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Anthem MRX 700 A/V Receiver - An Anthem That Is More Than Patriotic!

Anthem MRX 700 A/V Receiver“Before I delve into the installation, a little more info about the MRX 700. It is the top-of-the-line A/V receiver from Anthem, and sports a polite and tidy front panel with a brushed black face. All the basic buttons are present to navigate, but, as with most A/V products you need your trusty flat screen TV to set everything up. A nifty thin sliding door reveals easy front access for a USB input, headphone jack, and RCA audio/video jacks…”

Tivoli Model 10 AM/FM Stereo Radio, 2011 Edition

Tivoli Model 10 AM/FM Stereo Radio, 2011 Edition

“The latest Model 10 also comes with a credit-card remote control that allows selection of the 5 presets, level and input control, and station scrolling. There are also Power, Mute, and Mono buttons. The preset buttons are duplicated on the left speaker rear panel, in case you lose the remote, and there is also a volume control on the top of the speaker/amp unit. The FM antenna connection is a 75-ohm screw terminal, and an adjustable stainless steel telescoping antenna is provided to attach to it. The FM presets are set by holding down the desired preset button for 2 seconds with the intended station tuned. The system also operates as clock and clock radio, showing too the date and day (just like your Rolex)…”

NAD/PSB Image Series Home Theater System

NAD T775 Receiver“At the suggestion of Lenbrook Industries Consumer Product Marketing Manager, Denise Babin, I agreed to do a complete review of this one-company/two-brand home theatre system. Maybe I should have thought about it a little longer; it was a pretty big project, as it turned out: an upper echelon NAD Blu-ray player, a powerful and very versatile HT receiver, and 6 channels of PSB Image reproduction. I brooded about this while I spent the better part of a day or two unboxing and measuring all the speakers…”

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…”

Shanling MC-30 CD Receiver

Shanling MC-30 CD Receiver

“The cynical, easy, and possibly common view of the Shanling MC-30 is that it’s a rather shameless attempt to separate trendy, design-conscious yuppies looking for an upscale iPod dock that stands out from the plastic rabble at the Apple Store from a thousand dollars. Not surprising, I suppose, given the MC-30’s dramatic looks and prominent iPod “cradle”, but, as I found out, quite unfair…”

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…”

Yamaha RX-V1400 7-Channel Receiver [AIG Archives]

Yamaha RX-V1400 7-Channel Receiver“It was London Audio’s Rick Ho who commented to me, in a phone conversation, what a good value and innovative receiver the RX-V1400 is. Its main claim to fame is automatic self-calibrating of all main functions for 7 channels of audio. This system is called “Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer for Automatic Speaker Setup”, otherwise acronymed as YPAO…”

Harman/Kardon DPR 1005 Home Theater Receiver [AIG Archives]

Harman/Kardon DPR 1005 Home Theater Receiver

“Harman-Kardon is a longtime audio brand, largely associated with higher end products, and, like everybody else in the audio/video business, has ventured into home theatre. This receiver, in their Digital Path group, is an elegant device with lots of inputs, and component, SVideo, and composite RCA outputs. Its analog audio inputs include CD, DVD, Video 1, 2, 3, and 4, with a Tape output in addition to the main output pair. These are mirrored on the video side with 3 sets of component inputs, and S and composite inputs to match every audio input…”

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…”

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…”

Sunfire Ultimate Receiver

Sunfire Ultimate Receiver

“A look at the back panel of the Ultimate receiver immediately tells you that this is a serious piece of audio/video gear; I’ve never seen a space so crammed with inputs and outputs. To run briefly through its main features, the 200-wpc unit offers 7 channels of amplification, Dolby Digital EX and Pro Logic II, DTS ES and NEO 6, capped with Bob Carver’s proprietary Sonic Holography in a new DSP-based version. The digital signal processing supports rates up to 96 kHz…”

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…”

Sony STR-DA4ES 7-Channel Receiver

Sony ES Receiver

“This is yet another complex A/V receiver that tries to make operation simple while introducing new features and maintaining those that have become standard. It’s a 7-channel design, with 110 wpc all around (8 0hms), with the new DTS 96/24, ES, and NEO:6 formats added to Dolby Digital EX and Pro Logic II. Though there are 7 Cinema and 10 music sound field programs, there are no THX ones, which is a blessing…”

Pioneer Elite VSX-49TX Home Theatre Receiver

Pioneer VSX-49TX Receiver

“According to the manual, the VSX-49TX is “the first receiver in the world to be THX Ultra2 certified”. Among the new technologies embodied in this are “ASA (Advanced Speaker Array [in case you thought it might be something for a headache]), which can process any 5.1 channel source for 7.1 channel playback (THX Ultra2 Cinema and THX MusicMode), or 6.1 channel playback (THX Surround EX)…”

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..”

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.

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…”

Marantz SR-7000 Dolby Digital Receiver

Marantz RS-7000 Home Theatre Receiver

“There are now Dolby Digital/DTS receivers at almost all price points above about $700, and the Marantz SR-7000, while not the least expensive, appears to be one of the most attractive in its mix of features and user convenience. Its look is substantial without being massive like the Yamaha RX-V1, and it does not ring the DSP chimes, but provides features for practical use, including “multiple DC triggers for custom installations”, according to the Marantz brochure….”

Yamaha RX-V1 Home Theater Receiver

Yamaha RX-V1 Home Theatre Receiver

“Yamaha’s statement receiver, the RX-V1 has in it just about everything you could imagine for a home theatre system, and a few more things you might never have thought about at all. As such, it is a very complex component that should be installed and set up by a professional. Once that is done, and the parameters relating to room size and shape with respect to multichannel operation are optimized, it is quite simple to operate….”


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