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Wednesday, 16 December 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Marantz PM-KI Pearl Integrated Amplifier Review
Marantz's PM-KI Pearl Integrated Amplifier is one of two limited edition components (along with the SA-KI Pearl SACD/CD Player) celebrating designer Ken Ishiwata's achievement with the company in 30 years. For the event, Ishiwata went into the audio lab and reshaped and retooled these two components to his aesthetics and offered them up for a select few music lovers. The KI is limited to just 500 units, making it instantly collectible, and I felt humbled knowing I was among such a wee group who would ever hear these components. Marantz has a Web site (http://www.marantz.eu/kipearl/) dedicated solely to the KI Pearl and its brethren SA-KI Pearl. I'm always wary of quoting and seemingly confirming views of a company's product in question, but I doubt anyone would question Marantz's and Ishiwata's ideals that “... specifications are just facts. We're interested in ...
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Neuhaus Labs T-2 Integrated Vacuum Tube Amplifier Review
Computer audio has come a long way since I purchased my first PC back in 1996. It was a Hewlett Packard model that ran on Windows 95 and had a pair of speakers that clipped onto each side of the monitor. That bulbous display and plastic speakers served as my first computer audio console, and though the sound was abysmal the prospect of having a glut of music at my fingertips was pretty cool. I watched as computer audio went from its humble beginnings to challenging home audio component space for pride of place. Many audiophiles are ditching their CD players for hard drives and CDs for audio files; others are treading into the waters slowly. Want to have your brain toasted? Visit an audio chat forum, ask what's the best way to set up a computer audio system and ...
Friday, 02 October 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Marantz PM8003 Integrated Amplifier Review
It was 1976, I was 9 years old and having my first experience with “high-end” audio gear. My dad had just brought home a stereo system for our living room, including a receiver, cassette deck, turntable and speakers. The heart of it all was a Marantz Model 2235 Receiver. By audiophile standards, the 2235 was modest, but it still carried a hefty price tag of $450 – roughly equivalent to $1,700 in 2009. At 35 watts per channel, the 2235 wasn't going to shake our house, but it was the source of much enjoyable listening in a living room that really became the “entertainment” room. More than anything the receiver just looked cool. I loved how the blue light illuminated the front panel and how you could tune in radio stations with the Gyro Tuning Wheel – the wheel that ...
Thursday, 01 November 2007 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Bel Canto e.One S300iu Integrated Amplifier
Introduction While the debates rage on over the newest HD formats and the subsequent gear and accessories needed to render beautiful images, I decided to detour my attention for a bit to focus on something that makes a bit more sense: two-channel audio. It’s been a while since I’ve sat down with a strictly two-channel component in my otherwise home theater and multi-channel audio-dominated home. While the Bel Canto e.One S300iu integrated amp is far from being just another two-channel component, my return to seeming simplicity was not only welcome, but eye-opening. My last foray into strictly two-channel fare was a few years ago, when my system comsisted of a series of boutique-style SET tube amps and a pair of incredibly efficient loudspeakers. Since then, I’ve gone on to build not one but three dedicated home theater spaces in my house, all but eliminating not just my investment in stereo, but my need for ...
Friday, 01 December 2006 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Krell F.B.I. (Fully Balanced Integrated) Integrated Amplifier
Introduction The Fully Balanced Integrated Amplifier or F.B.I. is Krell’s no-holds-barred solution to an integrated two-channel audio system. Integrated amplifiers are often considered to be more or less lifestyle pieces. Not so with the 104-pound FBI. This massive $16,500 integrated amplifier started life as a separate amplifier/preamplifier combination. During the design process, it became apparent that the combining the two pieces would create a synergy that was not likely to be achieved when they operated separately. Krell has long been known for their large, high-power amplifiers, capable of providing some of the industry’s most powerful and detailed bass. The amplifier portion of the FBI is comprised of the popular FPB 300cx stereo amplifier. The FPB 300cx is part of the Full Powered Balance (FPB) series of amplifiers, which consists of completely discrete, fully balanced, dual differential single-channel and stereo amplifiers. These amplifiers, as well as the FBI, feature a Class A output, which is arguably the most ...
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