equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Eastern Electric Mini Max Supreme DAC Review
DH Labs Mirage USB Cable Review
SOtM sHP-100 Headphone Amplifier & DSD DAC Review
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
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Categories in section: Home Theater Media Servers
Home Theater/Media Center PCs (24) Music Servers (29) Satellite & Cable Receivers/PVRs/DVRs/TiVo (15)
Video Servers (4)

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Friday, 19 August 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Bryston BDP-1 Digital File Player Review
Bryston’s first two forays into digital source components, the BCD-1 CD player and the BDA-1 DAC , have been smashing successes, garnering rave reviews for sound, build quality, and overall value. Those products brought to the table what all other Bryston products are known for. Namely, highly engineered, superbly built, reliable, musical sounding components. I can vouch for this as I have had the pleasure of reviewing the BCD-1, the BDA-1, as well as other Bryston products. Bryston has obviously kept tabs on the growing popularity of computer audio, and the declining popularity of CDs, and optical disc playback in general. The result is the BDP-1 digital file player. This new product has caused quite a stir, and raised many eyebrows for what it does, and for what it does not do. First, unlike the Marantz NA7004 network ...
Friday, 15 July 2011 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
Roku XDS Media Player Review
We have reviewed a vast amount of media players over the last year and a half, but nothing more dependent on streaming access than the Roku XDS.  Over the years, Roku has consistently positioned itself as a leader in building inexpensive media players that have lead many consumers down the path of ending dependence on expensive cable or satellite television service.  Competition has risen up from companies like Western Digital and Apple, but Roku continues to respond with players that range from $59.99 to $99.99.  These players vary in capability, but even the most inexpensive player (the Roku HD) provides 720p video, HDMI and built-in Wi-Fi.  The next step up is the Roku XD if the consumer wants 1080p playback and Wireless-N capability (assuming their router supports it).  The subject of this review is the Roku XDS.  The XDS includes ...
Thursday, 30 June 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Logitech Squeezebox Touch REVIEW
Logitech has long been known as a maker of spiffy computer peripherals, communication devices, and entertainment products. The company decided they wanted to expand their market beyond computer speakers, mice, keyboards, webcams, and other items into high quality audio products. A few years ago they made a clever acquisition, buying up Slim Devices, a maker of networked, streaming audio players. Their best known product, the Squeezebox, allowed users to access music stored on hard drives attached to computers anywhere in the house, listen to internet radio, and set up multi room systems via Ethernet or WiFi.  I purchased a Squeezebox three years ago on whim, as I had just moved into a new house with freshly installed Cat5 jacks in every room.  I also was a serious live music collector, having downloaded and traded almost 2 TB of live classic ...
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz NA7004 Network Player Review
20 years ago source components could be divided into three categories: turntables, tape machines, and digital disc players. That was then, this is now. Today, a source component may have no moving parts and require no physical media to operate.  Two of these types include the music server with a built in ripping drive, and the network player with no internal hard drive. The network player allows you to stream files via Ethernet or WiFi from a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device, a computer, or directly from a portable USB hard drive. Some of the well known, cost effective network players include the Logitech Squeezebox and the Sonos system, and they have been around for a while. But network players are going upscale, with offerings from established firms like Linn, Naim, Bryston, and startups like Auralati.  To make it all more ...
Thursday, 28 April 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Autonomic Controls MMS-2 Music Server Review
Things are moving fast; very fast. The proliferation of hard disc based music playback systems that began a few years ago has continued at even a brisker pace then anyone could have been imagined. And with each new generation in this product category, new, and sometimes mind blowing features are added, as well as improved sound quality and improved interfaces. Now with designers across the board allowing for devices to be controlled via Apple iPads and iPhone/iPod Touch units, and some even providing for remote off site access, we are entering a new dimension.  Specifically, we are entering “the cloud”, a place where we wandering humans can access our media files anywhere in the world with handheld devices, tablets, computers, or any WiFi enabled gadget.  It seems this was a logical progression from multi room systems, which have been around ...
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