For the tenth consecutive year, Stereophile writers and editors ferret out those components that have proved capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period and have wrapped them all up as The 2001 Products of the Year. The envelope please.
Back in June of 1992, Lewis Lipnick auditioned one of the era's benchmark products, the Cello Palette Preamplifier. LL comments, "The Palette Preamplifier gives the listener a glimpse of what performers experience every day on stage: total immersion in the music."
"How much power do you really need? How much power can you actually use? What's necessary, and what's icing on the cake? And does anyone really need 1000Wpc?" Jonathan Scull takes the Boulder 2050 monoblock amplifier into the listening chamber to confront these and other pressing audio dilemmas.
In his review of the Toshiba SD-9200 DVD-Audio player, Chip Stern asks the question "In a rollout of new technologies more or less driven by the expectations of the home-theater crowd, what's in it for us music-lovers?" Stern uncovers the answer and then some, while Kal Rubinson explores the player's surround-music performance.
We start our survey of small speakers with Robert J. Reina's review of the Paradigm Reference Studio/20 loudspeaker. "Impressive right out of the box" is how Reina charaterizes the two-way design, which gets an in-depth review and also a May 2002 followup from Robert Deutsch.
From the September 1992 issue, Corey Greenberg checks in with a review of the Dynaco Stereo 70 II power amplifier. According to CG, "Panor's Stereo 70 II reissue looks similar to a vintage Dyna, but contains several circuit additions claimed to improve the original design's performance."
From the September 2004 issue, Art Dudley gets his mitts on the Spendor S5e loudspeaker, remarking, "I'm never more conservative than when the subject turns to home audio . . . . Give me thin-walled hardwood cabinets, obsolete tweeters, and handmade polypropylene woofers . . . ."
Michael Fremer wraps his ears around the Westlake Audio Lc5.75F loudspeaker in an effort to figure out "what's a pro audio company doing at CES?" Fremer discovers why a brand that, until recently, was rarely heard outside of recording studios is now selling 70% of its products to consumers.
Jonathan Scull found himself in awe of the beautiful and ingenious construction lavished on the Boulder 1012 D/A preamplifier. "Its design and build qualities are icons to elegant engineering know-how. No screws show on the rectangular box . . .", J-10 enthuses. And as Scull finds, this D/A preamp combines both beauty and brains to create sheer audio pleasure.