equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
SOtM sHP-100 Headphone Amplifier & DSD DAC Review
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
Denon AVR-X3100W Home Theater Receiver Review
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive Review
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Thursday, 05 July 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Paradigm SHIFT A2 Active Speakers Review
Paradigm has been a mainstay of the high-end two-channel, home theater, and lifestyle speaker market for so many years now, it's easy to take them for granted. I bet some audiophiles do. Not me. My home theater system is all Paradigm, and I use their SHIFT e3m earbuds for portable listening. Paradigm’s Reference Series monitors and floorstanders always sound excellent to me at audio shows, and they offer great value.The aforementioned SHIFT series also includes the new SHIFT A2 active monitors. They are geared towards the desktop and computer audiophile markets, among others. There are a number of very interesting things about the A2’s. First, they are modeled sonically in Paradigm’s 35,000 square foot research facility in Canada, using various techniques to develop the most balanced performance at this price point. They also are available in several high gloss colors, ...
Thursday, 23 February 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Trends Audio SA-10 Monitors & CQ500 Speaker Cable Review
Trends Audio, located in Hong Kong, is one of my favorite purveyors of budget minded, nice sounding, mini components. Recently a real market has grown for smaller components that don’t compromise on sonics and are affordable to all.  I had a blast with their PA-10 Tube Headphone and Pre Amplifier and Mini Component Combo. Their product line has been growing, and they now offer speakers, cables, and accessories.I remember, above all, how much fun I had with their mini components and how easy they were to set up and enjoy. To their credit, Trends has loyal customers through out Asia, North America, and Europe, partly due to a slew of positive reviews and good customer service. I received an email from Trends asking if I would like to receive a sample of their new SA-10 monitor loudspeakers for review. I ...
Monday, 12 September 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Totem Dreamcatcher Review
One of the biggest challenges a speaker designer has is making a very compact, low mass speaker sound lifelike.  There have been a number of notable “book shelf” designs, like the Rogers LS3/5a and its variants, the Proac Tablette, and the Paradigm Atom, among many others.  A successful execution of such a speaker certainly shows off the designer's skill. The fact is, that mini monitors are valid designs in that many music lovers are relegated to smaller spaces, and don’t require, nor can they accommodate, full range speakers.Totem Acoustic is based in Montreal, Canada. The company was founded in 1987, and makes a complete line of well reviewed loudspeakers ranging from in wall to full range floor standers.  I had heard much about Totem products, but up until recently I have not had an opportunity to spend any time with ...
Wednesday, 23 March 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Paradigm SE 1 Loudspeakers Review
Canadian speaker manufacturer Paradigm has been at it  for over 25 years. And by “at it” I mean designing.award winning loud speakers across all price points and for every conceivable application. Full disclosure, I have admired Paradigm for a long time. A few years ago, I bought a pair of Paradigm Atoms, probably one of the best speakers made under $500 and I helped  friend buy a pair of Studio 60’s floor standers, and came away with even more impressed with the company and its offerings. I felt the Studio 60 compared very favorably with speakers costing at least 2 or 3 times as much. Last year, I reviewed the Monitor 9  V.6 floorstander , and ended up buying the review pair for my home theater set up.The company offers speakers for every level of audiophile and home theater enthusiast.  ...
Tuesday, 02 November 2010 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
PENAUDIO Rebel 3 Monitor Loudspeakers Review
Nature vs. Nurture, and how does it affect and influence who we become? It's a question that will likely be argued for centuries to come, and may never be fully answered. I do believe that the environment we are raised in has the potential to empower the imagination and spur creativity, even if we are not inherently so inclined by nature. Thus, I'm fascinated by the audio designs that come from countries far from my native U.S. Over the past year I've had opportunity to audition all sorts of gear manufactured across Scandinavia and have come away impressed every time. Finland's most popular musical “export” will likely remain Jean Sibelius and the composer's work celebrating his homeland, but I like to think that the country's storied forests, lakes and rivers and bracing climate get in the collective blood of its ...
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