equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Filter And tX-USBhub Review
Simaudio 760A Power Amplifier Review
Bryston BIT-15 Isolation Transformer & Surge Protector Review
Carot One Titta Earbuds Review
In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
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Friday, 01 August 2003 ,  Written by Ben Shyman
Revel M20 Performa Loudspeakers
Introduction The Revel Performa M20 is the compact, bookshelf-sized sibling to the floor-standing Performa F30 speaker reviewed by in April 2001. Revel is the high-end loudspeaker company of Madrigal who is owned by parent company Harman International. Their entry-level Performa line targets audio enthusiasts who are looking for excellent sound and build quality at more reasonable prices than their high-end Ultima line. The M20s cost $2,000 per pair, plus optional stands and grilles. Setup The Performa M20s are rear-ported, two-way loudspeakers, featuring a six-and-a-half-inch inverted magnesium-alloy woofer, with a low-frequency extension to 44 Hz at -3 dB and a one-inch custom aluminum-alloy dome tweeter. Upon unpacking the hefty 36-pound loudspeakers, I was immediately struck by the exceptional build quality of the Performa M20s. Constructed of one-inch-thick MDF with extensive internal bracing, the M20s are solid as a rock. Mine came in an attractive black ash finish, but are also available in cherry, sycamore and rosewood veneers. Since I was ...
Saturday, 01 March 2003 ,  Written by Thomas Garcia
Revel F50 Performa Home Theater Speaker System
Introduction It was only a few years ago that Revel embarked on its journey to design and develop some of the world's most accurate and musically satisfying loudspeakers. The company was established in 1996 through a collaboration consisting of Harman Kardon founder Dr. Sidney Harman, Sandy Berlin of Madrigal, and well-regarded speaker designer Kevin Voecks. From the outset, the design philosophy of the Revel team was to incorporate the highest level of engineering knowledge, fused with sound scientific principles in conjunction with real-world listening evaluations. Using these objectives, Revel created the founding benchmarks for developing their products. Though Revel itself is a relatively small company, its ability to exploit the enormous resources of Harman International gives them unparalleled ability to achieve their design goals. Their debut product, the Ultima Gem, drew critical acclaim for both its musical attributes and unique styling. Following the Gem’s release, Revel continued with various new loudspeakers under the Ultima series banner, all ...
Saturday, 01 February 2003 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
ReQuest ARQ2 Digital Music System
Introduction The ARQ2 is ReQuest Multimedia’s second-generation digital music server that not only stores and catalogs your entire music collection on its internal hard drive, but also allows you to easily and quickly access any song from damn near anywhere in your house and beyond. This type of product represents the next generation music server, following the mega-CD changer. The ReQuest exterior is unassuming, industrial in appearance and clearly designed to be tucked away in an equipment rack. The metal-bodied unit is finished in dull black with a simple front panel containing power and status LEDs with the IR receiving window on the left edge, a small LCD display to the right, and a CD tray door and eject button. Lastly, there are small metal knobs on each side of the panel that secure the panel to the units. The side panels are perforated at the rear to provide airflow for the internal fan. ...
Tuesday, 01 October 2002 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Rogue Audio Eighty-Eight Magnum Stereo Power Amplifier
Introduction Rogue Audio is a fairly new company in the world of high-end tube audio gear. Formed in 1994 by Mark O’Brien, who remains involved with the company as its president and head designer, Rogue Audio strives to provide reasonably priced, high-quality tube gear. A review of the Rogue Audio components reveals that the company spends its time and resources on items that will improve sound quality and not on gingerbread that is unlikely to be used often by audio enthusiasts. The Rogue Audio Eighty-Eight Magnum power amplifier is a good example of Rogue Audio’s efforts to provide high-quality sound, without frills, at a very fair price. The Eighty-Eight Magnum amplifier retails for $1,995, only $400 more than the non-Magnum version. The Rogue products can all be purchased in their regular versions, or for a small increase in price, the Magnum version with upgraded parts reminiscent of a "The Parts Connection" upgrade kit. Rogue Audio ...
Saturday, 01 June 2002 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Richard Gray's Power Company 600s Power Conditioner
Introduction Power-related products are gaining greater acceptance as more AV enthusiasts are realizing the benefits of cleaner power delivery and the negative effects it has on audio and video playback. This is a field that has had its history tied to high-end audio for years, where the benefits have been known to make substantial improvements to detail, depth of soundstage and low noise floors. The Richard Gray’s Power Company’s 600S is the latest AC power product featuring their previously reviewed, patented choke inductor technology. This eight-and-three-quarter-inch wide, six-and-one-quarter-inch high, 11-inch deep enclosure is a very dense 22-pound package that splits the product line between RGPC’s 400S ($750) and the powerhouse 1200S ($2,000) for larger systems. The 600S is for the consumer who wants the most performance out of gear and has a moderate-sized system that doesn’t require ultra-high current capability. Although there are ...
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