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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 13, 2016 1 comments
I ran into REL Acoustics' highly eloquent John Hunter on the way to the Venetian Towers, and he suggested I come by to hear the REL Acoustics "Six Pack." As it turned out, this was not a San Francisco microbrew special, or well-developed abdominal musculature, but twin towers of 3 stacked, (84 lb each) REL Gibraltar-2 subwoofers ($4000 each) set between two full-range Rockport Avior loudspeakers.
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 13, 2016 0 comments
Because the total 6-pack sets one back $24,000, I asked REL Acoustics' David Schultz if there might be a "Six-Pack light" version. Yes, he replied, we have the "poor man's six-pack," the REL Acoustics 212SE. Wireless-capable, the almost-70 lb, 212-SE sealed-cabinet enclosure stands 20" tall and uses two active 12" and two passive 12" drivers, all powered by the 1000W RMS class-D internal amplifier with a new low-noise 3-stage input circuit.
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 13, 2016 0 comments
REL Acoustics was displaying their new S/5 SHO 12" subwoofer at CES. Like other S-Series subwoofers that came before, the S/5 has a forward-facing, 12" active driver and a 12" passive downward-firing passive driver. The S/5 can be driven wirelessly, and employs the 3-stage, low-noise "limitless" electronics for a wide-dynamic range and increased power output.
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 13, 2016 0 comments
PSB Speakers was exhibiting a new bass-reflex subwoofer, the SubSeries (SS) 450, which will be shipping in April 2016 at a suggested US price of $1499. The driver features a 12", woven-fiber-glass cone. The subwoofer employs a 450W class-D amplifier, a built-in 4th order, continuously variable low-pass filter. The subwoofer was on exhibit and not playing.
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 13, 2016 0 comments
Paradigm exhibited its new Prestige 1000SW, 12" Subwoofer. Priced at $2999, the subwoofer uses a single 12" brushed-aluminum, high-excursion X-PAL driver in a sealed enclosure which is driven by a class-D, 1000W RMS (1700W peak) amplifier.
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Jon Iverson Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 12, 2016 4 comments
The new No. 519 is intended to be an all-encompassing source for digital playback and will include not only a CD transport, but also Bluetooth, streaming, network playback, DAC, digital volume control and headphone amp. On the back are AES/EBU, SPDIF, optical and USB inputs as well as ethernet networking jacks. There are both balanced and unbalanced analog outputs as well AES/EBU, SPDIF and optical digital outputs.
Larry Greenhill Posted: Nov 25, 2015 2 comments
In July 2000, I reviewed the Mark Levinson company's first integrated amplifier, the No.383, and found that its sound had "clarity, transparency, liquid mids and highs, with dynamic contrasts." Also evident were the No.383's power-output limitations, the result of building large power supplies and heatsinks into a single case that had to fulfill multiple functions. Still, the No.383's price of $5900 was much less than the total cost of the equivalent in Mark Levinson separates. Later, in April 2007, I reviewed a similarly powered integrated amplifier, Bryston's B100-DA ($3195), which included a built-in DAC.
Larry Greenhill Posted: Nov 13, 2015 Published: Dec 01, 1995 1 comments
The EAD DSP-1000 III is housed in a 2.5" high, U-shaped chassis with a brushed-aluminum front panel. The cover is made of solid, 1/10"-thick steel with a nice "powder" finish, giving the unit an expensive feel. A pushbutton standby switch sitting below a green LED indicator sits at the panel's left. Even when set to Off, power is maintained for the decoder's circuits, but the digital inputs and analog outputs are muted. To the right, three pushbuttons allow selection of one of the three digital input sources (TosLink, 750 ohm coaxial, or glass optical interface). Like the EAD DSP-7000 unit reviewed by J. Gordon Holt and Steven Stone (Vol.18 Nos.1 & 5), the DSP-1000 accepts any of the three sampling rates: 32kHz, 44.1kHz, or 48kHz. Toward panel center is a lock light that illuminates when a digital data link is established. HDCD decoding occurs automatically whenever an HDCD disc is played, causing the front-panel HDCD indicator to light. No remote is available for this decoder.
Larry Greenhill Posted: Aug 14, 2015 Published: Dec 01, 1995 4 comments
The availability of the Pacific Microsonics High Definition Compatible Digital (HDCD®) PMD100 decoder chip, manufactured by San Jose's VLSI Technology, has brought about a minor revolution in Compact Disc playback. It brings sonic improvements in imaging, soundstaging, and resolution of detail. In the past six months, Stereophile has published a number of reports on the HDCD decoder's operation, what HDCD recordings are available, and the improvements brought by the HDCD chip to specific digital audio processors (footnote 1). High-end manufacturers are incorporating the $40 HDCD chip in their newest decoders, including the $4695 Sonic Frontiers SFD-2 Mk.II D/A processor, the $15,950 Mark Levinson No.30.5, and the $8195 Spectral SDR-2000 Professional HDCD D/A Processor (reviewed in Vol.18 No.5).
Larry Greenhill Posted: Feb 26, 2015 12 comments
Several seconds after I began listening to it, I knew that Theta Digital's Prometheus monoblock amplifier ($12,000/pair) was different from other amplifiers. The violins and brass were more dynamic, and had more pace. The orchestra sounded more three-dimensional, depicted in relief by a degree of hall ambience I hadn't heard when I played the same recording through my reference solid-state stereo amplifier, a Mark Levinson No.334.

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