J. Gordon Holt and various other Stereophile writers are brought together to create the definitive review archive of the Audio Research SP9 preamplifier. The SP9 review was controversial in its day, and the complete review archives include manufacturer and reader comments.
Incorporating the company's new "black box" crossover design, the Acarian Alón Li'l Rascal Mk.II loudspeaker captured Robert J. Reina's attention. "I fired up the Li'l Rascals, wondering if I'd catch a glimpse of the dynamic performance I'd heard from the Exotica Grand References at HE2001," explains BJR.
The audiophile Rosetta Stone? From the December issue, Kalman Rubinson goes looking for the perfect all-purpose audio player as he reviews the Linn Unidisk 1.1 universal disc player. As KR notes, "Even more important than comprehensive compatibility will be any truly universal player's ability to optimally play back all of these formats without robbing Peter to pay Paul."
Is bigger better? Michael Fremer sets out to determine just that as he reviews the Pass Labs XA160 monoblock power amplifier. As Fremer explains, "While the industry-feminizing tiny triode set has made a great deal of noise in the past few years (I can hear them hissing now), soft-walking, big-stick-carrying, mega-power amplifiers still circle the globe."
Chip Stern finds the AH! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 CD player to be a bargain in its modest price range. CS writes: "Consider the notion of an exceptionally musical, single-chassis CD player with a tubed output stage that evinces the kind of soundstaging depth, liquidity, timbral accuracy, high-frequency detail, and top-to-bottom smoothness for which, barely five years ago, consumers might have eagerly coughed up $3000 and more."
John Atkinson gets his mitts on the PSB Platinum T8 loudspeaker and remarks that "talented loudspeaker engineers do not stand still, and neither do the resources and technology available to them." Does PSB's new flagship design live up to JA's expectations? All is revealed.
The first part of our subwoofer review trilogy finds Larry Greenhill plumbing the depths with the Paradigm Reference Servo-15 powered subwoofer. Greenhill says that the wide range of adjustments available on the Servo-15 can help it blend into most environments—but having all that choice can cut both ways, notes LG.