SEARCH AIG







 
AIG EQUIPMENT REVIEWS

Sony BDP-SX1000 Portable Blu-ray Player - HD redux!

Sony BDP-SX1000 Portable Blu-ray Player

“This player was very impressive right out of the box, especially with Blu-ray music discs, with a truly photographic picture that is yards ahead of my Samsung 10″ DVD portable, which died on me a couple of years ago. The first generation Blu-ray portables proved to be very expensive, as were the early DVD ones (I paid $1500 for my first Panasonic), so I waited a bit on this one, finding the BDP-SX1000 on eBay at prices from $288.88USD (what I paid) to well over $500…”

OPPO BDP-80 Universal Blu-ray Player

OPPO BDP-80 Universal Blu-ray Player“I was interested in this player as much for its audio capabilities as its video quality. That said, I started my evaluation with our standard Blu-ray and DVD video test discs through the Anthem LTX-500 1080p projector onto our Vutec 92″ pull-up screen. The discs included Joe Kane’s Digital Video Essentials in both Blu-ray and DVD editions, and the FPD Benchmark Software disc. There are tests for colour, resolution, greyscale, geometric performance, and motion artifacts, to mention some of the main criteria…”

Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray/DVD Player

Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player
“I haven’t seen a Blu-ray player for $49.95 at Costco yet, but prices are coming down, as this recent model from Samsung attests. The BD-P1500 is being sold for close to $200 in Canada, and for as low as $150 in the US. But it’s not a stripped down model by any means, with HDMI 1.3 output for full 1080p at 24 fps, and Samsung’s Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) connectivity, “which allows you to operate compatible HDMI products with a single remote”, according to an online blurb…”

NAD VISO FIVE DVD Receiver

NAD Viso Five DVD Receiver“Here, NAD, in its new VISO series, has taken a somewhat reductionist approach, in the FIVE combining a full-featured DVD player and a full 5-channel receiver, eschewing all the gratuitous extra channels and fancy (and largely silly) Dolby-this and THX-that formats which clutter most receivers and confuse many consumers. Though it does offer Dolby Pro logic IIx and DTS Neo:6 Music modes, as well as Doby Digital and DTS movie play, it offers just its own EARS DSP matrix format in addition…”

KURO Plasmas & Blu-ray from Pioneer

Pioneer Elite Blu-RayLate last year, I spent an afternoon in the Pioneer Canadian showroom watching and testing these Elite products with a variety of Blu-Ray discs and DVD test material, including Digital Video Essentials, and a new Blu-ray disc that’s very revealing of such things as motion artifacts, called FPD Benchmark Software, which comes from Japan. With both TV/monitors hooked up via HDMI to another Elite product, the SC-09TX receiver, I was able to get a good look at just about the finest plasma performance I’ve ever seen. More on that below, but first a brief description of the two HTDVs and the Blu-ray player…”

OPPO DV-980H Universal DVD/SACD Player - Price/Performance PLUS!

Oppo 980 HD“I should point out off the top that this is an audio review, though I may add a sidebar later about its video performance with one of our projectors. But it’s so hard to even countenance its removal from my audio system that I can’t even predict when it might happen, though when that time comes I’ll probably also compare it with the 970HD predecessor model…”

Meridian F80 Portable A/V System - Hy Sarick Looks at what Happens when High End Audio Meets High End Auto

Meridian F80

“A combined CD and DVD player, AM/FM receiver and sound system in a single convenient unit.” So says the introduction to this remarkable little AV system. Remember the aptly named “Boombox”, which was to be seen perching on the shoulders of urban youth? These moulded plastic monstrosities were often played at levels which caused grief to nearby unwilling listeners, as well as causing permanent hearing damage to the carrier…”

NAD L53 DVD/CD Receiver [AIG Archives]

