Review Types Archives: Preamp

Marantz AV7702mkII Processor Review

It’s hard to find the point of diminishing returns correctly. If you aim for too low of a price point on a product, you might leave off a feature that is too important to be without. Of course if you can’t decide when to stop adding features, the price escalates out of control. Knowing what is essential and what to cut is how you wind up with a product that works great for most people. The Marantz AV7702mkII preamp manages to find that sweet spot. It has every feature most people will need, but sacrifices the ones you don’t want. (more…)

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Yamaha CX-A5100 Processor Review

After a period of massive changes, it looks like things will slow down a bit on the AV receiver and preamp front. In the past two years we’ve seen Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, HDMI 2.0a with HDR and Wide Color Gamut become available. These new standards, along with a push to better implement wireless audio streaming, have caused many people to have outdated receivers and processors. Like myself, many of them have been waiting for these standards to be final before upgrading so as to not be left behind. The Yamaha CX-A5100 updates the CX-A5000 that I have previously reviewed and is set for 2015 and beyond.

Adding DTS:X support along with WiFi and HDMI 2.0a makes it as future-proof as almost any processor can be today. By using the ESS Sabre 9016 DAC, it offers better performance than competitors using less advanced DACs and room correction that sounds much improved over prior versions. The $2,500 preamp market is more competitive than ever before but the Yamaha CX-A5100 makes a solid claim for your dollars here. (more…)

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Emotiva XSP-1 Review

Audiophiles will endlessly debate about objective vs. subjective. To the objectivists, if you can’t measure a difference with a test instrument you shouldn’t be able to hear one in life.  Subjectivists will tell you that we don’t listen with instruments, but with our ears. Given that we don’t fully understand the human hearing system, how can we possibly say that you can’t hear things that cannot be measured?

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