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A/V Product Reviews

Audioholics writes some of the industry's most thorough AV product reviews. Our reviews stand apart from the competition in that we do comprehensive objective measurements and analysis including taking the products apart to describe their operation from soup to nuts. Get the real skinny on how AV receivers, amplifiers and loudspeakers perform from our unbiased reviews.

Yamaha DVD-S2300 MK2 Universal DVD/SACD Player Review

Yamaha DVD-S2300 MK2 Universal DVD/SACD Player Review

We are at a bit of a crossroads in technology right now as some of the digital rights management rules change and digital transmission of DVD-Audio and SACD finally become a reality. As of right now (but not for long), the choices remain to go analogue or utilize a proprietary digital format for audio. Digital video output specifications are also in a state of flux as DVI and HDMI are being discussed (and possibly both utilized) as standards. Since many people are still in possession of analogue displays (CRT direct view or rear projection) this is not a limiting factor at all. In fact, it's the newer technologies that have yet to prove themselves and deal with issues and difficulties long ago solved by their analogue counterparts (resolution conversion and enhancement, for example.)

We are at a bit of a crossroads in technology right now as some of the digital rights management rules change and digital transmission of DVD-Audio and SACD finally become a reality. As of right now

— February 28, 2004 19:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Projector Screen Shootout: Stewart, Da-Lite & Carada Compared

Projector Screen Shootout: Stewart, Da-Lite & Carada Compared

For many of us who have fallen victim to the world of home theater technology, there comes a point when we graduate to the "big screen". For me, this happened when I stumbled across a DLA-DS1 JVC video projector that needed a new power supply. It was one of those "bargain basement" deals I just couldn't pass up. I mean, we're talking a serious upgrade from a 1997 52-inch 4:3 Sony RPTV that didn't even have RGB inputs.

For many of us who have fallen victim to the world of home theater technology, there comes a point when we graduate to the "big screen". For me, this happened when I stumbled across a DLA-DS1 JVC

— February 27, 2004 19:00 in Projector Screen Reviews

Universal Remote MX-700 Home Theater Master Review

Universal Remote MX-700 Home Theater Master Review

When I first heard I was to receive an MX-700 remote control to review I was mildly receptive. I was fairly happy with my Yamaha learning remote control, one that came with the RX-V3000 receiver I owned. What I primarily liked about that receiver's remote was its ability to automatically facilitate audio-follows-video switching and its dedicated receiver volume control. In using the Home Theater Master MX-700, I underwent an entire change in understanding of how well a remote control can function. While the small LCD of my Yamaha remote allowed for control of devices without affecting the current selected inputs, the fully-functional multi-pane LCD screen of the Home Theater MX-700 allows for tremendous flexibility in controlling all of your devices efficiently and ergonomically.

When I first heard I was to receive an MX-700 remote control to review I was mildly receptive. I was fairly happy with my Yamaha learning remote control, one that came with the RX-V3000 receiver I

— February 21, 2004 19:00 in Universal Remote Reviews

Canton Karat Reference 2 DC Speakers Review

Canton Karat Reference 2 DC Speakers Review

Canton was founded in 1972 by four hi-fi enthusiasts who joined together with the goal of always producing the best speakers of their class. Canton is a combination of the Latin word "cantare" (to sing) and the German word "Ton" (musical tone). Canton started officially with 35 employees on 1 January 1973 assembling speaker enclosures. Their initial development work was done in a living room.

Review: Canton Karat Reference 2 DC tower speakers sound as good as they look. This floorstanding speaker has great tonal balance and plays clean at high output levels.

Steve DellaSala — February 11, 2004 23:00 in Tower Speaker Reviews

Tannoy 5.1 FX Home Cinema Speakers System Review

Tannoy 5.1 FX Home Cinema Speakers System Review

Tannoy is the brand name on many prestigious sound installations throughout the world. Examples include the Hong Kong Convention Centre, the Sydney Opera House, the London Palladium theatre, Coca Cola Headquarters in Atlanta , the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas , the Dolce & Gabbana headquarters in Milan and the Finnish National Theatre.

Tannoy is the brand name on many prestigious sound installations throughout the world. Examples include the Hong Kong Convention Centre, the Sydney Opera House, the London Palladium theatre, Coca

— January 31, 2004 19:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

RBH Sound T-2 Signature Series Tower Speaker Review

RBH Sound T-2 Signature Series Tower Speaker Review

RBH Sound has been manufacturing high performance loudspeakers for over 25 years catering to the high performance (mind you not necessarily high priced) and custom install marketplaces. Yet their name isn't as widely recognized by consumers like some of the big guys out there. Fortunately name recognition is not always a reflection of product quality or performance. The RBH T-2 Signature Tower speaker system exemplifies a company committed to producing high performance product. I can't think of a better example than this particular loudspeaker manufacturer. The T-2 system is a true performer, capable of handling all of the dynamics and subtleties of music with ease. A must read review!

Review: The RBH Sound T-2 Signature Tower Speaker system is a large monolithic speaker capable of producing earth shattering output, compression free.

