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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
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
Denon AVR-S700W& Envaya Bluetooth Speaker Reviews
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Categories in section: Home Theater Preamplifiers
AV Preamps (48) Stereo Preamps (37)

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Friday, 01 April 2005 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Anthem AVM 30 AV Preamplifier
Introduction For decades, manufacturers have produced high-end stereo components that deliver music playback so real that you can practically reach out and touch your favorite musician. Although home theatres with multi-channel surround systems have been commonplace since the early 1990s, there have been few options for the ultimate level in multi-channel reproduction. Such systems came at a price that invoked shrieks from even the wealthiest consumers. Many are familiar with the likes of the Mark Levinson No. 40, priced at over $30,000 and the Meridian G68 and Reference 861, at $8,000 and $20,000 respectively, just to mention a few. In the growing group of sub-$5,000 processors, can the Anthem AVM30 bring on the highest level of performance at a fraction of the cost of these mega-processors? One glance at the feature list and the $3,000 price tag tells me the Anthem AVM30 preamp/processor/tuner may well be the brightest contender on the price and performance landscape. This ...
Monday, 01 November 2004 ,  Written by Christopher Zell, Ph.D.
Anthem Statement D1 AV Preamplifier
Introduction There are a variety of corporate philosophies among audio component manufacturers, from the budget end with gobs of features and extras, usually at the expense of sonics, through those with bare bones features and somewhat utilitarian cosmetics, focusing on quality, sound and value. At the extreme opposite end of the spectrum are the manufacturers who design and offer components without cost as a primary concern. Anthem, which is part of Sonic Frontiers International under the Paradigm Corporation, has historically placed itself in an interesting position between these two philosophies. They have earned a reputation for excellent sonics at relatively affordable price points positioned well below the absolute high end. Typically, they have not reduced their feature set in the process and have gone one step further in their new Statement series of electronics. The Statement component line is designed to compete toe-to-toe with anything else on the market, regardless of price. In fact, Anthem welcomes ...
Friday, 01 October 2004 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Sunfire Theater Grand IV AV Preamplifier/Processor
Introduction Technology for home theater preamp/processors and receivers is fairly mature now that the addition of new surround sound formats has settled down somewhat. The risk of buying a preamp/processor that doesn’t have the latest decoding scheme has definitely diminished. At a certain price point, most components have all of the necessary capabilities to handle the different surround sound and high-resolution formats. The surround sound speaker format discussion, i.e., how many channels do we really need, has seemingly run its course. There was a time when DTS-ES and Dolby Digital EX clouded the consumer’s view as to which processing option was best, as well as raising the question of how best to enjoy it. These two options have been around long enough that most savvy consumers understand what they represent. Then another question was which high resolution format was going to be the clear winner: SACD or DVD-Audio? Well, the equipment manufacturers settled that by providing ...
Saturday, 01 May 2004 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Adcom GTP-880 AV Preamplifier
Introduction Value-oriented high end - this is how Adcom has long branded their products and their latest series of home theater separates is no exception. Built to be a perfect match for the recently reviewed Adcom GDV-850 progressive scan DVD-Audio/Video player, Adcom’s new GTP-880 7.1 preamp/tuner is chock full of goodies and very competitively priced at $2,400. Features including multiple 5.1 analog inputs, six assignable digital inputs, “Pure Path” component video switching featuring three inputs and one output via BNC connectors with 100MHz of bandwidth for high-definition sources and Adcom’s proprietary 7.1m2 algorithm, to name just a few. This is a serious piece of AV gear, yet simple enough for almost any user to set up and operate. The GTP-880 has a fit and finish that is as beautiful as the Adcom GDV-850 DVD player. The two are so similar that they might be mistaken for one large component when stacked on top of each ...
Thursday, 01 April 2004 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Meridian 861 Version 4 AV Preamplifier
Introduction A lot of promises are made by high end audio-video companies. The highest performance, the best value, the latest features and best of all products that are “future-proof.” I hate to break it to the industry, but there is no such concept as a future-proof AV component in any category – preamps, speakers, sources, etc. The closest I have found to something future-proof so far is Meridian’s flagship AV preamp, the 861. Now in its fourth version, Meridian’s 861 boasts even more features in its single chassis, including automated room correction and a direct, proprietary digital connection between their DVD-Audio/Video players and the preamp. The Meridian 861 is a vastly powerful AV preamp that can be configured any number of ways. It has balanced outputs, unbalanced inputs, component video cards, digital input cards and a powerfull new DSP card that facilitates Meridian Room Correction in conjunction with the new version 4 Meridian software. The pricing ...
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