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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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 ...
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Carot One Ernestolone Review
Carot One was a new name to this scribe until a few months ago, when Marc Phillips, of Colleen Cardas Imports , mentioned they would be importing the line from Italy. CCI has an eye and ear for top shelf gear from around the world. They import both Unison Research and Opera loudspeakers from Italy, Pure Audio from New Zealand, and My Audio Design loudspeakers from the United Kingdom. I recent reviewed the lovely M.A.D. 1920S monitors.Phillips asked me if would like to check out the $699 Carot One Ernestolone, a 25 wpc integrated amp, headphone amplifier, and a 24/96 USB DAC all in one. I said yes immediately once I got a look at the orange chassis and I saw a tube sticking out of it. It had Italian chic written all over it. A few weeks later, it ...
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Densen B-110 Integrated Amplifier & Darwin Cables Silver Interconnect Review
Densen Audio Technologies, out of Denmark, may be unknown to many high-end audio enthusiasts in the US, but in Europe and Asia, they are considered among the top tier of high performance audio. I had the distinct pleasure of living with several Densen pieces in the past, including the B-200 preamplifier and the B-310 power amplifier. Individually, and as a pair, I thought they were high value, high fidelity components, with good looks to boot. At a combined price of around $4500, they competed with much more expensive gear that this reviewer has heard. While I was impressed with this pair, I wanted to hear one of Densen’s integrated amplifiers, which consistently get rave reviews abroad.Enter the Densen B-110 integrated amp, rated at 60 watts per channel into 8 Ohms, and doubles to 120 watts per channel into 4 ohms. ...
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