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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 ...
Thursday, 08 December 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity V-DAC II Review
Legendary British HiFi firm, Musical Fidelity, has been at it for about 25 years now. They have been widely praised for decades for their amplifiers, hybrid tube designs, and digital source components. Musical Fidelity’s head honcho, Antony Michaelson, is very well respected as a designer, engineer, and is even a professional musician. It's fair to say that many Musical Fidelity products set new standards of performance and value.Musical Fidelity has produced products at a wide range of price points, but they have always been known for value. In the last few years, they have produced entry-level products that are well designed, extremely affordable, and by all accounts, perform beautifully. The current crop of products in this category includes the second generation V Series. There is the 24/96 V-Link II USB converter (also available with 192 Khz capability), the V-LPS II ...
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz NA7004 Network Player Review
20 years ago source components could be divided into three categories: turntables, tape machines, and digital disc players. That was then, this is now. Today, a source component may have no moving parts and require no physical media to operate.  Two of these types include the music server with a built in ripping drive, and the network player with no internal hard drive. The network player allows you to stream files via Ethernet or WiFi from a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device, a computer, or directly from a portable USB hard drive. Some of the well known, cost effective network players include the Logitech Squeezebox and the Sonos system, and they have been around for a while. But network players are going upscale, with offerings from established firms like Linn, Naim, Bryston, and startups like Auralati.  To make it all more ...
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