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Bryston BCD-1 CD Player

Bryston BCD-1 CD Player (Tray-small)

“If you had suggested to most audiophiles in 2000, about the time that SACD and DVD-Audio were digital newborns, that in late 2007 a Redbook only CD player from Bryston would be introduced, coinciding with the CD’s 25th birthday, most would have thought you’d inhaled a little too much solder smoke. Surely by then, format war or not, the CD would be on its deathbed, coughing and sputtering its last 44.1 kHz breaths as we basked in the sonic glory of a more perfect sounding format, whether it was forever or just a product cycle or two until something even more perfect came down the pike…”

Audio Limits Passive Controller

Audio Limits Passive Preamp“I discovered this product on eBay a couple of weeks back (late August 07), and was struck by its elegant simplicity. It’s a 4-input switcher, with a high quality potentiometer in a simple box, with long shafts on each rotary control to keep all contacts and point-to-point wiring at the rear near the high quality RCA ins and outs. Internal cabling is done with “24 AWG silver-plated copper wire with Teflon insulation”, according to the web site…”

Bryston B100 DA SST Integrated Amplifier

Bryston B-100 DA Integrated Amplifier

“The Bryston B100 sits in a line of revered preamplifiers and integrated amplifiers, outstanding for their sonic performance and operational flexibility, and the latest version provides 6 analog inputs (TV, CD, AUX/PHONO, AUX 2/SPDIF [A/D or ANALOG/DIGITAL on DA remote and faceplate, respectively] VIDEO, and TUNER), with RECORD IN and POWER AMP IN complementing the RECORD OUT and PREAMP OUT RCAs. A slide switch on the rear panel allows disconnecting of the normally direct preamp/amp path…”

Torus 20 Amp/120 Volt Power Conditioner

Torus AO24-ACB-A1AB Power Conditioner

“The power conditioner market seems to be quite highly populated these days, and new players, one would hope, will have a real story to tell, rather than just a smoke and mirrors exercise like some players currently out there. We’ve seen the giant parallel bypass inductors that come out of the swamp, defying physics, and other approaches that themselves approach fraud. Close encounters of this kind we don’t need…”

Axiom Epic 60-500 Home Theater Speaker System

Axiom Epic 60-500 System

“In the spring I ventured north to visit Axiom, who are situated just the other side of Dwight, Ontario (east of Huntsville in cottage country) where founder and owner Ian Colquhoun grew up. With Ian and his delightful wife, Amie, I toured their factory and woodshops, as well as Ian’s haunt, their extensive R&D facility; as I write, Axiom is installing an even larger anechoic chamber for measuring speakers…”

Bryston BP-25 DA Stereo Preamplifier

Bryston BP-25DA Remote

“Occupational hazards are minor and few when it comes to reviewing audio equipment. Perhaps one of the most common occurs when a product under review is updated by the manufacturer during the review process. This scenario played out before I could finish with Bryston’s BP-25 DA preamplifier, the fully loaded version of the venerable BP-20 series with its own built-in digital to analog converter…”

Anthem Statement D1 Surround Processor and P2 / P5 Home Theater Amplifiers

Anthem Statement D1

“The Statement D1 is among the most expensive home theatre processors in our experience, but offers just about every imaginable feature, as well as exceptional build quality. It will take much of this review just to outline its complement of capabilities. As their brochure claims, it is “nine high end components in one”: “preamplifier, 24-bit/192 kHz precision upsampler, analog-to-digital converter, digital-to-analog converter….”

Energy S12.3 Subwoofer

Energy S12.3 Subwoofer

“The new subwoofers from this company are relatively small, though the S12.3 is larger than the new Paradigm Seismic 12 with a similarly-sized driver (The Paradigm Seismic 12 is also reviewed in the Fall 2004 issue). The S12.3 comes in a black ash finish with a black grille cover, a volume control with a bright blue LED below it at the top of the front panel showing through the grille cover…”

D-Box Iliad Home Theater Speaker System

D-Box Iliad S1 Subwoofer

“The Iliad system has been demonstrated many times at shows over the past couple of years, to some extent playing second fiddle to the company’s seat-shaking Odyssee programmed deep bass enhancement system. But on the several occasions I’ve sat down and vibrated, I’ve noticed that the overall heard sound was pretty impressive and powerful too. D-Box has always been a subwoofer company, and readers may recall our cover-story review of the mighty Mammoth (Almanac 98, Vol. 17 #3)…”

