It’s a fact of modern life. The higher you climb in the high end of anything, the less, at least in one sense, you will get. You will find, I believe, few gargoyles on buildings designed by I.M. Pei, and even fewer rear-seat DVD screens in Paganis.
You can’t get much plainer than Outlaw’s new Model 975 preamp/processor. With its unadorned black chassis and fascia and plain white lettering, the 975’s un-cosmetics speak of a component conceived to do a job, completely and effectively, and to otherwise stay the hell out of the way.
I encountered no glitches or surprises while testing the Sunfire Theater Grand Receiver 3. Power output was consistently among the highest I have measured from a multichannel receiver, and its 165 watts (22.2 dBW) per channel with 5 channels driven represents a clear benchmark for the category (3 to 4 dB greater than flagship receivers from many other manufacturers achieve).
Photos by Tony Cordoza Samsung's SIR-S4120R neatly combines two of the coolest products in today's pantheon of A/V wonders - digital satellite TV receivers and TiVo video hard-disk recorders (HDRs) - in one trim component that looks more or less like an ordinary DirecTV receiver.
There once was a time when audio/video components didn't have USB or Ethernet ports. When "kilobits per second" was not a hi-fi term. When a kid who stumbled over a stack of LPs in a dumpster actually knew what they were.
Sure, it's great to be an "early adopter" of new technology. You get to play with the latest, coolest gear before any of your oh-so-20th-century friends, and you can learn about new trends as they emerge, transforming yourself into a thundering bore . . . er, valued cocktail-party guest.