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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Friday, 23 October 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Olive Opus No4 Music Server Review
Back in 1981 Sammy Hagar had a big radio hit, singing, “There's only one way to rock.” When it comes to setting up a digital music server, however, there's most definitely more than one way. There's hundreds of ways, but most of us want something simple. Digital audiophiles go to great lengths to turn laptops or old towers into music servers, running them through digital-to-analog converters to boost the sound and then using any number of ways to stream the music to an audio system. The drawback of such an approach means that you have an extra computer, and that it always has to be turned on, and so on.  A better solution, in my mind, is to bring all aspects of computer audio together into a single server, player and streamer. And that's just what the Olive Opus 4 ...
Tuesday, 20 October 2009 ,  Written by
Onkyo TX-NR5007 AV Receiver Preview
The TX-NR5007 is the flagship model in Onkyo’s current receiver line, also known as the “Double-0” series.  The features 9.2 channel output allows for customizability in home theater setups.  While a 9.2 speaker setup is possible, it’s more likely than not that user will have a 5.1 or 7.1 setup, in which case the extra channels can be assigned to double up on existing channels, giving more power to the main speakers. The Onkyo 007 handles every high definition audio format currently in use, including Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS-HD High Resolution audio.  The NR5007 features a great deal of options for audio optimization, among them being THX Loudness Plus, MultEQXT and Dynamic Volume from Audyssey and is the first Onkyo receiver to offer Dolby Volume. Three TI Aureus DSP chips are employed to handle audio processing in the THX ...
Thursday, 03 September 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Orb Audio
I was skimming through a recent audio catalog that I receive regularly and was struck by the dichotomy of some of the listed products. There were complete turntables for less than $400, and even at the price touted to re-create music in a way that digital never can. On the digital side, there were CD players also under $400 that drew admiration from certain reviewers as absolute steals, with performance that belied the price tag. For contrast, I noticed some cables that cost upward of $9,000 and wondered who was buying them. I'm guessing that most folks – even those with income to drop nearly 10 large on a set of cables – are bargain hunters. We want value, and aren't afraid to pay for it, as long as the performance backs up the cost. One of the best ways ...
Monday, 20 July 2009 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
Optoma HD806 DLP Projector
After the Optoma HD8000 replaced last year’s HD80, Optoma created the HD806 for a different segment of projector enthusiasts.  While the projector is still being positioned in their home theater line, the HD806 excels in more light output than other projectors in the Optoma line.  According to the specs, the Optoma HD806 has a maximum of 2,000 lumens, but contrast and color saturation are somewhat reduced.  The HD806 is nearly completely white with silver trim for the lens. The lens is mounted on the left side of the projector, which pushes out beyond the sloped front.  The manual zoom correction is inset at the back of lens and the remote control sensor is mounted just to the right of the lens.  The top of the unit displays the control panel including the power, menu, directional and enter buttons.  These buttons ...
Friday, 29 May 2009 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Player Review
Reputation often precedes any compliments that can be dished about OPPO as a company, largely in the realm of world cinema.  Their 970 and 980 lines of DVD players handle just about anything thrown at them, all while upscaling standard-definition discs to impeccable quality.  When word inked into the picture that OPPO would be releasing a “Universal” Blu-ray player, their BDP-83, many a mouth salivated.   However, a few breaks have to be slammed on this parade: region coding issues have locked its Blu-ray capacity to Region A, and its standard-definition player capacity has been relegated to Region 1/0 discs.  OPPO’s BDP-83 has taken strong strides in surmounting these obstacles, decisions mostly dictated by restrictions out of their control.  Instead of trying to finagle malleable technology into their player like the Momitsu multi-region player on the market now, they seeped directly ...
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