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Eastern Electric Mini Max Supreme DAC Review
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
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Friday, 01 June 2007 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
McIntosh C220 Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction Ask someone who was into audio in the early days of high end for the names of their favorite high-end audio brands and McIntosh is bound to be mentioned in their first breath. McIntosh has been an icon in the high-end audio world for over 50 years. McIntosh components have long been recognizable by their elegant black glass faceplates, silver trimmed knobs and blue back-lighting. McIntosh’s newest and least expensive preamplifier, the C220, combines the Old World luxury McIntosh is so well known for with modern performance features, all without breaking the bank. The C220 is a full-featured, tube-based stereo preamplifier that retails for a reasonable $3,300. Some may categorize the C220 as a purist design, as it makes no accommodations for multi-channel or home theater integration as most $3,000 preamps do. However, to consider the C220 a simple stereo preamplifier would be to severely underestimate it. As you will see below, the C220 is ...
Sunday, 01 April 2007 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Mark Levinson No. 433 Triple Mono Power Amplifier
Introduction There are few high-end audio brand names that carry with them such universal admiration as Mark Levinson. The mere mention of Mark Levinson components conjures up feelings of quality, luxury and lust that I can only equate with brands at the level of, say, Patek Philippe, the Four Seasons resorts and perhaps even Lexus. Since the late 1970s, Mark Levinson gear has been the subject of many audiophiles’ dreams and has kept consumers and even modest editors wondering how they can spend their tax returns to land such well-crafted audio reproduction gear. When you find out a Mark Levinson amp is coming your way, even if you are a jaded reviewer, you get excited. The Mark Levinson No. 433 is a first for the brand, in that it’s not only a true multi-channel amp, but it is also a long-awaited solution for the company’s customers and dealers who have moved into home theater and ...
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 ...
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