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Wednesday, 01 November 2006 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Halcro SSP-100 AV Preamplifier/Processor
Introduction The Halcro SSP-100 is one of the most technologically advanced, full-featured audio video preamp-processors in the world. At $9,900, it is a relative bargain compared to other lofty competitors such as the Meridian 800 or Theta Casablanca, but it costs significantly more than the vast majority of processors currently on the market. The SSP-100 does everything you would expect of a full-featured audio/video processor and adds a video scaler, making it one of a few units in the world with this range of capabilities. I am not surprised that Halcro is one of the first manufacturers to offer this combination of features. Halcro, an Australian company, has long been known for their excellent amplifiers and cutting-edge digital amplification circuits. The SSP-100 shares industrial design cues that run throughout the Halcro line, namely the use of ovals. If you view the unit from above, there is a prominent oval cap that extends approximately a half ...
Sunday, 01 October 2006 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Classé SSP-600 AV Preamplifier/Processor
Introduction The idea of having it all is something the world of audiophiles never seemed to understand. You could have the warmth of tubes, but not get the impact and power of a great solid state amp. Stereo preamps offered the best sound, but couldn’t control the increasing number of inputs, most of which also were attached to video components. From now on, no matter how hardcore an audiophile you are or may have been, I want you to know – after extensive testing, listening, watching and drooling, you can in fact have it all. Thus begins the review of the Classe SSP-600 Delta Series preamp/processor ($6,500), which offers even the most critical listener the ability to have the control and flexibility that you need to run, manage and enjoy the most sophisticated of today’s surround sound audio and home theater systems. The Classe SSP-600 is built with striking corners and the vertical black anodized ...
Monday, 01 May 2006 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Sherwood Newcastle P-965 AV Preamplifier
Introduction The Sherwood P-965 is a full-featured AV preamplifier that can serve as the centerpiece of a multi-room theater system without blowing even modest budgets. This piece is at the tops of the Sherwood Newcastle line and has just about every feature one could ask for in a high-end AV preamp, yet it is smartly designed to leave out many superfluous features that you don’t need but often pay for in more expensive components. The P-965 is priced at $1,495 and is indicative of Sherwood’s longtime philosophy of foregoing frills in order to keep its pricing competitive. When I received the P-965, I found it well packaged inside a box within a box. When I removed the box, I noted that the unit was standard in size at 17-and-three-eighths by seven-and-three-quarters inches by 17-and-three-quarters inches deep and weighed a respectable 26 pounds. The front panel was attractively finished in aluminum, with two large knobs that ...
Wednesday, 01 February 2006 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Linn Kisto System Controller
Introduction The proliferation of home theaters has been the driving force and market growth area for the audio industry for the last decade or so and has inspired the design of some really great gear for home theater components. As AV manufacturers gained more practical knowledge on how their products are used, the integration of audio and video control has gotten much better and far simpler to use. In the case of the preamp/processor, never has it been more critical that this component in your rig pull everything else together. It used to be that you wouldn’t dare run a video signal to anything other than your display for fear that it would be adulterated by the less than awe-inspiring video section of older preamps/processors. And if your audio requirements are for CD, DVD-Audio or SACD, are you always sure that the set-up for each format is correct? It’s not always obvious or straightforward. Audio ...
Sunday, 01 January 2006 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Outlaw Audio Model 970 AV Preamplifier/Processor
Introduction Comedian Dane Cook recently said, “More than sex, every man would rather be part of a heist.” While many of us will opt not to knock off our local Wells Fargo, we do still take a little pleasure in sticking it to the Man. Well, the folks over at Outlaw Audio wouldn’t want it any other way. For years, the men and women at Outlaw Audio have been designing and manufacturing world class home theater electronics and offering them direct to the consumer at low prices by selling them exclusively through their website. Don’t let the “Internet business” moniker fool you; they’ve earned countless awards, as well as a very loyal following from budget-minded consumers worldwide. Even though their products may cost less than the competition, don’t call them “budget” when it comes to performance. Now, with the release of their new 970 7.1 Pre/Processor and 7075 multi-channel amp, Outlaw is poised and ...
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