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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
Denon AVR-X3100W Home Theater Receiver Review
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive Review
Denon AVR-S700W& Envaya Bluetooth Speaker Reviews
CLONES Audio 25p Power Amplifier Review
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Tuesday, 02 November 2010 ,  Written by Michael Palmer
McIntosh C50 Stereo Preamp Preview
The sound gurus at McIntosh have announced two brand new Stereo Control Centers.  The more expensive C50 is a replacement for the C46 preamplifier and is designed to mate with the McIntosh MC452 for maximum performance (and to make beautiful sound babies), but will work seamlessly with any McIntosh amplifier.The C50 from McIntosh is set to offer more flexibility and performance capabilities than any previous McIntosh Control Centers.  It seems most stereo preamplifiers are designed to work primarily with analog music sources, which of course the C50 will do in spades, but it also plans to enhance contemporary digital sources as well, including tuners, CD players, music servers, and USB storage devices.For flexibility, the C50 may be combined with multi-channel audio systems by using the Pass Through feature, which allows the stereo system to be selectively folded into a home ...
Tuesday, 02 November 2010 ,  Written by Michael Palmer
MartinLogan Descent i Subwoofer Preview
While some may say that adding a subwoofer to an electrostatic full-range speaker system is blasphemy (or at least created smeared and disconnected midrange tones), but MartinLogan is here to prove you wrong with its flagship subwoofer, the Descent I, which features the company's proprietary TriLinear, Balanced Force driver configuration and advanced triple-servo monitoring and control system.Weighing a substantial 105 lbs, the Descent i Subwoofer from MartinLogan has three amplifiers which peak out a system total 2100W, though with the three amps at a much lower 250W each, the total harmonic distortion (THD) is already at 0.24%.  These three amps feed into three identical drivers -- high-performance 10" aluminum cones -- which are mounted precisely 120 degrees apart from each other.  The idea here is that their individual reaction force vectors will exactly cancel, all but eliminating cabinet resonance and ...
Monday, 01 November 2010 ,  Written by Michael Palmer
Marantz CD5004 CD Player Preview
Aimed at Audiophiles who like their CD players simple, well made, single tray, and optionally rack mountable, Marantz has announced the CD5004 CD Player.  The CD5004 plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs and will play CD-DA (PCM) alongside MP3 and WMA formatted files at 42, 44.1, and 48kHz sampling frequencies.  Though this is not a networkable machine, the CD5004 does have the ability to read metadata on MP3s and WMA files as well as text-data encoded CDs.Marantz's CD5004 has a very impressive 0.002% THD (total harmonic distortion) rating thanks to its "SACD-quality" digital to analog converter, though sadly the machine does not support that format.  This means you won't find distortion due to resistor matching errors, performance drift over time and temperature, or excessive clock jitter (aka time-domain irregularities).The CD5004 also features HDAM-SA2, the company's proprietary Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Modules which ...
Monday, 01 November 2010 ,  Written by Michael Palmer
McIntosh MCD1100 SACD Disc Player Preview
Audiophiles, gather round and take out your wallets.  The premium sound gurus from McIntosh have announced the MCD1100 SACD Disc Player, which is engineered to deliver extended functionality and maximum musical fidelity from CD, CD-R, CD-RW, SCACD, Hybrid SACD, MP3, and WMA stereo music discs.  And, it doesn't require a separate preamplifier to deliver warm, rich and emotionally engaging sound from today's many digital music sources.  The MCD1100 can be added to any existing system or used as a standalone component with a set of high quality headphonesThis is what McIntosh President Charlie Randall had to say about the MCD1100: "In creating McIntosh source components, our designers and engineers have always strived to deliver all the emotional content in recorded music. For the first time, we now offer superlative McIntosh performance for not only a compact disc library, but any ...
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Manley Neo-Classic SE/PP 300B Monoblock Amplifier Review
In the past year I have become a big fan of gear produced by Manley Labs, out of Chino, CA. I have reviewed the Neo-Classic 300B Preamplifier, the MAHI® EL84-based monoblocks, and the Snapper® 6CA7-based monoblock amplifiers. Each component was off the charts impressive in sound quality, build detail, value, and overall user experience. Prior to first hand experience, I had only heard about Manley's reputation of building great components, excellent customer service and support, and overall buyer satisfaction. It all turned out to be true. I also have become a big believer in Manley's no-nonsense, light hearted attitude, evident in their manuals and on their website.I now have the opportunity to evaluate the Neo-Classic SE/PP 300B tubed monoblock amplifiers, rated at 11W per channel in Single Ended mode and 24W per channel in Push-Pull mode. It has been a ...
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