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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Filter And tX-USBhub Review
Simaudio 760A Power Amplifier Review
Bryston BIT-15 Isolation Transformer & Surge Protector Review
Carot One Titta Earbuds Review
In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
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Thursday, 26 March 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Denon PMA-50 Integrated Amplifier Review
Denon, the longstanding electronics firm now owned by D&M, produces products for virtually every market. They also have prided themselves on staying ahead of the curve with new technologies, designing products stuffed with features at too-good-to-be-true prices.Recently, I reviewed (and loved) the wonderful Denon HEOS distributed audio system, which was like a Sonos on steroids, and very affordable. The Denon AV Receivers are also superb, as are their line of high-end hifi components. This includes turntables, DACs, and network players. Last year I had the Denon DA-300USB DSD DAC in, and came away very impressed. Denon has again responded to the market with an affordable, multi faceted integrated amplifier. Packed with features, the new $599 PMA-50 is basically a one-box solution, and is virtually future proof. The PMA-50's amplifier section incorporates DDFA technology from CSR. Its Class D amplifier is ...
Friday, 06 March 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
CLONES Audio 25iR Integrated Amplifier Review
CLONES Audio out Hong Kong, has enjoyed an amazing amount of awareness stateside generated in a very short period of time. This is due to positive reviews, and international distribution. On these pages I reviewed the 25p power amplifier, which I subsequently purchased and use in regular rotation with my usual stable of amps.Since that review, CLONES and its proprietor, Funjoe, have been mighty busy, bringing to market several new products, and upgrades to others. Funjoe is tireless, and his pursuit of perfection is very admirable. There have also been some logistical changes as well, with CLONES going through several distribution arrangements. Late last year, Mark Sossa, of Well Pleased AV, signed on to become to the US importer and dealer of record. Sossa is a seasoned veteran, highly knowledgeable, and very gracious. All things point to a good marriage. ...
Friday, 24 October 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
It’s no accident Marantz has established itself as the dominant player in sub-$1000 stereo components. The company has a talent for trickling down technology and performance from their reference line on a consistent basis, perhaps due to a well organized design department, or economies of scale. Either way, outside of speakers, the venerable Japanese company has the market cornered. Make no mistake; I would put Marantz’s reference line up against anybody’s, regardless of price. I found their SA-14S1 SACD Player & DSD DAC, SA-11S3 SACD Player & DAC, and NA-11S1 Network Streamer & DSD DAC to be remarkable products. Built to standard that is beyond reproach with exemplary sonics. Packing them up and sending them back to the factory was tough, and they were missed immediately. I have also reviewed several Marantz budget level components as well, including the ...
Thursday, 09 October 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
I’ve reviewed a number of Musical Fidelity products over the course of the last few years. I have dabbled mostly in the entry-level series of products, with reviews of the V-DAC II, the V-Link 192, and the V90 DAC. I also evaluated the M1 CLiC streamer, the M1 Pwr amp , and the M1 CDT transport . All were top performers sonically and offered unusual value. I purchased and still use the V-DAC II and M1 CDT in my systems.The Musical Fidelity line is pretty broad, and I admit to being very curious about their reference-level products, seeing how good their V series components already sound. Musical Fidelity has loyal customers worldwide are known as digital pioneers, while garnering quite a reputation for their integrated amplifiers, among other things. I know folks with fifteen-year-old Musical Fidelity amps still going strong ...
Monday, 24 March 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Plinius Hautonga Integrated Amplifier Review
Plinius is a 30-year-old high performance audio company based in New Zealand. They enjoy a stellar reputation, and fiercely loyal fan base, thanks to achievements in industrial design, build, and ergonomics. More importantly, they have long been known for making superb-sounding, reference quality playback gear, including source components and amplification. Plinius has distributors in over forty countries, yet each unit is still hand built in their factory in Christchurch, the second most populous urban area in New Zealand.Several months ago, I had the pleasure of spending some quality time with the Plinius Tiki network file player, and was very much taken with its design, execution, and excellent sound. This overwhelmingly positive experience peaked my interest in the rest of the company’s products. Frank Gazzo, Plinius’s hard working North American representative, suggested their Hautonga integrated amplifier, which sells for $5750.The Hautonga ...
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