NAD L53 Small

“This DVD/CD receiver feeds only two speakers with its 50 watts rms, but adds SRS TrueSurround two-speaker enhancement for quasi-surround sound, something I’ll comment on below. It plays DVDs, of course, and, naturally CDs (it also plays CD-Rs and variants, MP-3, JPEG, and WMA discs), and can be the centrepiece of a reasonably priced home theatre system…”

NAD Masters Series M55 Digital Disc Player and M3 Dual Mono Integrated Amplfier

NAD M3 Integrated Amplifier

“There is no question that they do look quite classic (more so than the previous Classic series they replace), and somewhat permanent, in a rather bank-like manner. Here’s how the elaborate brochure goes on to describe their build quality: “Mechanical construction is to a very high standard to assure a lifetime of trouble free use. With 2mm thick steel panels, combined with extruded aluminum and die cast zinc parts, the chassis forms an incredibly solid foundation to reduce air and structure born [sic] vibration from reaching any sensitive electronic components within. Specialized vibration damping feet employ silicon rubber to further isolate the chassis from vibration…”

Pioneer Elite BDP-HD1 Blu-Ray & DVD Player

Pioneer Elite Blu-Ray“It seems Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are fighting their marginal little format war in a dusty corner of some video arcade, Blu-Ray quite literally, as its main growth is in game consoles. Pioneer’s Elite division, arguably designer and manufacturer of the most consistently outstanding players of video discs in general, and DVDs specifically in recent history, has embraced the Blu-Ray format with this machine…”

Pioneer Elite System: PRO-1140 HD Plasma, VSX-84TX Receiver, DV-46AV Universal DVD Player

Pioneer Pro 1140 HD Plasma

“A company that still beats the drum for plasma while others cut and run, as our temporary prime minster would say, Pioneer has certainly made its statement in the quality of picture offered, and the progressive improvement since the introduction of these big screen flat panels. Price points have dropped at retail, though not quite so quickly as those of the competing technologies, for example, LCD, which has made a big charge in its various iterations by the different manufacturers, most recently Sharp, with its Aquos series. The Pioneer Elite PRO-1140HD TV/monitor is therefore a statement product in quality, if not in price, from Pioneer Elite…”

OPPO DV-970 Universal DVD/SACD Player

Oppo 970 HD

“A better mousetrap catches more mice, and the designers at OPPO seem to have started with that premise in this product’s development. The DV-970HD catches more design goals in its brief than most of its competitors, ranging from high quality multichannel audio to upsampled video from DVDs, with a surprising number of added features in between, both audio and video.”

KEF Instant Theatre System

KEF Instant Theatre System

“To many the very idea of a high-end home theatre in a box may seem like an oxymoron, but that’s exactly what renowned British loudspeaker maker KEF has set out to do with the Instant Theatre. At first glance it looks dangerously like a “lifestyle” product, and I suppose that in the minds of marketers and retailers it most certainly is, but it’s important to remember that we’re dealing with a company that has produced more than its fair share of high-end, and highly regarded, loudspeakers since its founding in 1961…”

NAD L 70 DVD Player/Receiver

NAD L-70 DVD Receiver

“This new receiver is striking right out of the box because it abandons the traditional and conservative NAD style that has changed little over the years, 30 in all. According to a white paper issued by the company, “Because the L70 is a DVD receiver, some people might be tempted to try to squeeze it into the rather crowded `Home-Theatre-in-a- Box’ category…”

Panasonic DVD-RP91 DVD-Audio/Video Player

Panasonic DVD-RP-91 DVD-A/V player

“I first encountered this DVD-A player at an all-day Audio Engineering Society Toronto chapter seminar on the new digital audio formats near the end of May. It was used for DVD Audio playback in demonstrations of the new format, as was a Pioneer DV-38A review sample that I provided…”

Marantz DV-12S1 DVD-A/V Player and SR 8200 Receiver

Marantz DV-12S1 DVD-A/V Player

“Marantz is unique, as far as I know, in offering both SACD and DVD-A players, the DV-12S1 and the SA-12S1. Both play video DVDs, but unlike Pioneer’s Elite DV-47a neither will play both digital audio formats. Instead of a universal player, here we have not-quite-identical twins..”

