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Merrill Audio THOR Mono Block Amplifiers Review
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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 ...
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
The Burson Conductor & Timekeeper Review
Burson Audio has been creating a buzz for seventeen years. Their extremely loyal customer base raves about their DACs and headphone amplifiers. The company is based in Melbourne, Australia, half a world away, but they have commendably developed an excellent and far reaching international distribution chain and dealer network. Audiophile buddies have told me on a pretty consistent basis that Burson should be high on my list as a source for review components. When trusted aficionados speak, I tend to listen.In conversations with the folks at Burson, I pieced together their basic design philosophies and general outlook. There is what can be called the Burson Approach. In essence, this means they take a pass on off-the-shelf parts and standard circuit designs, and they strongly believe in the simple audio paths. All of this to make sure the electronics stay out ...
Monday, 24 September 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
The Bryston BDP-1 Revisited and a Q&A with James Tanner
I have reviewed several Bryston components, including the Bryston BDP-1 Digital File Player, which to this day, is the best single digital source I have heard in my home system and at various audio trade shows. I have seen the $2,200 BDP-1 used in $200,000 systems. Scan the internet and you will find a good number of rave reviews, especially when the unit is paired with Bryston’s own BDA-1 DAC.Recently, a number of audiophile grade file players and streamers have been brought to market following Bryston’s lead. They are banking, as is Bryston, that many music lovers do not want to interface with a consumer grade computer while listening to music. Obviously, a computer is needed to rip and organize a music collection, but need not be in the listening room. The BDP-1 is in fact a computer, but one ...
Thursday, 23 February 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Trends Audio SA-10 Monitors & CQ500 Speaker Cable Review
Trends Audio, located in Hong Kong, is one of my favorite purveyors of budget minded, nice sounding, mini components. Recently a real market has grown for smaller components that don’t compromise on sonics and are affordable to all.  I had a blast with their PA-10 Tube Headphone and Pre Amplifier and Mini Component Combo. Their product line has been growing, and they now offer speakers, cables, and accessories.I remember, above all, how much fun I had with their mini components and how easy they were to set up and enjoy. To their credit, Trends has loyal customers through out Asia, North America, and Europe, partly due to a slew of positive reviews and good customer service. I received an email from Trends asking if I would like to receive a sample of their new SA-10 monitor loudspeakers for review. I ...
Monday, 12 September 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Totem Dreamcatcher Review
One of the biggest challenges a speaker designer has is making a very compact, low mass speaker sound lifelike.  There have been a number of notable “book shelf” designs, like the Rogers LS3/5a and its variants, the Proac Tablette, and the Paradigm Atom, among many others.  A successful execution of such a speaker certainly shows off the designer's skill. The fact is, that mini monitors are valid designs in that many music lovers are relegated to smaller spaces, and don’t require, nor can they accommodate, full range speakers.Totem Acoustic is based in Montreal, Canada. The company was founded in 1987, and makes a complete line of well reviewed loudspeakers ranging from in wall to full range floor standers.  I had heard much about Totem products, but up until recently I have not had an opportunity to spend any time with ...
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