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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Thursday, 01 January 1998 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Sony DVP-S7700 DVD Player
Introduction The Sony DVP-S7700 is a $1,400 DVD player that features DTS and AC3 audio, as well as component video outputs to feed a high-performance AV playback system. A good friend of mine who is a manufacturer in the high-end home electronics industry put it well when he said, "With the quality of DVD players coming out of Japan under $2,000, why should you spend $5,000 on some tweaked-out machine?" After spending time evaluating the Sony DVP-S7700, I am starting to agree with him. The front panel of the 7700 is pleasantly devoid of the overabundant buttons and controls typically found on a mass market DVD player. The main panel folds open with an ease and sex appeal that is normally reserved for B&O. After the front panel folds down, the slender CD/DVD tray smoothly opens for you to insert your source material. You’ll find an On/Off switch, a useful headphone jack and volume control, ...
Monday, 01 December 1997 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Sonic Frontiers Line 2 Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction Tube gear used to scare me. Spooky people are into tube gear. The kind of guys who wear pocket protectors and brag about their mail order engineering degrees. My idea of high end audio is not heating up the soldering iron to mod my preamp or hunting down the latest tube condoms from Uzebkistan. To quote the 1970's disco/soul profits, The O'Jays "I love music... any kind of music." The Sonic Frontiers Line 2 lets you love your music exactly the way you want to. Your listening options include configuring your system for high performance 2 channel stereo playback with remote control, feeding a home theater or multi-room system or listening through headphones. Incidentally, you will never find Sonic Frontiers gurus Chris Johnson and Chris Jensen with tape on their glasses or pens in pocket protectors. The Sonic Frontiers Line 2 ($3295 USD) is a Canadian made preamp that is well suited for music ...
Monday, 01 September 1997 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
Sherwood Newcastle R-945 Receiver
Introduction It's not all that uncommon for people to assume it would be an expensive and frustrating project to design a high performance Dolby Digital/DTS home theater. It wasn't all that long ago when their assumptions would have been correct. Enter the comprehensive Sherwood Newcastle R-945, which provides powerful amplification for five channels, functions as a full-featured A/V preamplifier, has a built-in phono section, includes an AM/FM tuner, as well as a useful universal remote controller. Add to that the fact that the Sherwood Newcastle R-945 is the first A/V Receiver to offer both Dolby Digital and DTS decoding anywhere near $1299 and you have a serious A/V contender. Installation and Operation The R-945 is well endowed with inputs. There is room for CD, DVD, Laserdisc, VCR, a couple of audio tape decks and a turntable. If necessary, the tape inputs can be used for other audio/video gear. There are also outputs for all five channels ...
Thursday, 01 May 1997 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Sonic Frontiers Power II Stereo Power Amplifier
Introduction The Sonic Frontiers Power II is a $5000 stereo power amplifier rated at 110 watts per channel at either two, four or eight ohm impedances. Its aesthetic design is somewhat post modern in that the aluminum case and Sonic logo give the Power II a futuristic feel. The 16 tubes suggest at first glance, a more traditional approach to high end amplification. Sonic Frontiers is far from a traditional electronics company. Over the past 10 years this Canadian firm founded by Chris Johnson and Chris Jensen have caused a stir in the well established tube electronics market. It isn't easy to get prime placement in A-list US retailers, yet Sonic has. It isn't because of sweet talking either. Their gear performs; the Power II is a good example. Living with the Power II From the moment you open the boxes for the Power II you are reminded that you have invested in something special. ...
Monday, 01 July 1996 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Sunfire Cinema Grand Multi-channel Power Amplifier
Introduction Occasionally a product comes along that defies precedent. The 5-channel Cinema Grand amplifier from Sunfire is just such a product, exhibiting performance commonly associated with ultra-expensive amplifiers. At first glance, perhaps what you`ll find most unusual about the Cinema Grand is the absence of heavy-duty heatsinks. Like all Sunfire amps, the Cinema Grand employs a Bob Carver innovation, the tracking downconverter power supply. This unique design doesn't use any heatsinks to dissipate large amounts of wasted power as most of the input signal goes directly to the speakers. The amp runs so efficiently, a 30 pound power supply delivers 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms. The chassis was always cool to the touch, even after several hours of playing time. Unlike, massive amps that require venting, the Cinema Grand can be installed anywhere, even inside a closed cabinet.
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