equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
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
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CD Players

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Saturday, 01 March 2003 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Mark Levinson No. 390S CD Processor
Introduction Many music enthusiasts have placed their digital playback purchase plans on hold indefinitely, awaiting the end of the seemingly never-ending digital format wars that have plagued this industry for far too long. Nobody wants to lay down large green for a digital playback system that becomes outdated before the new smell has worn off. While all this is being played out by the mainstream Asian electronics conglomerates, companies like Madrigal continue to produce CD players at the highest conceivable level. What will be the next digital format is anyone’s guess, yet one constant remains – the desire to milk absolutely everything you can from your existing compact disc collection. Let’s face it, regardless of what the future holds, you will be listening to the bulk of your existing disc collection for eternity. CD playback technology continues to advance, making the best of yesteryear sound lethargic and dull by comparison. An example of an advanced design ...
Wednesday, 01 January 2003 ,  Written by Richard Elen
NAD C521i CD Player
Introduction The NAD C521i is the latest version of NAD’s CD player. It attempts to offer very high audio performance at an affordable price – a goal in which it succeeds, largely via a combination of offshore manufacturing (the unit is made in the People’s Republic of China to NAD specs) and careful product design, focusing on “must-have” features and limiting the implementation of bells and whistles you tend to use only once or twice in the lifetime of a player. The C521i features Burr-Brown 20-bit delta-sigma converters for maximum audio quality. CDs are only 16-bit, but over-specifying the converters is a good decision. Even now, to get true 16-bit capability, you need to aim a little high. Also on the technical side, the unit features separate analog and digital power supply regulation. The actual converter chips inside a piece of digital equipment are one of the least important bits as far as sound is ...
Friday, 01 November 2002 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Sony SCD-C555ES SACD/CD Changer
Introduction I doubt Sony could have imagined the impact the invention of the Compact Disc would have on their company and project partner Philips. For nearly 20 years, the CD has been the absolute king of prerecorded music in the marketplace, having decisively beaten the LP and the cassette tape, then fending off new format threats from DAT, DCC and even Sony’s own mini-Disc. We have loved and collected the CD for an entire generation, but the times, they are a-changing. The advent and popular acceptance of MP3 as a music format now allows a music enthusiast to arrange and share (or potentially steal) music in ways not even remotely dreamed of a mere five years ago. This reality, coupled with a never-before-seen creative recession on the part of new artists and their record labels (try stomaching ‘N Sync, O Town, Justin Timberlake, et al as examples) hasn’t helped the historically "recession proof" record business ...
Monday, 01 July 2002 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Yamaha CRW3200 LightSpeed3 CD-RW Recorder
Introduction CD-R and CD-RW technology continues to offer faster ways of recording and archiving media, whether it be copying MP3 files, burning copies of your favorite CDs for your personal use or backing up your computer files, just to name a few. Yamaha’s latest offering, the CRW3200, addresses the need for speed with a CD-R, CD-RW, and CD-ROM drive that has the capability to write data at a blazing 24x. Able to rewrite at 10x and read at 40x, the CRW3200 will also support a wide variety of formats such as CD-DA, CD TEXT, CD-ROM, Mixed Mode CD-ROM (CD-ROM and CD-DA), CD-ROM XA, photo CD, Video CD, CD-i, and CD EXTRA. The CRW3200 is also the first kid on the block with CD-MRW (CD Mount Rainier Rewrite) format. This format allows much easier manipulation of your CD-RW data, eliminating the need for special applications or proprietary drivers to be able to read the disc to ...
Saturday, 01 June 2002 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Myryad Z110 CD Player and Z140 Integrated Amplifier
Introduction The Z110 CD Player and Z140 Integrated Amplifier are part of the new Z-Series, the latest line from the venerable British electronics company, Myryad. The Z-Series is designed to be an affordable performance product in aesthetically pleasing clothes. Both the Z110 CD Player ($849) and the Z140 Integrated Amplifier ($895) feature attractive silver faceplates that feature a slim profile measuring 17 inches wide by three inches tall. A horizontal accent line bisects the front panels of both units. The front panel of the Z140 is dominated by a black conical volume control knob in the center of the panel. The metal knob features a finger-sized indentation for ease of use. The left side of the panel features the Myryad logo. Along the center line, there a small black standby button and an indicator light that glows red for standby and green when powered up. To the right of the volume control, also along the center line, ...
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