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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Merrill Audio THOR Mono Block Amplifiers Review
Plinius Hautonga Integrated Amplifier Review
KEF R700 Loudspeaker Review
Marantz SA-14S1 SACD Player & DSD DAC Review
Genesis G7c Loudspeakers
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Wednesday, 26 August 2009 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 Monitor Loudspeakers
Small, two way monitors have traditionally been revered by those who sought precise stereo imaging in smaller rooms, and by those whose listening tastes leaned towards a smaller scale. There was the usual trade off; the lack of any real bass weight and compression at much higher volumes.  Those who worshipped at the alter of classic BBC monitor sound were content with the warm, velvety midrange, at the expense of much musical information in the frequency extremes.Much has changed recently as many speaker designers have overcome the usual shortcomings of mini monitors. Advances in cabinet construction, drivers, and electronics have provided a canvas for some companies to produce smallish two ways that offer the usual strengths, while greatly, if not in some cases, eliminating the weaknesses.There are a few speaker models available that can play plenty loud without strain, offer ...
Tuesday, 07 April 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Allio ATVI-3G4542 LCD HDTV-PC
Silicon Mountain’s Allio sets out to be the realization of a concept tried and tested by a great many companies over the years: a fusion of PC and TV that doesn’t inhibit the abilities of either.  This was tested not only under standard conditions, but as part of a 14 hour long, post-apocalyptic film fest to push the limits of the machine.The Allio is as feature rich as they come.   The specific model under review was the ATVI-3G4542, the high end version of the television.  At 42”, the Allio features a 176 degree viewing angle, a 2000:1 contrast ratio, 1080p support, a 3D Y/C Digital Comb Filter and two 12 watt speakers.  If you don’t have a receiver to manage all your HDMI sources, the lack of connections on the rear of the Allio could be somewhat troublesome.  With only ...
Monday, 02 February 2009 ,  Written by Julianne Stilson
Audio Research Reference 3 Preamplifier
The Basics:Coming from audio equipment designer and manufacturer Audio Research, the Reference 3 Preamplifier is high-end, high-performance equipment whose internal components were designed from the ground up. This new design is characterized by an innovative, unique circuitry that features a tube-regulated power supply and uses four 6H30 twin triode tubes. This means the Reference 3 provides twice the energy storage than older models. As a result, this valve-powered, line-level preamplifier can offer some truly powerful capabilities.Its standout design includes a large, green vacuum-fluorescent display with enhanced functionally that surpasses LED readings in older models. A combination of text, numbers, and graphical scales deliver alerts like channel balance, tube life, volume, and more. In addition, the front panel is laid out cleanly with spring-loaded switches for input selection and volume on either side of the generous display. Below the display is ...
Tuesday, 06 January 2009 ,  Written by Brian Dailey & AVRev.com
Eating better, exercising more and quitting smoking may be the most common New Year's resolutions, but what about some ideas for our home theater and audiophile readers?  Here are some resolutions to increase your knowledge and enjoyment of your home theater and audio systems in 2009.  We would also love to hear what your audio/video related new years resolutions are, so leave us a comment at the end of the article.     Learn About Video Calibration and have your HDTV calibrated When the average consumer walks into a big-box AV retailer, trying to pick out a new set from the wall of HDTV displays can be intimidating.  Determining which set has the best picture in the store can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Not only are the lighting conditions, with bright fluorescent lights, less than optimal, chances are the ...
Monday, 01 December 2008 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Acoustic Zen Adagio Loudspeakers
Introduction Acoustic Zen has long been known within the audiophile community as a manufacturer of premium audio cables.  My local brick and mortar hi-fi store has been touting the virtues of Acoustic Zen’s cables for many years.  At CES, I had a candid, off-the-record conversation with an executive for one of the ultra-high end audio electronics companies who extolled the virtues of Acoustic Zen’s Adagio speakers, a new offering from the cable company.  With trusted industry insiders singing the praises of this relatively small manufacturer, I was anxious to see if the Acoustic Zen Adagios were truly world class speakers. I arranged for a review pair of the Adagio speakers, as well as three Adagio, Jr. speakers for center channel and surround duties.  The Adagio retails for $4,300 and is a medium-sized floor-standing speaker measuring 48 inches tall, 13 inches deep and ...
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