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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, 20 January 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Marantz NA-11S1 Network Audio Player & DAC
Having been fortunate to review over a dozen Marantz components in the past, I now come to expect very good things with every new product announcement. Marantz has recently made a big play in the digital market, being one of the few high profile companies with a full line of SACD, Blu-ray, and CD players. They have also responded to the market by adding digital inputs to virtually all their disc spinners.The Marantz line is very broad, including stellar home theater products, lifestyle products, entry-level HiFi, and luxurious reference level components. Many of these products are conceptualized or designed by long time Marantz employee, Ken Ishiwata. His track record is above reproach, having been the brains behind many of the company’s very best products, and even having limited edition components named after him. Ishiwata is known for constantly striving to ...
Friday, 26 July 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity M1 CDT Transport Review
British firm Musical Fidelity is a fascinating high-end audio company. They fly in the sky with statement products costing as much a sports car, yet offer a full line of incredible value products that audiophiles of any means can afford. Trickle down? Maybe. But I can tell you from experience that entry-level products like the V-DAC II and the V-Link 192, they offer very little compromise unless compared to the very best. The V series can also be upgraded with external power supplies. The M1 series, one step up, is filled with amazingly versatile products like the M1 CLiC. As a matter of fact, Musical Fidelity has a new line of “V90” series products coming to the market. I can only imagine the company is trying to keep up with the rapidly changing and fiercely competitive entry-level market. This especially ...
Monday, 24 June 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
My Audio Design 1920S Monitors Review
MAD, or My Audio Design, is a British firm making waves with their extensive line of loudspeakers, ranging from mini monitors to large, floor standing, full range models. Offering custom designs and finishes, MAD speakers are quite beautiful. The company has been around since 2005, and their three speaker lines include the 1900, the Grand, and Noble lines. I had seen their ads in British hi-fi magazines for years, and noted various show reports that spoke highly of them, and I found myself eager to review one of their products. It just so happens that Colleen Cardas Imports recently picked up the line for distribution in the States. They also import Italian-made Unison Research electronics and Opera speakers, which have been the subject of several reviews here. They also handle Pure Audio, reference quality gear from New Zealand. Marc Phillips ...
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
With the move to computer and hard drive based digital sources, one would think a format tied to a physical medium would be odd in 2013. But SACD has proved to be remarkably resilient among audiophiles, with a torrent of new titles appearing from such boutique labels and Analogue Productions, Mobile Fidelity, Blue Note, and many more. These are not obscure releases, but many well-known and loved classics in rock, classical, and jazz. There are also many newly recorded SACD releases available, mostly in the classical genre. There is no doubt the format is doing just fine, from this reviewer’s perspective.High-end manufacturers also seem to think so. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, an impressive number of new SACD players were introduced; many equipped with digital inputs as well. The inherent quality of true Direct Stream Digital (DSD) digital has ...
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
MartinLogan Ethos Loudspeakers Review
MartinLogan enjoys a place at the mantle occupied by a relatively small group of state of the art speaker companies enduring the test of time. Nearing its third decade, the Lawrence, Kansas company first impressed critics, audiophiles, and industry professionals at the 1983 Consumer Electronics Show, and now have a devoted following.Gayle Martin Sanders and Ron Logan Sutherland started MartinLogan (the company name a combination of middle names) with a very specific goal in mind: perfect the electrostatic design loudspeaker (ESL). I admit having a particularly soft spot in my heart for electrostatics as I grew up listening to my father’s Quad 57s. The immediacy, and total lack of enclosure colorations have seduced many audiophiles for decades. MartinLogan has released many groundbreaking products since its inception, and has an impressive legacy of previous models. ShoreView Industries, who also owns Paradigm ...
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