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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Denon PMA-50 Integrated Amplifier Review
CLONES Audio 25iR Integrated Amplifier Review
Bryston Mini A Loudspeaker Review
Denon HEOS System Review
Marantz SR7009 Home Theater Receiver Review
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Friday, 09 January 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz HD-DAC1 DSD DAC & Headphone Amp Review
Marantz has been introducing new products into the marketplace at quite a clip over the past year. Even as a reviewer, it has been hard to keep up. Their recent lines of A/V Home Theater receivers are stellar, and even the entry-level products push the price-to-performance ratio to the limit of what I thought was possible. Their recent entry level two channel components offer crazy value, as I recently found out with the PM5005 and CD5005  integrated amp/CD player.Marantz digital has always impressed me, from the first time I heard one of their superb SACD players. Their disc spinners have smartly been reintroduced with digital inputs, which is what the market wants. They also have two superb streamers, the NA-8005 and the flagship NA-11S1. The NA-11S1 was a knockout, built to a standard befitting Top Shelf status. Decoding virtually every ...
Friday, 05 December 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Eastern Electric Mini Max Supreme DAC Review
The high resolution Digital Audio Convertor market is, to me, the most exciting and fastest moving sector in the audiophile industry. It is also global. There are superb products being designed and manufactured all over the world, including Eastern Europe, Australia, and especially Asia. Hong Kong, mainland China, and Korea have been hotbeds lately, as I found out with my recent reviews of several SOtM products, including the sMS-100 Mini Server and the sHP-100 Headphone amp/DAC.Through a business contact I was able to touch base with Bill O’Connell of Morningstar Audio, the importer for all Eastern Electric products in the U.S.A. Bill is one of the nicest and most passionate people you will find in high performance audio. Based in Arlington Heights, IL, he serves the Eastern Electric brand well, with its varied line of tubed phono stage, preamplifier, power ...
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive Review
Tisbury Audio is a relatively new artisanal audio design firm located in London, England a few blocks away from the Wimbledon village, where the famed tennis championships are played. It is rather fitting. Wimbledon is about tradition, decorum, and getting things just right in an understated way. Tisbury makes handcrafted products it sells direct at miraculous prices. The two products on their web page currently are the Challenge Amp 1 headphone amplifier, and the Mini Passive volume controller. Both the Challenge Amp 1 and the Mini Passive are built with quality parts, have a small footprint, and are absolutely beautiful to look at. The Challenge amp sells for £350 GBP, and the Mini Passive for £135 GPD, or about $225 USD. Wes Young -- see the Bonus Interview at the review's conclusion -- of Tisbury Audio offered to send me ...
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Denon DA-300USB DAC Review
Denon has introduced a number of notable new products in the last year or so, including streamers, AV receivers, Blu-ray players, HiFi components, and headphones. I recently reviewed their very nice DHT-S514 Soundbar. Add to the list of hot new items: the Denon DA-300USB DSD DAC and headphone amplifier. It retails for $499. With the DA-300USB, Denon has entered the exciting and fiercely competitive market of sub-$1000 multi-function digital decoders. Denon has a long history with digital, and there is a lot of engineering muscle to call on. Their universal disc players were coveted in the time that SACD and DVD-A were making a push, and their AV Receivers have been top performers. Fast forward to 2014 and computer audio has now gone mainstream. Disc players have clearly taken a back seat, although they are still being ...
Monday, 03 February 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity V90 DAC Review
I'm no stranger to Britain's Musical Fidelity, having reviewed a number of their budget minded and mid tier products over the past few years. A few of the items that have come through my systems include the V-DAC II, V-Link 192, M1 CLiC, and the M1 CDT. All offered remarkable sound, even without considering their affordable prices. The V-DAC II and M1 CDT disc transport remain in my systems currently. Musical Fidelity’s founder and principal is known for updating the lines pretty consistently. On the plus side of that, the company seems to add improvements and offer higher levels of performance for slight premiums, and sometimes without price increases. The company also has a reputation for making very well constructed components, with legacy products being enjoyed for decades by long time customers. Musical Fidelity has also shown itself to be ...
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