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 February 2016 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Rotel RB-1590 Power Amplifier Review
I’ve been familiar with the legendary Rotel brand since childhood. My father would often take me along when he would frequent hifi shops and I remember their components on display alongside other now classic manufacturers products. Rotel has a long and storied history and they are going as strong as ever today with a full suite of products that cater to every market, including home theater, distributed audio, and purist two channel audiophile components. Rotel is part of the B&W Group, located stateside in North Reading, MA, which owns Classe electronics and the legendary Bowers & Wilkins speaker brand. My first pair of “high end” speakers were indeed B&W monitors. The company is totally committed to each brand, and they have large dealer network and offer high quality customer technical support. It has been a number of years since I ...
Tuesday, 15 December 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
REDGUM Audio has been producing beautiful looking and high value audiophile amplifiers in the state of Victoria, Australia for the past twenty-one years. REDGUM has never produced cookie cutter products. Their designs, as far as form factor and ergonomics are proudly off the beaten path, and probably because of this, they have loyal customer base.My awareness of REDGUM comes from reading numerous overseas reviews, and speaking to a few local audiophiles who have been happily running Redgum amps for a number of years in various systems. Although REDGUM has international and North American distributors, I had not come across their products myself. That all changed when Marc Phillips of Colleen Cardas Imports contacted me about reviewing the new Black series of amplifiers. The Black series was designed to drive difficult speaker loads. I immediately agreed, as the timing was just ...
Friday, 12 June 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
RHA MA750i In Ear Headphones Review
I’ve reviewed a number quality earbuds, all priced within reason, and designed for comfort and high quality sonics. Anyone interested in this product category will be aware you can spend practically as little or as much as you want. Cheap, plastic, sonically-compromised buds can be had for chump change, and “pro level” custom molded models can be had for a pretty penny. For me, personally, the sweet spot is between $150 and $200. Since my earbud listening is generally done is compromised situations like in the gym, airports, trains, or busy public locations, there are other things to consider aside from absolute fidelity. Important factors are comfort, construction quality, and the ability to isolate outside noise. Another essential ingredient for me is style in relation to how they are worn -- I much prefer a mechanism where the earbuds are ...
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Reviewed: MusicScope Analysis Software by Xivero
High-resolution digital audio is clearly here to stay, and many audiophiles have started to replace their CD titles with corresponding hi-res alternatives. They cost more, and are mostly in download form, although there is the odd DVD-A and SACD still released. DVD-As are easily ripped to a computer hard drive, as opposed to SACDs, which can be ripped, but with effort and specific hardware and software. The small and specialized DSD download market has also attracted some attention.As the high-resolution music market has grown, so have concerns concerning the provenance and mastering chain of these products. There have, unfortunately, been instances of Redbook CDs upsampled and offered as 24 bit downloads to capitalize on the growing market segment and on the typical audiophile’s eagerness to own multiple versions of the same title in search of the holy grail. Another factor ...
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Rein Audio impressed me when I had the opportunity to review their very fine sounding X-DAC last year. The German based company, just a few years old, has since developed a few more products, including a headphone amplifier and a series of high performance cables. They also decided to design, from scratch, a higher end DAC with a few more options at a slightly higher price point. This could be seen as a risky move, since the DAC market is pretty crowded and, needless to say, very competitive. Rein Audio developed the new X3-DAC, priced at $1280, to offer users a higher end experience, with several new features and upgrades over the X-DAC. First, the TosLink, Coaxial, AES/EBU, and USB inputs all handle 192 Khz, 24 bit data, and there is a pretty decent front panel LED display. There is ...
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