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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Wednesday, 01 December 1999 ,  Written by Tony Kaklamanos
Sega Dreamcast
Introduction Some of you may be a bit surprised to see a review of a video gaming system here in the pages of Audio Revolution. Home video game systems can be a significant part of home entertainment and are relatively inexpensive and easy to add to your home theater. The Sega Dreamcast is the current king of the hill and will not face any serious competition until Sony’s second generation Playstation is out (reportedly later this year). The Dreamcast is a technical powerhouse with many new and innovative features. The Dreamcast has a 200 mhz, 128-bit CPU. Coupled with the unit’s NEC VR chip set, this allows intricate three-dimensional graphics to be drawn quickly and smoothly. Most other console games have either 32- or 64-bit processing. The Dreamcast’s 128-bit processor allows processing of data in groups two to four times larger in size. The result is faster and smoother gaming. For audio processing, Sega went to Yamaha. Yamaha ...
Thursday, 01 July 1999 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Sony PFM 500 42-inch Plasma HDTV
The Sony PFM 500 plasma is a $10,000 high-definition ready, 42-inch diagonal television or data grade, 16x9 aspect ratio video monitor. At six inches deep, it is not the most slender in its class, but compared to traditional CRT sets, Sony’s Plasma is easily twenty inches narrower. It can be hung on a wall with an additional bracket ($900) or it can be set on a flat surface by engaging the feet built into the monitor. Note: I am calling the Sony Plasma a monitor. It is not a television, as it does not have the built-in tuner, amplification or speakers that you’d find on a conventional TV set. The Sony Plasma is ready for HDTV in neighborhoods where this technology is already available. You will need a $1500 HDTV tuner and after-market antenna set-up in order to receive your NFL ...
Thursday, 01 April 1999 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
Strata 800 Power Center
Introduction The Strata 800 from XS Technologies is a Power Management System featuring an Uninterruptible Power Supply [UPS] and a detachtable remote control. The Strata 800 protects up to six A/V components from spikes, surges and power losses. The UPS function provides 20 additional minutes of power, allowing electrical devices to be turned off safely during a brownout or blackout. Due to their microprocessor based circuits, today's electrical devices are even more sensitive to power fluctuations. Many of these products, such as home automation systems, cable and WebTV boxes, and A/V or Satellite receivers, are dependent on a certain amount of memory which can get lost during a power outage. While power sags and surges are generally unnoticed and seemingly insignificant, power fluctuations can cause long-term damage to your components. Most surge protectors only handle short duration events. According to a recent report ...
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 ...
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