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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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Friday, 22 October 2010 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Cary MS-1 Digital Music Server/Player Review
A few years ago I asked my woodworking brother to build a cabinet to house my collection of compact discs. The result was a striking, wall-sized unit replete with gorgeous wood grain and a welcome addition to an otherwise drab basement. Here I could store more than one thousand discs, catalog them alphabetically by artist for easy retrieval and show off my collection for anyone who cared to investigate. But as the months went on and more CDs came into possession, the once-hulking shelf drew full to capacity and stacks of discs began to “decorate” various rooms in my house. I again struggled to keep my music organized and accessible. There had to be a better way. Always a latecomer to technology, I stayed away from computer-related audio and things such as digital music servers until 2009. I was content ...
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Channel Islands Audio VDA-2 DAC Review
Channel Islands Audio (CIA), has been around for a number of years producing high value, versatile audio components and accessories. Their Class D switching amplifiers have gotten rave reviews for their small footprint, efficiency, and sound quality. CIA also makes passive preamps, power filters, and upgrades to other manufactures products, like the Logitech Squeezebox and Wadia iTransport (and Squeezebox Duet) power supplies, which by all accounts, dramatically improve the performance of both. CIA also makes a DAC with the same design principles as many of their other products, simplicity, excellent build quality, and all made in the U.S.A. Dusty Vawter, head honcho at CIA, has a long history in high end audio, and is very customer oriented. CIA sells its products both direct from the factory, and through Music Direct, the well known audiophile e-tailer. The VDA-2, which sells for ...
Thursday, 07 January 2010 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
Another CES Press Day has come and gone.  Filled with press conferences from all the major CE manufacturers, the video side of the business was in full swing.  The huge push for all the companies seems to be in 3D technology.  LG, Toshiba, Panasonic, Sony and Samsung are all betting that the typical CE consumer is going to latch onto 3D tech as easily as HDTV caught on.  Each company is pursuing this effort with different partners.  For instance, Samsung brought out Jeffrey Katzenberg (the Head of Dreamworks) and Frederic Rose (the head of Technicolor) in matching 3D glasses to announce their partnerships.  Panasonic is partnering with DirecTV and Sony is dealing with ESPN.  The major players are betting that consumers will be willing to sit at home and put on 3D glasses to watch content.  They also believe that ...
Thursday, 17 September 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
“We really needed good control over the sound, and we got that with digital, but we lost the sound. We don't have the sound anymore, unfortunately, it's gone.”     Neil Young, 1993, from MTV's “Week In Rock” 1993“The Compact Disc was a good idea.”     Sony Music SACD insertBack in the early 1980s, a star was born. The compact disc arose from various engineering labs as the much-touted successor to the venerable LP. Praised for its “perfect sound” and progression beyond the noisiness of records, compact discs soon became the audio format of choice. In a few short years, hundreds of thousands of the little plastic discs were being produced, as the CD raced ahead and analog records fell behind. All was well – seemingly – but there were a few analog holdouts who screamed “digititis!” This new format is ...
Thursday, 17 September 2009 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
Wandering around the show room floor at the 20th Anniversary 2009 CEDIA Expo offers a daunting experience, as turning your head 180 degrees will likely reveal no less than two new flat-panel televisions, a psychedelic set of speakers, and a super-secret enclosure available only for the elite (or, more like the patient).  New technology is spilling from the seams in brightly-light, ultra-colorful displays aiming to grab your attention in any way possible.  Underneath the glitz and glamour behind brand-spanking new electronics from major and minor labels alike, however, this expo also showcases many items that are just about to hit the market.  It is, after all, an event largely constructed to entice dealers with new retail “stuff” to offer consumers.  Let’s take a look at some of the enticing (and eyebrow-raising) flat-panel displays and Blu-ray players found on the CEDIA ...
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