equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Merrill Audio THOR Mono Block Amplifiers Review
Plinius Hautonga Integrated Amplifier Review
KEF R700 Loudspeaker Review
Marantz SA-14S1 SACD Player & DSD DAC Review
Genesis G7c Loudspeakers
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Monday, 01 December 2003 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Kenwood Sovereign Entré Entertainment Hub and DV-5900M DVD Player
Introduction The Kenwood Sovereign Entré entertainment hub and Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M DVD-Audio Mega Changer combination is a high-tech source component system that bridges the gap between home theater and computer audio. While the changer can be used without the Entre’ hub, it really excels when the two are used together. The $1,400 DV-5900M is a feature-laden Mega-changer that need not make any excuses about quality. When the DV-5900M is connected to the $1,500 Entre hub, the already above-average graphical interface becomes remarkably advanced. DV-5900M DVD Changer The DV-5900M DVD-Audio changer has a huge array of features, quality and ease of use. This changer is relatively large in size, measuring approximately 17 inches in width, eight inches in height and 21 inches deep, weighing 23 pounds. It facilitates 403 CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs and/or DVD-Audio discs, including MP3-encoded CDs. Just about the only type of discs it won’t play are SACDs. The changer holds the discs in ...
Monday, 01 September 2003 ,  Written by Ben Shyman
Lexicon RT-10 Universal Disc Player
Introduction Consumer acceptance of DVD-Audio and SACD has been slow despite the undisputed and enormous improvement in sound quality. While there is no doubt that the bitter format war between these two high-resolution formats is to blame, making matters worse is the apparent inability of the record companies to agree on a non-proprietary digital connection standard. This not only puts an additional, unwanted layer of digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversion in the signal path, but it creates further problems as well. Audio enthusiasts looking to add both these competing high-resolution formats to their systems have been limited by their home theater processors, which at best contain only one set of analog 5.1 inputs (Lexicon’s MC-8 is an exception). Initially, this forced consumers to make a near-impossible choice. After all, many of my favorite bands have released their music on one format or the other, but not both. Recently, however, a handful of manufacturers have designed hybrid players ...
Thursday, 01 May 2003 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Meridian 598 DVD-A/V Player
Introduction There are few companies that are as synonymous with excellence in digital design as Meridian Audio, and perhaps no other company has etched its corporate fingerprint into the future of high-performance digital music and movies more deeply than Meridian. Powered by the vision of company founder and technical leader Bob Stuart, Meridian has pioneered MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing), the universally accepted technology used for DVD-Audio highest-performance audio playback. Even before the advent of MLP technology, Meridian has been creating innovative products, including digital speakers and modular components that actually live up to the company’s promises of future upgrades. The Meridian 598 is a single-chassis player that will read many different discs, including both DVD-Audio and DVD-Video discs, plus CDs that are dedicated to DTS surround sound music, standard 16-bit CDs and more. The 598 is Meridian’s answer to consumer demand for a more affordable version of their critically acclaimed reference transport player, the Meridian 800. The ...
Friday, 01 November 2002 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Sony SCD-C555ES SACD/CD Changer
Introduction I doubt Sony could have imagined the impact the invention of the Compact Disc would have on their company and project partner Philips. For nearly 20 years, the CD has been the absolute king of prerecorded music in the marketplace, having decisively beaten the LP and the cassette tape, then fending off new format threats from DAT, DCC and even Sony’s own mini-Disc. We have loved and collected the CD for an entire generation, but the times, they are a-changing. The advent and popular acceptance of MP3 as a music format now allows a music enthusiast to arrange and share (or potentially steal) music in ways not even remotely dreamed of a mere five years ago. This reality, coupled with a never-before-seen creative recession on the part of new artists and their record labels (try stomaching ‘N Sync, O Town, Justin Timberlake, et al as examples) hasn’t helped the historically "recession proof" record business ...
Friday, 01 November 2002 ,  Written by Richard Elen
Marantz DV-12S1 DVD-A/V Player
Introduction In the moderately recent days when Marantz was owned by Philips, the company released two high-end players that were intended to be direct equivalents of one anotherr: one was a Super-Audio CD player (SACD), and the other, the DV-12S1, was a DVD player capable not only of DVD-Video playback, but also replay of the latest high-resolution DVD-Audio (DVD-Audio) discs. With the Marantz equipment of this period, the higher the quality of the unit, the lower the model number, and the DV-12S1 is as low as the numbers get. The first thing you notice about the DV-12S1 is how heavy it is. The unit is big and solid, and has a large footprint – it’s nearly 16 inches deep and weighs 29 pounds. The unit itself has curved corners, in keeping with much of the Marantz gear, and elegantly complements their other equipment. The build quality overall is excellent. The rear panel includes an S-video output, ...
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