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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Merrill Audio THOR Mono Block Amplifiers Review
Plinius Hautonga Integrated Amplifier Review
KEF R700 Loudspeaker Review
Marantz SA-14S1 SACD Player & DSD DAC Review
Genesis G7c Loudspeakers
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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 Nobody wants to lay down large green for a digital playback system that becomes outdated before the new smell has worn off.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 ...
Saturday, 01 February 2003 ,  Written by Augie Bettencourt
MartinLogan Aeon Loudspeakers
Introduction I can still remember my first experience with electrostatic speakers many years ago, along with the intrigue they created. Since that time, electrostatic speakers have evolved, solidifying their strengths and addressing their weaknesses. As a MartinLogan customer, I was specifically curious as to how the much smaller and lower-priced Aeons would compare to both my personal Prodigies and to other comparably-priced speakers in the same category. Since my first listening experience with these speakers more than 10 years ago, MartinLogan has risen to become the most popular electrostatic speaker manufacturer, having earned a reputation for building some of the best-sounding speakers in the world. The MartinLogan Aeons are floor-standing hybrid electrostatic loudspeakers that can either be used as your main loudspeakers or as surround speakers in a complete MartinLogan theater setup. The Aeons have a reported frequency response of 43 Hz – 22,000 kHz, a sensitivity rating of 89 dB and a four-ohm impedance rating. The Aeons stand ...
Wednesday, 01 January 2003 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Mark Levinson No. 436 Monaural Power Amplifier
Introduction When purchasing automobiles, you are presented with a selection that varies from simple low-cost transportation merely designed to supply the most basic features and a means from point A to point B, to vehicles that are the very essence of performance and artistic expression. When purchasing audio/video products, you have an equally enchanting array of choices, designed to fit every budget and performance desire. The Mark Levinson No436 is a product designed for the audio/video enthusiast who demands nothing short of the highest performance that money can buy. Madrigal is no stranger to this level of performance with lines that include Revel and Proceed and are no stranger to me, as I own and use Revel Salon loudspeakers and the Mark Levinson No32 line-stage preamplifier in my reference system. The No436 is a rack-mountable 350-watt Class AB monaural power amplifier that measures 15.5 inches in width, 20.5 inches in depth and nearly a 4 RU ...
Wednesday, 01 January 2003 ,  Written by Thomas Garcia
Monitor Audio Silver S Full Metal Theater Loudspeaker System
Introduction When considering all the components of any home theater system, very few factors can affect the final outcome as much as the selection of loudspeakers. It is amazing how comparably-priced speakers from different manufacturers, which are competently designed, and have similar technologies, can sound very different from one another. This is why the auditioning of loudspeakers is such an important, and sometimes challenging process. Although recommendations can be a great starting point, it is very important for you to listen and make decisions based upon your own preferences and personal requirements. In addition, when it comes to assembling a balanced, effective and enjoyable home theater speaker system, there's a lot to be said for a consistent design among all the speakers. Although many music enthusiasts have augmented two-channel systems by selecting potentially excellent center and surround speakers from various manufacturers while creating a home theater sound system, the end result is often less than satisfying. A ...
Friday, 01 November 2002 ,  Written by Richard Elen
Marantz DV-12S1 DVD-A/V Player
Introduction In the moderately recent days when Marantz was owned by Philips, the company released two high-end players that were intended to be direct equivalents of one anotherr: one was a Super-Audio CD player (SACD), and the other, the DV-12S1, was a DVD player capable not only of DVD-Video playback, but also replay of the latest high-resolution DVD-Audio (DVD-Audio) discs. With the Marantz equipment of this period, the higher the quality of the unit, the lower the model number, and the DV-12S1 is as low as the numbers get. The first thing you notice about the DV-12S1 is how heavy it is. The unit is big and solid, and has a large footprint – it’s nearly 16 inches deep and weighs 29 pounds. The unit itself has curved corners, in keeping with much of the Marantz gear, and elegantly complements their other equipment. The build quality overall is excellent. The rear panel includes an S-video output, ...
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