equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
iFi Micro iUSB 3.0 & Gemini USB Cable Reviews
Marantz M-CR611 Network CD Receiver Review
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Categories in section: Home Theater Audio Sources
CD Players (48) DVD-Audio/SACD Players (31) MP3 Players (5)
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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 ...
Monday, 05 March 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Unison Research CDPrimo CD Player Review
Unison Research is a family owned high end audio company based in Treviso, Italy. They have been making tubed, solid state, and hybrid components since 1987.  There are a number of unique things about Unison Research, one of them being that all their products are still made in their factory in Italy. You can bet that is one factory tour this reviewer would jump at the chance for!  Also unique is the fact is that they are the sister company to Opera, who make wonderful loudspeakers. I have read about Unison Research for years now, and when I was assembling my first real “reference” system”, which I was determined to make tube based, a friend mentioned Unison Research should be on my short list. Unfortunately, at that time there was no local dealer. Fast forward to CES 2012 when I ...
Tuesday, 29 November 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Bel Canto Design CD3t Disc Transport Review
Bel Canto Design, out of Minneapolis, has an the envious reputation of making a full line of very well reviewed Class D amplifiers, preamps, DAC’s, CD players, and transports.  Their products have a unique and stunning appearance. They also have a loyal customer base, and their products are designed and manufactured in the USA. The company is small but manages to distribute its products through a nice sized dealer network domestically and in thirty five countries worldwide. John Stronczer, Bel Canto’s head honcho, founded the company in 1990. He has a serious technical background, having worked as a research scientist in some very high tech environments.  Interestingly, when Stronczer founded Bel Canto, he was making tube amplifiers. Ironically they are best known for digital products and switching amplifiers. ...
Tuesday, 22 February 2011 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Cary Audio CD 500 CD Player Review
It's no secret that stand-alone CD players have lost ground with consumers looking for “universal” solutions to home theater and audio needs. Although the digital domain still reigns, portable media players along with DVD and Blu-ray players have taken a lot of wind out of the CD player's sails. Still, a dedicated CD player offers the best potential for high-fidelity performance. If you've invested into compact discs and want to keep enjoying your collection, then a dedicated disc spinner is still the way to go. If you want to take your disc collection to a new level, Cary Audio's CD 500 CD Player may be the last player you'll ever need. Design & FeaturesThe CD 500 retails for $2,995, and for that price you get a machine that's built rock-solid and complemented with top-grade components. The CD 500's digital-to-analog converter ...
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