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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…”

Bryston SP 1.7 A/V Processor / Preamp and SPV 1 Video Switcher

Bryston SP 1.7 Surround Processor/Preamp

“Like many manufacturers, Bryston has quickly moved to update its SP1 (Spring 2001, Vol. 20 #2) home theatre processor to accommodate the new surround formats and processing options, including Dolby Pro Logic II (Film & Music), DTS NEO:6, and THX Surround EX. There are also these DSP listening modes: Stereo5, Party, Hall, Stadium, Club, Theatre, Church, and Natural; in my view, all but the last of these should be ignored…”

Aragon Stage One HT Preamp and 3005 5 Channel Power Amplifier

Aragon Stage One Home Theater Processor

“These days, when one sees the name Aragon, visions of The Lord of the Rings come to mind. But, then, that’s Aragorn. Still, looking at the blue streams of light that seem to shine from deep inside the front panel of these handsome home theater components, one does get a sense of the mystical and the magical. I was captivated by this look the first time I saw the Aragon gear at the Festival du Son last March…”

Synthesis Pride CD Player and Ensemble Integrated Amp

Synthesis Pride CD Player

“Synthesis is an Italian company that, like many firms in that country, makes beautiful things. Theirs do not happen to be cars, or fashions, but high fidelity components. And there seems to be a certain sense of style in their product names, too…”

Pioneer Elite DV-47A Multichannel DVD-A/SACD Player

Pioneer Elite DV-47A

“I’ve argued that unless all DVD and SACD players are like this one, both formats will fail, or at best limp along for a few years like SQ surround sound did. The DV-47A combines both DVD-A and SACD multichannel capability, going a step beyond our reference DV-AX10, which offers only stereo SACD reproduction…”

Bel Canto DAC 2 and Musical Fidelity A3 24 D to A Converters

Bel Canto DAC 2

“Since audio reviews generally rely heavily on comparisons, and, more specifically from the cataloguing of differences gleaned from such comparisons, this review might be a little shorter than usual. You see, the products in question here are similar in more ways than any two I’ve reviewed before…”

Sony SCD-XA777ES Multichannel SACD Player

Sony SCD XA 777 ES SACD Player

“In our last issue we profiled one of the less expensive Sony SACD players, and here we offer a look and listen to the big kahuna, the Sony with no baloney, the ES statement in SACD multichannel. The single-disc SCD-XA777ES, like our reference Pioneer Elite DV-AX10, has 6 independent DACs rather than the single or double chips found in many DVD or SACD players…”

Anthem AVM-20 Surround Processor/PVA 7 Ampifier and Aperion Audio Home Theater Speaker System

Aperion Audio 512D

“So much for entry level. With a combined price approaching seven grand, not to mention 7.1 surround channels on tap, “small” was no longer part of the equation. Now I needed speakers. Lots of speakers, as it turned out. Ever since hearing that Edge Audio was one of the first adopters of the Diaural crossover developed by Kimber Kable I’d wanted to review their speakers. A trip to their website revealed two things: First, that they had changed their name to Aperion Audio, and second that they had packaged systems ranging up to 7.1 channels: Just what the doctor ordered…”

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…”

Arcam FMJ CD23 CD Player and A32 Integrated Amplifier

Arcam FMJ CD 23 CD Player

“We’ve already looked at Arcam’s FMJ DVD player (Almanac 02), and here we have their best offering for 2-channel folks, the CD23 and the A32. Both are cleanly styled in silver and grey, with a long thin remote with a lot of small buttons that are grey on grey. In fact there are two, one for each component, that for the player also able to operate the DV27…”

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…”

Sony SCD-CE775 SACD 5-Disc Carousel Player

Sony SCD CE-775 SACD Player

“There are those who still debate the merits of (or need for) higher resolution digital formats, but I am not one of these, having mastered numerous CDs over the past few years on my 96 kHz DAT recorder, and having also worked at 192 kHz on occasion. The real question is whether two currently incompatible hi-res formats can coexist and find an audience that is large enough to sustain each format…”

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…”

Perpetual Technologies P-1A and P-3A

Perpetual Technologies P1-A and P-3A

“Until recently it seemed that things in the world of digital audio were getting a bit simpler (save for the confusion and complexity associated with the ongoing rollout of DVD-A and SACD). After a long period in which outboard DACs and various other little boxes tasked with eliminating digital jitter were de rigueur for any serious digiphile, the last few years have seen a return to prominence of the single box CD player, and even very good sounding single box DVD/CD players…”

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.

Bryston SP 1 A/V Processor / Preamp

Bryston SP1

“These days movies get made in 6 months, often in 6 weeks, and the phrase, “years in the making” hardly applies any more. However, it can refer to the design and manufacture of today’s digital home theatre processors, or, at least, the high end ones. For the past 3 years my first question to at least three Canadian electronics manufacturers has been, “How’s your A/V piece coming along, eh?”

TEAC Reference DV-H550 DVD Player and AG-H550 Receiver

TEAC DV-H550

“The newest additions to the small and cute TEAC Reference Series, the DV-H550 and AG-H550 bring compactness to full-featured home theatre. The former plays DVD, CD, CD-R/RW, Video CD, and MP3 discs, and has 96/24 stereo DACs, as well as outputting Dolby Digital and DTS. It uses 10-bit, 27 MHz video DACs, and has a digital picture zoom function, and has composite, S, and component video outputs…”

Audio ReQuest ARQ-1 Home MP3 Player

Audio ReQuest ARQ-1

“While a myriad of MP3 players have been unleashed on the market in the past year, the Audio ReQuest ARQ-1 distinguishes itself as the only one designed exclusively as a home audio component. This could mark the genesis of a significant new product category, and an important test of whether consumers are ready to embrace MP3s in a domestic environment…”


  Outside the Speakers

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