B&W 805D: Style and Power:

Thursday, 16 September 2010 |


Bowers and Wilkins are synonymous with elegance, class and sound precision. In January 2010 mention was made that the company had made a decision to extend their world class Diamond range, a few months later B&W released a black stallion, the 805D bookshelf speakers.
A true beauty - powerful, strong and awe-inspiring. The design stuck to the classic 800 series construction, with one addition... The Diamond Tweeter, the fundamental element that changes the whole listening experience completely. Hearing the sound is not, "something that sounds nice", on the contrary the tweeter makes the sounds part of the listener, as though it comes from within.

These remarkable speakers incorporate a Kevlar 6.5" mid/woofer, crossing over to the Diamond tweeter and at 4.000Hz, with a frequency response of 49-28.000Hz (+/- 3dB). What is particularly fantastic about the design of the speakers is the sensitivity, with a rating of 88dB, running in conjunction with a crossover that works with both valve amplification and solid-state amplification; it is hard not to integrate these beauties into your system.

The joy of the speaker design; is that it does not embellish or falsify sounds, it gives shear clarity and plays what it is meant to, how it is meant to, in true Bowers and Wilkins style.

Information sourced from:
- Tone Audio: No.31 August 2010; page 141-153; B&W’s Latest Jewel by Jeff Dorgay

Epson TW3500 Projector

Tuesday, 11 May 2010 |

Conclusions

The Epson EMP-TW-3500 is good value at this end of the market, which a few short years ago was reserved for the very rich and you're getting a 1080 HD projector from the makers of the LCD engine even the diehard DLP brands now use. It's worth putting on your list.

Don't be afraid of buying a TW3500 it's another success from Epson who make LCD engines for many other brands.

Courtesy.Homecinemacentral.co.za

B&W ASW 610 Subwoofer

Monday, 12 April 2010 |


As reigning best Buy within its price class, the B&W ASW610 is the target its rivals have to aim for, but as we’ve seen in several tests of late, it’ s a difficult target to hit.

That’s partially because it’s surprisingly small, at just 31cm high – but it’s also because its diminutive form disguises a formidably powerful and terrifically dynamic design, its 200w amplifier controlling the excursions of its 25cm Kevlar/paper drive unit with a martinet’s fervour.

Spin a movie, and depth and drive are never in doubt, the B&W thundering through The Dark Knight with an absolute authority that belies its modest size.

However, most of its rivals can go loud and deep: the ASW610’s edge lies its lethally effective blend of power and poise, muscle and musicality.

It can deliver bass with subtlety and expression, its speed on the attack and its tonal differentiation ensuring Santogold’s L.E.S Artistes fairly zips along.

courtesy: whathifi.com

Click here to go to product page

Lexicon BD 30 Review

Thursday, 8 April 2010 |


Conclusion
Blu-ray is unquestionably the new standard for video playback. I personally have been wondering when would be the right time to buy a high-end Blu-ray player. Until I spent some time with this Lexicon unit, I was convinced I should wait, but this unit has swayed my belief. Offering every feature available to Blu-ray, a full BD 2.0 spec player, playing any disc you can fit into its drive and making them all sound good, this piece has changed my thinking.

Lexicon worked with the drive makers to customize this unit to their specifications and the quality they added really shows. The exceptional build quality and aesthetics of this piece mean it will look great in a high-end rig, while the sonics speak for themselves. The Lexicon BD-30 is a solid player worthy of a serious home theater, with the build quality and pride of ownership you'd expect for the price. It is the first Blu-ray player I would use as the lone source in a high-end system. Installers will love its RS 232 and IR control options, as well as its speedy load times, while customers will love its silent operation and stunningly good looks. This is a great player, one that anyone sitting on the fence wondering when to dive into a high-end player needs to listen to, or just come over to my place, as I am keeping this one.

Courtesy hometheaterreview.com

Click here to go to product page

Denon AVR 4810 Reviewed

Wednesday, 7 April 2010 |


The Denon AVR-4810CI has the most complete feature set I’ve ever encountered in an A/V receiver, with a learning curve to match—but it’s worth the effort. Its performance is up there with the best. This AVR isn’t just for the com- pletist who wants all of the latest listening modes. It’s for anyone who wants a great-sounding system, whether 5.1, 7.1, or 9.1. That kind of supersizing will never go out of style. For the dedicated surround buff who wants it all, here it is.

