equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
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
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive II Preamplifier Review
SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Filter And tX-USBhub Review
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Thursday, 09 February 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Rein Audio X-DAC Review
Rein Audio, out of Germany, was unknown to me until I received an email from Rein’s Jason Tornald asking if I was interested in reviewing their new X-DAC. Since I have done a slew of budget, or better put, reasonably priced DAC units in the past year, including those from Channel Islands Audio, Arcam, and Musical Fidelity, I was more than willing to see how it stacked up. Rein Audio is a pretty new company but has quickly become known for a full line of audio and AC cables. They also plan on bringing an amplifier to market, the X-Amp. Even after spending a bunch of time on the Rein website, I still do not know too much about the company. I was able to conclude that Rein probably means “pure” in German. I also noted that chief designer Tomasz ...
Thursday, 27 October 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Rogue Audio Perseus Magnum Preamplifer Review
Rogue Audio has enjoyed a loyal following for many years now, and when I reviewed their entry level Atlas power amplifier with Magnum upgrades, I saw what all the fuss was about. It was an amazingly built, made in the U.S.A., ballsy sounding tube amplifier. The Atlas Magnum cast a huge soundstage and was a true heavyweight in the bass area.  It was also priced at an embarrassing to the competition $1995.  As a matter of fact, if I had not already invested in a more expensive tube amp, I would have sprung for the Atlas Magnum. After such a positive experience, I sought out a review sample of a Rogue tubed preamplifier. Mark O’Brien, the man behind Rogue Audio kindly sent me a Perseus preamp with Magnum upgrades.  The standard Perseus sells for $1895, and the Magnum version for $2195. The Perseus has been in ...
Friday, 15 July 2011 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
Roku XDS Media Player Review
We have reviewed a vast amount of media players over the last year and a half, but nothing more dependent on streaming access than the Roku XDS.  Over the years, Roku has consistently positioned itself as a leader in building inexpensive media players that have lead many consumers down the path of ending dependence on expensive cable or satellite television service.  Competition has risen up from companies like Western Digital and Apple, but Roku continues to respond with players that range from $59.99 to $99.99.  These players vary in capability, but even the most inexpensive player (the Roku HD) provides 720p video, HDMI and built-in Wi-Fi.  The next step up is the Roku XD if the consumer wants 1080p playback and Wireless-N capability (assuming their router supports it).  The subject of this review is the Roku XDS.  The XDS includes ...
Monday, 13 December 2010 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Rogue Audio Ares Vacuum Tube Phono Preamplifier Review
In 1981, long-time British rockers The Kinks released an album titled Give The People What They Want, a set of songs that gave them their first bona fide hit in several years, “Destroyer.” Call it timing or prescience, the music resonated and perhaps was what the people did want after all. Predicting such events in the music industry is nearly impossible, but the LP's title is good advice for anyone looking to attract an audience – and ultimately buyers – of his/her wares. Its advice Rogue Audio took to heart when designing the Ares, the company's first vacuum tube phono preamplifier. Rogue president and chief engineer Mark O'Brien related, “It was a real labor of love for me. I had a lot of feedback from vinyl lovers. Ultimately, we wanted to build an all-tube phono stage that had adjustable output, ...
Monday, 15 November 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
About a month ago I set out to record one of my favorite bands, The Clientele, from the soundboard, during a local club gig.  I brought my Sharp Minidisc recorderand had the sound man give me a line out, and I was ready to go. Or so I thought. To my horror, when I got home, I found out the minidisc had failed and the audio was fragmented and distorted. I decided I was done with optical recording media. I then set out to find the best cost effective solution for recording live events and archiving old analog recordings from cassettes and reel to reel tapes. There are a number of solutions out there, from pricey, pro level broadcast quality gear, to hand held, lightweight gadgets that use flash memory or small internal hard drives.The history of home base recording ...
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