equipment reviews
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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Friday, 24 October 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
It’s no accident Marantz has established itself as the dominant player in sub-$1000 stereo components. The company has a talent for trickling down technology and performance from their reference line on a consistent basis, perhaps due to a well organized design department, or economies of scale. Either way, outside of speakers, the venerable Japanese company has the market cornered. Make no mistake; I would put Marantz’s reference line up against anybody’s, regardless of price. I found their SA-14S1 SACD Player & DSD DAC, SA-11S3 SACD Player & DAC, and NA-11S1 Network Streamer & DSD DAC to be remarkable products. Built to standard that is beyond reproach with exemplary sonics. Packing them up and sending them back to the factory was tough, and they were missed immediately. I have also reviewed several Marantz budget level components as well, including the ...
Thursday, 09 October 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
I’ve reviewed a number of Musical Fidelity products over the course of the last few years. I have dabbled mostly in the entry-level series of products, with reviews of the V-DAC II, the V-Link 192, and the V90 DAC. I also evaluated the M1 CLiC streamer, the M1 Pwr amp , and the M1 CDT transport . All were top performers sonically and offered unusual value. I purchased and still use the V-DAC II and M1 CDT in my systems.The Musical Fidelity line is pretty broad, and I admit to being very curious about their reference-level products, seeing how good their V series components already sound. Musical Fidelity has loyal customers worldwide are known as digital pioneers, while garnering quite a reputation for their integrated amplifiers, among other things. I know folks with fifteen-year-old Musical Fidelity amps still going strong ...
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Merrill Audio THOR Mono Block Amplifiers Review
Merrill Audio has made quite a few waves in the audiophile community. The company is relatively young, but has already garnered excellent reviews for their Veritas monoblock amplifiers. The firm is based in Bernardsville, NJ, and is headed up by Merrill Wettasinghe, who designs the products with a very unique vision. I spent some time with the Veritas mono blocks last year and came away very impressed.  So much so I requested for review the next generation of products when they became available. That product turned out to be the THOR mono block amplifiers, a scaled down and more affordable version of the Veritas, for lack of a better description.The Veritas were powerhouses -- outputting 400 watts per channel into 8 Ohms -- in a bulletproof chassis. They gripped the woofers of my Thiels and exhibited tremendous bass control, top-end ...
Friday, 21 February 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz SA-14S1 SACD Player & DSD DAC Review
As noted in my recent review of the terrific Marantz NA-11S1 network player and DSD DAC, the Japanese company has been on quite a roll with respect to digital source components. The NA-11S1 proved to be a reference class source and, it turns out, one a in a series of new products aimed at allowing Marantz to stay at the cutting edge, with an appeal to audiophiles who want plug-and-play computer and digital audio devices.Marantz continues its push forward with the new $2499 SA-14S1 SACD player, PCM and DSD DAC. Yes, it decodes DSD, one of a handful of SACD players with this capability. Of course, disc players with digital inputs that decode up 192 Khz PCM have now become standard. Consumers have decided they want optical disc players that function as full system digital front ends.Let us get one ...
Monday, 03 February 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity V90 DAC Review
I'm no stranger to Britain's Musical Fidelity, having reviewed a number of their budget minded and mid tier products over the past few years. A few of the items that have come through my systems include the V-DAC II, V-Link 192, M1 CLiC, and the M1 CDT. All offered remarkable sound, even without considering their affordable prices. The V-DAC II and M1 CDT disc transport remain in my systems currently. Musical Fidelity’s founder and principal is known for updating the lines pretty consistently. On the plus side of that, the company seems to add improvements and offer higher levels of performance for slight premiums, and sometimes without price increases. The company also has a reputation for making very well constructed components, with legacy products being enjoyed for decades by long time customers. Musical Fidelity has also shown itself to be ...
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