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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Monday, 28 December 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Sonance Visual Performance VP89 In-Wall Speakers Preview
Sonance Visual Performance Series speakers are designed with not only audio performance, but installation, spacial consideration and a discrete look in mind.  The VP89 is the flagship of the VP series, offering the highest quality Visual Performance speaker Sonance has to offer. The VP89 is a subtle speaker in appearance when fully installed.  Thanks to new micro-trim grilles from sonance, the portion sticking out from the wall measures a mere fifth of an inch.  The grille is simple to remove, paint and reattach.  Rather than using a more invasive method, powerful magnets hold the grille in place. Rather than the carbon fiber construction seen in previous models, the VP89 has beryllium drivers which Sonance says were utilized in order to deliver reference-quality sound.  The 8” woofer sports a rubber surround and an extended pole piece, which helps to ensure a smoother response.  ...
Monday, 28 December 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Samsung UN46B8000 LED HDTV Preview
The UN46B8000 is a 46” LED backlit LCD television from Samsung that offers – among other things – edge based LED backlighting, impressive energy efficiency and a slick, slim design. Samsung’s 46” Series 8 television stands just a bit under 30” tall when set up on the stand, and weighs in at right about 50lbs.  The frame is black with a grey Touch of Color.  It’s a slim television, with a depth of 1.2”.  It’s not the thinnest television out there, but it certainly doesn’t have many competitors. Thanks to LED edge lighting, the UN46B8000 has a stated dynamic contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1 and provides dark blacks and bright rich colors.  LED lighting is also responsible for energy use much lower than that of standard LCD televisions and a cooler running unit overall. A 240Hz refresh rate is the main thing separating ...
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
Sony BDP-S560 Blu-ray Player Review
It’s natural to assume that technology-initiator Sony would be a market leader in the player category, though the widespread implementation of the PS3 might be a bit of a shock. For those who weren’t swayed towards using a video game machine as a high-definition unit, Sony also wedged into the mix with their BDP-S350 and S550 models – both of which are excellent players.  Naturally, Sony has followed up their previous line with the S360 and their step-up model reviewed here, the S560.  As with their other players, Sony’s BDP-S560 naturally stand up against the company’s versatile PS3 – now available as a slim, less expensive unit  -- and it does so with admirable quality, though it’s a tug-of-war between the benefits and negatives between the two.At first glance, Sony’s player will look strikingly familiar. It carries the signature dark-blue ...
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Sony Bravia KDL-70XBR7 LCD HDTV Preview
The Sony KDL-70XBR7 BRAVIA is one of a small number of options available to the consumer looking for a seventy inch picture but not wanting to use a projector.  The largest of the XBR7 series, the 70” KDL-70XBR7 offers a large screen and 1080p resolution along with a range of picture enhancement technologies. Sony’s 70” XBR7 offers a full 1080p/24 experience, as well as Motionflow 120Hz technology, which effectively doubles the frame rate of HD content to help smooth out fast movements.  An on screen contrast ratio of 1,500:1 is achieved through the Advanced Contrast Enhancer circuit, which creates darker blacks without losing fine details. 10-bit technology is featured in both the KDL-70XBR7’s processor, but in the panel as well.  The combination of the two allows a much greater ability to transition between colors and helps to eliminate sharp changes. With the BRAVIA ...
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 ,  Written by
Samsung BD-P3600 Blu-ray Player Preview
Samsung’s BD-P3600 is a network capable Blu-ray player with a variety of regularly updated streaming options.  Out of the gate, the WiFi enabled BD-P3600 is able to stream both the Pandora music service and Netflix.  Thanks to a recent firmware update, the player is now able to access both YouTube and Blockbuster On Demand. The BD-P3600 is a capable Blu-ray player, with a 1080p output for both Blu-ray discs and upconverted DVDs.  It decodes high definition audio formats like Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio, as well as legacy formats.  Audio can be sent through HDMI or separately through optical or analog 7.1 outputs. Featuring a gigabyte of local storage, the BD-P3600 supports BD Live, and can be connected via either the included WiFi dongle or through a built in Ethernet port.  Audio, Video and JPEG format pictures can ...
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