equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
Denon AVR-X3100W Home Theater Receiver Review
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive Review
Denon AVR-S700W& Envaya Bluetooth Speaker Reviews
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Tuesday, 01 February 2005 ,  Written by Joe Hageman
RHT How To: Whole House Audio How-To: A Homeowner’s Guide to Planning a Whole-House Audio Distribution System By Joe Hageman February 2005 The dream: To own an affordable whole-house audio system that effortlessly pipes music throughout your home, where all the components “talk” harmoniously to one another as if they were one symbiotic unit. Reality: This stuff is expensive, can be down-right tricky to operate and even though we can beam back images from the Red Planet, we can’t seem to figure out how to get audio/video components to talk to one another without a virtual argument ensuing. Welcome to the wonderful world of custom home audio distribution, where the homeowner is a slave to a bunch of temperamental black boxes often run by proprietary software that even the most ardent computer whiz would struggle to figure out.
Saturday, 01 January 2005 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
ReQuest Fusion Pro 250 Music Server
Introduction These days, the landscape of traditional audio/video source components is changing at a blinding pace. In the glory days of high-end audio, you had your compact disc player and/or a turntable – maybe a VCR and a laserdisc player – and you were considered by darn near everybody as pretty ahead of the technical curve. More than a decade later in today’s connected home, your sources make up a completely new cast of characters. Beyond the ubiquitous DVD player, you might find the HD Tuner/DVR, a D-VHS deck, a satellite radio receiver and, with increasing likelihood, a music server. The ReQuest Fusion 250 is a $9,000 music server designed to work with your home theater, as well as your distributed whole-house audio system. The immediate question is – how is the ReQuest different than a fractionally-priced iPod? The most notable way is how the ReQuest is reliably controlled via RS232. The second most important issue ...
Saturday, 01 January 2005 ,  Written by Ben Shyman
Revel Performa F32 Loudspeakers
Introduction Revel is the high-end speaker division of Harman Specialty Group, a division of multi-billion-dollar conglomerate Harman International, makers of high-end Lexicon and Mark Levinson audio-video electronics. Revel’s Performa line is more modestly priced than their swanky Ultima products, which are reserved for the most demanding and wealthy consumers. Revel has taken much of what they have learned through extensive research and development of their Ultima line and employed this in their Performa speakers. Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that many of Revel’s products have received widespread acclaim among consumers and critics, including the Performa F30s, which Audio Video Revolution selected as a Best of 2001 product. While the Performa F30s were a sonic marvel, especially considering their price, they left a lot to be desired aesthetically. With the recently introduced Performa F32s replacing the Performa F30 speakers, Revel has completely redesigned the look of their entry-level floor-standing speaker. Gone is the art deco ...
Friday, 01 October 2004 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Rotel RDV-1060 DVD-A/V Player
Introduction The RDV-1060 is Rotel’s latest and greatest contribution to the world of DVD-Audio/Video disc players. As Rotel has a 40-year history of producing solid, good bang-for-the-buck gear, I was quite curious to see the DVD player they felt was worth $899, a price tag solidly above the run-of-the-mill players yet significantly lower than most other high-end players. With Rotel, it is always possible that they can make an $899 DVD-Audio/Video player that smokes $3,000 units from other companies. It was with these high expectations that I broke open the Rotel RDV-1060’s carton and started plugging in cables. Upon first look, I immediately noticed the revised and much improved industrial styling of the RDV-1060 over past Rotel components. The faceplate is thick, silver brushed aluminum, framed with nicely finished black aluminum fins on the edges. This is a drastic departure from the more utilitarian black face plates on prior Rotel products. The player itself is standard ...
Wednesday, 01 September 2004 ,  Written by Ben Shyman
Richard Gray's Power Company SubStation & HighTensionWire
Introduction While many consumers will spend tens upon tens of thousands of dollars on a home theater, power quality and reliability are frequently final thoughts in the budgeting and planning of a significant system. Most people never realize that voltage irregularities and “dirty” power robs their precision engineered gear of the lifeblood they need to perform at full potential. Worse yet, many consumers learn the hard way, when after months or years of feeding their system low-quality power, the ultimate results are expensive and unnecessary repairs. High-quality power is the foundation of any home theater system, much like the concrete foundation upon which your home is built. Ask yourself how often you might put 87-octane gasoline in your new Mercedes E55 AMG. Probably never. So why run your expensive entertainment system on low-quality power? Power issues originate from both outside and inside ...
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