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Monday, 01 February 1999 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
Sunfire Theater Grand Processor/AV Preamplifier
Introduction Along with both Dolby Digital and DTS decoders, the Theater Grand from Sunfire is the only high-end digital processor/preamp I've reviewed with a 40 preset AM/FM Tuner and phono stage. When you consider that the Sunfire offers many more features than many heralded (and ultra-expensive) processors, it may surprise you that its price tag is well below the competition at $2,995. Proof that it doesn't require a second mortgage (just a good credit line) to have a terrific sound system. Interfacing Details When it comes to I/O connections, the Theater Grand is extremely well equipped. There is a total of five digital inputs (5 coax, 2 Toslink) and nine analog audio inputs (including the five grouped with composite and S-video connectors). There are two pairs of component inputs and a single set of component outputs. This is smart. If you have both a DVD and a DSS, you'll need a switcher, since most TVs equipped with component ...
Friday, 01 January 1999 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Sutherland CA 800 Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction It takes more than just great sound to sell a high priced two channel preamp these days. You really have to want it. Perhaps "want" is too weak a term. You really need to lust after it. A new preamp should be so cool that you start to drool at the idea of plugging it into your music system. This is exactly the sensation you get when you audition the Sutherland CA-800. Drooling. Its interface and design are unlike any preamp I have ever encountered. The front plate of the preamp is missing any kind of "volume knob." In its place are two rows of sensors that detect changes in capacitance and or resistance caused, simply, by your finger moving from one end of the sensors to the other. Changing inputs requires you holding your finger near the sensor that corresponds with the desired input. Simple tasks like raising and lowering the volume ...
Thursday, 01 October 1998 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Sonic Frontiers Processor 3 D/A Converter
Introduction For those that have been participating in the sport of high-end music reproduction for any period of time, the name Sonic Frontiers and high quality digital playback is synonymous. Since Sonic Frontiers inception, in late1989, they have had the industry’s attention with several digital products that have been considered to be amongst the very best. The opportunity to review the Processor 3 was met with anxious anticipation. The first question that came to mind was whether the industry would tolerate another high priced digital front-end in this time of digital uncertainty, alluding to the eminent appending change of digital format. Much has been discussed in the past years about the change, and much discussion is to follow. Lets take a look at their latest digital flagship. Sonic Frontiers has long operated under the philosophy that superior parts provide the best opportunity for superior sounding products, and apparently made no exceptions with the Processor 3. The overall ...
Saturday, 01 August 1998 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Sunfire True Subwoofer Signature Subwoofer
Sunfire Signature Subwoofer The Sunfire Signature Subwoofer is the big brother to the trend-setting Sunfire True Subwoofer. The Signature Subwoofer is just a few inches larger than the tiny True subwoofer and is powered by the same 2700 watt amplifier. The Signature Sub is designed with two proprietary 10 inch woofers to reproduce low frequency content from 16 to 100 Hz. The new Signature woofer is priced at $1895 and is currently shipping to dealers. Does Size Matter? The Sunfire Signature Subwoofer is by no means a large sub, however its bass is awe-inspiring. So in this case, a little more size does matter. With the True Sub, under extreme conditions, you could bottom out the drivers. I have two True Subwoofers (MK II) in my theater system and can count on one hand how many times I have heard the woofers reach their end. But with Bob Carver's new design, it is even ...
Friday, 01 May 1998 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
SAS 770 Checkpoint 3D Speaker Alignment Tool
Introduction Sound Alignment Systems has developed the easiest and most intuitive instrument for hassle-free speaker alignment ever devised. A laser is placed inside a precision-machined aluminum housing, allowing an installer (or home enthusiast) a method for determining the optimum loudspeaker placement in a matter of minutes. This handy instrument has taken the trial and error out of speaker alignment for home theaters. In addition to the laser tool itself, SAS provides several optional accessories to assist in various alignment tasks. The R2-D2 Tripod Rotary Base is used to set the angular alignment of any speaker or component in relation to another object or room position. Base plates can be attached to the speaker baffle so the 770 can be fitted flush to the speaker for hands free operation. The lens kit includes a line lens, beam splitter, adapter base and protractor plate for specialized alignment procedures.
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