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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.

Denon AVR-5803 Home Theater Receiver Review

Denon AVR-5803 Home Theater Receiver Review

The Denon AVR-5803 pushes the envelope in digital technology with its implementation of a pair of Analog Devices top DSP's (32bit Dual Hammerhead SHARC's) and sixteen of Burr Browns top audio DAC's (PCM 1738-E) fully capable of decoding DVD-A and SACD if tasked. It amazes me that so much horsepower is found in this receiver, which is uncommon in much costlier so called "high end" separates. In fact, during my evaluation of the AVR-5803 masterpiece I did a little research and found no separate pre/pro at the same price and significantly more money than the AVR-5803 which implemented quad dual differential DAC's in pure direct mode, and dual differential DAC's in multi channel modes for all channels. And that is just the tip of the feature and power iceburg.

The Denon AVR-5803 pushes the envelope in digital technology with its implementation of a pair of Analog Devices top DSP'sand sixteen of Burr Browns top audio DAC's. And that's just the start!

— August 31, 2003 19:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

RBH Signature Series 41-SE Speaker Review

RBH Signature Series 41-SE Speaker Review

Since 1976, RBH Sound has been designing, engineering and crafting high-performance loudspeaker systems that provide the tools for superior acoustic reproduction at sensible prices. From their inception, RBH's distinguishing quality was the implementation of aluminum and other exotic driver materials in their packages, coupled with soft dome or metal dome tweeters depending on application and budget..

Since 1976, RBH Sound has been designing, engineering and crafting high-performance loudspeaker systems that provide the tools for superior acoustic reproduction at sensible prices. From their

Steve DellaSala — July 31, 2003 20:00 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Sunfire Theater Grand III Processor Review

Sunfire Theater Grand III Processor Review

The Sunfire Theater Grand III Processor is one of the few products that Audioholics declined a detailed review. But, every once in a while, we receive a product that doesn't meet our expectations. Sunfire's Theater Grand III AV Processor is such a product, where we felt its performance and refinement did not match up to its $3,500 price tag. If you are in the market for separates and have between $1,000 and $4,000 to spend on a processor, there are many other options.

Sunfire's Theater Grand III AV Processor is a product where we felt its performance and refinement did not match up to its $3,500 price tag. Read our full review to find out why and Sunfire's response

Steven DellaSala — July 14, 2003 19:00 in AV Preamp and Processor Reviews

Sony SCD-CE775 SACD Audience Mod

Sony SCD-CE775 SACD Audience Mod

After a few phone conversations with Audience's Technical Director Richard Smith, he made a convincing argument about parts selection mass produced players tend to use, which are primarily chosen for budgetary reasons and not necessarily audiophile performance. Rich ard was nice enough to extend me the offer of modifying my stock SCD-CE775 unit in exchange for reviewing the unit on Audioholics.com. I graciously accepted the offer and shipped out my barely-used SACD changer to them.

After a few phone conversations with Audience's Technical Director Richard Smith, he made a convincing argument about parts selection mass produced players tend to use, which are primarily chosen for

— July 07, 2003 20:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Sherbourn 5/1500A 5-channel Amplifier Review

Sherbourn 5/1500A 5-channel Amplifier Review

For a mere $2000 you get a combined total of 1000 watts or $2/watt in 8 ohms, or $1.33/watt in 4 ohms. This price/power ratio makes the new Sherbourn 5/1500A one of the best values on the market. In addition, the 5/1500A includes XLR balanced inputs and the ability to rack mount the unit via the front panel. With this refined model (over the previous 5/1500 at least), the Sherbourn amplifier offers a new breed of power amp to the audio enthusiast. This 80-lb, 200 watt/channel, 5-channel powerhouse is packed with a wealth of electronics to guarantee sufficient power and refined sound quality for any home theater system.

For a mere $2000 you get a combined total of 1000 watts or $2/watt in 8 ohms, or $1.33/watt in 4 ohms. This price/power ratio makes the new Sherbourn 5/1500A one of the best values on the market.

— June 14, 2003 19:00 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Aragon Soundstage Processor Review

Aragon Soundstage Processor Review

The Aragon Soundstage Processor represents the pinnacle of Aragon's success at producing a sophisticated digital preamp processor capable of decoding Dolby Prologic, Dolby Digital and DTS, while at the same time serving as a top quality audiophile preamp. The Soundstage's open architecture allows for future hardware and firmware upgrades. The preamp is driven with Class A circuitry for maximum linearity, and furnished with 24 bit premium Crystal DAC's on all channels for the best possible digital sound resolution.

The Aragon Soundstage Processor represents the pinnacle of Aragon's success at producing a sophisticated digital preamp processor capable of decoding Dolby Prologic, Dolby Digital and DTS.

— June 01, 2003 19:00 in AV Preamp and Processor Reviews

Velodyne SPL-800 Subwoofer Review

Velodyne SPL-800 Subwoofer Review

Subwoofers have been conventionally known for their deep bass extension and wow factor, essential for today's home theater systems, usually requiring a big heavy box loaded with large woofers to achieve ultimate impact and performance. Until my experience with the Velodyne SPL-800, I was happy with this stereotype about subwoofers as until that point, I haven't heard a small subwoofer that could do both music and movies justice. Enter the SPL-800.

