equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
RHA MA750i In Ear Headphones Review
Thiel TM3 Loudspeaker Review
Reviewed: MusicScope Analysis Software by Xivero
Fluance XL7F Loudspeakers Review
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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 ...
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Audience ClairAudient 2 + 2 Loudspeakers Review
Audience LLC was formed in 1997 and is located in San Marcos, CA. In their relatively short life span, they have become one of the elite designers and manufacturers of state of the art signal and power cables. They also produce highly regarded power conditioners, high resolution capacitors, and the Auric Illuminator, an optical disc enhancement kit.  My only experience with Audience products is the Auric Illuminator, which I found to work wonders on compact discs and DVD's to improve resolution and help with problematic discs.Audience has also recently entered the loudspeaker market. Far from being satisfied with a conventional product, they have decided to take a different path. This approach was formed over a long period of time, with much trial and error, proprietary technology, and determination. Add to that a unique vision. Audience has gotten a lot of ...
Thursday, 14 January 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
THIEL MCS1 Loudspeakers Review
THIEL Loudspeakers have been in the marketplace for over 30 years. Longevity is fantastic, but having the universal respect of serious audiophiles all over the world is even better. Jim Thiel, the company’s co founder, chief engineer, and namesake sadly passed away in 2009. With a humble beginning, THIEL started in a garage in 1977. Fast forward to 2010 and THIEL now offers a full line of high performance loudspeakers for two channel home audio and home theater. They are all designed and manufactured in the USA at the company’s 35,000 square foot facility in Lexington, Kentucky.I have heard so much buzz about THIEL speakers over the years, but I never actually heard a THIEL speaker until an opportunity came to demo the MCS1.   Jim Thiel was a major proponent of time and phase coherent designs. He believed in the ...
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