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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Reviewed: MusicScope Analysis Software by Xivero
Fluance XL7F Loudspeakers Review
Luminous Audio Axiom II Passive Preamp Review
Denon PMA-50 Integrated Amplifier Review
CLONES Audio 25iR Integrated Amplifier Review
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Thursday, 26 March 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Denon PMA-50 Integrated Amplifier Review
Denon, the longstanding electronics firm now owned by D&M, produces products for virtually every market. They also have prided themselves on staying ahead of the curve with new technologies, designing products stuffed with features at too-good-to-be-true prices.Recently, I reviewed (and loved) the wonderful Denon HEOS distributed audio system, which was like a Sonos on steroids, and very affordable. The Denon AV Receivers are also superb, as are their line of high-end hifi components. This includes turntables, DACs, and network players. Last year I had the Denon DA-300USB DSD DAC in, and came away very impressed. Denon has again responded to the market with an affordable, multi faceted integrated amplifier. Packed with features, the new $599 PMA-50 is basically a one-box solution, and is virtually future proof. The PMA-50's amplifier section incorporates DDFA technology from CSR. Its Class D amplifier is ...
Friday, 13 February 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Denon HEOS System Review
Distributed audio has been around for a while now. Companies like Sonos and others have taken advantage of the advances in wireless technologies and music streaming services to offer unprecedented access to digital libraries. The market is developing rapidly and manufacturers are in race to provide the very best in functionality, ease of use, and reliability. The Denon HEOS system is a scalable, expandable, and affordable distributed audio system for just about every conceivable domestic set up.The HEOS line up is comprehensive, with three speakers, an amplifier, a link, and an optional Wi-Fi extender.The three speakers vary in shape and size. The $599 HEOS 7 is the largest speaker, with two tweeters, two midrange drivers, and one bass driver powered by five Class D amplifiers. Two passive radiators to supplement bass. The $399 HEOS 5 has two tweeters, two midrange ...
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
DH Labs Mirage USB Cable Review
DH Labs -- run by Darren Hovsepian, hence the initials -- makes excellent analog cables, including interconnects, speaker wire, and power cords. They also make top-notch digital cables. I know this because I own and use every flavor of their digital wire, AES/EBU, TosLink, Coaxial, BNC, and USB as references. I consider them to be tremendous values and stellar performers. I often recommend them to friends looking for digital cables who don’t want to spend a fortune.One admission, though: the cable I use the least is the USB cable. That is because my digital sources, a Simaudio MiND 180D streamer, outputs AES/EBU, and the Simaudio Neo 380D DAC includes the MiND module, which precludes use of a digital cable. USB has not been a big part of my digital landscape.But that has changed a bit. I have a desktop set ...
Friday, 12 September 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Denon AVR-X3100W Home Theater Receiver Review
Last month while reviewing the amazingly priced Denon AVR-S700W, I wondered how Denon could offer significant performance improvements without a significant increase in cost. Well, here comes the AVR-X3100W. The 700 was was part of Denon’s entry level line, and the 3100 is the top of its mid-level InCommand line. The AVR-X3100W offers 105 watts per channel, 7.2 channel capability, which allows for dual subwoofer use, and several eyebrow raising features. Like the AVR-S700W, the 3100 aims to serve as a complete home entertainment hub with basically no stone unturned, only with a few more goodies, power, and advanced options like the impressive Audyssey Gold DSP suite, which incorporates MultEQ XT, Dynamic EQ, Dynamic Volume, and Audyssey DSX. Then we have a host of HDMI inputs, a front panel iPod/USB input, Bluetooth, Wifi, Ethernet, AirPlay, online music services such as ...
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Denon AVR-S700W& Envaya Bluetooth Speaker Reviews
D&M Holdings has been on a tear recently. The company that owns Denon has been flooding the market with products chock full of cutting edge features, and priced at amazingly reasonable price points. They must be keeping their engineers pretty busy as it seems they are keeping one step ahead of most of the competition. And, with economies of scale, their ability to innovate is certainly impressive. I recently reviewed the DHT-S514 soundbar, which I really liked, and the fabulous DA-300USB DSD DAC and headphone amp. I found both products well made and engineered. The DA-300USB came in very handy as a reviewing tool, with its high resolution, universal format decoding, and great ergonomics. These days, we have seen the market shift to a demand for products that can become the center of a domestic entertainment system. Fast changing technologies, ...
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