equipment reviews
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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Categories in section: Home Theater Power Amplifiers
Integrated Amplifiers (29) Mono Amplifiers (17) Multi-Channel Amplifiers (29)
Stereo Amplifiers (28)

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Wednesday, 18 February 2009 ,  Written by Robert Mead
McIntosh MC501 Monoblock Power Amplifier
As World War II was just ending, Frank McIntosh was starting up an audio company that would emerge as the benchmark audio manufacturer setting the bar for high-end audio components over the next 70 years. The performance level of Frank’s audio components was at such a high standard, even from its initial start-up, that television stations all over America sought out his mono tube power amplifier called the 50W-1 to be fully integrated into their television production facilities starting in 1949. The technology that powers that amp, the Unity Coupled Circuit, is still being used today. The McIntosh line of high-end audio components only achieved further greatness when they started branching out into the consumer field in 1967 when their engineers designed their first solid-state product, the C24 preamplifier, which the early audiophiles of the 1960’s cleaned out their bank ...
Monday, 01 December 2008 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Marantz MM8003 Power Amplifier
Introduction When I first heard that the MM8003, the companion piece to Marantz’s new audio/video processor, the recently reviewed AV8003, was going to be a 8 channel amplifier I thought it was kind of strange. Now that it is here I see that the 8 channel idea was well thought out. A 8 channel amplifier can power an entire 7.1 system with a passive amplifier such as those found in many in-wall systems; four separate stereo systems; a 5.1 system with the left, center and right speakers bi-amped or the mostly likely use, powering a 5.1 system in one zone and a stereo system in another zone. Each of the MM8003’s 8 channels is rated at 140 watts with less than .08 percent total harmonic distortion with a signal to noise ratio of 105dB. The power supply providing the juice for ...
Friday, 01 August 2008 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Halcro dm38 Stereo Power Amplifier
Introduction Halcro amplifiers have built themselves quite an impressive reputation in the last few years.  I remember first hearing Halcro at a 2003 CES DTS exhibit. The exhibit had the gorgeous huge H-shaped monoblocks placed next to each speaker.  Shortly thereafter, several other audio magazines reviewed the various available Halcro amplifiers with much praise; one even called a Halcro amplifier “the best amplifier ever.”  Recently, I have had the opportunity to review home theater components from Halcro’s lower-priced and more attainable Logic series.  As one can imagine, I was quite excited when Halcro offered me a chance to review their DM38, a stereo amplifier from their Reference series.  I was anxious to see if Halcro could transfer the sonic qualities from their reference monoblocks to the DM38, which at $20,000 is the least expensive amplifier in their Reference line, and whether ...
Saturday, 01 March 2008 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Bel Canto e.One REF1000 Digital Mono Power Amplifier
Introduction I had my first real introduction to high-end audio back in high school. This consisted of a brief listening session with an entire rack of Krell electronics and a pair of Wilson Watt Puppy Version 5.1 speakers. Not since then has a company or product come along that has single-handedly changed the way I view two-channel audio and the paradigm of what’s possible quite like Bel Canto did late last year with their e.One S300iu Integrated Amp. I loved the S300iu so much I gave it my endorsement as one of the products of the year in our annual Gear We Love list. Truth be told, the S300iu came very close to capturing the top spot, which ultimately went to the magnificent Revel Salon2 loudspeakers. However, the e.One S300iu review almost didn’t happen. When I contacted Bel Canto about doing ...
Friday, 01 February 2008 ,  Written by Jim Swantko
NuForce Reference 9 V2 Special Edition Mono Power Amplifier
Introduction In all my time as an audio enthusiast, I have never seen anything quite as polarizing as the words “switching amplifier.” In my experience, the overwhelming majority of audiophiles politely (or not so politely) dismiss them as a gimmick used to separate fools from their money. They firmly believe that bulk and heat generation are all indicators, which can be used to predict the competence of an amplifier’s performance. This idea is not as foolish as it may seem, as some of the most highly regarded amplifiers are behemoths, weighing in at over 100 pounds and producing enough heat to require a dedicated air-conditioning system. There is, however, a burgeoning group who are singing the praises of some new switching amplifiers, calling them “giant killers.” But which side is correct? Switching amplification is nothing new; in fact, it’s been around for ...
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