equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
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
Simaudio 760A Power Amplifier Review
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Friday, 01 February 2002 ,  Written by Tim Hart
B&K AVR307 Receiver
Introduction I’m a purist when it comes to all things audio. Being a purist, I prefer the simplest approach to creating music, meaning the least amount of circuitry in the chain from source to loudspeaker. Until the big wave of home theater came along, it was fairly easy to keep the focus on producing high-resolution music playback in my system, ever searching for that one component that would put me closer to musical truth. I’ve had to revise my philosophy on playback ever since I became enamored with home theater, as the hardware required to pull off the magic has to work through other components to be able to utilize all of the media we love to manipulate. Since home theater is so compelling, it wasn’t too hard for me to make the transition from audio geek to home theater dude. But I still have issues with how some products handle the all-important data. ...
Thursday, 01 November 2001 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Bowers & Wilkins DM303 Loudspeakers
Introduction When selecting a speaker for your music or home entertainment system, there are so many critical variables to consider including size, aesthetics, price and, lastly but surely not least, performance. Some buyers make their decisions based on looks alone, others select based on performance somewhere near their target price range. Due to the fact that many (or at least spouses of many) prefer not to have their speakers as a visual centerpiece in their living rooms, small speakers are dominant in the AV retail environment. Some hardcore AV enthusiasts are scared away from smaller speakers by their perception bigger is better. There is no denying that bigger speakers can provide more bass and in many cases more dynamics, yet there are advantages to smaller speakers, as smaller cabinets are less expensive to produce. Therefore, the manufacturers can afford to use better materials and or better cabinet bracing. Smaller cabinets tend to interact less and ...
Monday, 01 October 2001 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Bowers & Wilkins CM4 Loudspeakers
Introduction The CM4 ($1,500) is the top-of-the-line speaker in B&W’s new moderately-priced CM line. The CM line consists of three speakers: the stand-mounted CM2, the CMC center channel and the floor-standing CM4 reviewed here. The CM4 speaker weighs in at 40 pounds and is fairly compact at 35.8 inches high, 7.8 inches wide and 11.5 inches deep. The CM4 has a very compact, clean and modern appearance. The well-executed cabinet comes with a real wood veneer of either maple or rosenut. The review samples were a light maple. Upon first glance, it is immediately evident that the design team paid attention to aesthetics. The speaker starts out as a tall, narrow, well-finished maple box with a simple black cloth grille. Once the grille is removed, things get exciting. Beneath the grille is an aluminum baffle with three drivers. The tweeter is on top. Directly beneath the tweeter is the telltale yellow Kevlar midrange with a ...
Wednesday, 01 August 2001 ,  Written by Richard Elen
In case you haven’t noticed, the high-quality audio disc marketplace is in the middle of a format war, reminiscent of the days of VHS vs. Betamax. But unlike that combat, when the clearly superior technology lost to more powerful marketing and the undeniable power of porn, this time it is much less clear which technology is superior, and even less easy to guess who will win. But while the war goes on, we consumers are the losers. Several years ago, there was talk about the need for a new, high-quality audio disc (HQAD) format that would overcome the limitations of the CD. An obvious physical basis for the format is the Digital Versatile Disc – DVD – which has the high-density storage capability required to get super-quality audio on a disc with a respectable playing time, along the same lines as ...
Thursday, 01 February 2001 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
B&K Reference 30 AV Preamplifier
Introduction The B&K Reference 30 ($2,800) is the replacement to the Reference 20 reviewed on in 2000. The Reference 30 incorporates the features of the Reference 20 and expands upon them, this article will focus mainly on the differences between the two units. Features new to the Reference 30 include THX and THX EX processing, 5.1 inputs, 7.1 outputs, 96k/24bit A/D and D/A converters and processing, selectable subwoofer crossover frequency and slope, room equalization and last but not least, a IEEE 1394 port. The IEEE 1394 port will need a controller upgrade to become operational and I expect that soon after the IEEE 1394 standards are implemented B&K will provide the upgrade. The Asaho-Kasei 192 kHz 24 bit ADC’s and DAC’s share the same pin format with their 192 kHz 24 bit counterparts allowing for an easy upgrade path after the new 192 kHz 24 bit standards are implemented. Setting up the Reference 30 ...
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