Amplifiers/Processors

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Steve Withers  |  Dec 12, 2018  |  First Published: Dec 11, 2018  |  0 comments
If IOTA’s goal is to deliver unbeatable price/performance, then it’s certainly off to a good start as far as this seven-channel power amplifier is concerned...
Steve Withers  |  Dec 05, 2018  |  0 comments
Yamaha has been doing multichannel surround and immersive audio longer than just about anyone. In fact, it pioneered the concept of height speakers before Dolby and DTS got in on the act. However, with nearly every AVR marque offering object audio setups with speakers all over the room, it was time for Yamaha to have a rethink. Enter its CX-A5200 processor.
Steve Withers  |  Nov 19, 2018  |  0 comments
The AV8805 is Marantz's new flagship AV processor, capable of decoding a whopping 13.2 channels. In fact it's a technological statement of intent, an AV hub that boasts just about every feature imaginable. So not only does it support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, it also handles Auro-3D – making it the only preamplifier to decode all three immersive audio formats at anything approaching a sensible price.
Jon Thompson  |  Aug 21, 2017  |  0 comments
For Arcam fans, the company is up there with Church's shoes or Aston Martin, genuinely English with a solid reputation. And whereas it may once have been seen as a little staid, these days it's rocking a lineup of AV hardware that will get any cinephile's juices flowing. 
Richard Stevenson  |  Dec 03, 2015  |  0 comments

Marantz’s flagship AV processor has received the A suffix it perhaps always should have. The AV8802A comes to the table boasting HDCP 2.2 – so is compatible with protected 4K content from forthcoming UHD Blu-ray spinners. Bought a non-A model earlier in the year? HDCP 2.2 is also available as an aftermarket upgrade.

Ed Selley  |  Sep 07, 2015  |  0 comments

The feature list for a high-end AVR is now a literary work of some consequence. Modern amps tote a bewildering variety of functions and formats, and brands constantly strive to cram ever more into a single box. 

Steve May  |  Apr 20, 2014  |  0 comments

The brand on the front of this massive pre/power combo may not be the first that springs readily to mind when it comes to high-end home theatre, but Datasat has more rights than most to call dibs on the market. Having played an intrinsic role in the birth of multichannel digital movie sound, this UK-based outfit has credibility in spades.

Steve May  |  Jan 26, 2014  |  0 comments

We’ve waited a heck of a long time for Yamaha to launch a new home cinema hero to replace the venerable DSP-Z11. But rather than update that integrated design, the brand has opted to birth a pre/power combination as part of its premium Aventage line – and it’s a formidable creation.

Richard Stevenson  |  Sep 29, 2013  |  0 comments

Every now and again something comes along that is so focused and so madly different from the mainstream that it stands in a category virtually of its own. While the big Japanese brands cram ever more licensed and bespoke home cinema technology into ever cheaper AV receivers, there are brands that just refuse to choose the same inevitable path – a path that logically can only lead to a reduction in outright performance as R&D cash is poured into features, logos and gadgetry rather than sound quality.

Richard Stevenson  |  May 02, 2013  |  0 comments

Marantz’s new flagship AV amplifier/processor duo sets sail on the HCC test bench with the new UD7007 universal player at the helm. While other brands, such as Pioneer and even Marantz’s sibling Denon, have opted for an integrated battleship AV receiver to top their range, Marantz is going for a fleet approach; the AV8801 AV processor frigate and the MM8807 amp destroyer. It’s all about performance. The system has been designed to deliver the sonic goods with more accuracy and firepower than a standard player/AVR combo can achieve.

Richard Stevenson  |  Sep 27, 2012  |  0 comments

If you enjoy spending as much time fettling and tweaking your home cinema system as you do watching movies, you might want to skip this review. For what we have here is the latest version of Audiolab’s stripped-down AV processor that puts almost its entire R&D spend into audiophile components rather than features. In fact, there isn’t any video processing under that stylish aluminium case at all, so even the term ‘AV processor’ is a bit remiss. What you do get is a tuned and upgraded 8000AP, which we liked a lot, now with v1.4 HDMI pass-through switching.

Richard Stevenson  |  Jun 15, 2012  |  0 comments
If I was able to trade body parts for AV goodies I would already be the Black Knight from Monty Python’s Holy Grail. But whilst I rolled around limbless on the floor I wouldn’t think twice about proffering a major organ for Bryston’s SP3 processor. Not only is it really rather special but, at ten grand, it’s the only way I am ever likely to afford one…
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