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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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Friday, 21 February 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz SA-14S1 SACD Player & DSD DAC Review
As noted in my recent review of the terrific Marantz NA-11S1 network player and DSD DAC, the Japanese company has been on quite a roll with respect to digital source components. The NA-11S1 proved to be a reference class source and, it turns out, one a in a series of new products aimed at allowing Marantz to stay at the cutting edge, with an appeal to audiophiles who want plug-and-play computer and digital audio devices.Marantz continues its push forward with the new $2499 SA-14S1 SACD player, PCM and DSD DAC. Yes, it decodes DSD, one of a handful of SACD players with this capability. Of course, disc players with digital inputs that decode up 192 Khz PCM have now become standard. Consumers have decided they want optical disc players that function as full system digital front ends.Let us get one ...
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 ...
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
With the move to computer and hard drive based digital sources, one would think a format tied to a physical medium would be odd in 2013. But SACD has proved to be remarkably resilient among audiophiles, with a torrent of new titles appearing from such boutique labels and Analogue Productions, Mobile Fidelity, Blue Note, and many more. These are not obscure releases, but many well-known and loved classics in rock, classical, and jazz. There are also many newly recorded SACD releases available, mostly in the classical genre. There is no doubt the format is doing just fine, from this reviewer’s perspective.High-end manufacturers also seem to think so. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, an impressive number of new SACD players were introduced; many equipped with digital inputs as well. The inherent quality of true Direct Stream Digital (DSD) digital has ...
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 ...
Friday, 20 April 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz SA-15S2B Limited Edition SACD Player Review
Last month I reviewed a terrific preamp from a small company, and I mentioned that great products can come from small artisans that build per order. I also mentioned that large, multinational companies can also produce great products, with the power of economies of scale and resources that are very difficult to compete with. Marantz is clearly one of those companies. I have yet to evaluate a recent Marantz product that was not built beautifully, and did not offer excellent value. Everything I have heard off their assembly line offered true high-end sound. The most recent review I did was of the $599 PM6004 Integrated Amplifier.Up for review here is a product I frankly did not except to review, the Marantz SA-152SB Limited Edition SACD player. SACD is a medium whose health is either in great decline, or going strong ...
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