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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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Wednesday, 18 November 2009 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Manley Labs MAHI Mono Power Amplifier Review
The first time I got to hear a piece of Manley Labs tube gear was when I reviewed their superb Neo Classic 300B Preamplifier a few months ago. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. Albert Schippits, Manley Labs National Sales Manager, was also sure I would also be interested in reviewing their MAHI® mono block tube amplifiers.Just to recap, Manley Labs, in Chino, CA, has been making pro audio and audiophile gear for several decades, and their leader, EveAnna Manley, has a distinct world view and a lot of common sense, in my opinion. First, she feels that the high end hobby should be fun, and that hifi components should be fun to use and listen to. I could not agree more. Secondly, she believes common sense and minimalism should rule the design. Simple, reliable design, with ...
Thursday, 12 November 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
MartinLogan Dynamo 1000 Subwoofer Preview
The Dynamo 1000 is the largest subwoofer in the Dynamo line, and is especially suited for those with larger viewing rooms.  As the name implies, MartinLogan’s massive sub has a peak output of a full 1,000 watts, double that of the 500 watt RMS.  Designed with efficiency in mind, the Dynamo 1000 uses variable audio tracking power supplies to drive its class AB output stage.  MartinLogan says that this not only provides lower distortion and less noise than a traditional class D amp, but that it delivers a true 500 watts of continuous power. MartinLogan uses what they call an advanced-technology driver in tandem with a 12 inch diaphragm to deliver sound with high clarity and a low amount of distortion.  The cone is a poly material that blends with MartinLogan’s electrostatic panel and Advanced Thin-Film technologies. MartinLogan’s Dynamo 1000 boasts a ...
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Marantz SA8003 Stereo SACD/CD Player Review
Although the compact disc is now 27 years old, Super-Audio CD (SACD) is still a relative youngster, celebrating its 10th birthday this year. Even as sales of redbook CDs have plummeted through the decade and digital downloads have skyrocketed, against the odds – somehow – SACD has clung to life and managed to survive an industry bent on fragmentation and division. The reason is simple: SACD is sonically superior to its redbook sibling, and certainly to any of the lossy (replace first “s” with “u” for more accurate description) digital formats. The discs contain more musical information and can deliver analog-like sound with all the real and perceived benefits of redbook CD. Throw in surround-sound capability and the SACD is a formidable foe in the format war; if it only had the proper support.And as the music industry continues to ...
Friday, 02 October 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Marantz PM8003 Integrated Amplifier Review
It was 1976, I was 9 years old and having my first experience with “high-end” audio gear. My dad had just brought home a stereo system for our living room, including a receiver, cassette deck, turntable and speakers. The heart of it all was a Marantz Model 2235 Receiver. By audiophile standards, the 2235 was modest, but it still carried a hefty price tag of $450 – roughly equivalent to $1,700 in 2009. At 35 watts per channel, the 2235 wasn't going to shake our house, but it was the source of much enjoyable listening in a living room that really became the “entertainment” room. More than anything the receiver just looked cool. I loved how the blue light illuminated the front panel and how you could tune in radio stations with the Gyro Tuning Wheel – the wheel that ...
Monday, 28 September 2009 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Manley Neo-Classic 300B Preamplifier Review
In the high end audio world, tubed Hi-Fi components almost became extinct in the late 70’s, with issues of reliability, neutrality, and the very future of tube production being of major concern. There were a few manufacturers still plugging away, such as Audio Research and Quad, but at the same time some of the iconic producers of tube equipment started bringing solid state products to market.  But early solid state products had many detractors. Harsh sounding transistors in early designs were tough for tube proponents to take.  But low maintenance, well built, excellent sounding transistor designs eventually gained major acceptance.  Yet the “TuboPhile’ kept fighting the good fight. Companies like Conrad Johnson, Audio Research, Cary, and a host of others continued to design tube amplifiers, preamplifiers, and even cd players despite being out of favor. Thankfully, what is old is ...
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