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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…”

Sony XDR-F1HD AM/FM/HD Radio Digital Tuner

Sony XDR-F1HD DIgital/FM TunerWho could have imagined that the best new FM tuner (and possibly the best ever designed) would be priced at under $100, and be a miniature design, but with full remote control. It makes me wonder why I embarked on the Audio Ideas FM Tuner Project, when the ultimate conclusion is so small and affordable. I guess that’s a good thing…”

The Audio Ideas FM Tuner Project - Conclusions & Tuner Rankings

Accuphase T-1000 FM Tuner“I must say that I’ve put aside the concluding chapter of this project for many months, though I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps it was the inertia caused by this last horrible Winter, or maybe I just got sick of all these tuners once I’d found the two that did what I needed an FM reception device to do. I’ll say more about these two below, but I don’t mean to tease: there are a bunch of really excellent tuners that stood out from the rest of the 50 or so that I bought and evaluated, some of which have not been formally reviewed, so they’ll get a once-over here…”

Audio Ideas: Being Transformed

Andrew Marshall, 2008In the past year I’ve gone through an experience I never expected, the process of moving from the best head amp I’d ever used to a series of transformers in my phono system. It all started with the final fate of my twice-retipped Ortofon MC-3000 MK II, which was to become mono, the left-channel coil failing. And the thing about this wonderfully civilized and detailed cartridge was its very low output, a nominal 30 microvolts, which dictated the active MC stage, the legendary McIntosh MCP-1…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Sony ST-5950SD, A Rare Successor to the ST-5130

Sony ST-59595D“Though it has only one IF path, like the remarkable 5130, the ST-5950SD also has auto variable IF, so can actually be more selective than many tuners with dual path switches. And there’s no AFC or Quartz Lock to pull it away from weaker signals to adjacent strong ones, so it’s an excellent DXer, holding distant signals well. Though the Hi-Blend is not up to that of the ST-5130 in reducing noise, the Dolby feature can be used for this in extreme situations while maintaining stereo reception…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Sony ST-5000FW - A True Classic!

Sony ST-5000 FM Tuner

“I’ve looked for one of these for over a year in this tuner quest, and until recently, couldn’t persuade one of my oldest friends to part with, or even get aligned, his ST-5000FW. Well, I recently succeeded on both counts, and the one up for sale here also has the gorgeous custom Sony Oiled Walnut sleeve to cradle its sonic and signal-pulling excellence. These tuners are rare enough, and even moreso in Walnut. This is a true Classic, cradled in its best wood formal wear. My friend now has his again, newly restored, as is this one…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Sony ST-5150 - A Clean Classic!

Sony ST-5150“Here’s a Sony ST-5150, which comes from the same era as the legendary ST-5000FW and its successor, the amazing (and better) ST-5130. I own 3 of the latter, and contributing music editor Hy Sarick has one of the former, so I know how they all perform. How does the ST-5150 stack up in this company?“

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Budget Sony 5000 Series

Sony 5000 Series Tuner“This stylish Sony had some similarities to the ST-5130 and -5000FW, but is a slightly later model, bearing more resemblance to such models as the ST-5950, but with a much simpler front panel…”

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…”

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…”

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…”


  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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