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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
Denon AVR-X3100W Home Theater Receiver Review
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive Review
Denon AVR-S700W& Envaya Bluetooth Speaker Reviews
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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 ...
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 Review
A few years ago, a brand new product category appeared in high-end audio: the USB to S/PDIF converter. As a matter of fact, the explosive growth of computer audio has spawned multiple new product categories for audiophiles. These include the proliferation of USB DACs, “audiophile” grade USB cables, and high-end playback software.  The idea of using a consumer grade computer coupled with the products above as a source has taken foothold, and manufacturers have found a brand new market.For those starting from scratch, and no other digital sources other than a computer, buying a USB DAC with a single input may make sense. The makers of USB-only DACs have probably maximized the USB input to its maximum potential and there are no additional parts needed to accommodate multiple inputs. However, if one is determined to use a computer as a ...
Friday, 18 May 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity M1 CLiC and M1 PWR Review
Recently, I was very impressed by the Musical Fidelity V-DAC II, and have been eager to hear more products from the venerable British company. The V-DAC II is part of the V Series of entry-level mini components, which is just the first layer of the Musical Fidelity product line, which includes, in ascending order, the M1, M3, M6, and AMS products. At the very top is the must be seen to be believed Titan power amplifier. John Quick -- of Tempo High Fidelity, the hard working importer of Musical Fidelity products -- sent me the M1 CLiC digital and analog "Universal Music Controller” for review.  The analog inputs of the M1 CLiC do not get digitized, by the way. I also received their brand new M1 PWR power amplifier.  The M1 CLiC is a rather fascinating product on paper, ...
Friday, 20 April 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz SA-15S2B Limited Edition SACD Player Review
Last month I reviewed a terrific preamp from a small company, and I mentioned that great products can come from small artisans that build per order. I also mentioned that large, multinational companies can also produce great products, with the power of economies of scale and resources that are very difficult to compete with. Marantz is clearly one of those companies. I have yet to evaluate a recent Marantz product that was not built beautifully, and did not offer excellent value. Everything I have heard off their assembly line offered true high-end sound. The most recent review I did was of the $599 PM6004 Integrated Amplifier.Up for review here is a product I frankly did not except to review, the Marantz SA-152SB Limited Edition SACD player. SACD is a medium whose health is either in great decline, or going strong ...
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz PM6004 Integrated Amplifier Review
Integrated amplifiers are probably more popular than ever before. Today, many companies offer a one box, convenient solution loaded with features and requiring fewer cables / less rack space, which allows for full system control with just one remote. That is not to mention that advances in design have made it possible for audio engineers to produce great sounding, easy to use products at even entry level price points. The engineers at the iconic brand Marantz have done this for many years running, and continue to do that today. There is a bit of a romantic notion of owning a hifi component made by a lone artisan, focused on “hand crafting” products one at a time using proprietary designs produced in low numbers. In the case of electronics, these products are usually featureless by design, in the ...
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