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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Thursday, 18 December 2008 ,  Written by Julianne Stilson
Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH A/V Receiver
The BasicsThe Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH is a 7.1 channel AV receiver that employs high-precision, sophisticated audio and video processing using a state-of-the-art MCACC environment tuning. The VSX-94TXH is built with 140 watts of power delivered seamlessly to 7 channels for deep and detailed sound. In addition, it works with the latest HD technology while upgrading older analog sources using a Faroudja DCDi Video Scaler. The VSX-94TXH also has generous analog audio and video inputs for game consoles, CD players, VCRs, and even near-obsolete components like turntables. On-board decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio makes it perfect for use with Blu-ray and HD DVD.The VSX-94TXH provides 4 HDMI v1.3a 1080-capable inputs and 1 output to integrate it easily into your home theater system. Other bonuses included are an Ethernet port that accommodates streaming audio from a PC or Internet ...
Wednesday, 01 October 2008 ,  Written by Adrienne Maxwell
Panasonic DMP-BD50 Blu-ray Player
Introduction For those of you who have waited to take the Blu-ray plunge until you could buy a dedicated player that does everything the Blu-ray format is capable of – and does it right out of the box -- your wait is over. Panasonic’s DMP-BD50 ($599.95) is the first standalone Profile 2.0 player, meaning it has the necessary audio and video decoders to play picture-in-picture content, and it supports BD-Live Web features that, while scarce at the moment, should appear on more and more discs over the next year. This model also has the audio bases covered, offering both internal decoding and bitstream output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Of course, thanks to recent firmware updates, Sony’s PlayStation3 has had the same features for a few months now, but that machine is a gaming console first, a Blu-ray player ...
Wednesday, 01 October 2008 ,  Written by Thomas Garcia
PSB Synchrony Home Theater Loudspeaker System
Introduction With modest beginnings commencing in 1972, loudspeaker manufacturer PSB has become one of the most recognizable icons in today's audio industry.  Receiving endless accolades from industry peers, as well as delighted consumers, the Canadian-based company is well known for providing products with exceptional performance, which are value-engineered to compete with products often costing substantially more. Now that PSB is part of The Lenbrook Group, original owner Paul Barton operates as chief designer and continues to be one of the most impassioned patriarchs in the audio industry today.  Barton has been highly influential in developing many of the design protocols and scientific guidelines used in many of today's high-performance loudspeakers.  Throughout his career, he has extensively utilized Canada's National Research Council (NRC), a government-managed scientific and engineering research institution, taking full advantage of their expansive resources and state-of-the-art testing facilities.  PSB's ...
Monday, 01 September 2008 ,  Written by Kevin Miller
Planar PD8150 1-Chip DLP Projector
Introduction Planar, a large front-projector manufacturer on the professional and industrial side of the business, broke into the home theater market late last year after purchasing Runco International, a well-known high-end HDTV manufacturer.  Their recently introduced PD8150 is a one-chip DLP projector with a native resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080), retailing for $7,999, which isn’t the cheapest option in its class, but when you consider its lineage and Runco brethren, its price tag seems to be something of a bargain.  Following in the Runco tradition, the PD8150 does have the ISF C3 lockable Day and Night mode features, which allow the installer/calibrator to create two new picture modes per input, locking in the calibration settings to ensure that they are never lost.  It is an excellent performer with a couple of flaws, one of which will be remedied in a ...
Sunday, 01 June 2008 ,  Written by Adrienne Maxwell
Philips BDP7200 Blu-ray Player
Introduction Philips’ first Blu-ray player, the BDP9000, quietly crept into the market in late 2006. Upon its initial release, the player cost $1,000, did not support 1080p/24 output, and lacked any means of passing high-resolution audio formats. The new BDP7200 supports 1080p/24 playback and allows you to pass Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD bitstream over HDMI … and its MSRP is $600 less than that of its predecessor. The player’s $399 list price puts it at the lowest end of the price spectrum for a new Profile 1.1 player. The Profile 1.1 designation (also known as BonusView) means the BDP7200 supports picture-in-picture playback, but lacks BD-Live support to access Web content. Philips’ timing is good: the BDP7200 is one of the first new entry-level Blu-ray players to hit the market since the format war ended in February, and the company hopes to ...
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