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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Eastern Electric Mini Max Supreme DAC Review
DH Labs Mirage USB Cable Review
SOtM sHP-100 Headphone Amplifier & DSD DAC Review
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
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Wednesday, 01 December 2010 ,  Written by Augie Bettencourt
Cerwin-Vega XLS-215 Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review
Cerwin-Vega was founded in 1954 by Gene Czerwinski, then a young aerospace engineer. Why start a loudspeaker company? First and foremost a music fan, Gene’s goal was to reproduce the live musical experience. His design philosophy was based on high-efficiency drivers, durability, and “value for money products.”  For over 50 years, the name Cerwin-Vega has been synonymous with excellence in every area of the audio experience, and has built a reputation in the pro audio, car audio and home theater world of building high-performance, high- value speakers.   Cerwin-Vega offers several different speaker lines across a broad price spectrum and the XLS Series is one of their best, replacing the older CLS Series with improved performance and specifications.  With a moniker of “The LOUD Speaker Company,” Cerwin-Vega’s design goal is providing everything you need for a live concert or cinema experience ...
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 ...
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