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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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Tuesday, 23 August 2016 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Sonore microRendu Ethernet to USB Streamer Review
In 2016 network file players and streamers are king. This is because just about everyone who has done comparisons has found that mass produced, consumer grade, off the shelf computers are not state of the art, by any stretch. There are those who still pay for premium playback software, cripple non essential functions, tweak with expensive power supplies and isolation devices to try to wrangle the best from their laptops or desktop machines. The amount of frustration often seen expressed on online message boards is astounding. Users become exasperated with disruptive commercial operating system updates, hardware incompatibilities, and a whack-a-mole approach. No surprise they often to turn to multiple layers of software, so called “digital” power conditioning, and even further out there solutions. If one has a large digital library, and especially a library with more than one system to ...
Friday, 18 March 2016 ,  Written by Andre Marc
SVS SoundPath RCA and Ultra Speaker Cables Review
SVS is known for making excellent high-end stereo and home theater speakers that are priced so attractively, most folks do a double take to make sure they got the price right. Their subwoofers are outstanding as well, and their customer service, ease of ordering, and the easy-to-navigate website make doing business with them a very attractive proposition. They sell direct via their web store, and through a select dealer network. I know about SVS’s quality and value because I reviewed both their Ultra Bookshelf speaker, and their SB-2000 subwoofer. Both offered crazy good sonic performance, at a more than fair price, and their build quality and attention to detail was terrific. Their speakers are always at the top of my recommendations list for high performance, high value speakers. Their free shipping, returns, and five-year warranty are serious icing on ...
Monday, 28 September 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Filter And tX-USBhub Review
High-end computer audio is at the point of maturity where there is an entire cottage industry in for tweaks and enhancements. This is because as time has gone by, designers have identified vulnerable areas where noise, signal loss, and jitter can affect performance. Another reason is that is it has become a common belief that consumer-grade, multi-purpose computers are not the best environments for perfectionist audio. Unquestionably, the most common transmission lines for computer audio today are USB and local area networks via wired Ethernet (with WiFi approaching in the distance). Both are generally hospitable environments for audio, but they are not perfect. There is gobs of information on various computer audio forums about the issues that could affect USB and Ethernet, but in a nutshell it is sensitivities to both environmental and internally produced electrical noise which can cause ...
Friday, 04 September 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Simaudio 760A Power Amplifier Review
Canadian firm Simaudio is held in the highest regard for its engineering-driven, no compromise approach to designing audio components. Their products are also considered works of art by many, with their futuristic industrial design and superior build quality. Their Neo 380D DAC and MOON 180D streamer remain in-house references. Digital products aside, Simaudio has always been known for producing state of the art amplification. Their top shelf Evolution series offers robust power and stellar casework across preamplifiers, power amplifiers, and integrated amps. Simaudio sent along their Evolution 760A power amplifier for review, which retails for $8000. The 760A is the first in line in the Evolution series, and is packed with some of Simaudio’s best technology.DesignThe chassis design and build quality are superb, with attention to detail in the construction, binding posts, and connectors being off the charts. The amplifier ...
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 ...
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