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Luminous Audio Axiom II Passive Preamp Review
Denon PMA-50 Integrated Amplifier Review
CLONES Audio 25iR Integrated Amplifier Review
Bryston Mini A Loudspeaker Review
Denon HEOS System Review
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Monday, 24 June 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
My Audio Design 1920S Monitors Review
MAD, or My Audio Design, is a British firm making waves with their extensive line of loudspeakers, ranging from mini monitors to large, floor standing, full range models. Offering custom designs and finishes, MAD speakers are quite beautiful. The company has been around since 2005, and their three speaker lines include the 1900, the Grand, and Noble lines. I had seen their ads in British hi-fi magazines for years, and noted various show reports that spoke highly of them, and I found myself eager to review one of their products. It just so happens that Colleen Cardas Imports recently picked up the line for distribution in the States. They also import Italian-made Unison Research electronics and Opera speakers, which have been the subject of several reviews here. They also handle Pure Audio, reference quality gear from New Zealand. Marc Phillips ...
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
SVS Ultra Bookshelf Loudspeaker Review
Founded in 1998 and quickly making a name for themselves in the subwoofer market, SVS is now a global maker and distributor of complete speaker systems. They are a unique organization, with a design team and warehouses spread across North America, and manufacturing based in China. The products are sold direct with a generous in-house audition period because, according to SVS, there is no place better to hear a speaker than in your own listening room. The company touts its engineering muscle, commitment to quality, and customer service as a reason for its longevity.I have only heard about SVS products from audio show reports and a few reviews, but I had not had the opportunity to hear one of the products until now. I received a review sample of their brand new Ultra Bookshelf model, priced at $499 each, or ...
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Opera Mezza Loudspeakers Review
Italian speaker maker Opera has been making headlines recently with their great-sounding demos at various audio shows, earning them positive print and online reviews. I reviewed their floor-standing Seconda model, which I found to be beautifully made, with sonics to match. Marc Phillips, of Colleen Cardas Imports, contacted me about reviewing the Mezza, a two-way monitor that had recently getting much attention in Europe. I accepted based on how much I enjoyed the Seconda in my system.As I mentioned in my Seconda review, all Opera loudspeakers are made in their Treviso, Italy, factory. They are the sister company to Unison Research, fine purveyors of mostly tube based electronics. I reviewed both the Unico CDPrimo and CDE CD players. I found the workmanship, styling, and sound to be wonderful. As a matter of fact, the CDE was one of the most ...
Thursday, 04 April 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Vanatoo Transparent One Powered Monitors Review
Active speakers have had a tough road in the audiophile world. They are fairly commonplace in recording studios and other pro sound environments. I have heard several theories for this, including the fact that powered speakers are not as tweakable. Certainly, audiophiles seem to relish in the ability to independently choose every element of a system, and maybe most importantly, the amplification.Powered speakers do offer several distinct advantages over passive speakers. In a nutshell, amplifiers inside powered speakers are usually matched to the specific characteristics of the drivers, enclosure, impedance, and frequency response. Another obvious advantage is the shorter signal path, and there is no need for speaker cables, which account for huge cost savings and other technical shortcomings.There is one market active speakers, especially monitors, have taken a foothold, and that is in desktop computer audio set ups. The ...
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Boston Acoustics M25 Loudspeaker Review
Boston Acoustics was founded in 1979 and quickly made a name among budget audiophiles, and later home theater enthusiasts. They became a big player in car audio as well. In 2005, D&M Holdings -- the parent company for Marantz, Denon and, up until a few weeks ago, McIntosh -- purchased Boston Acoustics.  For a few years, Boston Acoustics was admittedly off the high-end radar, but in 2012, the company made a big push with a brand new line of products.The Boston Acoustics engineering team is based out of Peabody, Massachusetts, and they called upon independent German designer, Karl-Heinz Fink, and Ken Ishiwata of Marantz.  Ishiwata is an absolute legend, having designed some of the best sounding components Marantz has ever developed. When I heard he was involved in the development of the new Boston Acoustics line, I was enthralled.  I ...
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