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Monday, 13 December 2010 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Rogue Audio Ares Vacuum Tube Phono Preamplifier Review
In 1981, long-time British rockers The Kinks released an album titled Give The People What They Want, a set of songs that gave them their first bona fide hit in several years, “Destroyer.” Call it timing or prescience, the music resonated and perhaps was what the people did want after all. Predicting such events in the music industry is nearly impossible, but the LP's title is good advice for anyone looking to attract an audience – and ultimately buyers – of his/her wares. Its advice Rogue Audio took to heart when designing the Ares, the company's first vacuum tube phono preamplifier. Rogue president and chief engineer Mark O'Brien related, “It was a real labor of love for me. I had a lot of feedback from vinyl lovers. Ultimately, we wanted to build an all-tube phono stage that had adjustable output, ...
Tuesday, 02 November 2010 ,  Written by Michael Palmer
McIntosh C50 Stereo Preamp Preview
The sound gurus at McIntosh have announced two brand new Stereo Control Centers.  The more expensive C50 is a replacement for the C46 preamplifier and is designed to mate with the McIntosh MC452 for maximum performance (and to make beautiful sound babies), but will work seamlessly with any McIntosh amplifier.The C50 from McIntosh is set to offer more flexibility and performance capabilities than any previous McIntosh Control Centers.  It seems most stereo preamplifiers are designed to work primarily with analog music sources, which of course the C50 will do in spades, but it also plans to enhance contemporary digital sources as well, including tuners, CD players, music servers, and USB storage devices.For flexibility, the C50 may be combined with multi-channel audio systems by using the Pass Through feature, which allows the stereo system to be selectively folded into a home ...
Thursday, 17 June 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz SC-11S1 Control Amplifier / SM-11S1 Power Amplifier Review
Last month, I wrote about the Marantz SA-11S2 SACD player and felt it was another superb component from a company with an excellent track record in audiophile gear.  I was so impressed with the SA-11S2 that I arranged for a review of two more components in the Marantz Reference series.  I had it on good word that the SC-11S1 preamp and the SM-11S1 power amplifier were very special and competed with components positioned much higher in price. I needed to hear them for myself. Marantz shipped review samples of each unit. Needless to say, I was anxoius to set them up and didn't waste any time.The SC-11S1 and the SM-11S1 are both beautifully built and finished in champagne gold; the same finish used on the other components in the Marantz Reference series. To say the build quality is impressive is ...
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Lamm LL2.1 Deluxe Preamplifier Review
Lamm Industries was founded just over 17 years ago. They are currently located in Brooklyn, New York, one of my old stomping grounds. The lead designer and namesake Vladmir Lamm has a legendary, uncompromising vision. Mr. Lamm has quite a reputation as a very technical designer, but also as a music lover. Lamm offers a family of tubed and hybrid preamplifiers and amplifiers that are all well reviewed, and lusted after by audiophiles world wide lucky enough to afford them. Lamm is known for using very expensive parts, creating unique, clean circuit paths, and for dispensing with anything that could possibly interfere with the purity of the signal.As a matter of fact, calling Vladamir Lamm a purist would be entirely accurate. His preamplifiers have no remote controls, fancy faceplates, or any feature that he would deem unnecessary and possibly detrimental ...
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Bryston BP6 Preamplifier and 2B SST Squared Amplifier Review
After having reviewed a series of tube based components from Manley Labs, I looked forward to getting a view from the other end of the spectrum when I took delivery of a solid state preamplifier and power amplifier from Bryston, a Canadian company that has been making pro audio and audiophile equipment for 40 years.  Their longevity is no accident, as they are known for making great sounding, reliable, stylish gear. They also back up their reputation with a 20 year warranty, virtually unheard of in the consumer audio market.Up for review is the Bryston 2B SST Squared, power amplifier, MSRP $2750, and the BP6 preamplifier, MSRP $1995. A volume controlling remote control is optional.  The 2B SST amplifier is rated at 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms, and 180 watts per channel into 4 ohms. Both units arrived ...
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