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, 14 December 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Marantz SA-KI Pearl SACD/CD Player Review
Being in business – any business - for 30 years is reason enough to celebrate, but when you've enjoyed a long-running position at the top of your field there's even more cause for rejoicing. That's the story behind Marantz's SA-KI Pearl components, a limited-edition run (500 worldwide) of “gifts” from Ken Ishiwata to those in the audio community who have enjoyed his innovative designs during his Marantz tenure. Ishiwata drew on his vast experience to design what can be described truly as a custom SACD/CD player. The SA-KI Pearl SACD/CD Player (“KI” stands for Ken Ishiwata) in many ways is a summation of Ishiwata's artistic philosophy and his goal to offer a component “to reproduce music exactly as the original artist and the recording engineers intended.” Ishiwata is reported to have personally listened to and/or tested each internal part. Considering ...
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Marantz SA8003 Stereo SACD/CD Player Review
Although the compact disc is now 27 years old, Super-Audio CD (SACD) is still a relative youngster, celebrating its 10th birthday this year. Even as sales of redbook CDs have plummeted through the decade and digital downloads have skyrocketed, against the odds – somehow – SACD has clung to life and managed to survive an industry bent on fragmentation and division. The reason is simple: SACD is sonically superior to its redbook sibling, and certainly to any of the lossy (replace first “s” with “u” for more accurate description) digital formats. The discs contain more musical information and can deliver analog-like sound with all the real and perceived benefits of redbook CD. Throw in surround-sound capability and the SACD is a formidable foe in the format war; if it only had the proper support.And as the music industry continues to ...
Friday, 01 June 2007 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Krell Evolution Audio System (505 SACD Player)
Introduction I have owned various Krell amplifiers in my reference systems over the years, each providing hours upon hours of listening joy. Recently, Krell has released a new top-of-the-line lineup of gear under the Evolution moniker that speaks to those for a need for the best of the best and a willingness to pay for it. The review system under evaluation is comprised of a $10,000 Krell Evolution 505 SACD player with 24-bit 192 DACs, a $15,000 Krell Evolution 202 two-chassis stereo preamp and the monstrous Krell Evolution 900 monaural amplifiers at $20,000 each, or $40,000 for the stereo pair as reviewed. My review samples are done in Krell’s signature silver finish, which is breathtakingly beautiful out of the rack and poised on a simple table as it is installed in my reference system. Set-up To start, it is important to note that the Krell Evolution 900 power amps are nothing short of huge. With a travel ...
Tuesday, 01 May 2007 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Denon DVD-5910CI Universal Disc Player
Introduction The format war for high-definition discs wages on, but for now, DVD is still the reigning king of home video formats. We all have years of back catalogue DVDs in our collections, and a solid player is of paramount importance to any theater. High-resolution audio in the form of SACD and DVD-Audio are still prominent and Denon makes several levels of players capable of spinning CD, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio and SACD discs, with their top of the line spinner being the DVD-5910CI priced at $3,800. The DVD-5910CI is designed to be the primary source for a high-end home theater or whole home distribution system and, as such, offers connectivity not often found on consumer level goods. The “CI” stands for Custom Integration. This is Denon’s way of identifying their products with connectivity and control features for home integration and theaters using advance control systems. This flagship DVD player in the Denon line offers a vast array ...
Friday, 01 September 2006 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Classé Delta Series CDP-300 Universal Player
Introduction With so much media focus on the recent releases of HD DVD and Blu-ray, one could possibly see the demise of the current DVD hardware set just on the horizon. But early adopters beware: HD DVD is suffering from some brutal (perhaps even fatal) growing pains to overcome maladies such as painfully slow load times, frequent and amazingly frustrating reboots and excruciating integration issues with existing home theater systems, thanks to the fact that movie studios have forced HD DVD players to constantly have an HDCP handshake, which is at the root of most of people’s connectivity and switching issues. Blu-ray is better, but still suffers from many problems, including a lack of RS232 control, reported and admitted problems with the video output (even though it looks pretty good) and the fact that HDMI 1.3 offers as much as twice the video bandwidth going to your set. At this point, who could blame anyone ...
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