Premiere Design

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Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 29, 2010  |  0 comments

During Michael Fremer's recent appearance on my podcast, he told the story about how he fell in love with a turntable he had reviewed for Stereophile—and how his wife had wholeheartedly approved of buying it, even though it cost as much as a high-end luxury car. That turntable is the Caliburn with Cobra tonearm from Continuum Audio Labs in Australia.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 27, 2010  |  2 comments

D&M Holdings is the corporate umbrella under which both Denon and Marantz live, so it's no surprise that the flagship Denon DVD-A1UDCI (reviewed by Shane Buettner for Home Theater) and Marantz UD9004 universal disc players are both based on a common platform. So why is the Marantz $1500 more than the already very-expensive Denon?

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 27, 2010  |  4 comments

Few speakers are more highly regarded than the venerable WATT/Puppy from Wilson Audio. After eight model revisions, Wilson decided to implement some upgrades that warranted a new name—and the Sasha W/P was born.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 26, 2010  |  3 comments

Long scoffed at by audiophiles, music servers are now gaining widespread acceptance for their convenience and sound quality. Among the most highly regarded products in this category is Sooloos from British high-end stalwart Meridian, which just announced two new members of the Sooloos family—the Control 15 server and Media Source 600 client.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 23, 2010  |  0 comments

I first heard about British high-end manufacturer dCS many years ago when I read a white paper from the company extolling the audible virtue of PCM digital audio recorded and played back at 192kHz with 24-bit resolution. Since then, it seems that dCS has embraced DSD—the digital-audio format used by SACD—in its CD/SACD playback systems, including the all-in-one Puccini.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 22, 2010  |  6 comments

Since I profiled the Titan Reference 1080p 3-chip DLP projector from Digital Projection International (DPI) in 2009, the company has upgraded it to include 3D capabilities. And unlike most Ultimate Gear products, I've actually spent some time with this one while Tom Norton was reviewing it for the October 2010 issue of Home Theater. How about a sneak peek?

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 20, 2010  |  3 comments

When I profiled the incredible Transmission Audio Ultimate speaker system last year, I mentioned that the $2,000,000 package includes power amps and a preamp from Bridge Audio Laboratory, otherwise known by the odd contraction BAlabo. Here, I concentrate on these two beauties by themselves, along with BAlabo's new 2-channel DAC.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 19, 2010  |  4 comments

Scandinavian design is often highly unusual. Case in point—the Helsinki 1.5 speaker from Finnish Gradient, which made the cover of the August 2010 issue of Stereophile.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 16, 2010  |  1 comments

Over a year ago, I profiled the amazing 101 X-treme speaker system from MBL. If you don't have a quarter-million dollars or a floor capable of supporting its 3600-pound bulk, consider the newly refined 101E Mk II.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 16, 2010  |  3 comments

Over a year ago, I profiled the amazing 101 X-treme speaker system from MBL. If you don't have a quarter-million dollars or a floor capable of supporting its 3600-pound bulk, consider the newly refined 101E Mk II.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 15, 2010  |  3 comments
With his magical hammer Mjöllnir, the Norse god Thor is said to have produced thunder. So there is no more appropriate name than Thor's Hammer for the ultimate subwoofer from Wilson Audio. In fact, this monster might have put Thor himself to shame, since it can reproduce frequencies even lower than natural thunder.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 15, 2010  |  0 comments
Wilson Audio is well known for ultra-high-end speakers, but most of its products are designed for 2-channel listening. To create a full surround system, all you need do is mate any of Wilson's superlative L/R models with a center, surrounds, subwoofer, and controller from the WATCH (Wilson Audio Theater Comes Home) lineup.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 14, 2010  |  0 comments

As I was looking for products to profile in this blog, I came across something astonishing - a tube-based monoblock power amp that costs $350,000/pair! Hand-built by Japanese boutique maker Wavac Audio Lab, the SH-833 isn't new - it was reviewed in Stereophile in 2004 - but when I saw that price tag, I knew I had to include it here.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 14, 2010  |  0 comments

When I ran across the Ultimate II speaker from Magico, I knew I had to profile it here - hey, the name says it all! This 5-way, horn-loaded monster stands 7.5 feet tall and weighs 800 pounds, and from all reports I've read, it sounds just as impressive as it looks.

Scott Wilkinson, Len Porcano 2  |  Jul 13, 2010  |  0 comments
Most consumers would probably apply the word "stereo" exclusively to 2-channel audio systems. So you might be surprised to learn that "stereo" has nothing to do with the number 2 per se—it derives from the Greek word for "solid." The word was applied to 2-channel sound systems when they first became available because those systems rendered a much more "solid" sonic image with more specific placement of individual elements (instruments, voices, etc.) than the monaural systems that had preceded them. Similarly, 5.1 surround systems are far more "stereo" than 2-channel systems.

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