Surround Processor Reviews

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Daniel Kumin  |  Dec 25, 2012  |  0 comments

As home theater has become ever more digitally sophisticated, A/V separate components, specifically preamp-processors, have become thinner on the ground as many smaller, separates-oriented manufacturers drop away. While A/V receivers today steal much of the limelight (and dollars), separates soldier on, mostly from the major-brand makers, each of which offers a flagship pre-pro. So too do a handful of low-volume, high-end makers offering very expensive models.

Rotel is one of a very few to occupy the middle ground with a separates line dedicated to both performance and value, and priced for people who might still have to think about it. The RSP-1572, the firm’s most recent pre-pro, is the company’s marquee A/V component.

Daniel Kumin  |  Mar 22, 2012  |  0 comments

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.

Daniel Kumin  |  Oct 13, 2003  |  0 comments

Photos by Tony Cordoza Not too long ago, a loyal Sound & Vision reader wrote complaining that the "audio/video" preamps and receivers we regularly review are really just plain-audio components with a few video inputs and switching thrown in. Point taken. So here's an A/V component with some actual video: the Rotel RSP-1098.

Daniel Kumin  |  May 24, 2013  |  1 comments

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.

Daniel Kumin  |  Sep 02, 2006  |  0 comments

Outlaw Audio helped pioneer the direct web-to-consumer channel for audio/video electronics and is among the most successful in that small but growing arena. Its latest introductions include an aggressively priced preamp/processor and compact 7-channel power amp that ask the question: Is an A/V receiver your only sensible choice with less than a couple grand in hand?

Daniel Kumin  |  Mar 25, 2013  |  0 comments

Emotiva. The name sounds like the latest cure-all marketed by Big Pharma on the evening news programs. (Remember “restless leg?”) It is, in fact the consumer-audio brand of Tennessee’s Jade Designs. And Jade Designs, in turn, is the direct-to-consumer brand founded by a longtime veteran of the rough-and-tumble electronics OEM (original equipment manufacturing) world.

Daniel Kumin  |  Jan 30, 2012  |  1 comments

How long have Integra’s A/V preamplifier/processors been around? Long enough to become a bit of an institution among home theater insiders. If you were assembling a serious system and demanded legitimately audio/videophile performance in every aspect but were unable or unwilling to pay the sometimes absurd prices asked for “seriously high-end” gear, an Integra pre/pro is what you bought.

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