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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Tuesday, 01 May 2007 ,  Written by Mike Levy
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70-inch SXRD HDTV
Introduction I have always thought of a “home theater” as stereotypically consisting of a front projector like Sony’s Qualia 004 or even their new and affordable “pearl” projector and a large filmscreen. How else would you get an image big enough for a real theater experience? Sony’s new KDS-R70XBR2 with its 70-inch screen is a set that has changed the way I feel about the impact you can get from a relatively affordable rear projection HDTV. The ease of installation starts the romance. Being able to watch a big, bright HDTV with daylight peeking into the room only adds to the love affair. Then there is the price difference, which almost makes you want to get down on one knee and propose. Description It took two people and some care to place this monster HDTV, weighing in at 161 pounds and sized at 74.25 inches wide by 45.5 inches high and 24 inches deep, on ...
Thursday, 01 March 2007 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Sony VPL VW50
Introduction The performance increase of home video products over the past three years, paired with precipitous price drops, is nothing short of unprecedented. 50-inch HDTVs that only a few years ago cost $20,000 today cost less than $2,000. Never before have we seen video technology get so good so fast and for so little money. Companies like Vizio have gone from no-name brands to literally billion-dollar ventures today, providing consumers with access to HDTV video that can be the core of a truly respectable home theater at Costco prices. Not to be outdone, Sony has stepped into the fray of incredibly powerful video with their Pearl projector that at last fall’s CEDIA trade show threw the world of consumer video projectors on its ass. This $4,999 projector drew attention from reviewers, dealers and competitors alike with its bright image, 1080p resolution, slick aesthetic and amazingly low price tag. Before I get into the nitty gritty, I ...
Thursday, 01 March 2007 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Sunfire Theater Grand Processor V
Introduction Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I pull out all the stops by fully decorating the house, buying enough candy to put a normally healthy adult into diabetic shock and generally reveling in the fun of dispensing goodies to those in need. It is possible Bob Carver felt the same emotions when he designed the Sunfire Theater Grand Processor 5. Available in a black or silver finish, the TGP-5 is designed to be the hub of a high-end, high-performance home theater, providing all the flexibility and connections you could need. Offering HDMI switching, video transcoding, an integrated AM/FM tuner, the ability to handle seemingly any surround sound format and direct stereo bypass for two-channel listening, as well as extensive options for controlling an independent second zone, few processors in the world of home theater offer what this one does, especially for its modest retail price of $3,499. The TGP-5 provides both single-ended and balanced outputs ...
Thursday, 01 February 2007 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Sony BDP-S1 Blu-ray Player
Introduction This early in the development of the Blu-ray format, amidst a format war with rival HD DVD, Sony’s first player hits the market as one of the few real-world options for people looking to play back 1080p video on their HDTVs. Priced at $999, the Sony BDP-S1 competes with offerings from Samsung and Panasonic, as well as the hard-to-get Sony Playstation 3 game console. Included with the player is a copy of The Fifth Element (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment) on Blu-ray. A free Blu-ray movie, Talledega Nights, also accompanies Sony’s Playstation 3 game console. The Sony BDP-S1 came to my house the same day as Sony’s new 70-inch SXRD rear-projection TV, the KDS-R70XBR2, so all at once I was fully up for 1080p. I quickly unpacked the Sony player from its box and Styrofoam packing, unwrapped it, placed it in my rack and swapped its digital connection with that of another of my DVD ...
Thursday, 01 February 2007 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Sunfire Theater Grand 7400 Multi-channel Amplifier
Introduction Power. Grown men have spent their entire lives fighting and even dying for it. We often associate power with size and weight, but can be fooled by the little guy whose abilities can drop the largest of men. Bob Carver is known for packing amazing amounts of power into the smallest and lightest of boxes with his amplifiers, and it seems Mr. Carver has empowered yet another “little guy” with his new Theater Grand Amplifier 7400. As president of Sunfire, Bob Carver has been a major player in the audio industry since 1970, when he founded Phase Linear, and he has kept pace with the rapidly changing business throughout the years. His advances in amplifier technology are legendary and his new top of the line seven-channel amplifier, the Sunfire Theater Grand Amplifier 7400, puts out a rated 400 watts per channel into eight ohms into all seven channels, and doubles down to 1600 ...
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