Reviewer's Choice Awards Page 2

Yamaha CDR-HD1000 CD/Hard-Disk Recorder (original review, November) Is data storage cheap? You bet it is! You can buy blank 700-megabyte write-once CD-R discs, recordable at 12x, for about a buck apiece and a 20-gigabyte hard-disk drive for less than $100. Put these two amazing ways to store music together, and you have the Yamaha CDR-HD1000 ($999). Sure, there are lots of CD recorders to choose from, but the CDR-HD1000 marries the flexibility of computer-based ripping with the convenience of a standalone CD burner. Load a music CD, copy it to the hard drive, and edit the contents to your heart's desire (the drive holds over 30 hours of uncompressed music), or put together your own custom playlists from multiple discs and external sources. Then all you have to do is burn your CD copy. Someday all audio components will have mass storage capability. Until then, there's the Yamaha CDR-HD1000, a truly revolutionary home audio recorder. Yamaha Electronics USA -, 800-492-6242 - Ken C. Pohlmann

Philips 34PW9815 34-inch HDTV Monitor (original review, February/March) If you're ready to join the high-definition TV party but are worried you'll need a house-hogging big-screen set, check out the Philips 34PW9815. The widescreen HDTV monitor has been updated with a 3-D comb filter and a new model number (34PW9817) but still delivers crystal-clear high-def images that can stop you dead in your tracks. Another update is its new $3,499 price - $500 less than the original. The direct-view set itself looks as good as the images onscreen, and the many extras include an Auto Fit feature, which automatically selects the right display mode for standard or widescreen images, an amusing animated menu system, and a backlit remote control. It could use a second wideband component-video input so you can connect both an outboard HDTV tuner and a progressive-scan DVD player, and its built-in line doubler sometimes gave me less than perfect results when upconverting standard signals. But those two tradeoffs are more than balanced by its windowlike display of HDTV images. Philips Electronics -, 800-531-0039 - Al Griffin

Monitor Audio Bronze 1 Speaker (original review, September, "Battle of the Bookshelfs") As the hands-down winner of Sound & Vision's first double-blind, rigorously scientific speaker listening test, Monitor Audio's Bronze 1 ($299 a pair) is the bookshelf model to beat in the $300 or less category. Classical, jazz, techno - nearly every kind of music sounds at home on the Bronze 1, which delivers impressively dynamic performance for such a diminutive speaker. It has bass to spare, but detailed highs and a smooth midrange balance the gutsy low-end wallop. And its ability to throw a wide, pinpoint-accurate stereo image makes it ideal for listening to both orchestral music and more adventurous pop recordings. The Bronze 1 is not only easy on the ears, but it looks slick, too, with a mesmerizing gold tweeter and an attractive cherry veneer finish (black oak veneer and white finishes are also available). Monitor Audio, 905-428-2800 - Al Griffin

JVC RX-DP10V Digital Surround Receiver (original review, October) We've followed the progress of THX-certified A/V receivers from the very first models to receive that designation from Lucasfilm, back in 1994. At $1,700, JVC's top-of-the-line RX-DP10V is one of the least expensive THX Ultra receivers available. It gives you everything you get with most other manufacturers' flagship receivers but costs considerably less. Of course, it does standard 5.1-channel Dolby Digital and DTS decoding as well as THX Surround EX matrix decoding for 6.1-channel soundtracks. It also includes amplifiers for a pair of back surround speakers as well as versatile bass management for all seven channels. The THX Ultra certification ensures that all those channels have ample power reserves, particularly in multichannel operation. To top it all off, the RX-DP10V comes with a well-thought-out remote control that uses both infrared and radio frequencies for long-distance operation of the receiver's many features. JVC of America -, 800-526-5308 - David Ranada