The 2000 Products of the Year Budget

Budget Component of 2000

MSB LinkDAC III Full Nelson D/A processor (review) ($1382; reviewed by Kalman Rubinson & Robert Deutsch, Vol.23 Nos.9 & 12, September & December 2000)

Runners-Up (in alphabetical order):
Acoustic Energy Aegis One loudspeaker (review) ($299/pair; reviewed by John Atkinson, Vol.23 No.5, May 2000)
Audio Electronic Supply AE-25 SuperAmp power amplifier ($1200; reviewed by Sam Tellig, Vol.23 No.7, July 2000)
Musical Fidelity A300 integrated amplifier ($1495; reviewed by Sam Tellig, Vol.23 No.3, March 2000)
Music Hall MMF 5 turntable ($499 with arm and cartridge; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.23 No.7, July 2000)
NAD L40 CD receiver ($599; reviewed by Chip Stern, Vol.23 No.6, June 2000)
PSB Alpha A/V loudspeaker (review) ($249/pair; reviewed by John Atkinson, Vol.23 No.4, April 2000)
PSB Alpha Mini loudspeaker ($199/pair; reviewed by Chip Stern, Vol.23 No.6, June 2000)
Vandersteen 2Ce Signature loudspeaker (review) ($1495/pair, optional bases cost $125/pair; reviewed by Chip Stern, Vol.23 No.10, October 2000)
Yamaha @PET RPU-100 desktop receiver (review) ($499; reviewed by John Atkinson & Shannon Dickson, Vol.22 No.12 & Vol.23 No.1, December 1999 & January 2000)

msbdaclll.jpgThe original $399 version of the MSB digital processor was 1999's Budget winner, but the upsampling Mk.III LinkDAC with the Full Nelson upgrade and Power Base supply was deemed sufficiently different to make it eligible for the Y2K awards, even if its price of $1382 is marginal for a "budget" component. Which was just as well, as the MSB managed to nose out the Vandersteen 2Ce Signature to take this year's crown. "The charms of the original's transparency and immediacy were...joined by a newfound smoothness and sense of ease in the upper frequencies," wrote Dr. Kal in his review, losing his customary cool when he drove the MSB with an AES/EBU datastream to expostulate "Wow and double-wow!...I thought the original MSB Link was an unbeatable value. I was wrong," he summed up. "The Link III is even better and more exciting."

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