equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
iFi Micro iUSB 3.0 & Gemini USB Cable Reviews
Marantz M-CR611 Network CD Receiver Review
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Monday, 01 September 2008 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Neptune Audio NeptuneEQ
Introduction It used to be that if you wanted the best sound out of your system, you started by tuning your room, which usually meant having large, cloth-covered panels along your front, back and side walls and a host of bass traps nestled in the all of the corners. If you were really crazy, you’d turn your attention to the ceiling and floor, creating a listening space that looked anything other than sexy or modern. While there is no faking good room treatments, especially on the first order reflections (in front of and to the left and right of your main speakers, as well as on the ceiling), apart from sneaking a bass trap or two into your room, the trend is increasingly moving toward using room correction software in an AV preamp or receiver to attempt to solve your acoustic ...
Friday, 09 May 2008 ,  Written by
Niveus Media Rainier750HD Media Center PC
The Basics: Niveus Media’s Rainier line of Windows Media Center PCs includes four models, with hard drives ranging from 320 to 750GB. The Rainier750HD is the top-of-the-line model, with Windows Vista Ultimate, a 750GB hard drive, a built-in Blu-ray drive, internal NTSC/ATSC tuners and DVR functionality. The internal tuners allow you to record over-the-air HDTV/SDTV content, as well as SD content from a set-top box. To record premium HD channels, cable users can add the optional $1499 Digital Cable Receiver, which includes two CableCARD and Clear-QAM tuners. The Digital Cable Receiver links to the Rainier via USB. The Rainier750HD has a thorough connection panel, with HDMI, DVI and component video, with BNC-style connectors. Through HDMI and DVI, you can output Blu-ray discs at 1080p/60 or 1080p/24, and the Rainier, which uses Nvidia’s PureVideo HD technology, has earned ISF certification. On the ...
Friday, 09 May 2008 ,  Written by
Niveus Media Denali Limited Edition Media Center PC
The Basics: Niveus Media’s Denali Limited Edition represents the company’s top-of-the-line Media Center PC. Running on Windows Vista Ultimate. This model is designed for a higher-end A/V experience, with upgraded video and audio cards, higher-quality audio components, faster processing and more RAM than the step-down Rainier models. The standard Denali has 1TB of storage (via two 500GB Seagate hard drives) with DVR functionality, and the Limited Edition adds 0.5TB of storage (via two 750GB Seagate hard drives), a Blu-ray drive, and dual NTSC/ATSC tuners to record over-the-air TV content. To access premium HD cable channels, you need to add the $1499 Digital Cable Receiver, which includes two CableCARD and Clear-QAM tuners. The Digital Cable Receiver links to the Denali via USB. The Denali has a thorough connection panel, with HDMI, DVI and component video with BNC-style connectors. Through HDMI and DVI, ...
Thursday, 24 April 2008 ,  Written by
The Basics: NEC is known primarily for its computer monitors and professional displays, but the company is making a renewed push into the higher-end residential TV market. The Multeos M40 was one of its first consumer-oriented 1080p LCDs; the company has since released several new lines, but this product is still available through online channels. The M40 is available in three configurations. The M40-IT is basically a large-screen monitor with IT-type connections. The M40-AV being described here adds HT-friendly connections for the same price, while the step-up M40-AVT model adds internal tuners for an additional cost. The M40-AV is a monitor only, with no speakers; you can purchase speakers separately for $350. The input panel has one of every type, including HDMI, DVI, RGBHV and component video, all of which accept 1080p. It also has an RGBHV output to send the signal ...
Friday, 01 February 2008 ,  Written by Jim Swantko
NuForce Reference 9 V2 Special Edition Mono Power Amplifier
Introduction In all my time as an audio enthusiast, I have never seen anything quite as polarizing as the words “switching amplifier.” In my experience, the overwhelming majority of audiophiles politely (or not so politely) dismiss them as a gimmick used to separate fools from their money. They firmly believe that bulk and heat generation are all indicators, which can be used to predict the competence of an amplifier’s performance. This idea is not as foolish as it may seem, as some of the most highly regarded amplifiers are behemoths, weighing in at over 100 pounds and producing enough heat to require a dedicated air-conditioning system. There is, however, a burgeoning group who are singing the praises of some new switching amplifiers, calling them “giant killers.” But which side is correct? Switching amplification is nothing new; in fact, it’s been around for ...
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