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Categories in section: Home Theater Preamplifiers
AV Preamps (48) Stereo Preamps (37)

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Sunday, 01 July 2001 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Conrad Johnson Premier 17 LS Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction Many audio/video enthusiasts find themselves in a position where their desire for the ultimate A/V system exceeds their actual budget, finding themselves perhaps an inheritance or two short of the money to actually purchase their "perfect system." For those of us in this category, we must carefully build our ultimate systems one piece at a time. There has long been debate as to which product is best suited to build your system around. If you don’t have a good power amplifier, you likely can’t build your system around the speakers, as your dream speakers might need more and better power. I don’t think anyone would dispute the validity of building your system around your source equipment, such as a CD player, but with imminent change to the digital format (DVD-Audio, SACD), this might not be your best option right now. What the next digital format will be is anybody’s guess. In my opinion, ...
Thursday, 01 February 2001 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
B&K Reference 30 AV Preamplifier
Introduction The B&K Reference 30 ($2,800) is the replacement to the Reference 20 reviewed on AudioRevolution.com in 2000. The Reference 30 incorporates the features of the Reference 20 and expands upon them, this article will focus mainly on the differences between the two units. Features new to the Reference 30 include THX and THX EX processing, 5.1 inputs, 7.1 outputs, 96k/24bit A/D and D/A converters and processing, selectable subwoofer crossover frequency and slope, room equalization and last but not least, a IEEE 1394 port. The IEEE 1394 port will need a controller upgrade to become operational and I expect that soon after the IEEE 1394 standards are implemented B&K will provide the upgrade. The Asaho-Kasei 192 kHz 24 bit ADC’s and DAC’s share the same pin format with their 192 kHz 24 bit counterparts allowing for an easy upgrade path after the new 192 kHz 24 bit standards are implemented. Setting up the Reference 30 ...
Wednesday, 01 November 2000 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
B&K Components PT-3 AV Preamplifier
Introduction The $598 B&K PT-3 is the latest pre-amp/tuner from B&K. The PT-3 is a full-featured line level remote controlled pre-amp and tuner. The AM/FM tuner has 40 preset memories that recall not only the station but can also recall volume and tone control settings. The pre-amp features six inputs, a tape loop, tone controls, a 12-volt trigger and IR relay capabilities. The six presets can be custom-labeled to match your sources. The remote that comes with the PT-3 is well thought out and does not appear to be an off-the-shelf model, but rather one developed by B&K. The Music I utilized the PT-3 in my reference music system, which at this time consists of Martin Logan Scenarios, a Sunfire Subwoofer Jr., a Pioneer Elite PDR-19RW and a B&K ST1400II (125wpc), connected with Audio Analysis cabling. In addition to listening to the PT-3 at home, I brought it with me to my office to see how well ...
Sunday, 01 October 2000 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Conrad Johnson Sonographe SC26 Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction As I received the Sonographe SC26 preamplifier for review, I admittedly looked upon this assignment with great uncertainty, knowing little what to expect. Like many of you, I respect for the creator and parent of the Sonegraphe SC26, Conrad Johnson. Few intimately familiar with fine electronics are unaware of the success and respect that CJ has amassed, with better than 20 years of experience in creating fine electronics. One of Conrad Johnson’s latest, the highly touted ART preamplifier, is considered by many to be the finest preamplifier ever made, priced as such at a crisp $15,000. However, Conrad Johnson has long been known for their tube amplifier and preamplifier products and although they have produced solid-state electronics, they are much better known for tube products such as the Premier Series amps and preamps. Unpacked and ready for hook-up, the Sonographe SC26 looked much like many of the Conrad Johnson pieces with which you may ...
Thursday, 01 June 2000 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
Sunfire Theater Grand Processor II
Introduction It’s fairly common practice for manufacturers to re-issue an existing model with additional features. However, it doesn’t always make for an interesting or more enlightened review. Fortunately, there are exceptions, such as Sunfire’s Theater Grand II. Perhaps what is most extraordinary about this upgrade is that the driving force behind the new version was Sunfire’s determination to extend the sonic performance well beyond that of the first-generation product. This is evidenced in the increased dynamic range and reduced noise floor that was a direct result of revisions made to the internal circuitry and board design. Dolby Digital and DTS encoders, along with basic DSP modes, are essential elements to the $3,295 TG II, though it is two analog features that distinguishes this processor from the pack. The inclusion of an AM/FM tuner with 40 presets and a phono preamp is a rare find these days on high-end digital preamps. Moving forward technologically is fine, but ...
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