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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
SOtM sHP-100 Headphone Amplifier & DSD DAC Review
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
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Wednesday, 01 March 2000 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
B&K Components Reference 20 AV Preamplifier/Processor
Introduction The $2,500 B&K Reference 20 is the latest and greatest in B&K's line of Dolby Digital, DTS Surround Processors. Keeping with tradition, this unit is built with the future in mind and allows for easy upgrades due to its modular design. This means that if and when a new surround format is announced, you should be able to easily upgrade the Reference 20 to accommodate it. The Reference 20 is designed to handle switching and surround sound processing for your entire system. In addition to acting as a preamp/processor, it also has a built-in tuner. Other features include two-zone capability, seven inputs, RS232 port, IR and 12-volt control capabilities, as well as a learning remote. Setting everything up was fairly easy, thanks to a clear and complete owner's manual. I was even able to make custom labels for the various inputs, so instead of the display saying "V2," it reads "Laser" -- a very handy ...
Monday, 01 November 1999 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Proceed AVP AV Preamplifier
Introduction The Proceed AVP is a full function audio/video preamp that combines audio preamplification, digital conversion, broadcast-quality video switching and surround sound decoding into a highly refined high-end gem. Priced at $4,995 (S-Video version), the Proceed AVP comes equipped with DTS, AC3, Pro Logic, THX and numerous other surround fields for both music and video playback. The digital section of the AVP uses Burr Brown 1702 20-bit Multibit DACs for the left and right channels and 1-bit, 24-bit compatible AKM Delta-Sigma DACs for the center, surround, aux and subwoofer channels. A dealer-provided software update will be available in the near future to get your AVP ready for the 24-bit 96 kHz performance. The AVP comes equipped with seven digital and eight analog highly flexible, assignable inputs. A special version of the AVP can be ordered in order to take up to four S-VHS inputs, as well as four composite inputs. A standard AVP comes with six composite ...
Saturday, 01 May 1999 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
Audio Design Associates Cinema Reference AV Preamplifier/Processor
Introduction A home theater’s central nervous system is the digital processor, serving as preamp, digital surround decoder, D-to-A converter (DAC) and switcher. Audio Design Associates (ADA), a company that specializes in custom installation, manufactures a line of high performance components and the Cinema Reference is their most comprehensive and versatile processor to date, incorporating both Dolby Digital and DTS decoders along with THX enhancements. As manufacturers firmly entrench themselves in the DVD revolution, Laserdiscs are already virtually a footnote in A/V history. While the majority of processors require the purchase of additional outboard gear to play Dolby-encoded Laserdiscs, the Cinema Reference actually houses the often-elusive RF Demodulator. Functioning as a sophisticated preamp/switcher, this processor is loaded with a wide assortment of inputs and outputs, insuring future expandability as digital products continue to emerge. High-quality components, superior sonic performance and advanced features tend to drive the price up on processors, and so it is with the Cinema Reference. At ...
Monday, 01 February 1999 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
Sunfire Theater Grand Processor/AV Preamplifier
Introduction Along with both Dolby Digital and DTS decoders, the Theater Grand from Sunfire is the only high-end digital processor/preamp I've reviewed with a 40 preset AM/FM Tuner and phono stage. When you consider that the Sunfire offers many more features than many heralded (and ultra-expensive) processors, it may surprise you that its price tag is well below the competition at $2,995. Proof that it doesn't require a second mortgage (just a good credit line) to have a terrific sound system. Interfacing Details When it comes to I/O connections, the Theater Grand is extremely well equipped. There is a total of five digital inputs (5 coax, 2 Toslink) and nine analog audio inputs (including the five grouped with composite and S-video connectors). There are two pairs of component inputs and a single set of component outputs. This is smart. If you have both a DVD and a DSS, you'll need a switcher, since most TVs equipped with component ...
Tuesday, 01 December 1998 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
Enlightened Audio Designs Theater Master Digital Processor
Introduction Enlightened Audio Designs (EAD) has re-invented their popular Theater Master digital processor with three distinct versions (Encore, Ovation, Signature). Each incorporates Dolby Digital, DTS and MPEG decoders ensuring worldwide compatibility with any audio format. The Ovation ($4,449), like the one I was sent, is an upgrade from the basic Encore ($2,995). It includes an HDCD circuit and balanced outputs along with upgraded 20-bit DACs. Packaged with the Theater Master is a programmable touch screen remote with layouts of essential components like Laserdisc, DSS, DVD, CD and VCR. Teaching the Theater Master commands from other remotes is quite simple. The unit fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and is far more intuitive than remotes with multi-function buttons. The new slimmer chassis unveils a bold new diamond fly-cut faceted faceplate. The attractiveness of the unit is highlighted by the elimination of controls. Only a bright blue display panel and a power switch adorn the front ...
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