equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
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
Denon AVR-X3100W Home Theater Receiver Review
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AV Preamps (48) Stereo Preamps (37)

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Tuesday, 19 March 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Rein Audio impressed me when I had the opportunity to review their very fine sounding X-DAC last year. The German based company, just a few years old, has since developed a few more products, including a headphone amplifier and a series of high performance cables. They also decided to design, from scratch, a higher end DAC with a few more options at a slightly higher price point. This could be seen as a risky move, since the DAC market is pretty crowded and, needless to say, very competitive. Rein Audio developed the new X3-DAC, priced at $1280, to offer users a higher end experience, with several new features and upgrades over the X-DAC. First, the TosLink, Coaxial, AES/EBU, and USB inputs all handle 192 Khz, 24 bit data, and there is a pretty decent front panel LED display. There is ...
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
I’ve enjoyed reviewing several Rogue products over the last few years. The Brodheadsville, PA based company makes beautifully built, excellent sounding tube preamps, power amps, and integrated amps. They have products that fit the budget of every audiophile, and have a reputation as a customer oriented company. I also especially like the fact that they market their products based on solid engineering, without any false bravado.In for review is the Rogue Ninety Nine tube preamplifier. The Ninety Nine has been in the lineup for a few years now, but I felt it maybe had not gotten as much exposure as some other recent Rogue products. This is the second Rogue preamp I have gotten in for review. Previously, I wrote very positively about the Rogue Audio Perseus Magnum. The Ninety Nine retails for $2595, with a $600 optional phono stage. ...
Friday, 18 May 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity M1 CLiC and M1 PWR Review
Recently, I was very impressed by the Musical Fidelity V-DAC II, and have been eager to hear more products from the venerable British company. The V-DAC II is part of the V Series of entry-level mini components, which is just the first layer of the Musical Fidelity product line, which includes, in ascending order, the M1, M3, M6, and AMS products. At the very top is the must be seen to be believed Titan power amplifier. John Quick -- of Tempo High Fidelity, the hard working importer of Musical Fidelity products -- sent me the M1 CLiC digital and analog "Universal Music Controller” for review.  The analog inputs of the M1 CLiC do not get digitized, by the way. I also received their brand new M1 PWR power amplifier.  The M1 CLiC is a rather fascinating product on paper, ...
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Belles Soloist 3 Preamplifier Review
Audio products emanate from all sorts of places. Many come from big established multi-national companies like Marantz or Harmon International. Some hail from medium sized, independently owned firms. And some even come from small shops run by artisans plying their trade. One such artisan is David Belles, who runs Power Modules Inc. out of Pittsford, NY.Mr. Belles is passionate about his art and avoids trends like the plague. His products are superbly built and made with high quality parts. They clearly are designed with the simplest circuit paths in mind. The Belles product line caters to those who are looking for no compromise, high-powered amplifiers in the Statement series, and entry-level audiophiles in the Soloist series. I reviewed the Belles Soloist 1 integrated amplifier last year.I’ve decided to review the Soloist 3 stereo preamplifier, since I have had one in ...
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 ...
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