Courtesy: bigpicturebigsound.com

Click here to go to product Page

Boston Acoustics XS 5.1 Review

Tuesday, 6 April 2010 |


Final Thoughts

In this economy, it's hard to justify new speakers. However, the SoundWare XS 5.1 system packs a roomful of fun into one small package. There are plenty of other systems out there that are slightly cheaper, but Boston Acoustics' quality is worth the extra money. It still might not be ready to combat the big boys, but good construction and performance make it a nice starter system for any budding movie lover or audiophile.

Courtesy: bigpicturebigsound.com

Denon AVR 2310 Review

Wednesday, 31 March 2010 |


Power output from this seven-channel amp is 105W per channel, which may seem low compared to others, but bigger doesn’t automatically mean better.

The five HDMI inputs and one output are standard fare for this level of machine, as is the 1080p upscaling and built-in decoding of high-definition audio formats.

See all our home cinema amp Best Buys

Inside are two, 32-Bit, 3rd generation SHARC DSP’s (Digital Signal Processors) and picture processing technology provided by Anchor Bay.

The remote control looks a little strange with all the bumps and odd-shaped buttons, but they make it easier to operate, as you quickly remember which bump does which command.

The ‘Source Select’ button allows you to flick between inputs quickly and the amp remembers the most recent sources used.

Immense weight and power
Power up the Denon and you soon realise that this is a real gem. It sounds like a more mature, dynamic and powerful version of its smaller sibling, the £450 AVR-1910.

In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as Logan tries to evade the helicopter gunship on his motorbike, the chopper’s chain-gun mows through the forest with immense weight and power.

You get a real sense of each tree being torn to shreds. With Pure Direct engaged and all unnecessary processing turned off, the amp sounds rich and smooth without ever suffocating the high frequencies.

The Denon doesn’t provide you with quite the same level of bass weight as the likes of some of its peers, but it’s still ample and the quality is spot on.

But it’s in quieter scenes, where it has to work hard with subtle dynamic shifts, that the Denon earns its stripes.

Once you’ve started a film, the ’2310’s timing and insight make it difficult to stop. It pays as much attention to the emotion of a film’s soundtrack as it does to all the action scenes.

Courtesy: whathifi.com

Yamaha RXV 765 Review

Wednesday, 24 March 2010 |


Conclusion
It's amazing to think that, over a year ago, a receiver packing as much performance as the RX-V765 would've cost you near two grand, if not more. Here we are approaching the fall of 2009, and that same receiver is now $650. That, my friends, is progress. Yamaha has delivered with the RX-V765, for it is a feature-laden receiver that takes full advantage of the latest audio and video trends, sounds amazing and is supremely affordable.

Courtesy: hometheaterreview.com

Click here to go to product page

Yamaha MCR 040

Monday, 1 March 2010 |


Great styling designed to seamlessly fit into any room, sound quality that will leave even the most demanding audiophile satisfied!


Boston Acoustics CS26 Bookshelf Speaker

Monday, 15 February 2010 |


Conclusion
The CS 26 offers a very appealing combination of sonics, ergonomics, and aesthetics. It can stretch across many types of material, and look good in the process. None of its sonic shortcomings came at the expense of the whole sonic picture, which is critical at any price point. While I didn't find any one aspect of the CS 26 truly extraordinary, I also didn't find anything truly unappealing, either. It sounds good, looks good, and is easy to set up and drive. This is a solid performer.

Courtesy: hometheaterreview.com

Click here to go to product page

Mark Levinson No. 502...... The Best!

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Conclusion
Even their most bitter competitors are saying the Mark Levinson No. 502 is the best AV preamp currently on the market at this time. As high-end companies struggle to get a grip on their own relevance in a market that is being driven by consumer-grade retail powerhouses like Costco and Wal-Mart, Mark Levinson has made a true statement with the 502 AV preamp. Do they need a matching Blu-ray player? Without question, if they want to woo the Patek Philippe-wearing, Marquis jet-flying, non-audiophile demographic. At the same time, can you do any better in making your legacy music collection sound its best while pumping in master-quality sound via HDMI? Not without a Mark Levinson No. 502 in your rig. Even with the most feature-rich Japanese AV preamps costing from $3,500 to $7,000, the sound is unfortunately lean. With the Mark Levinson No. 502, you truly pay for your performance but, without question, you get the best of both the worlds of audio and HD video - right now in your theater. The Mark Levinson No. 502 is the cutting edge of AV preamps.

