equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Bryston BIT-15 Isolation Transformer & Surge Protector Review
Carot One Titta Earbuds Review
In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
RHA MA750i In Ear Headphones Review
Thiel TM3 Loudspeaker Review
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Wednesday, 04 November 2009 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
This Tuesday, the second Blu-Con conference was held in Beverly Hills, California.  Blu-Con is entirely dedicated to the topic of Blu-ray and its potential future within the movie, hardware, software, gaming and retail industries.   We jumped at the chance to attend, especially with all the underlying conversations about digital delivery versus Blu-ray adoption.  We were very interested in hearing how the current state of the economy had altered the adoption rate of Blu-ray and what the industry experts expected to see in the coming months / years.The conference kicked off with an opening from the DEG (Digitial Entertainment Group) president about what he expected to see this holiday season; namely $99 Blu-ray players and a higher attach rate of Blu-ray disc purchases.  There are currently 12 million U.S. homes with Blu-ray players and title sales have already risen about 83% ...
Tuesday, 30 June 2009 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
Bang & Olufsen 103-inch Plasma Preview
Last month, we visited the Aston Martin dealership in Beverly Hills to get a peek at the Bang & Olufsen 103” Plasma high definition television.  They had to schedule the demonstration in a car dealership due to the impressive weight.  The massive behemoth of a HDT V weighs 584 pounds (TV only) and over 1200 pounds if the motorized stand is included.  It requires five movers to deliver and install the television, only if the house’s foundation & structure passes muster from a qualified house inspector.  It’s no wonder that they needed the flooring support capable of handling the various Aston Martin vehicles in the immediate area. The viewing area was framed by a couple BeoLab 5 speakers on the sides and rear of the room.  As we sat down for the demonstration, the TV went in the opposite direction; ...
Wednesday, 25 February 2009 ,  Written by Robert Mead
Bowers & Wilkins 803S Loudspeakers
The name “B&W” brings many positive thoughts to audiophiles around the world, and with good reason. This high-end speaker manufacturer, owned by John Bowers and Roy Wilkins, has been a prime catalyst for developing major upgrades to every loudspeaker unit that they ever produced, starting with their first commercial loudspeaker, the P1, which they began manufacturing in 1966. Many years later, they developed the very awe-inspiring Signature 800 series of loudspeakers that featured the very innovative Diamond Dome tweeters, which most people only could gasp at when they saw this amazing-looking futuristic tweeter design at CES 2001. The startling “tweeter on top” found in the Signature 800 series, effectively gets rid of the problem of bouncing sound that is found in a speaker system when you put a loudspeaker’s tweeter in the conventional box cabinet that most loudspeaker’s manufacturers still ...
Friday, 01 August 2008 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Benchmark DAC1 PRE D/A Converter - Preamplifier
Introduction While most AV enthusiasts at the very high end of the market strive to achieve the best audiophile grade surround sound system, many of us still hold to the merits of two-channel audio for its breadth of content, ease of install, overall simplicity and pure sound.  Personally, my sources have evolved from LPs to CDs to the now-defunct DVD-Audio and SACD discs to the current full-resolution, uncompressed AIFF files stored on an Apple Mac Pro’s internal terabyte hard drive.  Thanks to the commercial death of the higher-resolution audiophile formats, I find myself more and more drawn to files on my computer for my dedicated theater and my audiophile system, as well as for my network devices.  This said, I am still an audiophile and the urge to make these CD quality files sound better is in my blood.  Enter the ...
Saturday, 01 March 2008 ,  Written by Jim Swantko
Boston Acoustics Horizon Speaker System
Introduction Boston Acoustics was founded in 1979 and over the years has grown into a true powerhouse in home, mobile aftermarket and OEM audio systems. My history with the brand dates back over 20 years ago, when I purchased a pair of their Pro 5.2 separates and Pro 12.0 subwoofer for my car. Mobile audio was where my interest in the audio hobby began – and Boston Acoustics played a big part in what made it so much fun. The speaker system I was asked to review was Boston’s budget-conscious Horizon surround sound system. When I unpacked the main speakers, the HS 450s, my first thought was, “When did Boston start making electrostatic speakers?” These speakers are dead ringers for panels. When viewed from the side, they have a leaned-back graceful arc from top to bottom and stand about three-and-a-half feet ...
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