Premiere Design

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Scott Wilkinson  |  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.

 |  Jun 17, 2010  |  0 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 Marten, a Swedish maker whose flagship is the magnificent Coltrane Supreme.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 03, 2011  |  0 comments
Swedish Marten is well known for high-end speakers—I profiled the incredible Coltrane Supreme last June. But the company introduced something different at CES 2011—its first power amplifier, the M-Amp monoblock.
Bob Ankosko  |  Mar 05, 2014  |  0 comments
Smile If You Like Music
Yep, you read that right. MartinLogan, the 30-year-old Kansas-based company known for elegant, high-performance electrostatic speakers, is branching out. And, no, the Crescendo is not a center-channel speaker.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 14, 2009  |  10 comments

I've always had a certain fondness for <A href="http://www.linn.co.uk">Linn</A>, a high-end audio company based in Glasgow, Scotland. Perhaps it's because the company is located in my namesake country, or maybe it's the clever, Ikea-like product names. More likely, it's because Linn has been making exceptional audiophile products for over 35 years, starting in 1972 with the Sondek LP12 turntable, which is now the longest-lived hi-fi component still in production. Of more recent vintage is the flagship Klimax speaker system presented here.

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 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  |  Jan 27, 2011  |  3 comments
MBL has its fingers in just about every audiophile pie there is, from CD players and DACs to preamps and integrated amps to power amps and speakers to cables, racks, and speaker stands. In terms of source devices, the company's ne plus ultra is the 1621A CD transport and 1611F digital-to-analog converter (DAC).
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 07, 2011  |  0 comments
In addition to the Reference system I wrote about a few weeks ago, MBL also showed its mid-range Noble line in an adjoining room at T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach, CA, last month. I must say, this more moderate setup fit the funky hotel room better than the bigger system next door.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 14, 2011  |  5 comments
Even though hotel rooms are not the best environment to show off high-end audio products, some companies managed to achieve a mighty impressive sound at T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach, CA. Among them was MBL, which set up two systems in adjoining rooms. My first stop was the room with the flagship Reference system, including two 101E MkII speakers ($70,500/pair, profiled here) and two 9011 monoblock power amps, which generate 750 watts per channel and cost a staggering $53,000 each.
Bob Ankosko  |  Jan 23, 2014  |  1 comments
The audio world has undergone dramatic change since stacks of McIntosh amplifiers powered the iconic Woodstock Festival in 1969. One thing that hasn’t changed much is the signature VU meter that’s become synonymous with McIntosh Labs, which has been making high-performance audio gear since 1949 when Frank McIntosh set out to build a better amplifier. His legacy lives on behind the glowing meters that adorn the elegant glass faceplate of Mac’s latest masterpiece, the MA8000 integrated amplifier.
Bob Ankosko  |  Mar 15, 2017  |  0 comments
Go ahead, take a few seconds to savor the radiant splendor of the McIntosh MT5. Rolling Stone dubbed it "The Turntable of the Gods." Fitting, indeed, for one of the most striking turntables you'll encounter. Beyond the hypnotic allure of its mirror finish and luminous platter—not to mention the conversation it's sure to stimulate—you'll find a precision device that treats cherished albums with the respect they deserve, while extracting the goosebump-inducing nuances that define your passion for vinyl.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 25, 2010  |  24 comments

Considering all the recent brouhaha about the $3500 Lexicon BD-30 actually being a rebranded Oppo BDP-83 (list price $500), I was suspicious when I saw a CES press release introducing the MVP881 universal disc player from <A href="http://www.mcintoshlabs.com">McIntosh Laboratory</A>. But then I read that the MVP881 uses the HQV Realta video processor, whereas the Oppo/Lexicon uses VRS from Anchor Bay, so it can't be another more-expensive knock-off.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 09, 2011  |  0 comments
Video demos were mighty scarce at T.H.E. Show last week. One notable exception was located in a ballroom hosted by Digital Ear, a high-end dealer in Tustin, CA. The centerpiece of the demo system was the 810 4K D-ILA projector from Meridian (profiled here) in its first public showing.
Bob Ankosko  |  Aug 31, 2013  |  0 comments
Sonic Splendor

Timing is everything when it comes to great comedy—and great sound. And time alignment is one of several refinements Meridian has made to the popular DSP7200 tower speaker it introduced in 2007—one of the most technologically advanced speakers on the planet. But before we get into what the company has done to improve this already remarkable speaker, let’s take a quick look at what makes it special in the first place.

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