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Top Audio & Video 2004 Milan, Italy


  Unless you have been living under a rock, you naturally know about the nearly audiophile bargain Denon DVD unit. Seen here is the DVD-3910 (€1,490) next-generation universal digital disc player. We have reviewed the previous versions 2900 and 5900 as seen here and here.


The conrad-johnson Art preamplifier virtually defined what a state-of-the-art unit could offer when it was first released many years ago. Today they offer the new ACT 2 (€22,000) with 21.5dB of tube amplification from a quartet of the 6N30P. Frequency response is from 2Hz to 100kHz with over 100dB signal to noise ratio (@ 1V).


Big power deserves a big amplifier like the Vacuum Tube Logic (VTL) S-400 stereo amplifier seen here. It has an automatic bias adjustment for the tubes, automatic fault sensing, on-board diagnostics, and an RS-232 interface for remote control ability. Most impressive!


What is the sound of 96 tubes in OTL? Wish i knew, as this was a static display by SI Audio. Frequency response is from 5Hz to 100kHz with a 90dB signal to noise ratio.


Marantz has a new €1,500 turntable that includes a Clearaudio cartridge and unique tonearm. The base and platter are acrylic and a special platter mat helps to isolate the vinyl from disturbances.


The more that things change; the more they stay the same. Thank goodness, as the Linn 12 with Ekos tonearm is one of hose things you can bank on. In a world of upgrades and changes, the LP12 stands the test of time.


And the newish VPI HR-X turntable... Note the words at the top of their poster as seen below. So yes indeed the more things change... or back to the future.


And for a cartridge, the Benz Ruby 2.












































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