equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
iFi Micro iUSB 3.0 & Gemini USB Cable Reviews
Marantz M-CR611 Network CD Receiver Review
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Monday, 01 December 2003 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Kenwood Sovereign Entré Entertainment Hub and DV-5900M DVD Player
Introduction The Kenwood Sovereign Entré entertainment hub and Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M DVD-Audio Mega Changer combination is a high-tech source component system that bridges the gap between home theater and computer audio. While the changer can be used without the Entre’ hub, it really excels when the two are used together. The $1,400 DV-5900M is a feature-laden Mega-changer that need not make any excuses about quality. When the DV-5900M is connected to the $1,500 Entre hub, the already above-average graphical interface becomes remarkably advanced. DV-5900M DVD Changer The DV-5900M DVD-Audio changer has a huge array of features, quality and ease of use. This changer is relatively large in size, measuring approximately 17 inches in width, eight inches in height and 21 inches deep, weighing 23 pounds. It facilitates 403 CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs and/or DVD-Audio discs, including MP3-encoded CDs. Just about the only type of discs it won’t play are SACDs. The changer holds the discs in ...
Saturday, 01 November 2003 ,  Written by Augie Bettencourt
V Inc. Bravo D1 DVD Player
Introduction Not long ago, in my infinite quest to squeeze the most out of the DVD format, I purchased a Home Theater Personal Computer (HTPC). I was lured into purchasing the HTPC by the promise of video nirvana with the ability to scale DVDs to resolutions that were previously limited to the most expensive video scalers. The problem with the HTPC was that by the time I was done turning on all my audio equipment and projector, and waited for the HTPC to cycle on and then configured my DVD set-up menu, I was ready to call it a night. I just wanted to watch “Apollo 13,” not re-enact its launch sequence. Not only was the HTPC cumbersome and difficult to use, but at $1,500 it wasn’t cheap. Needless to say, I’m over my HTPC phase now. Recently, a company by the name of V Inc introduced a $199 DVD player called the Bravo ...
Wednesday, 01 October 2003 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Linn Classik Movie Di
Introduction The Linn Classik Movie Di is the latest all-in-one movie system from Linn and the big brother to their compelling Classik Movie System. The Classik Di is essentially Linn’s high-end option for a home theater-in-a-box. Like the Classik Movie, the Di is an all-in-one entertainment solution, complete with CD playback, AM/FM tuner, multi-channel DVD, and multi-room distributed audio, for a price of $4,900. During my recent trips to the large electronics retailers, I have noticed more and more “Home Theater In a Box” systems crowding the shelves. These systems typically feature a 5.1 subwoofer/satellite system, packaged with a surround receiver containing a built-in DVD player. The difference between the majority of those systems and the Linn CMS Di is the emphasis Linn puts on sound quality. The Di sets itself apart from garden-variety electronics by providing time-tested audiophile sound in a physically tiny, aesthetically pleasing package. The CMS Di, at $4,900 in black or $4,950 in ...
Monday, 01 September 2003 ,  Written by Ben Shyman
Lexicon RT-10 Universal Disc Player
Introduction Consumer acceptance of DVD-Audio and SACD has been slow despite the undisputed and enormous improvement in sound quality. While there is no doubt that the bitter format war between these two high-resolution formats is to blame, making matters worse is the apparent inability of the record companies to agree on a non-proprietary digital connection standard. This not only puts an additional, unwanted layer of digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversion in the signal path, but it creates further problems as well. Audio enthusiasts looking to add both these competing high-resolution formats to their systems have been limited by their home theater processors, which at best contain only one set of analog 5.1 inputs (Lexicon’s MC-8 is an exception). Initially, this forced consumers to make a near-impossible choice. After all, many of my favorite bands have released their music on one format or the other, but not both. Recently, however, a handful of manufacturers have designed hybrid players ...
Thursday, 01 May 2003 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Meridian 598 DVD-A/V Player
Introduction There are few companies that are as synonymous with excellence in digital design as Meridian Audio, and perhaps no other company has etched its corporate fingerprint into the future of high-performance digital music and movies more deeply than Meridian. Powered by the vision of company founder and technical leader Bob Stuart, Meridian has pioneered MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing), the universally accepted technology used for DVD-Audio highest-performance audio playback. Even before the advent of MLP technology, Meridian has been creating innovative products, including digital speakers and modular components that actually live up to the company’s promises of future upgrades. The Meridian 598 is a single-chassis player that will read many different discs, including both DVD-Audio and DVD-Video discs, plus CDs that are dedicated to DTS surround sound music, standard 16-bit CDs and more. The 598 is Meridian’s answer to consumer demand for a more affordable version of their critically acclaimed reference transport player, the Meridian 800. The ...
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