel, DVD-R/RW, CD, CD-R/RW, SVCD, VCD, MP3 and JPEG discs. I think this ...
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