Courtesy: hometheaterreview.com

Click here to go to product page

Classe SSP 800...Simply Superb

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Conclusion
The Classe SSP 800 is an easy to use, intuitive, audiophile-grade AV preamp that, while not "cheap" by any standard, is a great value when considering the short list of audiophile-grade AV preamps on the market today. Sonics is where the SSP-800 shines the most. My system has never sounded better than with the Classe SSP-800 in the loop. The operation is now rock-solid after we upgraded firmware, changed out a few cables and dealt with a number of non-Classe issues during installation. The video pass-through is flawless, without any signs of coloration. The internal DACs are excellent, with an overall sonic performance that is worth every penny. You can get more features for less money in other AV preamps. What you can't get is this level of industrial design, system control and overall sound. The Classe SSP-800 is an audiophile winner, with home theater skills that can keep up with the most sophisticated AV systems anywhere in the world. Consider the Classe SSP-800 AV preamp a true breakthrough high-end AV product. I consider it a keeper, as I am going to write the check and make the Classe SSP-800 my new reference AV preamp.

Courtesy: hometheaterreview.com

Click here to go to product page

Rotel RSP 1570 Review

Tuesday, 9 February 2010 |


Conclusion

The overall design of the RSP-1570 is very refined and sharp, while the bulk and weight of the unit is very compact. The silver buttons laid out on the metal paneling of the component serve as an aesthetically pleasing element of the design, while also serving as a functional way to change from one audio source to another. For the amount of surround sound modes that you get with the RSP-1570, the retail price is a reasonable one for the home theater purist. The integration between the Rotel and the attached B&W CM9’s were flawless for this demonstration, which means that any consumer who wants to experience the full sonic impact his own high-end speakers should consider purchasing the RSP-1570.

Courtesy: avrev.com

Click her to go to product page

Yamaha RXV 1065 Review

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The Yamaha RX-V1065 is notable for its originality, which is something I don’t often say about an A/V receiver. If Yamaha wants its proprietary listening modes to have continued relevance, it will have to extend them to signals with higher sampling rates. But the dynamic range controls (both of them) do wonders for action movies. And the improved GUI makes the receiver a pleasure to use once you’ve gotten to know it. The Yamaha dynasty continues to produce some of the industry’s most thoughtfully designed and intriguing receivers.

Courtesy: avrev.com

Click here to go to page

Bowers and Wilkins 803S Review

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Conclusion

The B&W 803S loudspeakers have a compelling and inviting vibrant sound that certainly accentuates any audio system’s dynamic range with its ability to compress mid-range musical notes and low-end bass sounds with a high degree of precision and clarity. The price tag that comes with buying a pair of these speakers for your own audio system is a fair price for the consumer who wants to upgrade to the big leagues when it comes to audio components, yet still wants to have some money left over to pay the mortgage. So if you are looking for speakers that not only can handle all the power that your mono amplifier or integrated amplifier can output, but can really enhance every CD in your music collection, you should really look into purchasing a pair of these immaculate speakers post haste.

Courtesy: avrev.com

Click here to go to product page

Marantz NR1501

Monday, 8 February 2010 |


Full featured, tons of inputs, and slim design all with the quality Marantz is known for? The NR1501 is really a no brainer for the the fledgling Audioholic that is working within the constraints of an existing piece of furniture or a spouse's decor. It is also perfect for the consumer that things small equates to high tech and doesn't mind spending a little extra. But that little extra nets you a receiver that is unlikely to run out of inputs as your system grows and isn't going to hiccup as you upgrade your speakers. In this case, a little extra nets you a lot of gain.

Courtesy: Audioholics.com

Clich here to go to product page

Rotel Hard Hitting HiFi

Friday, 5 February 2010 |


Rotel RCD-1520 CD player,
RC-1580 preamplifier and
RB-1582 power amp

Rotel fleshes out its mainstream 15 series with
new stereo components

Summary:

...In most cases it is convincing, even the forward-sounding balance
had a positive effect by helping the system sound punchy and dynamic.
But it's the CD player that impresses us most of all. It still has a trace
of what was sounding suspiciously like the Rotel 'house sound'. It is a
little forward in balance, though only a little, but it is also surprisingly
sweet and open-sounding.

Image depth is impressive and lateral soundstaging is expansive. It
'breathes' in a way that contrasts favourably with other similarly priced
players. We also discovered that the Rotel player copes surprisingly
well with marked and damaged discs. It seems that a slot-loader
doesn't have to compromise usability, which is an obvious danger,
though it is worth practicing handling dics carefully to avoid getting
finger marks over the surface...

...Overall, the combination is tonally on the lightweight side of neutral
and there's a hint of untidiness, yet the presentation is also dynamic,
colourful and vivid.
Hi-Fi Choice issue 323, reviewed by Alvin Gold

Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Review

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Conclusion

The Zeppelin raises the bar for sound quality of iPod speaker docks. Its’ powerful enough to fill a large room with rich detailed sound and refined enough to make musical listening pleasurable at any volume level. If you are looking for the portability of an all in one active speaker system for your vast iPod library, combined with high quality sound, you'd be hard pressed to do better than Bowers and Wilkins' Zeppelin iPod amplified speaker dock system.

