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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Eastern Electric Mini Max Supreme DAC Review
DH Labs Mirage USB Cable Review
SOtM sHP-100 Headphone Amplifier & DSD DAC Review
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
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Thursday, 09 February 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Rein Audio X-DAC Review
Rein Audio, out of Germany, was unknown to me until I received an email from Rein’s Jason Tornald asking if I was interested in reviewing their new X-DAC. Since I have done a slew of budget, or better put, reasonably priced DAC units in the past year, including those from Channel Islands Audio, Arcam, and Musical Fidelity, I was more than willing to see how it stacked up. Rein Audio is a pretty new company but has quickly become known for a full line of audio and AC cables. They also plan on bringing an amplifier to market, the X-Amp. Even after spending a bunch of time on the Rein website, I still do not know too much about the company. I was able to conclude that Rein probably means “pure” in German. I also noted that chief designer Tomasz ...
Thursday, 08 December 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity V-DAC II Review
Legendary British HiFi firm, Musical Fidelity, has been at it for about 25 years now. They have been widely praised for decades for their amplifiers, hybrid tube designs, and digital source components. Musical Fidelity’s head honcho, Antony Michaelson, is very well respected as a designer, engineer, and is even a professional musician. It's fair to say that many Musical Fidelity products set new standards of performance and value.Musical Fidelity has produced products at a wide range of price points, but they have always been known for value. In the last few years, they have produced entry-level products that are well designed, extremely affordable, and by all accounts, perform beautifully. The current crop of products in this category includes the second generation V Series. There is the 24/96 V-Link II USB converter (also available with 192 Khz capability), the V-LPS II ...
Thursday, 27 October 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Rogue Audio Perseus Magnum Preamplifer Review
Rogue Audio has enjoyed a loyal following for many years now, and when I reviewed their entry level Atlas power amplifier with Magnum upgrades, I saw what all the fuss was about. It was an amazingly built, made in the U.S.A., ballsy sounding tube amplifier. The Atlas Magnum cast a huge soundstage and was a true heavyweight in the bass area.  It was also priced at an embarrassing to the competition $1995.  As a matter of fact, if I had not already invested in a more expensive tube amp, I would have sprung for the Atlas Magnum. After such a positive experience, I sought out a review sample of a Rogue tubed preamplifier. Mark O’Brien, the man behind Rogue Audio kindly sent me a Perseus preamp with Magnum upgrades.  The standard Perseus sells for $1895, and the Magnum version for $2195. The Perseus has been in ...
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) = ...
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