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Monday, 24 March 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Plinius Hautonga Integrated Amplifier Review
Plinius is a 30-year-old high performance audio company based in New Zealand. They enjoy a stellar reputation, and fiercely loyal fan base, thanks to achievements in industrial design, build, and ergonomics. More importantly, they have long been known for making superb-sounding, reference quality playback gear, including source components and amplification. Plinius has distributors in over forty countries, yet each unit is still hand built in their factory in Christchurch, the second most populous urban area in New Zealand.Several months ago, I had the pleasure of spending some quality time with the Plinius Tiki network file player, and was very much taken with its design, execution, and excellent sound. This overwhelmingly positive experience peaked my interest in the rest of the company’s products. Frank Gazzo, Plinius’s hard working North American representative, suggested their Hautonga integrated amplifier, which sells for $5750.The Hautonga ...
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
PS Audio, out of Boulder, CO, has been a major player in high end audio for decades. Their power distribution/conditioning units and digital source components have been go to products for droves of audiophiles who value high value and high performance. The lists of PS Audio’s innovations and market firsts are extensive and highly impressive. Their power cords have also been a mainstay in a highly competitive market. I personally use several throughout my systems, on everything from CD players to HDTV’s, with great results. PS Audio is known as a company constantly striving to push the envelope, bringing cutting edge products to the market based on sound engineering and at very sane price points. The Digital Link series of DAC models were a huge success for the company, which leapt ahead of many other manufacturers with the introduction of ...
Thursday, 05 July 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Paradigm SHIFT A2 Active Speakers Review
Paradigm has been a mainstay of the high-end two-channel, home theater, and lifestyle speaker market for so many years now, it's easy to take them for granted. I bet some audiophiles do. Not me. My home theater system is all Paradigm, and I use their SHIFT e3m earbuds for portable listening. Paradigm’s Reference Series monitors and floorstanders always sound excellent to me at audio shows, and they offer great value.The aforementioned SHIFT series also includes the new SHIFT A2 active monitors. They are geared towards the desktop and computer audiophile markets, among others. There are a number of very interesting things about the A2’s. First, they are modeled sonically in Paradigm’s 35,000 square foot research facility in Canada, using various techniques to develop the most balanced performance at this price point. They also are available in several high gloss colors, ...
Friday, 27 April 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Paradigm SHIFT E3m Earbuds Review
I’ve enjoyed Paradigm products for a number of years now. The Canadian loudspeaker company is well known for producing a wide variety of products across most price points. They make everything from 5.1 mini systems, like the Millenia System to mid priced home theater speakers in the Monitor Series, and reference level, no compromise two channel floor standers. Paradigm recently moved into one category for which they were not previously known: headphones. Paradigm's SHIFT series has a host of newly designed products, including powered monitors (review forthcoming), headphones, and three different earbuds. I received for review a set of the SHIFT E3m earbuds. The E3m is the top of the line among three separate models, all priced according to bass performance. E3m’s are $130 retail.E3m earbuds feature an airtight seal ...
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Pro-Ject Pre Box SE Review
Pro-Ject, the company from Austria, whose Pre Box and Head Box I previously reviewed, has been expanding their product line while keeping true to their mission. That mission is producing great sounding, well built, amazingly affordable audio products with a small foot print.  I was tremendously impressed with both components I reviewed, and was eager to hear something from their Special Edition line. Interestingly, one could easily call everything in their line, minus turntables, “micro” components.  What amazes me is how they manage to do this without sacrificing sound quality.  In the company’s literature, they maintain they are dedicated to short signal paths, eliminating unnecessary parts, low mass, attention to resonance control, and enclosure quality.  It is not surprising that Pro-Ject is distributed in virtually every country on the planet. Their product lines consist of everything from vinyl and digital ...
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