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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Monday, 12 October 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive II Preamplifier Review
I reviewed and loved the U.K. sourced Tisbury Audio Mini Passive “preamp”, and actually regretted sending it back to Wes Young at Tisbury Audio. As the name indicates, the Mini Passive was compact, beautifully finished, and handmade at Young’s London workshop where it sold for 129 British Pounds (roughly a hair under $200 US).Young contacted me and to let me know he had upgraded the Mini Passive with quite a few new features, and asked if I would be interested in a follow up review. I replied in the affirmative and a week later the unit arrived via Her Majesty’s Royal Mail. The Mini Passive II is housed in a similar attractive wood and aluminum enclosure, but now includes laser engraving and is a bit longer to accommodate a wider range of cables. The unit has the same solid ...
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Thiel TM3 Loudspeaker Review
I’ve been a fan of Thiel loudspeakers going on almost a decade now. I reviewed multiple products from the legendary company. Their flagship, at the time, CS3.7 floorstander was one of the finest speakers I have had in my listening room, bar none. I also evaluated, and later purchased, the CS2.4 floorstander, which still resides in my system today. Thiel as a company has undergone some dramatic changes, including the untimely passing of chief designer and founder Jim Thiel, a change of ownership, and a revamping of the product line. The company smartly hired distinguished industry veteran, Mark Mason, as lead designer, and now currently employs a four-man engineering team. The Thiel brain trust has decided to offer up set of fresh designs that build on the Thiel legacy, but depart a bit from Jim Thiel’s time and phase ...
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive Review
Tisbury Audio is a relatively new artisanal audio design firm located in London, England a few blocks away from the Wimbledon village, where the famed tennis championships are played. It is rather fitting. Wimbledon is about tradition, decorum, and getting things just right in an understated way. Tisbury makes handcrafted products it sells direct at miraculous prices. The two products on their web page currently are the Challenge Amp 1 headphone amplifier, and the Mini Passive volume controller. Both the Challenge Amp 1 and the Mini Passive are built with quality parts, have a small footprint, and are absolutely beautiful to look at. The Challenge amp sells for £350 GBP, and the Mini Passive for £135 GPD, or about $225 USD. Wes Young -- see the Bonus Interview at the review's conclusion -- of Tisbury Audio offered to send me ...
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
The SVS SB-2000 Subwoofer Review
SVS is one of those companies that established themselves in this “new economy” with a direct-to-consumer, high value, business model that has grown to include a burgeoning retail footprint as more brick-and-mortar AV dealers recognize the value proposition and unique energy of the brand. I reviewed, and was very impressed with, the $998 a pair SVS Ultra Bookshelf speakers. It had a smooth and sensual presentation, and it was built to a very high standard. SVS is now in their 16th year of business, and the loyal customer base continues to grow.SVS sells products through its web store, and offers a nice in-home audition period. Forty-five days to be exact, with no restocking or shipping fees. That is sign of some serious confidence in the products. They also offer a five-year warranty Over thirty North American dealers carry SVS, plus ...
Tuesday, 29 October 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
The Furutech Flux Series Cables Review
I have reviewed cables and accessories from many different types of companies, including one man operations, modest sized operations, and established larger firms. Each has their own approach, and each has certain advantages. Small companies can deal direct with customers and provide a more personal approach and personalized recommendations. Larger, name brand firms may have economies of scale, which allow them to control costs and offer a larger variety of products at all price points. Regardless, I can say I have had good experiences across the board, especially when the designers are dedicated to maximizing sonics, and rely on valid engineering principles instead of fads. Furutech Co. Ltd -- founded in 1988 and based in Japan, but with offices and facilities around the world -- is a very well established entity. They make a dizzying array of products across a ...
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