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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 Jerry Del Colliano
Sunfire Signature Stereo Power Amplifier
Introduction He actually signs the amp. Yes, Bob Carver with golden ink, hence the name `Signature Amp.' This means he touched it, tested it, and each limited edition Sunfire Signature Amp ($3000 USD) meets Bob Carver's personal specifications for performance. And that's pretty cool. In an industry of pushing boxes, from "amp of the month," magazines it is refreshing to see a few companies still care to obsess over every detail. The Sunfire Signature Amp is a monstrous 600 watt stereo amp that has the ability to drive practically any load, from any speaker or speaker/subwoofer combo on the market. The Signature Amps' reported specs are impressive...way down at one ohm, Sunfire claims and almost unbelievable output of 4000 watts. This, I had to hear to believe, because in all of my years in high end audio I still can't hear graphs or stats. I can only hear music. I started my listening test with ...
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