equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
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
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Friday, 26 July 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity M1 CDT Transport Review
British firm Musical Fidelity is a fascinating high-end audio company. They fly in the sky with statement products costing as much a sports car, yet offer a full line of incredible value products that audiophiles of any means can afford. Trickle down? Maybe. But I can tell you from experience that entry-level products like the V-DAC II and the V-Link 192, they offer very little compromise unless compared to the very best. The V series can also be upgraded with external power supplies. The M1 series, one step up, is filled with amazingly versatile products like the M1 CLiC. As a matter of fact, Musical Fidelity has a new line of “V90” series products coming to the market. I can only imagine the company is trying to keep up with the rapidly changing and fiercely competitive entry-level market. This especially ...
Monday, 24 June 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
My Audio Design 1920S Monitors Review
MAD, or My Audio Design, is a British firm making waves with their extensive line of loudspeakers, ranging from mini monitors to large, floor standing, full range models. Offering custom designs and finishes, MAD speakers are quite beautiful. The company has been around since 2005, and their three speaker lines include the 1900, the Grand, and Noble lines. I had seen their ads in British hi-fi magazines for years, and noted various show reports that spoke highly of them, and I found myself eager to review one of their products. It just so happens that Colleen Cardas Imports recently picked up the line for distribution in the States. They also import Italian-made Unison Research electronics and Opera speakers, which have been the subject of several reviews here. They also handle Pure Audio, reference quality gear from New Zealand. Marc Phillips ...
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
With the move to computer and hard drive based digital sources, one would think a format tied to a physical medium would be odd in 2013. But SACD has proved to be remarkably resilient among audiophiles, with a torrent of new titles appearing from such boutique labels and Analogue Productions, Mobile Fidelity, Blue Note, and many more. These are not obscure releases, but many well-known and loved classics in rock, classical, and jazz. There are also many newly recorded SACD releases available, mostly in the classical genre. There is no doubt the format is doing just fine, from this reviewer’s perspective.High-end manufacturers also seem to think so. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, an impressive number of new SACD players were introduced; many equipped with digital inputs as well. The inherent quality of true Direct Stream Digital (DSD) digital has ...
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
MartinLogan Ethos Loudspeakers Review
MartinLogan enjoys a place at the mantle occupied by a relatively small group of state of the art speaker companies enduring the test of time. Nearing its third decade, the Lawrence, Kansas company first impressed critics, audiophiles, and industry professionals at the 1983 Consumer Electronics Show, and now have a devoted following.Gayle Martin Sanders and Ron Logan Sutherland started MartinLogan (the company name a combination of middle names) with a very specific goal in mind: perfect the electrostatic design loudspeaker (ESL). I admit having a particularly soft spot in my heart for electrostatics as I grew up listening to my father’s Quad 57s. The immediacy, and total lack of enclosure colorations have seduced many audiophiles for decades. MartinLogan has released many groundbreaking products since its inception, and has an impressive legacy of previous models. ShoreView Industries, who also owns Paradigm ...
Friday, 03 August 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz NR1403 & NR1603 AV Receivers Review
Aside from being one of the most respected manufacturers of reference-grade hifi components, Marantz is also a big player in the home theater market. They make products at fair price points, for just about every application, with cutting edge features. I reviewed their flagship AV separates, the mighty AV7005 and MM7055 preamp processor/multi channel and power amplifier combination that brought heaps of power, superb sound, networking, flexibility, and impressive looks to the table. Certainly, this $3000 combo is not for everyone, and for those who can’t accommodate these big boys and who don’t need gobs of power, Marantz gladly makes slimline, more modestly priced receivers.Marantz just introduced a number of brand new AV receivers and I have two on hand to evaluate: the NR1403 and NR1603 integrated receivers. The NR1403 retails for $399 and the NR1603 for $649.  At first ...
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