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, 06 May 2010 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
Like vampire novels or a seasonal sandwich at your local deli, harking to the famed Nietzsche/Peter Pan/Battlestar Galactica quote “all of this has happened before, and will happen again”, 3D technology seems to crawl back into the pop culture spotlight once every ten or so years.  And why not? It’s fun to go to the movie theater, strap on the glasses, and watch as a barrage of things fly in your direction.  The entire concept behind three-dimensional usage swings on the immersion experienced by the people planted in those seats, something that has, naturally, improved as technology has improved – with the likes of IMAX 3D consistently cutting the tech’s teeth through somewhat under-the-radar exhibitions.  However, a few pieces have been put in motion that threaten to bring the technology much more into the mainstream, such as a few rather ...
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Tweak-o-Files: Volume 2
Welcome to the second installment of my column concerning perfectionist audio tweaks, that gray area where there often seems to be questionable ROI, but where carefully chosen and implemented, can absolutely allow a high end audio system to perform at its very best. As before, here are some tweaks and system improvements that I have first hand experience with, and some that I don't, but were recommended by reliable sources or seem interesting enough to take note of. As always, Caveat Emptor!Auric Illuminater:The Auric Illuminator is a compact disc cleansing and treating product made by Audience LLC. Audience is a very highly respected maker of high end cables, capacitors, and now speakers and electronics. I have been using it for three years now. No crazy snake oil here. The kit consists of a clear gel that Audience says does a ...
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Trends Audio Mini Component Combo Review
Trends Audio is a Hong Kong based high end audio company that is interested in making music lovers and Hi-Fi aficionados in our neck of the woods aware of their product line. They make mini size components which have been positively reviewed across the web. Some of their products feature cutting edge technologies and some even bask in retro coolness. Readers can see my review of the PA-10 tube Preamp & Headphone amplifier combo here (LINK); which I enjoyed immensely. The subject of this review is a complete Trends Audio desktop or tabletop "mini system".This system is comprised of the PA-10, the TA-10 "Class T" integrated/power amp, the UD 10.1 USB DAC, and the PW-10 PSU power supply that supplies current to all three components, except the USB DAC when connected to a PC or laptop. The cost for the ...
Thursday, 15 April 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Tweak-o-Files: Volume 1
Welcome to my new column covering perfectionist audio tweaks. This can be the realm of the wild, weird, and wacky, but also of legitimate sound improving products that can take a high-end system to its utmost potential. Some tweaks are certainly a bit of snake oil, preying on audiophiles with too much time and money on their hands.  But there are many finely engineered, superbly crafted tweaks that absolutely work as described. Unfortunately, a high end audio system has to battle its environment while trying to provide listening pleasure for its owner. Variables like airborne resonance, internal chassis resonance, EMI and RFI interference, and countless other problems can detract from the listening experience. Below are a variety of tweaks I have first hand experience with, and a few tips I have gotten from knowledgeable audiophiles who have little time to ...
Monday, 01 February 2010 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
The Definitive 2010 HDTV Buyer's Guide
Around this time of year, we get an “itch” – not just tech heads or sports nuts, but a large chunk of the populace – to start looking at a potential purchase of a television.  It’s for two different reasons; one, a big game’s coming up pretty soon.  Watching the Super Bowl on a big screen (along with a few pizzas, dip trays, and assorted fizzy beverages) is just enough of a motivator to shove slightly interested parties over the edge into an investment.  However, this time right before the game also coincides with another big event: April 15th, dreaded tax time or, more importantly, income tax return time.  It doesn’t matter if you’re into watching the biggest sports even out there or more of a cinema aficionado; it’s hard to ignore the appeal of a brand-spankin’ new set that’s ...
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