equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
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
Denon AVR-S700W& Envaya Bluetooth Speaker Reviews
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Wednesday, 01 February 2006 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Escient Fireball SE-80 Music Server
Introduction Escient’s Fireball SE-80 is their latest entry-level music server offering. The SE-80 features an 80 GB hard drive, as well as an internal CD-RW drive, which can be used to load music onto the hard drive, create music discs from the music stored on the hard drive or as a CD player. Like the E2 and other Fireball units, the SE-80 also has a built in Internet radio receiver, file sharing and web server capabilities, all for the slim price of $995. The SE chassis and industrial design is consistent with the rest of the Escient family and measures 17-3/8 inches wide by four-and-five-eighths inches high and 11-7/8 inches deep. The chassis is finished in the same attractive brushed black aluminum as the E2 and other Fireballs. The front panel features a curved accent stripe, an oval CD drawer and a row of transport control buttons. The back panel of the SE is quite ...
Tuesday, 01 November 2005 ,  Written by Thomas Garcia
Sonos ZonePlayer ZP100/ Controller CR100/ Loudspeaker SP100
Introduction Convergence is a terminology and process that seems to have permeated every facet of our daily experiences. Convergence technologies will eventually be ubiquitous in every aspect of our lives. So what is “convergence technology”? It all depends on the type of application. It includes, but is not limited to, the popular act of taking pictures with a cell phone or surfing the Web on a television. More sophisticated uses include wireless and wired voice and data transmissions, various forms of security, voice over IP and data networking technologies, all converging to create a seamless integration and solution for our personal and professional needs. Nowhere is this more evident than the merging of consumer electronics and personal computers. There are a plethora of companies that are providing unimaginable functionality that was science fiction a mere decade ago. One exciting new entry into the arena of personal computer and home music convergence is the Sonos Digital Music ...
Friday, 01 July 2005 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Escient Fireball E2-300 Music Server
Introduction The Fireball E2-300 is yet another high-tech solution from Escient to the ever-growing problem of media management. The E2-300 is a hard drive-based digital music manager with a large internal 300GB drive. It also serves as the brain or control center for up to 1200 compact discs in a daisy chain of players. The E2 controls CDs by managing up to three of Sony or Kenwood’s 400-disc changers, which can be routed through and switched by the E2. The E2 also has an internal CDR-W drive which can be used to load music onto the hard drive, create music discs from the music stored in or controlled by the E2, or even as a CD player. Like the other Fireball units, the E2 also has a built-in Internet radio receiver for more increasingly good music choices. The E2-300 retails for $3,999. The E2 is the same size as other units in the Fireball family, ...
Saturday, 01 January 2005 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
ReQuest Fusion Pro 250 Music Server
Introduction These days, the landscape of traditional audio/video source components is changing at a blinding pace. In the glory days of high-end audio, you had your compact disc player and/or a turntable – maybe a VCR and a laserdisc player – and you were considered by darn near everybody as pretty ahead of the technical curve. More than a decade later in today’s connected home, your sources make up a completely new cast of characters. Beyond the ubiquitous DVD player, you might find the HD Tuner/DVR, a D-VHS deck, a satellite radio receiver and, with increasing likelihood, a music server. The ReQuest Fusion 250 is a $9,000 music server designed to work with your home theater, as well as your distributed whole-house audio system. The immediate question is – how is the ReQuest different than a fractionally-priced iPod? The most notable way is how the ReQuest is reliably controlled via RS232. The second most important issue ...
Monday, 01 March 2004 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Onkyo NC-500 Net-Tunes Audio Network Receiver
Introduction Playing your MP3 files isn’t just for sketchy speakers and poorly developed free software on your computer any more. Sales of Apple’s iPod are through the roof and now a new category, the music server, is gaining popularity. Talk of the computer and your home theater being one and the same (AKA: convergence) has been going on for quite some time and, with the NC-500 Nettunes Audio Network Receiver, Onkyo has taken another step closer to making the personal computer a fundamental part of your home theater system. For $399 (or $499 with two D-N3XA 2-way bass reflex speakers), the Onkyo NC-500 Net-Tunes™ Audio Network Receiver gives you powerful access to audio files stored on your computer from a remote location in your home or office. It also provides enhanced support for Internet radio and allows you to listen to both WMA (Windows Media) and MP3-format Internet radio stations. An AM/FM tuner allows you ...
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