Paradigm Signature S4 Loudspeaker

Paradigm Signature S4

“Even with a new sleek box shape, the Signature S4 looks unmistakably Paradigm. I guess it’s the drivers, designed and made in house. The tweeter is, like all the other drivers, a totally new design especially for this top-of-the-line series. It’s a 1″ “G-PAL gold-anodized pure aluminum dome” with “dual super neodymium ring magnets. Ferro-fluid damped/cooled”, its rear wave feeds into a chamber with finned heat sinks, and the die-cast basket is shock-mounted to eliminate any vibration beyond that of the dome itself…”

Energy Connoisseur C5 Loudspeaker

Energy C5 Loudspeaker

“The C5 is a slim tower with outrigger spiked feet to support its slim profile, with a very handsome silver front baffle containing 3 custom designed and integrated drivers and a flared port at bottom. “The silver front baffle is also the woofer’s basket section, and integral part of the speaker enclosure and the speaker system. Comprised of Energy’s proprietary Spherex®, the baffle is computer designed to enhance dispersion and strengthen the cabinet structure…”

PSB Platinum M2 Loudspeaker and Subsonic 10 Subwoofer

PSB Platinum M2 Loudspeaker

“Every speaker maker is excited to introduce a new flagship model, and PSB’s Paul Barton is certainly no exception, since all he and his engineering staff know about speaker design has gone into this project. The M2 is the bookshelf model in the Platinum series, which now rests above the Stratus line in the PSB pantheon. The new S10 subwoofer is the biggest and most powerful low frequency reproducer that PSB makes…”

Paradigm Cinema Home Theater Speaker System

Paradigm Cinema Series Home Theater System

“When Anthem sent me their AVM-20 and PVA-7 home theater separates for review awhile back, Paradigm, Anthem’s parent company, followed up by sending a set of home theater speakers to go with them. And what did they send to complement over $6,000 worth of home theater front end? Paradigm’s entry level Cinema series, as it turned out; the five speakers and sub costing a small fraction of the gear driving them…”

Totem Dreamcatcher Home Theater System

Totem Dreamcatcher Home Theater System

“I first heard this system, Totem’s first dedicated home theater system, at a CEDIA show a couple of years ago. And it wasn’t just that designer Vince Bruzzese was playing Ray Montford’s music through it that impressed me so much. The sound was clean, dynamic, spacious, and very involving musically. I don’t know whether it was a case of demand, but it wasn’t until this spring that I could coerce a review sample out of Totem…”

Newform Research R58 Loudspeaker

Newform Research R58

“This new model from Canada’s ribbon specialist, combines an 8″ ribbon driver with a pair of 5″ Vifa mid/woofers in a moderately sized sealed box. The ribbon, which could be called a “quasi-ribbon”, is a unipolar mylar diaphragm with voice coil imprinted on it, large magnets on either side, and absorptive material behind. It provides, wide, even dispersion, something I’ll expand on in discussing the measurements, and crosses over to the lower-frequency drivers at 1000 Hz…”

Audiophile APS 1000 Power Regenerator/Conditioner

Audiophile APS 1000

“Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) have become a part of computer operation over the last few years, and have probably prevented data loss in many instances of power interruptions. Here we have the next stage of evolution, the Audiophile Power Supply, this one the largest and most expensive model in a line of three, with further variations in battery power also available…”

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…”

Bryston 3B SST Stereo Power Amplifier

Bryston 3B SST

“The SST series of amplifiers is a not unexpected development after the introduction of the 14B and the 6B 3-channel amp, both of which used new Motorola output devices of greater linearity and wider optimum operating range to minimize both distortion (particularly crossover distortion) and transient speed The SST series also has, according to Bryston’s white paper, “doubled filter capacitance for even deeper and better controlled bass…”

Athena Technologies Point 5 Home Theater Loudspeaker System

Athena Technologies Point 5 HT System

“Athena started out as a research project headed by the NRC (National Research Council) into speaker performance in which Audio Products International (API) was heavily involved, along with other Canadian speaker manufacturers. I guess it seemed logical for Ian Paisley, research head at the company to name its new brand thusly…”

Studiolab Reference One Loudspeaker

StudioLAB Reference 1

“There are a lot of excellent speakers in the price area below $1500, but few that qualify as high end reproducers. But here I think we’ve definitely got a contender. The Reference 1 is a small tower speaker finished in a nice blonde veneer, using a SEAS silk dome tweeter, the pair mirror offset arrayed on the baffle, and a surprising 4 1/2″ Peerless woofer midrange…”


  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

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