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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Saturday, 01 July 2006 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD Player
Introduction Cracking open the box of my first HD DVD player, I can’t help but think back to the days of the VHS vs. Betamax and DVD-Audio vs. SACD format wars. With the pending release of Blu-ray, the competing high-definition disc format, many consumers are taking a “wait and see” attitude about which one will be the champion of the high-resolution disc. Blu-ray players are going to be in the $1,000 to $1,500 range. However Toshiba is the first to market with their HD-A1 and HD-XA1 players, $499 and $799, respectively. Those thirsty for more HD content have braved the format war controversy and picked up these Toshiba units, which were virtually impossible to find in their first few weeks of release. However, this was partially due to a small inventory rollout from Toshiba. The company tentatively dipped their feet in the water with this player and the initial reports from consumers, staffers and ...
Thursday, 01 June 2006 ,  Written by Jeremy R. Kipnis
Toshiba HD-XA1 HD DVD Player
Introduction With tremendous hype and noted delays, HD DVD players have hit the market, allowing consumers to see HD movies from a commercially available disc for the first time. Two players mark the launch of the format: the Toshiba HD-XA1 ($799.95) and HD-A1 HD DVD ($499.95). The launch is a cautious one, with reportedly only 15,000 units being shipped for the first run of players, leaving stores like Sears and Best Buy to sell off their small number of players relatively quickly. Initial software offerings are quite pleasing, with Warner Bros. correctly featuring “Phantom of the Opera” and “The Last Samurai” alongside Universal’s “Serenity” (apparently alternating with Warner’s “Million Dollar Baby,” which came out the following week, due to a mastering concern by the producers). Also available in the second week (Tuesday, April 25) were releases that included Universal’s “Apollo 13” and “Doom” for a total of six HD DVD titles at the end ...
Saturday, 01 April 2006 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Transparent Audio PowerIsolator 8 Power Conditioner
Introduction Power improvement products are not easy for average consumers to get their minds around. There are many different philosophies on how to do it right, with few agreeing on what’s best. Questions on power correction come my way quite often, with most people wondering if they even need better AC and, if so, how much they need to spend to fix the problem. To exacerbate the issue, bad power is not always something that you hear and can determine needs improving, but rather an area that, once you correct it, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to fix. The Transparent PowerIsolator 8 is a reference-level power-conditioning device that provides eight hospital-grade outlets for your precious AV gear. It is available only in a black-brushed finish and retails for $2,995. The Transparent PowerIsolator 8 is a much sleeker-looking product than ...
Saturday, 01 April 2006 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
The Pros and Cons of Extended Warranties By Jerry Del Colliano April 2006 Anyone who has ever purchased an electronic device or component of any kind in the last 20 years has been offered the chance to buy an extended warranty. The question still remains as pertinent today as it was years ago: are extended warranties worth it? The simple answer is: it depends. In the old days of high-end audio and stereo you made investments in analog devices (speakers, amps, preamps, turntables, tube television sets), which were either awkward to move or were likely built with expensive analog parts. Today’s home theater systems are built more like computers and have lifespans that reflect more on the disposable nature of their processors than the analog nature of high-end audio components of years gone by.
Sunday, 01 May 2005 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Triad In-Room Silver System
Introduction Triad Speakers have been around for more than 24 years, yet many consumers are just starting to hear about the brand as they are primarily marketed to the custom installation market. Triad speakers are quite unique. Unlike almost all other major speaker manufacturers, Triad produces custom installed speakers that are indeed truly custom. Need a narrow center speaker? They can make it for you. Need bi-pole rear speakers painted in sea foam green to match the Dunn Edwards paint being used in the room? They can do it. Refreshingly, nearly every speaker they produce is made to order within 72 hours of when the order is placed. Here's the basic idea behind Triad's lines of speakers. The designs are application driven, with as many as four configurations of each model, for specific installation applications without compromise. Versions typically consist of an InRoom and at least one InWall version, with some having OnWall and InCeiling versions ...
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