Courtesy: hometheaterhifi.com

Click here to go to product page

Rotel RA 1520 Intergrated Stereo Amp

Wednesday, 3 February 2010 |

Conclusion
The Rotel RA-1520 is a sonically dynamic integrated amplifier and the sound quality that this amplifier disperses speaks volumes about Rotel's dedication in designing high-quality audio components year after year. This amplifier breathes new life into audio formats that most critics have long ago left for dead, such as the audiocassette and the phonograph. With it's innate ability to process analog audio signals into something resembling the crisper quality of digital signatures, the RA-1520 should be looked at as the wave of the future when it comes to integrated amplifier design technology.

Courtesy: Hometheaterreview.com

Yamaha RXV 2065 Reciever

Wednesday, 27 January 2010 |


The Yamaha RX-V2065 has a lot of bang for the buck. All the receivers currently on the market with network capability have higher price tags. Add to that the years of manufacturing that Yamaha has under their belt and you've got a lot to get excited about. What's really interesting is what Yamaha will offer next. The RX-V2065 may not be the last '65 model out of the AV giant, or they may indeed wait to further beef up the line again with the subsequent '66 series. We just don't know what will be in the next step up from here.

Courtesy: Audioholics.com

Click here to go to product page

Boston Acoustics Review

Monday, 25 January 2010 |


Reflection Series unerringly does just about
everything right...

...at this price, you couldn't get better value
for your money...

Home Theatre Magazine
February 2010

Click Here To Go To Product Page

Marantz MM 8003 Reviewed

Friday, 22 January 2010 |


Conclusion
Like the recently reviewed AV8003, the MM8003 provides great bang-for the-buck. Like the last Marantz amplifiers I had the pleasure of listening to, the MA500 mono-blocks (discontinued for several years), the MM8003 continues the tradition of musicality and value. This amplifier may not be the end all when if comes to microdynamics (although detail is extremely good) or iron fisted bass at full volume, within its limits it performs extremely well and its limits should be broad enough to encompass most systems.

What draws me most to this amplifier is its sense of involvement, it has a good sense of rhythm and pace while remaining neutral, reproducing vocals and instruments in an organic, non-mechanical way. I never confused it for a tubed amplifier but it didn’t exhibit any of the pitfalls of solid state amplifiers usually found at this price point. The Marantz performed well with stereo sources and was outstanding on multi-channel material. No matter how hectic the soundtrack got, each channel was reproduced without compromise in performance. I have no reservations recommending this amplifier for theater systems in small to moderately sized rooms (or larger rooms with 5.1 systems that have bi-ampable front speakers.

Click here to go direct to review

Denon AVR 4310 Review

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 |


...Powerful though it is, the sound is imbued with the smoothness and refinement that characterises
Denon amps... To anyone thinking that Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz are just gimmicks that add nothing to the home cinema experience, we urge you to give them a try – you’ll never look at (or listen to) home cinema ound in the same way again. Both modes are at their best with hi-res Blu-ray movie tracks, and although clich├ęd, Pro Logic IIz and DSX Height create an immense wall of sound that increases the sense of scale
and plunges you deeper into the scene. It feels like the towering monsters and struts of the Golden Gate bridge are looming right over you.

DSX’s Width mode has similarly striking effects, bulking out the front soundstage to give movie tracks extra dynamism and expansiveness. The sound is more solid and full-bodied, but at no stage do you lose the crucial sense of separation and placement.

Rounding off this exceptional performance is superbly articulated dialogue and colossal bass output, and music lovers will be delighted with how the Denon handles their beloved tunes. It’s nimble and rhythmic, detailed and warm – a truly intoxicating sound.

The AVR-4310 is unquestionably a great AV receiver, tastefully designed, bursting with features and able to spin movie soundtracks into sonic gold. The brilliance of both Audyssey DSX and Pro Logic IIz takes its performance to the next plateau and musically it’s out of this world....

For the full review, see link below

AVR 4310

Yamaha RXV 3900 Review

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 |


Considering what today’s receivers routinely deliver, or even less, some people may raise an eyebrow at a R29990.00 model like this one. But the Yamaha RX-V3900 A/V receiver makes a superbly strong case, with beefy and musically reliable sound, coupled with a bevy of music-connectivity features that really reflect the way music lovers listen now—via PC, Internet, portable devices, and for the rapidly growing class of young analog listeners, a moving-magnet phono stage. By spanning the generations, this receiver should make a whole house full of disperate people incredibly happy.

