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Merrill Audio THOR Mono Block Amplifiers Review
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Tuesday, 18 October 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Pro-Ject Pre Box SE Review
Pro-Ject, the company from Austria, whose Pre Box and Head Box I previously reviewed, has been expanding their product line while keeping true to their mission. That mission is producing great sounding, well built, amazingly affordable audio products with a small foot print.  I was tremendously impressed with both components I reviewed, and was eager to hear something from their Special Edition line. Interestingly, one could easily call everything in their line, minus turntables, “micro” components.  What amazes me is how they manage to do this without sacrificing sound quality.  In the company’s literature, they maintain they are dedicated to short signal paths, eliminating unnecessary parts, low mass, attention to resonance control, and enclosure quality.  It is not surprising that Pro-Ject is distributed in virtually every country on the planet. Their product lines consist of everything from vinyl and digital ...
Monday, 23 May 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Pro-Ject Pre Box Preamplifier and Head Box II Headphone Amplifier Review
Pro-Ject Audio Systems celebrates its 20th year in 2011. The Austrian based company has been one of my very favorite Hi-Fi entities for a number of reasons. They offer off the charts value, great designs, and components with uniquely small footprints.  Pro-Ject products are also known for an elegant simplicity and long term reliability. Pro-Ject may be best known for their affordable turntables and phono accessories, but they also offer a full line of components including amplifiers, preamps, Digital Audio Converters, iPod docks, CD players, speakers, and cables. They have even introduced a digital music streamer.Pro-Ject was founded by Heinz Lichtenegger, a former Hi-Fi shop owner who was motivated to offer his clients fairly priced, great sounding, and ergonomic audio gear. Pro-Ject has some very specific design and business philosophies that I find impressive. First, they claim “less (features) = ...
Tuesday, 21 December 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz AV7005 AV Processor/Preamp / MM7055 Power Amplifier Review
The ability to replicate the movie theater experience in the home would have been a dream just ten years ago. Multi-channel components and large screen televisions and projectors were expensive and heavy. Add to that the fact there was little multi-channel content available. Today along with DVDs and Blu-ray discs all mixed in 7.1, plus High Definition digital cable boxes that allow broadcasters to offer 5.1 surround sound, it is a whole new ballgame. The advancements in home theater components have been dizzying, especially in the past two years, with network and internet connectivity, iPod streaming, HDMI switching, software based room correction and speaker set up all being thrown into the mix of features offered by most major manufacturers. More powerful multichannel receivers and power amps have also brought the home experience closer to the real thing. Almost every major speaker company ...
Monday, 13 December 2010 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Rogue Audio Ares Vacuum Tube Phono Preamplifier Review
In 1981, long-time British rockers The Kinks released an album titled Give The People What They Want, a set of songs that gave them their first bona fide hit in several years, “Destroyer.” Call it timing or prescience, the music resonated and perhaps was what the people did want after all. Predicting such events in the music industry is nearly impossible, but the LP's title is good advice for anyone looking to attract an audience – and ultimately buyers – of his/her wares. Its advice Rogue Audio took to heart when designing the Ares, the company's first vacuum tube phono preamplifier. Rogue president and chief engineer Mark O'Brien related, “It was a real labor of love for me. I had a lot of feedback from vinyl lovers. Ultimately, we wanted to build an all-tube phono stage that had adjustable output, ...
Tuesday, 02 November 2010 ,  Written by Michael Palmer
McIntosh C50 Stereo Preamp Preview
The sound gurus at McIntosh have announced two brand new Stereo Control Centers.  The more expensive C50 is a replacement for the C46 preamplifier and is designed to mate with the McIntosh MC452 for maximum performance (and to make beautiful sound babies), but will work seamlessly with any McIntosh amplifier.The C50 from McIntosh is set to offer more flexibility and performance capabilities than any previous McIntosh Control Centers.  It seems most stereo preamplifiers are designed to work primarily with analog music sources, which of course the C50 will do in spades, but it also plans to enhance contemporary digital sources as well, including tuners, CD players, music servers, and USB storage devices.For flexibility, the C50 may be combined with multi-channel audio systems by using the Pass Through feature, which allows the stereo system to be selectively folded into a home ...
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