Pioneer Elite DV-AX10 DVD-Audio/Video Player

Pioneer DVD-AX10

“I reviewed this DVD-A player in the Winter of 2000 (Vol. 19 #3), and had some high praise for the sound quality of the DV-AX10 heard through its companion C-AX10 digital preamplifier. However, that early sample had no analog output, and recognized but did not output sound from SACDs. Well, now we have the production model of the AX10, and it’s impressive not only as an audio player, but as a video one…”

Arcam FMJ DV27 Progressive Scan DVD Player

Arcam FMJ DV-27 DVD Player

“Last spring I spent some time with Arcam’s Diva DV88 DVD player (Spring 2001, Vol. 20 #2), and was impressed by its S video output, but less so by its non-progressive component output picture. Now we have in front of us the FMJ range player with progressive scan output, which is said to offer superior audio performance as well. It plays CD-Rs, Video CDs, and “some MP3 audio files”, according to the manual, as well as decoding HDCDs…”

NAD/PSB Alpha Home Theater System

PSB Alpha C

“Here’s a system designed and assembled in Canada, though the origins of the components lie far to the east. Since being bought by Lenbrook Industries, NAD has done all product development at its international headquarters in Pickering, Ontario, while PSB loudspeakers are designed by founder Paul Barton and his team in the same facility…”

Arcam Diva AVR100 Dolby Digital/DTS A/V Receiver and DV 88 DVD Player

Arcam AVR 100 A/V Receiver

“Things get complicated. Especially home theater receivers. I recently gave up in frustration on an HT receiver review because I simply could not make it work! And I’m the guy who takes pride in never having to read the manual…hey, I’m a reviewer, I know how these things work, trust me.


  Outside the Speakers

    Random Thoughts on the Music Mask
    NPR on Whether Audiophiles Still Exist
    Audiophile Grade Mics?
    CDs Sales Die, LP Sales Fly
    Some High End 'Phones from CES

Got a tip? news@audio-ideas.com
  AIG Reviews
Loudspeakers | HT Loudspeakers | Power Amplifiers | Preamplifiers | Integrated Amplifiers | Receivers | Surround Processors | Digital Sources | CD Players | DVD Players | Network Music Players | SACD Players | Analog | Cables | Subwoofers | Portable Audio | Pro Audio | Headphones | Systems | Tuners | Video | Vintage Gear | HD Video | Blu-Ray | Online Archives

Complete List of Online Reviews
  Columns

     Audio Ideas (Andrew Marshall)
     Ox Box (Bob Oxley)
     Hy End (Hy Sarick)
     Bain's Blog (John Edward Bain)

Interested in Writing about Hi-Fi and Home Theater for AIG? Click to Email a Writing Sample

  Most Popular Today
  1. PSB Platinum M2 Loudspeaker and Subsonic 10 Subwoofer
  2. Audio Ideas, December 2011 - Recent SACDs, CDs, Blu-rays, & Other Confections (Or Not)!
  3. Audio Ideas: CBC Radio Two - Intelligent Music Selection Becomes A Sausage Factory
  4. Paradigm Monitor Series 7 Sub 10 Subwoofer - Extended, Clean Bass From A Tiny Box!
  5. AIG Tweaks: Imagers and Cleanjack
  6. Soundsmith Aida Ebony Phono Cartridge: Looking For Your Last Best Cartridge? This Could Be It, At A Decent Price!
  7. Anthem MRX 700 A/V Receiver - An Anthem That Is More Than Patriotic!
  8. Behringer 1002B Portable/Studio Mixer - A Remarkable Recording Tool, Especially At The Price!
  9. Pro-Ject Tube Box Phono Preamp
  10. Sony XDR-F1HD AM/FM/HD Radio Digital Tuner
  Most Popular Overall
  • Recent Comments: