equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Fluance XL7F Loudspeakers Review
Luminous Audio Axiom II Passive Preamp Review
Denon PMA-50 Integrated Amplifier Review
CLONES Audio 25iR Integrated Amplifier Review
Bryston Mini A Loudspeaker Review
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Wednesday, 25 August 2010 ,  Written by Tim Hart
B&W P5 Hi-Fi Headphones Review
Back in my jaded days of audiophilia I can remember clearly discounting the iPod as any serious means by which to listen to music. Sure, they were convenient and sure you could put a lot of songs on them but at what price. I knew the answer as I had heard music ripped to the mp3 format with even more jaded ears and pronounced them unfit. Done, game over. It’s ok for kids but…I have since lightened up quite a bit but I am still not willing to compromise too much on certain things and sound quality is one of them.I finally bowed to the iPod phenomena only because I was given the ability to control the quality of the format I used to store my music. I bought the 160 GB iPod Classic and ripped my CD collection to ...
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Boston Acoustics CS 226 loudspeakers & 10Wi Subwoofer Review
There are certain names in the speaker business that it seems like everyone knows.  Boston Acoustics is one such name. The company has been building speakers since 1979 but hasn't forgotten its two-channel “stereo” roots. But even a dedicated two-channel guy like myself has come to appreciate the home theater experience, so I split the difference for this review and asked Boston Acoustics for a traditional pair of floorstanding loudspeakers along with a subwoofer. I received a pair of BA's CS (Classic Series) 226 floorstanders ($229.99/each) in tandem with the company's 10Wi wireless-ready subwoofer ($499.99) I've found that nearly every loudspeaker benefits from having a bass-focused brother on the floor, and this 2.1 setup was no exception. CS 226 SpecsThe CS 226's are 2-way, rear-ported speakers sporting a pair of 6&1/2-inch woofers and a single 1-inch tweeter. The woofers are ...
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Blu-ray Discs to Showcase Your New Sound System
You've picked out some new speakers, a new receiver, an amp, or even an entirely new sound system.  It's a great feeling, and it's something that you want to share.  If your Blu-ray collection isn't up to snuff, you'll have a hard time doing it.  Comedies and indie flicks are fine to watch, but they're not going to give your system the workout it needs.With that in mind, we've compiled a list of some of the absolute best Blu-ray discs, and the best scenes from each, to use while showing off your new system.  These are not only top quality as far as accurate sound reproduction goes, but they've got those dynamic moments that really make an impression. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 'Revenge of the Fallen' was by no stretch of the imagination a great movie.  It'd even be ...
Wednesday, 14 July 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Bryston BCD-1 CD Player Review
When I reviewed the Bryston BP26 preamplifier and 2BSSt power amplifier last year (link), I was impressed with overall level of performance, build quality and value. I concluded that Bryston had been in business, serving the pro audio and home audiophile markets well since the early 70's for a very good reason. They deliver the goods. They have been, and clearly are still, an engineering driven company.I was offered the chance to evaluate their very well received BCD-1 Redbook CD player. Even though Bryston is a relative new comer to digital playback devices, they quickly are taking the market by storm. Their BDA-1 DAC also has garnered quite a following. Now word has it they are coming to market with something they call a network music player as seen here: Link.I received a brand new unit in with a black ...
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Benchmark DAC1 HDR Converter - Preamplifier Review
Benchmark Media has hit the 25 year mark, and has been an established name in broadcasting, pro audio, and more recently, in the home audiophile market. Audio engineers swear by their reliable, compact, and great sounding gear that works well in a variety of listening environments. Their products have included microphone preamps, DAC's, headphone amplifiers, and many other essential tools used in critical professional applications such as recording and mastering studios.Benchmark is based in Syracuse, New York, and their products are designed and built there.  Benchmark is committed to keeping it that way, unlike some of their competitors, who have gone offshore. They are known for customer service, employee and customer loyalty, as well as solid and fairly priced products. What sometimes gets overlooked is Benchmark's reputation for cutting edge technology.Benchmark DAC1: An EvolutionFor years, Benchmark was essentially a manufactuer ...
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