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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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 ...
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 ...
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