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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
DH Labs Mirage USB Cable Review
SOtM sHP-100 Headphone Amplifier & DSD DAC Review
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
Denon AVR-X3100W Home Theater Receiver Review
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Monday, 14 December 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Marantz SA-KI Pearl SACD/CD Player Review
Being in business – any business - for 30 years is reason enough to celebrate, but when you've enjoyed a long-running position at the top of your field there's even more cause for rejoicing. That's the story behind Marantz's SA-KI Pearl components, a limited-edition run (500 worldwide) of “gifts” from Ken Ishiwata to those in the audio community who have enjoyed his innovative designs during his Marantz tenure. Ishiwata drew on his vast experience to design what can be described truly as a custom SACD/CD player. The SA-KI Pearl SACD/CD Player (“KI” stands for Ken Ishiwata) in many ways is a summation of Ishiwata's artistic philosophy and his goal to offer a component “to reproduce music exactly as the original artist and the recording engineers intended.” Ishiwata is reported to have personally listened to and/or tested each internal part. Considering ...
Thursday, 03 December 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Monster Turbine Pro In-Ear Headphones Review
During my last two years of high school, I would come home from class, put on my Koss headphones, take a seat behind my drum set and play along to music for about an hour. I played loud and needed the music equally so to hear above my own din. After every session I was left with a bit of buzzing in my ears that, fortunately, has yet to cause any permanent damage. But those couple of years spent learning Neil Peart's licks left me with little love for headphones. It seemed more like I was surviving the music rather than enjoying it, and have since never found headphones comfortable or pleasant to listen to. The worst for me have been the “ear-bud” variety that now pervades the market thanks to the astonishing success of Apple's iPod. Most have painful ...
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 ...
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