Audio Reviews (1005 Reviews)


Audio Reviews Archives

Jan 04, 2009

Headroom Total Bithead Headphone Amp Reviewed

While Headroom's model has all the features typical headphones have, this amp also has the ability to run off USB ports meaning it can operate off of PCs, notebooks, laptops and MP3 players. The Bithead also features a switchable audio image processor for enhanced performance... Continue Reading

Jan 04, 2009

Sonus faber Stradivari Homage Speakers Reviewed

The largest of the Sonus Faber line and also the widest. Utilizing techniques used for making violins Sonus Faber has created a fine speaker that has become iconic for the brand. Don't hold their distribution chain against them - they are truly over-the-top speakers. Continue Reading
 Sonus faber Stradivari Homage Speakers Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Marantz SA-15S1 SACD Player Reviewed

Along with its matching integrated amplifier, the PM-15S1, the 13.5 kg SA-15S1 represents a step down from the top-of-the-line 11 series in terms of price while giving up little in the way of sonics or features. And of course you get With Marantz's usual impeccable build quality Continue Reading
Marantz SA-15S1 SACD Player Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Lyra Dorian Mono Cartridge Reviewed

Got mono? Well if you do, this is the cartridge that will reveal more about your mono records than you ever thought possible, with a minimum of extraneous noise that often accompanies mono records played with a stereo cartridge Continue Reading
 Lyra Dorian Mono Cartridge Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Stirling LS3 V2 Bookshelf Loudspeakers Reviewed

The LS3 V2 is forever being compared to the classic LS3/5a. The V2 does go louder and delivers more bass because it has a suspension system that "progressively controls cone excursion at high low frequency level, thus increasing the bass overload point." Continue Reading
 Stirling LS3 V2 Bookshelf Loudspeakers Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Shure V15 Phono Cartridge Reviewed

Perhaps the most archetypical moving-magnet cartridge is the Shure V-15 VxMR. It tracks like a hungry tiger during the first moments of an attack and sounds wonderful, clean and open without a trace of mis-tracking nasties or groove noise Continue Reading
Shure V15 Phono Cartridge Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Audiovalve Sunilda Phono Amp Reviewed

German-made Audiovalve Sunilda, as you might surmise, uses tubes in its stand-alone phono-stage design. It uses ECC88 and 12AX7 tubes to deliver up to 60 dB of gain in moving coil mode. It combines many virtues into a very attractive package Continue Reading
Audiovalve Sunilda Phono Amp Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Grace M902 Headphone Amp Reviewed

Our reviewer said Grace's headphone amplifier is "so clear and uncolored that I can't recall headphone monitoring that was truly so naked and revealing." The sound "even retained its openness" when playing mono recordings. If you use headphones a lot, this amp is certainly an asset... Continue Reading
Grace M902 Headphone Amp Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

SME Series I, II, III Tone Arms Reviewed

A true original that forever revolutionized turntable's sonic quality, the SME tonearm went through successive design changes that allowed it to continue to evolve when most of its competition faded away. Here's a primer on the SME Continue Reading
SME Series I, II, III Tone Arms Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Marantz SA-11S1 SACD Player Reviewed

Marantz's flagship SACD player, the SA-11S1 features a no-compromise design that eschews multi-channel reproduction in favor of hair-shirt two-channel only outputs. Built to last through a multitude of human owners, the SA-11S1 ranks as a very special player Continue Reading
Marantz SA-11S1 SACD Player Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Transfiguration Temper V Moving Coil Cartridge Reviewed

The Transfiguration Temper V moving coil cartridge uses an ultra-tight magnet coil coupling, which creates a more focused magnetic field for improved efficiency and higher output. Its solid aluminum body and boron cantilever make for a greater immunity to temperature changes Continue Reading
Transfiguration Temper V Moving Coil Cartridge Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Nagra PL-L Preamp and PMA Mono Amps Reviewed

To many well-off audiophiles Nagra is a brand without fault. To others, Nagra is a brand that is weird looking, too expensive and far to esoteric to even be considered. However, the fact remains that they make some of the finest audiophile components and we came away impressed by the PL-L and PMA combo reviewed here. Continue Reading
Nagra PL-L Preamp and PMA Mono Amps Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Rogers LS3a Bookshelf Speakers Reviewed

The LS3a "was able to reproduce most of the scale, the weight of the bass and percussion, and a convincing spread of instruments" when playing music. The vocals delivered "all but the throatiest parts," and there was a "trace of edginess with massed strings, mild 'shouty-ness' to close-mic'd vocals." Overall, the LS3a "can deliver the goods most of the time..." Continue Reading

Jan 04, 2009

Garrard 301 Turntable Reviewed

Ken Kessler fills you in on the history of the Garrard 301 turntable and fixes its place among other classic tables, such as the AR XA, Linn LP-12, Thorens TD-150, and Ariston RD-11. The Garrard's rim-drive design was among the best implemented of all rim turntables Continue Reading
Garrard 301 Turntable Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Musical Fidelity kW750 Power Amp Reviewed

For some people - they just done need a Lamborghini Murcielago which is why there is a Gallardo. This 750 watt-per-channel amp may not be the 1000 Watt (yes, a Kilo-watt) monster but for the love of God it is a LOT of power. If your speakers can't run on this sweet injection of power then they might need to go on the junk heap. Continue Reading
Musical Fidelity kW750 Power Amp Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Quad 33 Preamp and 303 Amp Reviewed

Not a whole lot to say about Quad that hasn't already been said-they're good at what they do and have a hugely loyal fan base reticent of Apple. Whether you harbor feelings for their speakers or their electronics one thing remains the same, once you hear a Quad system it's hard to listen to anything else. Continue Reading
Quad 33 Preamp and 303 Amp Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Chord One CD Player Reviewed

Our reviewer found the Chord One CD player's physical design "a hoot!" but when it came time to listen the Chord wiped that smile right off his face and replaced it with awe for this seriously good CD player that can also be used as a first-class transport Continue Reading
Chord One CD Player Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Audion Lo Sfizio Headphone Amp Reviewed

The Italian made Lo Sfizio is "so cute--in a pug-nosed dog way--that you can't argue with its whimsical qualities" according to reviewer Ken Kessler. He added that the sound quality was "musical and sweet." But the best quality of the Lo Sfizio: "this amplifier caresses the human voice Continue Reading
 Audion Lo Sfizio Headphone Amp Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Musical Fidelity X-Pre Preamp Reviewed

Musical Fidelity is so prolific in terms of manufacturing that it can be tough to keep up at times. Their latest line of audiophile goodness carries the moniker of X, which unlike traditional components is far more compact, not to mention affordable. The X-Preamp reviewed here is the gateway drug if you will of the Musical Fidelity brand. Continue Reading
 Musical Fidelity X-Pre Preamp Reviewed

Jan 04, 2009

Gryphon Exorcist Phono Demagnetizing Device Reviewed

Is your cartridge sounding tired even though it shows no signs of physical wear and tear? Maybe it needs to be demagnetized. The Gryphon Exorcist does exactly that. Read how it works Continue Reading
Gryphon Exorcist Phono Demagnetizing Device Reviewed

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