— January 31, 2004 18:00 in Tower Speaker Reviews

Integra DTC-9.4 Processor and DTA-9.4 Amplifier Review

Integra DTC-9.4 Processor and DTA-9.4 Amplifier Review

The Integra DTC-9.4 pre-processor is the more affordable AV Processor from the custom install arm of Onkyo. Integra was kind enough to send us the DTA-9.4 so we could mate the DTC-9.4 processor with its 7-channel Class-D "partner". Together, they cost $5000 though the DTC-9.4 is only $2000. The DTC-9.4 is a preprocessor that is ergonomic, well-rounded and great-sounding. I noticed no major flaws with the unit. The DTC-9.4 is a good value and holds its own against pre-pros and receivers costing much more.

The Integra DTC-9.4 processor is a good value and holds its own against pre-pros and receivers costing much more. Check out our full review of the Integra Research DTC-9.4.

— January 30, 2004 18:00 in AV Preamp and Processor Reviews

Von Schweikert Audio VR-1 Speaker Review

Von Schweikert Audio VR-1 Speaker Review

The following review is for Von Schweikert Audio's VR-1 Reference Studio Monitors. Two pairs of VR-1 speakers were thoroughly listened to and evaluated in bookshelf, and surround applications for approximately four months on a variety of different reference systems, each with unique room acoustics. Some of the technical information was provided by the manufacturer and additional information can be found on their site at www.VonSchweikert.com . Performance measurements were conducted by Audioholics using Sencore and LMS test equipment.

The following review is for Von Schweikert Audio's VR-1 Reference Studio Monitors. Two pairs of VR-1 speakers were thoroughly listened to and evaluated in bookshelf, and surround applications for

Steve DellaSala — January 11, 2004 19:00 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Yamaha RX-V2400 A/V Receiver Review

Yamaha RX-V2400 A/V Receiver Review

, aThe Yamaha RX-V2400 is an extraordinarily good product and value, and in my opinion, fills a marketplace that no other product in its price class currently does. It offers a quick auto set-up for the neophyte that will at least achieve a reasonably good sounding configuration some users ordinarily wouldn't be able to achieve manually, and allows for user tweakable adjustments to improve those settings. It even has a bi-directional RS-232 interface and a receiver editor feature allowing the user, or more commonly, the custom installer to set-up, configure, and retain programmable settings on a computer incase of the event of memory failure or accidental user erasure/modification of settings. Two multi zone settings (one with power amp assignability, the other passive with triggered outputs) allows for the receiver to serve as the demarcation point for house wide entertainment with minimal components required.

The Yamaha RX-V2400 is an extraordinarily good product and value. The Yamaha RX-V2400 offers a quick auto set-up for the neophyte, and allows for user tweakable adjustments to improve those settings.

— December 07, 2003 18:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

Philips SACD 1000 DVD Player Review

Philips SACD 1000 DVD Player Review

A friend of mine came up to me a few weeks ago and made the following announcement. " Dan, do you want to borrow my SACD 1000 player with a bunch of SACD hybrid discs for a week?" Talk about an offer you can't refuse. I sat back and did some casual listening using the SACD discs and selected the red book cd output on the Phillips SACD 1000. This allowed me to playback the red book CD layer of the SACD. It sounded like the typical one bit consumer player (which the unit is not) that I have learned to detest over the years. Not enough dynamic range to suit my tastes. I then switched to SACD playback and said to myself, now we are getting somewhere; this has more of the dynamics I am used to and definitely prefer.

A friend of mine came up to me a few weeks ago and made the following announcement. " Dan, do you want to borrow my SACD 1000 player with a bunch of SACD hybrid discs for a week?" Talk about an offer

Dan Banquer — December 02, 2003 00:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Axiom Audio EP500 and EP600 Subwoofers - First Look

Axiom Audio EP500 and EP600 Subwoofers - First Look

When Axiom invited us out to their facility to show us their latest EP500 and EP600 subwoofers, I knew it must be big news. Knowing Audioholics' reputation of testing manufacturers' claims (especially regarding cables) the folks at Axiom must have been pretty confident with their new designs. The email Amie Colquhoun (lovely wife of Ian) sent me regarding the SPL capabilities of these new subs left us wanting more information, pictures and specifications, and more importantly opportunities to hear them first hand. Being the bass nuts we are, you could imagine our level of anticipation waiting for this to happen.

When Axiom invited us out to their facility to show us their latest EP500 and EP600 subwoofers, I knew it must be big news. Knowing Audioholics' reputation of testing manufacturers' claims

— October 31, 2003 10:25 in Subwoofer Reviews

Yamaha MusicCast 1000 Digital Music Server & Client Review

Yamaha MusicCast 1000 Digital Music Server & Client Review

When Yamaha offered us the opportunity to review their new MusicCAST 1000 Digital Audio server and client system, I jumped on the opportunity. Having built a home theater PC and having been a fan of MP3 audio as a storage mechanism and playback format, Yamaha's solution of an easy-to-use set top MP3 and PCM audio server seemed a timely solution. It might, I thought, even be an evolutionary step into the world of CD audio archival and playback. It is no big surprise that the falling prices of hard disks and increasing processor speed would make CD archival and playback a viable format, but with regards to the masses, an easy-to-use solution would be necessary.

Yamaha's MusicCAST 1000 is their foray into digital music storage and streaming. While it worked well, the high price and small drive have left us wishing for more.

— September 29, 2003 19:00 in AV Gadget Reviews