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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Merrill Audio THOR Mono Block Amplifiers Review
Plinius Hautonga Integrated Amplifier Review
KEF R700 Loudspeaker Review
Marantz SA-14S1 SACD Player & DSD DAC Review
Genesis G7c Loudspeakers
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Friday, 01 February 2008 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
PurePower APS PurePower 700 Power Regenerator
Introduction Power is an elusive beast for the audio and video enthusiast. If you live in the United States, each and every AV component you have ever bought was designed to run on 120-volt 60 Hz power. Sure, they can function when your AC power doesn’t exactly meet this specification, but at a cost, and that cost can be quite pricey in top-performing systems. Many of us who are looking to the last areas of improvement in our home theater systems have run dedicated power lines to our rooms with hopes of limiting noise on the incoming AC, thus affecting our sound and allowing our components to get all the power they need. However, I live in Florida and, quite frankly, our power outright sucks. We frequently get spikes, over and under voltages, brownouts, and let’s not forget the noise seen, ...
Saturday, 01 December 2007 ,  Written by Adrienne Maxwell
Pioneer KURO PDP-5010FD 50-inch Plasma HDTV
Introduction If you follow the HDTV world at all, you’ve probably already heard about Pioneer’s new KURO line of plasma displays. Or maybe you’ve seen those disturbing new KURO ads on TV and wondered what the heck they’re talking about. You’re not alone. The buzz actually began at last year’s CEATEC trade show in Japan, where journalists got a glimpse of Pioneer’s redesigned line of plasmas, capable of rendering an astonishingly deep black. KURO, by the way, means “black” in Japanese. The buzz gained momentum when that same demo hit the states at CES 2007 and reached full stride at Pioneer’s line show back in May, when the company announced eight new KURO plasmas, priced from $2,700 to $7,500. The first models to hit the shelves were 42- and 50-inch 768p displays; not surprising to those of us who had seen ...
Saturday, 01 December 2007 ,  Written by Yoshi Carroll
Paradigm Monitor 9 v.5 Loudspeakers
Introduction Earlier this year Paradigm released an update, version five or v.5, of one of their most successful and longest-lasting speaker lines, the Monitor Series. Paradigm is famous for following the simple business proposition of building a good product for less than the other guy. What I’ve always appreciated about Paradigm is that they don’t skimp on the details, no matter how low the retail price. The sound quality is there, but so are the build quality, finish and nice little touches like their new magnetized grilles. Value here doesn’t mean you’re getting something cheap, it means you’re getting something truly valuable, for less than you might expect to pay. The subject of this review and my new object of affection, the Monitor 9 floor-standing speaker, retails for $949 per pair and is about all the speaker one could hope for, ...
Monday, 01 October 2007 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Panasonic TH-103PF9UK 103-inch Plasma Display
Introduction To quote Nickelback front man Chad Kroeger, “I want a brand-new house on an episode of Cribs with a bathroom I can play baseball in.” It’s kind of a funny line, but also very true. As shows like MTV’s Cribs have shown us, there seems to be no limit to people’s need for more, especially when it comes their toys. So to you, my financially well-endowed reader, I say this: "I’ve got the toy for you." It is the world’s largest plasma screen, the Panasonic TH-103PF9UK, and at 103 inches diagonal, it will make that 50-inch plasma look about as big as the screen on an iPhone. Is it the best 1080p plasma screen money can buy? We’ll see, but there’s no denying it’s the largest and, as an editor of a publication with an 81-percent male readership, I know size matters. Retailing for $69,995, the TH-103PF9UK is one of the most expensive displays ...
Monday, 01 October 2007 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Paradigm Signature S8 v.2 Loudspeakers
Introduction In the sprit of doing everything better for less money, I introduce to you the Paradigm Signature S8 v.2 loudspeaker system. Competing with the likes of Wilson, MartinLogan, B&W and Revel at half (or less) the retail price, it will come as no surprise that Paradigm has set out to build and design a speaker system that attacks the industry high-end loudspeaker value proposition. Upon first glance, even the untrained eye can see the S8s are in every facet top-notch floor-standing loudspeakers. But it’s like drooling over a Ferrari in a parking lot – you have to test the S8s out to really see what they can do, so that is just what I did. It took a few months following the 2006 CEDIA tradeshow before my review pair of Signature S8 v.2s was ready. They were worth the wait. The Signature S8 v.2s arrived at my home right as I finished the ...
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