equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
iFi Micro iUSB 3.0 & Gemini USB Cable Reviews
Marantz M-CR611 Network CD Receiver Review
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Saturday, 01 June 2002 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Myryad Z110 CD Player and Z140 Integrated Amplifier
Introduction The Z110 CD Player and Z140 Integrated Amplifier are part of the new Z-Series, the latest line from the venerable British electronics company, Myryad. The Z-Series is designed to be an affordable performance product in aesthetically pleasing clothes. Both the Z110 CD Player ($849) and the Z140 Integrated Amplifier ($895) feature attractive silver faceplates that feature a slim profile measuring 17 inches wide by three inches tall. A horizontal accent line bisects the front panels of both units. The front panel of the Z140 is dominated by a black conical volume control knob in the center of the panel. The metal knob features a finger-sized indentation for ease of use. The left side of the panel features the Myryad logo. Along the center line, there a small black standby button and an indicator light that glows red for standby and green when powered up. To the right of the volume control, also along the center line, ...
Saturday, 01 June 2002 ,  Written by Richard Elen
Morel Applause Home Theater Speaker System
Introduction Israel-based Morel offers a wide range of truly unique speakers for stereo and surround operation. Each system is built from a combination of common magnetically-shielded modules. The company offers several subwoofers, powered and otherwise, and three styles of compact satellite speakers, with either separate or coaxial LF and HF drivers. These can be mounted on a horizontal or vertical surface or on special monopole stands. At a recommended U.S. retail price of $2,399, the Applause system is at the top of the Morel line, with the similarly-priced Supra. It includes four identical SoundSpot SA-2 satellites, with separate tweeter and 100-millimeter diameter low/mid-driver in spherical mild steel enclosures. Each satellite weighs a little over 2.5 pounds. These feature a novel "external voice coil," or EVC design, which uses a magnet with a shaped pole piece that fits inside the aluminum voice coil rather than around it, allowing for a beefier coil and apparently a smaller driver for ...
Monday, 01 April 2002 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Madrigal MPD-1 HD-ILA Video Projector
Introduction One of the most exciting sectors in the audio-video marketplace right now is the realm of the new fixed-pixel digital projectors, powered by technologies such as DLP and D-ILA. For years, analog CRT projectors have ruled supreme for video enthusiasts, but the size, cost and constant need for maintenance made it hard to say "yes" to the devices. The new fixed-pixel projectors use chip(s) and very bright lamps to create a video picture that is exponentially brighter than a CRT by means of a physical projector that is a fraction the size and weight of the old models. The added convenience has made large-scale front-projection video possible for more and more people who are now building real home theaters into their homes. Madrigal Imaging's MPD-1 video projector is a $26,000 projector based on the D-ILA technology created by JVC. In fact, the MPD-1 is a modified projector from JVC with both cosmetic and performance enhancements. ...
Monday, 01 April 2002 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Mark Levinson No. 32 Reference Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction When Mark Levinson announced they would be introducing a $16,000 preamp ($18,500 with the phono section) there was a group of long time loyalists who scurried to authorized dealers to put down deposits while other audiophiles and music enthusiasts simply shook their heads in amazement. $16,000 is a lot of money for a preamp even for the first “Reference” preamp from Mark Levinson. I’d be lying to say I wasn’t just a bit curious as to what Madrigal could do if cost was no object and with the No. 32 clearly cost isn’t the concern – performance is. With time and dramatic changes to my music system, the need (OK you can call it a lust) for a reference preamp became evident. I arranged for a review sample and then the fun began. After unpacking, careful inspection revealed a beautifully designed and assembled product. The No. 32 looks great with its twenty first ...
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 ...
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