equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
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
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Tuesday, 24 November 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
Linear Tube Audio, formed in 2015, is based out of Washington DC, where they hand builds tube components in their workshop. The firm is headed up by Mark Schneider, a highly experienced product design specialist and engineer. Mark is very well spoken, polite, and is very passionate about his products. I contacted Mark about reviewing some gear and one in particular caught my attention, the MicroZOTL 2.0 tubed headphone amplifier and preamplifier, which sells for $1100.Linear Tube Audio also offers the ZOTL10 and the ZOTL40, both power amplifiers based on ZOTL technology. ZOTL stands for “Zero hysteresis Transformer-Less”, a patented architecture invented by David Berning. Berning enjoys a loyal following and customer base with his ow line of impressive amplifiers that are not for the faint of wallet. They are audio works of art, visually, and state of the art, ...
Monday, 13 April 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Luminous Audio Axiom II Passive Preamp Review
I believe in passive preamps or, maybe more accurately, passive controllers. There is nothing simpler than a device that lets listeners use a power amplifier, with the ability to connect one or multiple sources, and attenuate the volume. I like simplicity. Active preamplifiers may be preferred in some systems, but in the majority of cases they tend to be the weakest link. Even though I worship at the altar of simplicity, designing an excellent passive linestage is far from simple. A poorly designed passive can be downright awful sounding. I have had the good fortune to review a few well-designed units including the Channel Islands Audio PLC-1 MKII, the Tisbury Audio Passive Mini, and the Music First Classic II, among others.There are a number of approaches to building a passive controller, and valid reasons to pursue each topology. Transformers have ...
Thursday, 30 June 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Logitech Squeezebox Touch REVIEW
Logitech has long been known as a maker of spiffy computer peripherals, communication devices, and entertainment products. The company decided they wanted to expand their market beyond computer speakers, mice, keyboards, webcams, and other items into high quality audio products. A few years ago they made a clever acquisition, buying up Slim Devices, a maker of networked, streaming audio players. Their best known product, the Squeezebox, allowed users to access music stored on hard drives attached to computers anywhere in the house, listen to internet radio, and set up multi room systems via Ethernet or WiFi.  I purchased a Squeezebox three years ago on whim, as I had just moved into a new house with freshly installed Cat5 jacks in every room.  I also was a serious live music collector, having downloaded and traded almost 2 TB of live classic ...
Thursday, 10 February 2011 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
Logitech Harmony 700 Remote Review
Controlling out home theater devices can be a tricky business, especially when there are other members of the household that are befuddled or frustrated with our current lineup of remotes peeking out behind couch cushions.  Simplicity is key when keeping your significant other happy, so the Harmony series is certainly a great concept.   We have previously covered both the Harmony 1100 and 1000, touchscreen solutions before the iPad became a giant influence in the home theater space.   But we havn’t taken a look at the more traditional remote style since the Harmony 880, which we really enjoyed testing.  Logitech was nice enough to send over the Harmony 700 for testing.  The 700 doesn’t control as many devices as the Harmony One and doesn’t have the RF capabilities of the 900, but it does offer a couple expanded features over the ...
Wednesday, 15 September 2010 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
LG BD570 Blu-ray Player Review
LG’s home theater equipment has maintained a sturdy name for itself since high-definition has taken prominence, wedging in between the other bigwigs for a share of the market with sturdy performance and often times intriguing design choices. Their Blu-ray players are no exception, offering a stylish flare in their chassis with respectable performance – not to mention a range of affordability scaled between models.  These factors have carried over into LG’s new 5-series of Blu-ray decks, ranging from the network-free 550 model to their higher-end 590 model with a 250 GB storage drive. Here, AVRev got its hands on their BD570, yet the details that highlighted their performance are somewhat muted this time around. Unfortunately, its awkward design implementation, problematic stability, and merely sufficient performance, for both Blu-ray discs and standard-definition DVDs, hamper the fluidity of the BD570’s  wireless networking ...
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