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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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Tuesday, 01 July 2008 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Denon AVP-A1HDCi AV Preamplifier
Introduction The AV world has undergone an unheard-of number of changes in the past few years and, while many companies have been slow to adapt, Denon just released an AV preamp more up-to-date and with more features than ever before imaginable. The new Denon AVP-A1HDCI is described as an “Ultra Reference 12-Channel A/V Home Theater/Multimedia Preamplifier with Network Streaming and Wi-Fi” and that just starts to define what this piece can do. The Denon AVP-A1HDCI is designed to be the hub of an advanced AV system and can easily control two independent home theaters or one with up to three accessory zones. This AV preamp offers any feature you could dream of and has more flexibility than a Cirque de Soleil contortionist. Retailing for an even $7,000, it aspires to be the last AV preamp you’ll ever buy. We started with composite ...
Tuesday, 01 July 2008 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Dynaudio Contour Speaker System (S 1.4, S C, Sub 250)
Introduction Last summer, my wife and I decided to put our condominium on the market and buy a house. As part of the process, we had our realtor walk through the condo and make recommendations for “staging” it to make it more attractive to more buyers. The first thing she asked me to do was to get rid of my large floor-standing towers in the living room and replace them with something smaller. I was mortified, as I really enjoyed having full-sized speakers in my living/theater room. I spoke with Mike Manousselis of Dynaudio shortly thereafter and explained my situation. Mike assured me that he had a system from the Contour series that would fulfill my needs. It was like a scene out of one of those fix ‘em up shows on the DIY Network, but I needed a bigger house ...
Sunday, 01 June 2008 ,  Written by Jim Swantko
Denon AVR-988 AV Receiver
Introduction Before I begin, I must admit that prior to this review, when I last spent any significant time with a receiver as the heart of my audio/video system George W. wasn’t yet in office, although his father was. Yes, it’s been quite a while. Back in the day, all a receiver was expected to do was to pick up a few radio stations, switch a handful of analog two-channel inputs, and amplify them. How hard could that be? Apparently, it was pretty hard, because my memories of receivers are not fond ones. I remember treble best described as painful and bass that was weak and bloated. When I was finally able to afford separates, I did so immediately, forever swearing off the compromises in sound quality I had been forced to make for the convenience and affordability of an all-in-one ...
Tuesday, 01 April 2008 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
DirecTV HR21 HD DVR
Introduction My father is pretty high-tech for a guy in his early sixties. He has an iPhone and can make his Mac laptop jump through hoops, including wirelessly pumping music (and often vintage jingles from his days as a program director at WIBG in Philadelphia in the late 1960s) to his Wilson Audio and Krell-based audiophile system in his living room. His music students at the University of Southern California demand this level of tech savvy, but where he had admittedly fallen behind was with his home theater system. Installed in an odd niche in his house in Scottsdale, Arizona, this system was pretty state of the art in its day, with a big Sony CRT standard-definition television set, a DVD player and a custom installation in a nifty cabinet. However, by 2008 standards, a 40-inch standard-definition tube TV (which ...
Friday, 01 February 2008 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Dish Network Vip722 High-Definition DVR
Introduction Every time I hear about a new high-def DVR from Dish Network, I get excited. “Will this be the one that finally has dual-zone HD output via HDMI?" I ask myself. I have been successfully using Dish Network’s line of non-high-def and high-def dual output DVRs for years. The one feature I have been waiting for is dual HDMI support, so I could run two HDTVs independently and simultaneously. I currently have a mirrored version of the picture on my big screen also going to the smaller kitchen LCD, but ideally I want to be able to have two different high-def shows on simultaneously. Dish Network has been a real innovator in the DVR market for several years, as they were the first company to feature units with multi-room capabilities. This not only saves the consumer on monthly DVR fees, but ...
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