equipment reviews
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, 01 September 2003 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Meridian 568.2 Digital Surround Processor
Introduction There’s no more important nor complicated component in your A/V system than that of the surround-sound preamp. It is the controls, processor and distribution center of your entire music and movie playback system. A high-performance A/V preamp can make your system sound like an audiophile’s most racy dream while controlling the increasingly complex sources of your system with ease. A poor sounding AV preamp, and they are out there on the market, can make music sound like cats scratching on an aluminum door. A poorly thought-out AV preamp will leave you wishing you had the inputs needed to allow you to keep up with the latest in AV technology like DVD-Audio, SACD, HDTV, component video switching and beyond. Meridian Audio is renowned for manufacturing audio/video components that perform at the very highest levels, competing directly with the likes of Mark Levinson, Krell, Lexicon, Theta and others that aspire to make the finest AV gear on ...
Monday, 01 September 2003 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
MartinLogan Odyssey Loudspeakers
Introduction The MartinLogan Odyssey is a moderately large hybrid electrostatic loudspeaker, joining the company’s lineup between the much-respected Ascent i and Prodigy speakers. The $6,495 Odyssey features MartinLogan’s latest generation stat panel and leverage's the proprietary ForceForward™ dual woofers that originated in the Prodigies. The Odyssey is a large speaker at 67 inches tall, 13 inches wide and 27 inches deep, weighing 105 pounds. The driver array consists of the same 48-inch electrostatic line source panel as in the Ascent “i”. The woofer section is vastly different from the Ascent and much closer to the Prodigy. The Odyssey utilizes one 10-inch and one eight-inch driver, configured in the ForceForward™ design. The Odyssey’s appearance follows the theme of other speakers in the MartinLogan line, with a wood-trimmed electrostatic panel above the black finished woofer cabinet. Like many of the speakers in the line, various wood finishes are available to fit your room decor. The one new visual ...
Friday, 01 August 2003 ,  Written by Augie Bettencourt
Marantz VP-12S2 DLP Video Projector
Introduction A large part of the experience of watching a movie at your local theater is derived from viewing film-quality images on a very big screen. Otherwise, nearly everyone would merely wait for the film to be released on video and watch it at home on their trusty 27-inch television sets at home. The audio portions of home theater systems have steadily improved over the last 10 years, and many of us now own audio equipment with the latest Dolby and DTS technology that rival (if not surpass) the sound of many commercial theaters. Yet affordable video projection has lagged somewhat behind until just recently. CRT (cathode ray tube) projectors have been around for years and can project film-like images with wonderful lush colors and excellent contrast, but can cost upwards of $50,000. Luckily for those of us without a 1/2 share of a NetJet, digital video projectors are making significant inroads into the high-end ...
Sunday, 01 June 2003 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Mark Levinson No. 40 AV Preamplifier
Introduction Since the glory days of high-end audio in the late 1970s, the Mark Levinson brand has been associated with the world’s finest and most expensive preamps. Back in the day, the Mark Levinson brand was established on stereo preamps like the Mark Levinson JC1, which cost easily three times more than its closest competitor and yet sold like hotcakes. In today’s market, Harman International’s Madrigal, the parent company of the Mark Levinson brand, resisted releasing a high-end AV preamp to the market until years after other competitors had launched their products. Until now, Madrigal AV preamps were pretty much limited to the Proceed AVP, which was a very effective component but didn’t have the all-out high-end approach of a Mark Levinson product. Today there is the Mark Levinson No. 40, which is a $30,000, dual-chassis AV preamp with a no-compromises design approach that takes the best Madrigal knows about stereo preamps, DACs, video switching ...
Thursday, 01 May 2003 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Meridian 598 DVD-A/V Player
Introduction There are few companies that are as synonymous with excellence in digital design as Meridian Audio, and perhaps no other company has etched its corporate fingerprint into the future of high-performance digital music and movies more deeply than Meridian. Powered by the vision of company founder and technical leader Bob Stuart, Meridian has pioneered MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing), the universally accepted technology used for DVD-Audio highest-performance audio playback. Even before the advent of MLP technology, Meridian has been creating innovative products, including digital speakers and modular components that actually live up to the company’s promises of future upgrades. The Meridian 598 is a single-chassis player that will read many different discs, including both DVD-Audio and DVD-Video discs, plus CDs that are dedicated to DTS surround sound music, standard 16-bit CDs and more. The 598 is Meridian’s answer to consumer demand for a more affordable version of their critically acclaimed reference transport player, the Meridian 800. The ...
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