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AV Preamps (48) Stereo Preamps (35)

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Tuesday, 01 February 2000 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Sonic Frontiers Line 3 Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction The Line 3 from Sonic Frontiers is the flagship of their preamplifier lineup. It’s a two-box system, with a separate power supply enclosure attached via a sizable umbilical cord to the Line Stage Preamplifier unit. Each enclosure measures in at 19 inches wide, 14-1/4 inches deep, and four-and-a-half inches tall, a size consistent with much of the Sonic Frontiers line. The combined weight is approximately 60 pounds. The Line 3 is a fully balanced tube preamplifier, incorporating a fully dual mono design. The Line 3 uses five 6922s and one 6U8A tube per channel, for a total of 12 tubes. There are sufficient input options, including two sets of balanced and four pairs of single-ended inputs. As for output options, there are two pairs of balanced and two sets of single-ended outputs for you to chose from. There are also external loops for tape in and out and a surround processor input which, ...
Monday, 01 November 1999 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Proceed AVP AV Preamplifier
Introduction The Proceed AVP is a full function audio/video preamp that combines audio preamplification, digital conversion, broadcast-quality video switching and surround sound decoding into a highly refined high-end gem. Priced at $4,995 (S-Video version), the Proceed AVP comes equipped with DTS, AC3, Pro Logic, THX and numerous other surround fields for both music and video playback. The digital section of the AVP uses Burr Brown 1702 20-bit Multibit DACs for the left and right channels and 1-bit, 24-bit compatible AKM Delta-Sigma DACs for the center, surround, aux and subwoofer channels. A dealer-provided software update will be available in the near future to get your AVP ready for the 24-bit 96 kHz performance. The AVP comes equipped with seven digital and eight analog highly flexible, assignable inputs. A special version of the AVP can be ordered in order to take up to four S-VHS inputs, as well as four composite inputs. A standard AVP comes with six composite ...
Saturday, 01 May 1999 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
Audio Design Associates Cinema Reference AV Preamplifier/Processor
Introduction A home theater’s central nervous system is the digital processor, serving as preamp, digital surround decoder, D-to-A converter (DAC) and switcher. Audio Design Associates (ADA), a company that specializes in custom installation, manufactures a line of high performance components and the Cinema Reference is their most comprehensive and versatile processor to date, incorporating both Dolby Digital and DTS decoders along with THX enhancements. As manufacturers firmly entrench themselves in the DVD revolution, Laserdiscs are already virtually a footnote in A/V history. While the majority of processors require the purchase of additional outboard gear to play Dolby-encoded Laserdiscs, the Cinema Reference actually houses the often-elusive RF Demodulator. Functioning as a sophisticated preamp/switcher, this processor is loaded with a wide assortment of inputs and outputs, insuring future expandability as digital products continue to emerge. High-quality components, superior sonic performance and advanced features tend to drive the price up on processors, and so it is with the Cinema Reference. At ...
Thursday, 01 April 1999 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Balanced Audio Technology VK5i Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction The BAT VK5i is a $4500 all tube, dual mono, fully balanced preamp from high end up-and-comer Balanced Audio Technology. Since Sonic Frontiers ten years ago, there have been very few new tube manufacturers to come along and capture the precious high end market share until BAT. Founded in 1995, BAT is both a tube and solid state electronics manufacturer who has carved a niche between high value and high performance music playback products. The VK5i is a great example of this balance. The VK5i makes few excuses in its operation. It features a full-function remote that is nicely crafted and fully loaded with functions like mute, fade, and volume. The faceplate features a utilitarian look with seemingly military spec switches for both power and mute. The volume knob, which digitaly controls a Vichey pot, is built solidly, but does not feel as high tech as what you'll find on a Mark Levinson, ...
Monday, 01 February 1999 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
Sunfire Theater Grand Processor/AV Preamplifier
Introduction Along with both Dolby Digital and DTS decoders, the Theater Grand from Sunfire is the only high-end digital processor/preamp I've reviewed with a 40 preset AM/FM Tuner and phono stage. When you consider that the Sunfire offers many more features than many heralded (and ultra-expensive) processors, it may surprise you that its price tag is well below the competition at $2,995. Proof that it doesn't require a second mortgage (just a good credit line) to have a terrific sound system. Interfacing Details When it comes to I/O connections, the Theater Grand is extremely well equipped. There is a total of five digital inputs (5 coax, 2 Toslink) and nine analog audio inputs (including the five grouped with composite and S-video connectors). There are two pairs of component inputs and a single set of component outputs. This is smart. If you have both a DVD and a DSS, you'll need a switcher, since most TVs equipped with component ...
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