equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Eastern Electric Mini Max Supreme DAC Review
DH Labs Mirage USB Cable Review
SOtM sHP-100 Headphone Amplifier & DSD DAC Review
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
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Tuesday, 18 November 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
SOtM sHP-100 Headphone Amplifier & DSD DAC Review
SOtM, a Korean audiophile component manufacturer, is slowly but surely making the industry sit up and take notice. They offer a line of impressive and versatile computer audio products that compete with much more expensive solutions. The company is being very well served by their U.S. importer/dealer, Simple Designs LLC. I was so impressed with the SOtM sMS-100 Mini Server & mBPS-d2s Intelligent Battery Supply that I absolutely had to have a look at more SOtM products. The sMS-100 network streamer is among the highest value digital source components I have ever come across. At $449, it is a no brainer recommendation. The SOtM line up smartly caters to those with different needs and budgets. The flagship SOtM streamer, the sMS-1000 is a more sophisticated unit with advanced inputs and outputs, a linear power supply, and balanced analog outputs. The ...
Friday, 26 September 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
SOtM sMS-100 Mini Server & mBPS-d2s Intelligent Battery Review
I have long established a digital audio playback system based on an Ethernet network. I’m not down with a computer in my equipment rack, and have very little patience for all the pitfalls and variables. Instead I've tried everything from a Squeezebox Touch to a Simaudio MIND and everything in between. SOtM is a Korea-based company churning out cutting edge digital products that have been causing quite a stir. Pro and user reviews alike praise SOtM -- which, incidentally, sands for Soul Of the Music -- for building products that offer a good value, are flexible in use, and built to last. They develop audiophile grade network servers, DACs, headphone amps, power supplies, and interesting accessories. Thanks to a healthy international distribution network, and an expanding global reach, I have had SOtM on my To Review list for some time. ...
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
SVS Ultra Bookshelf Loudspeaker Review
Founded in 1998 and quickly making a name for themselves in the subwoofer market, SVS is now a global maker and distributor of complete speaker systems. They are a unique organization, with a design team and warehouses spread across North America, and manufacturing based in China. The products are sold direct with a generous in-house audition period because, according to SVS, there is no place better to hear a speaker than in your own listening room. The company touts its engineering muscle, commitment to quality, and customer service as a reason for its longevity.I have only heard about SVS products from audio show reports and a few reviews, but I had not had the opportunity to hear one of the products until now. I received a review sample of their brand new Ultra Bookshelf model, priced at $499 each, or ...
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
SOL Republic Tracks Headphones Review
While I am not a headphone fanatic, I am rather picky about the phones I use for my iPod Touch and iPod Nano. I also use headphones for early morning or late night listening on a McIntosh integrated amp, or via my Pro-Ject Head Box II headphone amp.  I also use headphones when traveling.There are tons of headphones of every conceivable design on the market, and it is not very easy to distinguish between those who are design, rather than sound quality, oriented. Many headphones are simply fashion statements. Occasionally you find a pair that look and sound good. SOL Republic specializes in producing a unique line of headphones. The Oregon based company can honestly claim to have an original concept with their line of headphones. Before we get to the particulars, SOL Republic says that sound quality was first ...
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Stager Silver Solids Interconnects REVIEW
Very few categories in high end, perfectionist audio are as controversial as cables. There are endless debates about silver or copper,shielded or not, soldered or crimped, cryo’d or not, and probably dozens more age old arguments. Only one aspect of the whole topic of cables is not up for debate, and that is you need them to connect your components and speakers, like it or not. One design choice that I myself have never thought too much about it is stranded wire vs. solid core wire. As a matter of fact, I purchased all the cables in my system based on listening evaluations rather than design features.  I chose interconnect cables with silver conductors because I thought they sounded better. Same goes for my speaker cables, which have a network attached box to reduce bandwidth, and with it, supposedly noise. ...
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