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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 ...
Sunday, 01 June 2003 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Jolida JD-202A Integrated Amplifier
Introduction The Jolida JD-202A Level 1 Modification amplifier will most certainly capture the attention of those enthusiasts looking for performance tube gear that doesn’t require a armored truck delivery of funds to make it affordable. The modified JD-202A integrated amplifier is the latest product incarnation from high-end audio veteran Walter Liederman (co-founder of Hi-Fi Buys). Under his new company moniker “Underwood HiFi,” (formerly the Grahm Company) Liederman buys the stock JD-202A and has it modified at the Parts Connexion. This product takes its place beside other Liederman modified gems from Jolida and Shanling in the Underwood HiFi line. The amplifier in question starts life as a standard $750 Jolida JD-202A, then is shipped to The Parts Connexion, where it is extensively modified with tubes and components designed to substantially increase the performance of the product, all without dramatically increasing the price. The Jolida JD-202A with Level 1 mods is a 40-watt-per-channel stereo integrated amplifier that measures 12.5 inches ...
Tuesday, 01 October 2002 ,  Written by Thomas Garcia
Portal Audio Panache Integrated Amplifier
Introduction Newly formed company Portal Audio recently introduced their first offering, the “Panache,” a no-frills integrated amplifier with aspirations of offering high-end performance at a reasonable cost. Its main objective is to provide a platform for a simple audio-only system, one which will require minimal processing or switching of limited audio inputs and outputs. The Panache is priced at $1795 and is currently available via Internet direct. Portal Audio offers a 60-day risk-free trial period, taking advantage of a growing Internet model, allowing potential buyers to audition the unit in their own systems to ensure that their needs and expectations are met. The Panache incorporates a passive line stage with a high gain dual mono Class A/AB amplifier in an attractive, somewhat minimalist package. The passive line section consists only of an input selector that routes the incoming signal through Alps volume and balance controls. The Amplifier section is rated at 100 watts per channel ...
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