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Friday, 01 November 2002 ,  Written by Richard Elen
Onkyo TX-DS989 Version2 Receiver
Introduction Onkyo actually produces two separate lines of consumer audio equipment. Like Panasonic and Technics, Onkyo has an eponymous line and a higher-end line sold under the Integra name. But this should not give the impression that the regular Onkyo products are anything less than high quality – in fact, the TX-DS989, the top of the Onkyo receiver line at around $3,500, is an excellent component all round. Since the unit was originally reviewed in AudioRevolution in the fall of 2000, the 989 has lived up to its “future-proof” promise, initially with the addition of DTS-ES, Neo 6 and Dolby Pro Logic II decoding in 2001 and now with version 2 firmware and some hardware updates -- which are available to existing owners as well as being provided as standard on new units -- offering THX Ultra2 and DTS96/24 capability. At the heart of the TX-DS989 is a beefy seven-channel power amp offering up to 130 ...
Monday, 01 July 2002 ,  Written by Richard Elen
Marantz SR7200 Receiver
Introduction At a suggested price of just $849.99 US, the Marantz SR7200 AV Surround Receiver offers excellent value for money, with impressive power (six channels x 105 watts into eight ohms), high-resolution D/A converters, and a wealth of surround features,- plus an excellent sound almost indistinguishable from the company’s more expensive offerings. Installation and Setup Modern AV receivers are getting more and more complex. As this receiver can handle a 6.1 surround system with dual zone/dual source capability, the Marantz SR7200 has more ins and outs than most. But once you’re armed with the 30-page (per language) manual, and a clearly labeled rear panel, installation and configuration are entirely straightforward. There’s a fold-out rear panel diagram in the book, and a list with good descriptions of where everything’s supposed to go. Loudspeaker connections, of which there are several, six main (system A) outputs including surround (rear) center for the main system and a stereo pair of system B ...
Monday, 01 April 2002 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Kenwood Sovereign VR-5900 Receiver
Introduction Receivers are better today than they have ever been; yet their reputation continues to be plagued by memories of low quality mass-market products of the past. A decade ago Japanese electronic manufactures had the reputation of churning out low quality inexpensive garbage-in-a-rack, a reputation that the better Japanese manufacturers have since worked hard to overcome. Today’s top performing receivers are substantial collections of advanced electronics that perform near the ultimate level, and provide convenience, excellent sound quality, and the most state-of-the-art features the industry has to offer all in a convenient compact package. The Kenwood VR-5900 Audio/Video surround receiver resides at the top of the Kenwood line. It measures 17-5/16 in width, 16-3/8 inches in depth and seven-and-one-half inches tall with a net weight of 44 lbs. The retail price of the Kenwood VR-5900 is $3,000. The Sovereign series is Kenwood’s reference line of components, a product line that provides consumers with a high performance option. Taking ...
Friday, 01 February 2002 ,  Written by Tim Hart
B&K AVR307 Receiver
Introduction I’m a purist when it comes to all things audio. Being a purist, I prefer the simplest approach to creating music, meaning the least amount of circuitry in the chain from source to loudspeaker. Until the big wave of home theater came along, it was fairly easy to keep the focus on producing high-resolution music playback in my system, ever searching for that one component that would put me closer to musical truth. I’ve had to revise my philosophy on playback ever since I became enamored with home theater, as the hardware required to pull off the magic has to work through other components to be able to utilize all of the media we love to manipulate. Since home theater is so compelling, it wasn’t too hard for me to make the transition from audio geek to home theater dude. But I still have issues with how some products handle the all-important data. ...
Tuesday, 01 January 2002 ,  Written by Richard Elen
Denon AVR-3802 Receiver
Introduction The AVR-3802 is mid-level in Denon’s line of AV receivers. As you ascend the range, the units get bigger, more flexible and a great deal heavier, thanks to Denon’s use of increasingly massive main power transformers to insure that the amps have the ability to hit loud transients hard without running out of oomph. The AVR-3802 is a happy medium between Denon's low and high ends in both quality and price, with plenty of power for many normal applications (110 watts all round into eight ohms, with rather more in the lower impedances, which mildly increases distortion here). It comes with a pair of "surround back" amps, which can be configured either to handle a second "zone" outside your listening room – where you can select an input other than that being used for the main output – or to deliver the rear outputs of the on-board DTS ES system that can decode ...
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