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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Carot One Titta Earbuds Review
In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
RHA MA750i In Ear Headphones Review
Thiel TM3 Loudspeaker Review
Reviewed: MusicScope Analysis Software by Xivero
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Sunday, 01 June 2003 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Mark Levinson No. 40 AV Preamplifier
Introduction Since the glory days of high-end audio in the late 1970s, the Mark Levinson brand has been associated with the world’s finest and most expensive preamps. Back in the day, the Mark Levinson brand was established on stereo preamps like the Mark Levinson JC1, which cost easily three times more than its closest competitor and yet sold like hotcakes. In today’s market, Harman International’s Madrigal, the parent company of the Mark Levinson brand, resisted releasing a high-end AV preamp to the market until years after other competitors had launched their products. Until now, Madrigal AV preamps were pretty much limited to the Proceed AVP, which was a very effective component but didn’t have the all-out high-end approach of a Mark Levinson product. Today there is the Mark Levinson No. 40, which is a $30,000, dual-chassis AV preamp with a no-compromises design approach that takes the best Madrigal knows about stereo preamps, DACs, video switching ...
Thursday, 01 May 2003 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Meridian 598 DVD-A/V Player
Introduction There are few companies that are as synonymous with excellence in digital design as Meridian Audio, and perhaps no other company has etched its corporate fingerprint into the future of high-performance digital music and movies more deeply than Meridian. Powered by the vision of company founder and technical leader Bob Stuart, Meridian has pioneered MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing), the universally accepted technology used for DVD-Audio highest-performance audio playback. Even before the advent of MLP technology, Meridian has been creating innovative products, including digital speakers and modular components that actually live up to the company’s promises of future upgrades. The Meridian 598 is a single-chassis player that will read many different discs, including both DVD-Audio and DVD-Video discs, plus CDs that are dedicated to DTS surround sound music, standard 16-bit CDs and more. The 598 is Meridian’s answer to consumer demand for a more affordable version of their critically acclaimed reference transport player, the Meridian 800. The ...
Thursday, 01 May 2003 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Meridian 598 DVD-A/V Player
Introduction There are few companies that are as synonymous with excellence in digital design as Meridian Audio, and perhaps no other company has etched its corporate fingerprint into the future of high-performance digital music and movies more deeply than Meridian. Powered by the vision of company founder and technical leader Bob Stuart, Meridian has pioneered MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing), the universally accepted technology used for DVD-Audio highest-performance audio playback. Even before the advent of MLP technology, Meridian has been creating innovative products, including digital speakers and modular components that actually live up to the company’s promises of future upgrades. The Meridian 598 is a single-chassis player that will read many different discs, including both DVD-Audio and DVD-Video discs, plus CDs that are dedicated to DTS surround sound music, standard 16-bit CDs and more. The 598 is Meridian’s answer to consumer demand for a more affordable version of their critically acclaimed reference transport player, the Meridian 800. The ...
Thursday, 01 May 2003 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Morel Nova 5.1 Home Theater System
Introduction At $999, the Nova 5.1 speaker system is the entry-level micro system from Morel, Israel’s leading loudspeaker company. The satellites in this system are tiny metallic half-spheres that can be mounted anywhere a softball would fit. For less than a thousand bucks (USD), you get five satellites that can fit into the smallest of spaces, and a powered 10-inch subwoofer. While this is becoming more and more common, it is still rare to find speakers in this size and price class that don’t sound like an AM radio broadcast coming out of a drugstore clock-radio. In the U.S., the Morel name is not as widely known as it is in Europe, where it has a considerable and heralded reputation. Morel was founded over 25 years ago in Israel’s southern region and has been a leading provider of OEM speaker components in Europe since that time. In the U.S., Morel offers a variety of different ...
Saturday, 01 March 2003 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Mark Levinson No. 390S CD Processor
Introduction Many music enthusiasts have placed their digital playback purchase plans on hold indefinitely, awaiting the end of the seemingly never-ending digital format wars that have plagued this industry for far too long. Nobody wants to lay down large green for a digital playback system that becomes outdated before the new smell has worn off. While all this is being played out by the mainstream Asian electronics conglomerates, companies like Madrigal continue to produce CD players at the highest conceivable level. What will be the next digital format is anyone’s guess, yet one constant remains – the desire to milk absolutely everything you can from your existing compact disc collection. Let’s face it, regardless of what the future holds, you will be listening to the bulk of your existing disc collection for eternity. CD playback technology continues to advance, making the best of yesteryear sound lethargic and dull by comparison. An example of an advanced design ...
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