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Friday, 01 March 2002 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Microsoft Xbox
Introduction With a few exceptions, playing video games on a console has always been a more enjoyable experience than on a home computer. In the '80s, the simplicity of popping a game cartridge into an Atari 2600 or Intellivision and blasting aliens on the family television set hooked millions of Gen-Xers on technology. Personal computers soon found their way into homes around the world and computer games soon followed, but something just wasn’t right with them. The controllers were sub par, often requiring the player to control the onscreen action with a keyboard via the arrow keys. The computer speakers were all horrible, the monitors were too small and the systems would often lock up. When I heard that Microsoft was going to be putting out a Windows-based video game system called the Xbox, visions of the blue error screen of death (For all you Mac and Linux users, this is what you get ...
Monday, 01 October 2001 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
McIntosh MC602 Stereo Power Amplifier
Introduction Pride of ownership. That was the first thought that came to mind as I unboxed the first of the three McIntosh Laboratories MC602 power amplifiers. This massive amplifier, at $8,000 is not McIntosh’s most expensive amp, but it is the most powerful in this manufacturer’s long history. The MC602 is a solid-state stereo amplifier rated at 600 watts per channel. This large amplifier weighs 155 pounds and measures 17.75 inches wide, 11 inches high and 19.6 inches deep. The front panel is dominated by two large, lighted blue meters, which are flanked by sturdy handles. Below the meters is an illuminated McIntosh logo and two knobs. The left knob controls the meters, and can be set to normal operation where the meter displays the current output in watts for that channel. The left knob also has a hold position in which the meter pauses to display peak output and a lights-off position. The right ...
Saturday, 01 September 2001 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Marantz SR-19EX Receiver
Introduction As more big-budget, blockbuster and effects-laden movies are being released in new formats such as DTS ES 6.1 and 7.1 , the choices expand in new receivers that take advantage of these exciting formats. Separate components allow the flexibility to get the best performance and the ability to change a single aspect of your system to take advantage of the latest technology without replacing your entire rig. However, most of us aren’t in the financial position to have "Best of Breed" gear and must remain financially realistic when it comes to spending our hard-earned deneros. And, let’s face it, not all people like to search for the perfect component to highlight the rest of a system. Some folks want a centerpiece that has a good reputation for reliability, performance, versatility and, if possible, upgradeability. One serious contender in this area that commands consideration is the Marantz SR-19EX AV receiver ($2,299.95). At seven-and-one-half-inches wide, 18 inches ...
Sunday, 01 July 2001 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
MartinLogan Ascent and Theater Loudspeakers
Introduction The MartinLogan Ascent ($4,195 per pair) and Theater ($2,595) loudspeakers are part of the latest lineup from veteran electrostatic speaker manufacturer MartinLogan. The Ascent replaces the older SL3 in the MartinLogan product line and incorporates trickle-down technology found on the ungodly expensive $70,000 per pair MartinLogan Statement E2 and the more sensible $11,000 per pair MartinLogan Prodigy speakers. The Theater is MartinLogan’s top-of-the-line center channel speaker. The Theater is the replacement for the Logos center channel and accompanies the Cinema to complete MartinLogan’s center channel speaker lineup. The Ascent shares the new aesthetic design of the Prodigy speakers. The ESL portion of the speaker is detached from the woofer and slightly forward from the cabinet. There is also a small red led light visible through the bottom of the panel’s grille. The bottom border of the grille features a small, attractive stylized silver M. Other than the above, the Ascent is aesthetically similar to past MartinLogan ...
Sunday, 01 July 2001 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Monitor Audio Gold Reference 5.1 Theater System
Introduction Monitor Audio has had a presence in the development and manufacture of high-quality speakers since 1972. Monitor has also been an early pioneer in metal driver technology that started some 16 years ago. Other notable speaker manufacturers have recently migrated to metal driver configurations, for good reason. The benefits of using metal are pretty significant, including the ability to control speaker driver distortion. The new Gold Reference Series utilizes the latest advancements from Monitor Audio in metal driver technology. The Details The speakers involved in the Monitor Audio 5.1 system I received are the Gold Reference GR 20. I used these for the main channels. The Gold Reference GR 20 is a floor-standing loudspeaker system ($2,995 a pair). Each speaker sits 37.5 inches tall, is eight-and-seven-eighths inches wide and 12.5 inches deep. They weigh 44 pounds each. The GR 20 is second from the top in the Gold Series and benefits from many of the advanced technologies ...
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