equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
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
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive II Preamplifier Review
SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Filter And tX-USBhub Review
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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 &
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 ...
Saturday, 01 November 2008 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
AppleTV - Take 2
Introduction In all my years of reviewing audio equipment, no product has graced my system that I’ve despised more than the original release of Apple’s AppleTV.  The first incarnation of the wireless media extender/server for Apple users was so fatally flawed that it begged the question, “Why bother?”  I wasn’t alone in my feelings for the AppleTV.  Sales were abysmal (which is uncommon for many upstart Apple products) and consumers either returned them in record numbers or voided their warranties by cracking them open and making them do the things we all hoped they could. Personally, I bought three more and, with the help of some third-party software, managed to make the AppleTV what I wanted it to be with little effort.  Minus the fact that it still didn’t support multi-channel audio, 1080p video or high-definition, all was well.  I didn’t ...
Sunday, 01 June 2008 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Anthem Statement D2 w Room Correction
IntroductionThe most frequently overlooked aspect of a great-sounding audiophile or dedicated home theater system is the room itself. No matter how good your components are, you can’t beat the physics of a badly designed and/or optimized room without a little help. While there are many devices to control reflections such as diffusers and bass traps, in the real world, most of us have our systems installed in multi-use rooms of our homes, like the living room, that are subject to significant wife acceptance factor. We can’t treat all the corners with traps and pad the walls. In fact, our wives would think we needed to live in padded rooms just for making the suggestion. Even in multi-use rooms, getting professional acoustical advice is always the best bet, but the cost, aesthetics and effort often leaves us looking for other, more ...
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