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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Marantz SR7009 Home Theater Receiver Review
Marantz HD-DAC1 DSD DAC & Headphone Amp Review
Audio Art Cable Reviews
Eastern Electric Mini Max Supreme DAC Review
DH Labs Mirage USB Cable Review
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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 ...
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Music Hall MMF-2.2 LE Turntable Review
Last month I stopped into a large retailer with the initials “BB.” I wasn't shopping, per se, but verifying reports that among the rows of compact discs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs were dozens of new LPs. In 2010, who would have guessed that the venerable 33 rpm would enjoy a renaissance that not only includes big-box retail sales but those same establishments offering turntables among the scores of personal media players, flat panel TVs and other home theater accessories. Consumers shocked to see record players back on the shelves would do well to look beyond such stock and discover the numerous options for spinning vinyl that exist outside the strip malls. My discovery came several years ago, when I picked up a couple audio publications. One was a buyer's guide that included recommended components across several price and performance points. ...
Monday, 18 October 2010 ,  Written by Michael Palmer
Marantz AV7005 Networking 7.2 AV Preamp/Processor Preview
The sleek, elegant Marantz AV7005 is a 7.2 channel A/V Preamp/Processor component with six HDMI 1.4a inputs (one on the front), two outputs with Audio Return Channel and 3D support, and balanced XLR outputs for amplifiers and subs.  Though simple at first glance with just two knobs, a drop-down door hides a vacuum fluorescent display along with secondary controls and connectors.And boy does this component have them.  In addition to the six HDMI 1.4a inputs, vinyl-philes will find an MM phono input being protected by current feedback technology along with six other stereo RCA inputs, four RGB component video inputs, four composite video inputs two coax digital audio inputs, as well as two optical digital audio inputs.Added to these are networked and Bluetooth streaming capabilities.  The AV7005 is DNLA 1.5 and Windows 7 compliant for access to your PC's music ...
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