Subwoofers have been conventionally known for their deep bass extension and wow factor, essential for today's home theater systems, usually requiring a big heavy box loaded with large woofers to

— April 19, 2003 20:00 in Subwoofer Reviews

Yamaha RX-Z1 Receiver Review

Yamaha RX-Z1 Receiver Review

The Yamaha RX-Z1 proved to be a very competent preamp and home theater processor. In movie theater modes, the RX-Z1, when driving my (admittedly hard to drive) reference speaker system, did a bang up job at turning my living room into a state of the art surround sound theater rivaling a majority of THX Cineplex's I have recently visited. This flagship Receiver offers two advantages over all separate Processors currently available, that I know, of: DTS 96/24 processing and 100MHz Component Video Bandwidth switching. I undeservedly recommend adding the Yamaha RX-Z1 to your shopping list if a state of the art, one box, high performance; reliable and reasonably priced home theater Receiver is in your future.

The Yamaha RX-Z1 proved to be a very competent preamp and home theater processor. In movie theater modes, the RX-Z1, when driving my reference speaker system, transformed my room into a cineplex.

— March 14, 2003 18:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

Yamaha RX-V1 Receiver Preview

Yamaha RX-V1 Receiver Preview

The Yamaha RX-V1 is the successor to the infamous and highly regarded DSP A1. The RX-V1 means business with its massive 20lbs high current power transformer and large heat sink area for the discrete output devices. The RX-V1 uses some of the best internal components, including high voltage, low ESR Audiophile grade capacitors on the power supply section.

The Yamaha RX-V1 is the successor to the infamous and highly regarded DSP A1. The RX-V1 means business with its massive 20lbs high current power transformer and large heat sink area.

— January 31, 2003 18:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

Axiom Audio Epic 80 Loudspeaker System Review

Axiom Audio Epic 80 Loudspeaker System Review

The first thing I noticed about the Axiom Epic 80 System was the incredible presence and detailed highs. The clarity and imaging put forth by the M80s was refreshing and worthy of designating them as a movie theater killer. As good as this system was, Axiom's recent dramatic price increases have put their products into a price class of much higher caliber competitors.

The Axiom Epic 80 Speaker System was quite the bargain when we reviewed it in the 2003. However, their prices have gone up substantially since then putting them up against higher caliber products.

— January 29, 2003 18:00 in Tower Speaker Reviews

Battle of the Sonys: TA-E9000ES vs. STR-DA4ES

Battle of the Sonys: TA-E9000ES vs. STR-DA4ES

The Sony STR-DA4ES and the STR-DA7ES offer the processing options and completeness that those who prefer affordable separates are seeking after even if they don't have the power for the higher end speakers. These Receivers recently replaced the STR-DA5ES and lists at a price of $1,100 and $2,300 respectively. Both come with all the latest software decoding, 64-Bit processor, and a host of DSP Modes as well as Pro-logic II (music and movie) and DTS-Neo (music and movie). With its 6-channel inputs, they are equipped to handle DVD-Audio and SACD as well as having 6 channel outputs for connecting to any powered Amplifiers. This makes them ideal for those that want a processor with the latest features and are on a budget. But which one is for you? We break them down for you.

The Sony STR-DA4ES and the STR-DA7ES offer the processing options and completeness that those who prefer affordable separates. But which is for you? We break them down for you.

Steve DellaSala — January 14, 2003 18:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

Marantz SR-18 Receiver Preview

Marantz SR-18 Receiver Preview

The Marantz SR-18 is one receiver with need for little introduction. It is basically a state of the art piece of hardware and one of the best all in one box home theater solutions on the market. Marantz has recently come a long way with their A/V receivers, as this powerhouse flagship best illustrates here. Build quality of the SR-18 is second to none within its respected class. The SR-18 is endowed with a high-current toroidal transformer power supply, premium high storage, low ESR power supply capacitors, fully discrete preamp and power amp output stages, and premium 96KHz / 24 bit DAC's. While the interface needs a bit of work, our listening tests proved the Marantz SR-18 to be a very musical, powerful and dynamic receiver.

The Marantz SR-18 is one receiver with need for little introduction. It is basically a state of the art piece of hardware and one of the best all in one box home theater solutions on the market.

— December 31, 2002 18:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

Sony DVP-NS999ES DVD Player Review

Sony DVP-NS999ES DVD Player Review

When Sony revealed their new flagship DVD / SACD Player, Audio and Video philes alike began dreaming of owning such a machine. Sony's High End ES line of products continue to display superb quality with reasonable pricing. The new Sony DVP-NS999ES player is no exception as it is one of the foremost DVD Players on the market today in its price range.

When Sony revealed their new flagship DVD / SACD Player, Audio and Video philes alike began dreaming of owning such a machine. Sony's High End ES line of products continue to display superb quality

Steve DellaSala — October 22, 2002 20:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

RBH Sound Signature 61-SE Loudspeaker Review

RBH Sound Signature 61-SE Loudspeaker Review

Aluminum must be bullet proof. At least that has been my experience when dealing with speakers from RBH Sound, Inc. My first impression of this company was made when I demoed the fabulous 1010-SEP subwoofer from their Signature series. I remember saying to myself, how can (2) two 10 inch woofers play so much clean, articulate, deep musical bass? The answer lies in the excellent proprietary aluminum cone woofers with powerful motor structures developed by RBH Sound. Such is the case with the new Signature 61-SE bookshelf loudspeakers.

Aluminum must be bullet proof. At least that has been my experience when dealing with speakers from RBH Sound, Inc. My first impression of this company was made when I demoed the fabulous 1010-SEP

— February 19, 2002 19:00 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews