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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Carot One Titta Earbuds Review
In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
RHA MA750i In Ear Headphones Review
Thiel TM3 Loudspeaker Review
Reviewed: MusicScope Analysis Software by Xivero
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AV Preamps (48) Stereo Preamps (40)

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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 ...
Saturday, 01 April 2000 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Balanced Audio Technology VK-40 Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction One of the best complements one can pay to Balanced Audio Technology is that in a world where two channel manufacturers are going out of business like never before, BAT is thriving with a product line filled with high value and high performance tube and solid state electronics. The BAT VK-40 is a $4000 audio preamplifier designed for the serious enthusiast. It is a completely balanced design that features a full function remote, an alphanumeric front panel readout and an advance 140-increment Vichay volume control. The BAT VK-40 is incredibly easy to set up and its back panel is very logical. I simply directed the balanced output from my Mark Levinson No. 36s DAC into the VK-40 and ran the balanced main outs to a Mark Levinson No. 333 power amp. The VK-40 is outfitted with three balanced inputs and two unbalanced inputs as well as two balanced outputs that can be modified to ...
Wednesday, 01 March 2000 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
B&K Components Reference 20 AV Preamplifier/Processor
Introduction The $2,500 B&K Reference 20 is the latest and greatest in B&K's line of Dolby Digital, DTS Surround Processors. Keeping with tradition, this unit is built with the future in mind and allows for easy upgrades due to its modular design. This means that if and when a new surround format is announced, you should be able to easily upgrade the Reference 20 to accommodate it. The Reference 20 is designed to handle switching and surround sound processing for your entire system. In addition to acting as a preamp/processor, it also has a built-in tuner. Other features include two-zone capability, seven inputs, RS232 port, IR and 12-volt control capabilities, as well as a learning remote. Setting everything up was fairly easy, thanks to a clear and complete owner's manual. I was even able to make custom labels for the various inputs, so instead of the display saying "V2," it reads "Laser" -- a very handy ...
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