Pre-amps & Processors Burlington VT
A pre-amp and processor helps create your home theater. Use the following product reviews to help select the right product for your pre-amp and processor needs.
The almost spartan presentation and simple ergonomics of the Atoll CD player, stereo preamplifier, and power amplifier make the owner's manuals practically unnecessary—there is nothing about the designs that requires explanation. Atoll components are as close to plug-and-play as high-end audio ever gets.
Stronczer stripped the CD-2 and Dac3’s front panel controls to the bare minimum; each component has just one machined metal control knob. I like the keep-it-simple approach, but it does take a bit of time to get the knack of tapping and twirling the knob to play, pause, stop and change tracks.
The projector that CAT had on display in their booth -- the $280,000 Model No. 4 -- begins its life as a Barco Digital Cinema Initiative DLP projector with 2048 x 1080 resolution. From there, it's completely retooled by Display Development, who designs and builds a custom iris for each projector based on room dimensions and materials, and adds custom lenses and power supplies, as well as a hefty new exterior packed with three heavy duty fans designed to deal with the 68,000 BTU/h generated by the projector's lamp.
To make the RDC-7.1 fully functional, you add optional video input modules. A double-width video module adds basic composite video, S-video, and component video inputs and outputs. Two more modules add more component inputs—one offers professional-style BNC jacks, the other RCA jacks.
Specifically, the planar magnetic drivers of the L75s are exceptionally revealing and have remarkable transparency, detail and resolution found in few loudspeakers. The L75s require bi-amping, and I used the two Marantz MA-9S2 monaural amps for the mid-range and high-end frequencies above the 275 Hz crossover point for the Wisdom Audio speakers.
The HD621 is a six-in-one HDMI video switcher, allowing you to input up to six HDMI sources and feed one video signal out to your display device. The real highlight is what this product does with the audio signal that’s passed along with video from HDMI sources.
When you consider, at the opposite end of the spectrum, how noisy a receiver can potentially be, with the amp and massive power supply all tucked in next to the sensitive audio parts, a product like the P 7 starts making a lot of sense. Free the music from all of that electronic noise, and audiophiles can rest assured that all they're getting is what is in the source material, to the best ability that their player, amp, and speakers can muster.
With the JC 2 plugged in and warmed up, it’s immediately clear that Curl has learned more than a few tricks since the early days. The JC 1/JC 2 combo produces a remarkably detailed and shockingly realistic sound.
Upgrading a home theater system can be just as frightening. The audio and video equipment that you have grown comfortable with disappears, replaced with unfamiliar, indistinguishable black boxes.