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Sunday, 01 January 2006 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Sony STR-DA7100ES Receiver
Introduction When you think of consumer electronics, one of the first names that comes to mind is Sony, and rightfully so, as Sony remains a formidable leader in CE technology. Under the Sony moniker, there are several offshoots, such as their new flagship Qualia line of products, as well as Bravia LCDs and the long-established “ES” lineup. Sony ES, which stands for Elevated Standards, is Sony’s brand name for their higher-end consumer electronics. The ES line of products includes several SACD and DVD players, as well as audio/video receivers. One of their latest product offerings, the STRDA 7100ES receiver, features a number of today’s modern connections, as well as a new digital amplification section. Out of the box, the STRDA 7100ES is rather striking in its sleek aluminum skin. It actually feels more like a product from the likes of Krell than a mass-market giant. The 7100ES is substantially smaller than some of the receivers ...
Thursday, 01 December 2005 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Denon AVR-4806 7.1-Channel Receiver
Introduction There is a short list of manufacturers that come to mind when you’re considering building a high-end home theater on a budget, and Denon has to be close to the top of the list. With product offerings in just about every price range, the one word that has never been equated with Denon is “average.” While some high-end purists may balk at the idea of a receiver, Denon’s line-up has always performed above and beyond the masses and has done so in a very matter-of-fact sort of way, making many people ponder the need for separate components. The AVR-4806 7.1 THX Ultra2 Certified receiver is the latest offering from Denon to challenge the idea that a receiver-based home theater can’t be state of the art. Retailing for $3,500, the AVR-4806 isn’t Denon’s flagship receiver. That title falls to the massive AVR-5805. However, I’ve seen many “flagship” receivers from other manufacturers that don’t begin to ...
Saturday, 01 October 2005 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Harman Kardon AVR 7300 Receiver
Introduction If you’ve ever visited an audio/video store, chances are you’ve heard of Harman Kardon. HK is one of the oldest and most established brand names in the audio/video industry. Over the years parent company Harmon International has grown to include other brands such as JBL, Infinity, Mark Levinson, Lexicon and Revel, just to name a few. While their product lines run the gamut from entry level to ultra high end, the name Harman Kardon has remained somewhat entrenched in the entry-to-mid-fi markets. However, their new flagship AVR 7300 audio/video receiver is out to challenge that perception in a big way. Out of the box, the AVR 7300 is a sight to be seen. At a retail price of $1,299, the AVR 7300 makes a real splash with regards to looks, sporting a stylish black Plexiglas and brushed aluminum front. Its controls glow a pale blue and add a pleasing sense of sophistication to a ...
Thursday, 01 September 2005 ,  Written by Matthew Evert
Sony STR-DA3100ES Receiver
Introduction Sony is widely recognized as a true technology leader in the world of home electronics. In today’s marketplace, Sony boasts some of the most forward-thinking products available at any price, including Qualia SRXD video displays, Blu-ray discs and far beyond. While Sony has launched new lines in Qualia (ultra-high-end gear) and Bravia (LCD TVs), they are also out to breathe new life into their Elevated Standards (ES) line for an entirely new generation of buyers. This starts with a new 7.1-channel A/V receiver called the STR-DA3100ES. Seven channels are supported by 120 watts of crisp power, countless features and numerous input/outputs for a list price of $999.99. Features The front of the STR-DA3100ES is an attractive sight. The brushed aluminum face and the aluminum-colored chassis are pleasant changes from the traditional jet-black finishes that are synonymous with A/V components. The two-line dot matrix display is recessed from the front of the unit where the input ...
Friday, 01 July 2005 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Integra DTR-10.5 Receiver
Introduction I have always pushed my receivers and AV preamps to the limit in terms of inputs. Having almost every modern videogame system imaginable, an HD PVR, a DVD player, a few VCRs, an Onkyo Nettunes receiver, a DAT player, a High-8 video camera and a Sirius Satellite receiver, among others, as source components, I have yet to find a receiver or AV preamp that fully accepts every single input I throw at it without compromising somewhere. That is, until I discovered Integra’s top-of-the-line DTR-10.5 receiver which starts at $3,800. The connection possibilities are almost endless and the amount of sound formats and technologies on the DTR-10.5 are unbelievable. From the high-quality 192 kHz/24-bit DACs to almost every DTS and Dolby Digital format known to man and with Integra’s Nettunes Internet radio music server playback capabilities built in, I believe this 7.1-capable receiver with THX®Surround EX™ and THX®Certified Ultra2 can be the core of a $10,000 ...
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