PREMIERE DESIGN

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 12, 2010 3 comments

Founded in 2005, Utah-based Red Dragon Audio is dedicated to class-D power-amp technology. It's flagship product is the Leviathan Signature monoblock, which is designed to look—and feel—as good as it sounds.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 08, 2010 6 comments

As I've written many times, the Ultimate Gear blog is intended to cover A/V products that embody extreme performance, design, and/or price. The 2010 ES line of A/V receivers from Sony—which were unveiled last week at a press event in Beverly Hills, California—might not fit any of these criteria, but they include so many unique and highly useful features that I decided I could legitimately cover them here.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 07, 2010 1 comments

Audiophiles know well the name Wadia Digital, a Michigan-based company that has been making high-quality digital-audio products for over 20 years. Now, Wadia has teamed up with California-based Qsonix to create the Q205 high-end music server, which joins the Q210 in the company's new Q2 series.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 30, 2010 Published: Jul 01, 2010 5 comments

Omnidirectional speakers are nothing new, though there are many variations. For example, Italian maker Bolzano Villetri has taken an interesting approach with its Campanile series, which includes floorstanders, a center-channel speaker, and a subwoofer to outfit a complete home theater.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 28, 2010 1 comments

In my never-ending quest for audio and video products with the highest possible performance, style, and/or price, I came across the AN-E/Sogon from British maker Audio Note and distributed in the US by Audio Federation. According to The Most-Expensive Journal, it's the most expensive 2-way speaker in the world.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 21, 2010 2 comments

It seems I spoke too soon. Last week, I profiled the <A href="http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/ultimate-gear/audio_note_gaku-on_monoblock... Note Gaku-On monoblock</A>, calling it the most expensive power amp I know of on a per-watt basis, which was a true statement at the time. But as soon as I posted that profile, Cornelia Davis of <A href="http://www.audiofederation.com">Audio Federation</A> informed me of another tube-based monoblock that, watt for watt, costs even more&#151;the ML3 Signature from Brooklyn-based <A href="http://www.lammindustries.com">Lamm Industries</A>.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 18, 2010 5 comments

Filmmakers and musicians spend countless hours tweaking their images and sound to perfection. But when their masterworks are played on home A/V systems, that carefully crafted music might sound nothing like it did in the studio, and that hot video might look lukewarm on the average flat-panel monitor.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 15, 2010 0 comments

When you consider the price of a power amp, it's interesting to calculate the cost per watt. In that light, the Gaku-On monoblock from British maker <A href="http://www.audionote.co.uk">Audio Note</A> and distributed in the US by <A href="http://www.audiofederation.com">Audio Federation</A> is the most expensive power amp I know of.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 14, 2010 1 comments

I'm constantly amazed at the number and variety of super-high-end speakers out there. Among the many manufacturers I'd never heard of before is <A href="http://www.marten.se">Marten</A>, a Swedish maker whose flagship is the magnificent Coltrane Supreme.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 08, 2010 3 comments

Is the NL Reference from Florida-based <A href="http://www.edgeamp.com">Edge Electronics</A> just another high-power, high-priced monoblock power amp? I think not.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 07, 2010 4 comments

Of all the various types of audio and video products, speakers seem to offer the most potential for design variation. Case in point&#151;the Magic Flute from Swedish maker <A href="http://www.swspeakers.com">SWSpeakers</A>.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 01, 2010 11 comments

There are power amps, and there are power amps&#151;and then there's the Pivetta Opera One. Standing six feet tall and weighing over half a ton, this monster is designed by Pivetta Andrea (pictured here with his creation), built by the Italian company bearing his given name, and distributed worldwide exclusively by <A href="http://www.higherfi.com">HigherFi</A>.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 26, 2010 Published: May 27, 2010 4 comments

Most CD players and transports are relatively featureless, boring rectangular boxes, but not the Kalista from French boutique maker <A href="http://www.metronome-technologie.com">Metronome Technologie</A>. Distributed in the US by <A href="http://tmhaudio.com">TMH Audio</A>, the Kalista looks more like a modern sculpture, though it offers plenty of substance in addition to some serious style.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 24, 2010 1 comments

I don't typically cover so-called multimedia speakers in this blog, but when I came across an ad for the GLA-55 from <A href="http://www.harmankardon.com">Harman Kardon</A> in an upscale magazine, I was intrigued. The cabinet looks like it was chiseled from rock crystal, and its beauty turns out to extend well below the surface.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 20, 2010 7 comments
If the Greek gods had been audiophiles, they might well have used something like the Olympus Sound System (OSS) from Adam Audio, a German high-end maker of products for the professional and consumer markets. This behemoth stands seven feet tall and weighs over 350 pounds with separate enclosures for each set of drivers.

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