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AV Preamps (48) Stereo Preamps (37)

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Thursday, 01 January 2004 ,  Written by Augie Bettencourt
Krell KCT Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction Krell built its reputation on building big, powerful amplifiers with massive amounts of power reserves, tremendous transient response and bullet-proof build quality. Although the Krell name is best known for its amplifiers, Krell has also built preamplifiers since its beginnings in 1980. The Krell KCT preamplifier is the finest preamplifier Krell has to offer and is the result of the development of Krell’s best amplifier, the Krell Master Reference Amplifier. The question for many well-heeled audio enthusiasts is, does a well-engineered amplifier design translate into equally well-engineered preamplifier design? As I unboxed the Krell KCT preamplifier, the cliché “built like a tank” was the first thought that came to mind. The Krell KCT is a visually striking piece of equipment, with a great sense of industrial design and ergonomics. At $8,500, this preamp is immensely expensive although priced comparably or less than other “statement” preamplifier offerings such as Mark Levinson No. 32 (about $12,000) or ...
Monday, 01 September 2003 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Meridian 568.2 Digital Surround Processor
Introduction There’s no more important nor complicated component in your A/V system than that of the surround-sound preamp. It is the controls, processor and distribution center of your entire music and movie playback system. A high-performance A/V preamp can make your system sound like an audiophile’s most racy dream while controlling the increasingly complex sources of your system with ease. A poor sounding AV preamp, and they are out there on the market, can make music sound like cats scratching on an aluminum door. A poorly thought-out AV preamp will leave you wishing you had the inputs needed to allow you to keep up with the latest in AV technology like DVD-Audio, SACD, HDTV, component video switching and beyond. Meridian Audio is renowned for manufacturing audio/video components that perform at the very highest levels, competing directly with the likes of Mark Levinson, Krell, Lexicon, Theta and others that aspire to make the finest AV gear on ...
Friday, 01 August 2003 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Anthem TLP 1 Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction It was only a short while ago that specialty audio retailers were filled with high-performance two-channel stereo gear and very little (if any) space was devoted to multi-channel surround products. Today is just the opposite, with the overwhelming amount of available new gear encompassing the multi-channel music and movie arena. Even though these new multi-channel setups can play everything from movies to the newest digital music formats, and even your older CD collection, there are still consumers who are disinterested in surround media, looking for a traditionally simple stereo sound system. Anthem Electronics is a company that has long prided itself in delivering value and performance to cost conscience consumers and may have just the ticket for multi-channel holdouts. The TLP 1 Preamplifier is a full-featured, solid state, remote-controlled stereo preamplifier with a host of features, including an AM/FM tuner and tone controls, attributes that are rarely found in stereo preamps. The Anthem TLP 1 ...
Sunday, 01 June 2003 ,  Written by Thomas Garcia
Lexicon MC-12B Music and Cinema Processor
Introduction As a music and home theater enthusiast, I frequently find myself upgrading or modifying my system, either through improvements to the acoustics of the listening environment, or the replacement and/or augmentation of various pieces of equipment. Most of the time, these changes result in small to moderate levels of improvement that are not always monumental, generally more evolutionary rather than revolutionary. But every now and then, a rare piece of equipment crosses my path, making me reevaluate my overall approach to my system configuration and setup. One such recent addition has been the Lexicon MC-12B Music and Cinema Controller. Lexicon, a member of the Harman International conglomerate, has been a highly respected producer of both professional and consumer electronics over the past few decades. The MC-12B represents the current pinnacle achievement in music and cinema controllers offered by Lexicon. The MC-12B’s pedigree can be traced back to the original CP-1, which was in introduced in ...
Sunday, 01 June 2003 ,  Written by Ed Masterson
Linn Klimax Kontrol Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction The Klimax Kontrol preamplifier is the newest in Linn’s series of no-compromise audio products. Included in this series, you will find the Linn CD12 CD player, a product that transcends previously known levels of perfection, as well as the ultra-slick Klimax Twin stereo amplifier, both previously reviewed in Audio Revolution. The Linn Klimax Kontrol is a remote-controlled line-level stereo preamplifier that sells for the major league price of $10,000. The Kontrol measures 2.36 inches in height, 13.78 inches wide, 13.98 inches deep, and weighs 24 pounds. For such a diminutive package, the Kontrol packs a wallop when it comes to features. For I/O, the Kontrol accepts up to five inputs. Input One accepts balanced or single-ended connectors. Inputs Two through Four accept single-ended connections only. The fifth input is available via Linn’s proprietary Knekt connection. Output is available though either single-ended or balanced connections. The Kontrol features a unity gain function that is available on any input ...
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