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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.

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

Denon DVD-2900 DVD Player Review

Denon DVD-2900 DVD Player Review

For quite some time now we have been criticizing the hardware implementation limitations of DVD-A/SACD players based on their lack of bass management and digital delay compensation. Soon after, a few manufacturers began releasing universal players to handle, or less mildly put, mishandle both formats. In addition to these players not offering bass management and digital delay compensation for both formats, they converted DSD to PCM resulting in less than pristine SACD playback. Denon was a bit late to the game in offering a universal player, but for good reasons. As with all of their current products, I suspect they wanted to do it right rather than half way. With that, they unleashed the almighty DVD-2900 Universal DVD player which, because it did so many things correctly, caused about 80% of the content in my previously mentioned articles to go obsolete.

For quite some time now we have been criticizing the hardware implementation limitations of DVD-A/SACD players based on their lack of bass management and digital delay compensation. Soon after, a few

— September 20, 2003 20:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Integra Research RDC-7 Processor Review

Integra Research RDC-7 Processor Review

Audioholics found the Integra Research RDC-7 to be a powerful, refined processor fully capable of satisfying the audiophile in all of us. Its sonic performance was staggering as it was able to reproduce subtle detail, along with deep, tight bass. In Analog Direct Mode, the Integra RDC-7 we heard reverberation of room acoustics and nuances of vocals that went unnoticed on previous processors and receivers we reviewed. Check out our full review for all the details.

Audioholics found the Integra Research RDC-7 to be a powerful, refined processor fully capable of satisfying the audiophile in all of us. Check out our full review of the Integra RDC-7.

Steve DellaSala — September 15, 2003 19:00 in AV Preamp and Processor Reviews

Onkyo TX-SR601 6.1 Home Theater Receiver Review

Onkyo TX-SR601 6.1 Home Theater Receiver Review

Overall, I was quite impressed with the Onkyo TX-SR601 amplifier section, especially at a $500 retail price point. We are often asked about sub-$500 receiver options at Audioholics and I would have no problems recommending the Onkyo as a contender within that price range. Its performance for both music and movies is exceptional and it can handle efficient 6-ohm and even 4-ohm speakers with no apparent difficulties at moderate to loud listening levels in reasonably medium sized rooms (under 2500 cubic feet).

Overall, I was quite impressed with the Onkyo TX-SR601 amplifier section, especially at a $500 retail price point. It has plenty of power, features, and everything else you'll need at this price point

— September 06, 2003 19:00 in AV Receiver 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