*Click here to go to product page*

B&W CM 9 Package

Tuesday, 12 January 2010 |


Some home theater speaker packages strive for maximum output at the expense of naturalness. Others add a biting edge to everything for excitement that’s not in the program material. They produce boom instead of bass, or they sacrifice natural music reproduction on the altar of overhyped, explosive sound effects.
None of these things describe this B&W system. The key word for the CM9 Theatre is balance. It’s not the highest-end system B&W makes—otherwise why would there be the 800 Series? But it does offer a balance of strengths on both music and movies, at a price that isn’t outrageous. And it’s a pleasure to live with over the long haul.

Courtsey Home Theatre Mag .com

D-Box..... You'll be moved!

Thursday, 7 January 2010 |


Home Theatre was always about seeing and feeling, add the sense of motion and you're taken to a whole new level of sensory experience. Feel the ebb of the ocean, the speed of a car chase and every blow by blow.
The all new D-Box Motion Simulator, exclusively available to Sound and Image Menlyn for you to experience.
Over 7000 Blu Ray and Dvd's are already D-Box Ready!
Home Theatre will never be the same once youve experienced D-Box Motion Coding.
Take my word for it, this is a treat for the senses!

Marantz BD 5004 Blu Ray Player

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Marantz's 2009 Blu-ray line up includes four new models: two lower-priced players (the BD5004 and BD7004) and two high-end, reference models (the BD8004 and UD9004 universal disc player). The BD5004 is Marantz's least expensive Blu-ray model to date. We have not performed a hands-on review of the BD5004, but here is an overview of the player's features. This Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player supports Bonus View/picture-in-picture playback and BD-Live Web functionality, and it offers both onboard decoding and bit stream output of Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The BD5004 does not support any type of video-on-demand streaming or download service, such as those offered by Netflix, Amazon, and CinemaNow.

In terms of video connections, the BD5004 offers HDMI, component video and composite video outputs (no S-video). This player supports both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 output resolutions via HDMI, and it has a Source Direct mode that allows it to output all discs at their native resolution. The menu includes a solid assortment of picture adjustments: contrast, brightness, sharpness, gamma correction, colour, black level, and noise reduction.

Audio outputs include HDMI, coaxial digital (no optical), and stereo analog. As I mentioned, the BD5004 has onboard Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and it also passes these high-resolution audio formats in their native bitstream form over HDMI, for your A/V receiver to decode. The player lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so the only way to pass decoded high-resolution audio formats is via HDMI. The setup menu allows you to adjust speaker size, level, and delay for LPCM output over HDMI. For those who also plan to use this device as a music player, the BD5004 features a Pure Direct mode that shuts down unneeded video circuitry to achieve higher-quality audio performance.

The BD5004's disc drive supports the following formats: BD, DVD, CD audio, AVCHD, JPEG, MP3, WMA, and Divx. The back panel features an Ethernet port for BD-Live Web features, as well as quick firmware updates. The player doesn't include a wireless network connection option. The BD5004 lacks internal memory, so the addition of an external storage device is required to download BD-Live features; an SD card slot is provided for this purpose. The front-panel SD card slot also supports playback of AVCHD, JPEG, MP3, and WMA files. Finally, the BD5004 sports IR in/out ports for integration with an advanced control system.

The step-up BD7004 adds Anchor Bay's VRS video processing chip, with a more comprehensive set of picture adjustments, as well as a higher-quality 12-bit/297-MHz video DAC, multichannel analog audio outputs, and an RS-232 port.

High Points
• The BD5004 supports 1080p/24 playback of Blu-ray discs.
• The player has internal Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding and can pass these formats in bitstream form over HDMI.
• It supports BD-Live Web content and can play picture-in-picture bonus content.
• This player offers a Source Direct mode to output all discs at their native resolution via HDMI.
• The SD card slot allows for easy playback of digital movies, music, and photos.
• IR in/out ports are provided.

Low Points
• The BD5004 lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so it's not the best choice for someone who owns an older, non-HDMI A/V receiver.
• This player does not support any type of video-on-demand or music streaming, nor does it feature a wireless option for connection to your home network.
• The player lacks internal memory, and Marantz does not supply an SD card for storage of downloadable BD-Live content.

Conclusion
The BD5004 has the Blu-ray essentials--like BD-Live support, 1080p/24 output, and onboard high-resolution audio decoding--but you can find less-expensive models that add multichannel analog audio outputs, video-on-demand, and wireless network connectivity. This Marantz product has better build quality than you'll find in many budget models, and the company puts a greater emphasis on analog audio quality, for those who also wish to use their Blu-ray player for music playback.