equipment reviews
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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Thursday, 01 February 2007 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Microsoft Xbox 360 HD DVD Drive
Introduction This past holiday season, as people lined up in droves to try to get their hands on a Blu-ray-equipped Sony Playstation 3 video gaming console, little attention was paid to the fact that Microsoft was rolling out their external HD DVD player drive for the already well-established Xbox 360 system. With a base price of $399 for the 20-gig Xbox 360 and $199 for the add-on external HD DVD drive, Microsoft was able to essentially match Sony stride-for-stride in the high-definition format war for just about the same price, as a 20-gig PS3 costs $499 and the 60-gig PS3 is priced at $599. Both systems’ HD disc players can be operated with the game pads, but Microsoft has chosen to include a full-featured infrared remote with their $199 HD DVD player. The Sony PS3 Blu-ray drive controller will set you back another $25. You get a little more hard drive space and a ...
Thursday, 01 February 2007 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Magnepan Magneplanar MG 3.6 Loudspeakers
Introduction One of the most lauded speakers in the history of audiophilia, the Magneplanar 3.6 might seem like an odd subject of review for a publication that is more focused on cutting-edge 1080p video displays than propping up exotic, mercury-filled speaker cables on the floor on some oddball, sawhorse-like stands. Yet in a world where 1.5 million relatively flat HDTVs get sold every month in this country, it has become time to take a critical look and an even more critical listen to one of the more famous flat speakers ever made, the Magnepan 3.6. And this time, I broke a vinyl copy of Jazz at the Pawnshop over my knee and scratched a CD copy of Steely Dan’s Aja before I started my listening as if to flip the proverbial bird to the audiophile gods before I even started the project. As the Magnepan 3.6 has been reviewed in all of the old-school ...
Monday, 01 January 2007 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Meridian MF1 HD-ILA Video Projector
Introduction In the last year, I took on the costly and often frustrating process of adding on 850 square feet to my relatively small 1,500-square-foot 1959 “post and beam” home in Los Angeles. The process amazingly and unexpectedly included no less than $75,000 in cement to make sure a modest two-story addition wouldn’t come crumbling down if, or should I say when, the Earth starts a-rocking and rolling. The overall design of the addition features a master bedroom and master bath cantilevered over a light-controlled, purpose-built, stadium seating-based theater with a 16x9 screen from Stewart, fabric walls, acoustical treatments from RPG and beyond. While working on the design of my theater with Beverly Hills-based installation and design firm Simply Home Entertainment, I sold off my trusty JVC Professional DLA-HS2U projector, tore out my existing theater in what was always supposed to be my living room and headed toward what I would call the Dark Ages ...
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
MartinLogan Summit Loudspeakers
Introduction MartinLogan, a well-known name in the audio enthusiast community, is undergoing a radical change. The entire line is being revamped. The Summit retails for $10,000 per pair, which is slightly less than its award-winning predecessor, the Prodigy. In staying true to its history, the Summit is a hybrid design with an electrostatic panel mated with a dynamic woofer, but it features a host of new technology and sports a completely new industrial design. Visually, I find the Summit to be the most attractive MartinLogan I have seen to date. It is more reminiscent of the Scenario than the Prodigy it replaces, in that its panels are not surrounded by visually imposing frames. The panels on the Summit are surrounded by frames featuring MartinLogan’s AirFrame technology and made from aerospace-grade aluminum. The panels feature a whole slew of technological and design innovations that have a bunch of catchy names, such as MicroPerf Stator, CLS, Generation 2 ...
Tuesday, 01 August 2006 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Morel Vario On-wall 5.1 Speaker System
Introduction All too often, we as consumers gravitate towards the latest technology and stylistic trends with reckless abandon. One only has to look at flat panel display sales over the past few years in the U.S. to understand. Fortunately for consumers, this often frothing at the mouth attitude helps propel technology further faster, while helping to keep overall costs relatively low. While flat panel displays are no flash in the pan, other facets of the consumer electronics industry, mainly speaker manufacturers, have been forced to play catch-up. Sure, you can stick with your bulky floor standers that take up as much space as a sofa and chair but that’s not sexy. Is it? While in-walls provide an aura of stealth and sophistication to many installations, there are still those out there who rent their homes and/or do not wish to cut holes in the walls, making in-walls less of an option. It’s this simple ...
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