Welcome to our BEST VALUE Products 2011

 

PART 2

 

Here we go. Best Value Products UNDER $1,000.

Otherwise known as...

 

INTEGRATED AMP

Dayens Ampino Integrated Amplifier

25/40 watts Upgraded Version Price: $699

Amazing value from this Serbian made, pint sized amp. But the sound is Texas ten-gallon.

Dayens Ampino Review

 

DAC

 

GRANT TUBEDAC 11

$325

Here's what you get for $325:

(5) sets of selectable inputs to allow you plenty of choices - including 2 sets RCA, 1 coaxial, 1 optical and 1 USB

(2) sets of RCA Outputs - one with transistor and one with a single 6N11 vacuum tube (can be replaced with 6922, E88CC, 6DJ8, 6H23n and CCa tubes)

passive volume control

DAC direct output - bypass tube buffer stage and volume control for you to match the DAC with other high end amplification (amp must have its own volume control as DAC direct output pass signal at full volume)

Built-in transistor headphone amp to allow you enjoy music in privacy (standard 6.5mm jack). Alternatively, you can use a RCA to 6.5mm jack adapter to connect headphones directly to the rear tube output.


High efficiency low noise custom toroidal transformer which is usually only used on high end audio

Separate power supply to tube circuitry to reduce interference

Gold coated signal connectors throughout

No over-sampling - input signal pass through at original sampling rate

TE7022 USB 2.0 decoding chip is used to process data at 24/96kHz

High quality Cirrus Logic CS4398 for main D/A converter

ADA4075-2 as op amp for sweet midrange

Dual voltage (115/230V +/-10% wide range) for you to take it with you anywhere in the world

Brushed aluminum faceplate and complete casing

Complete set of cables included: (1) IEC power cord, (1) RCA, (1) Coaxial, (1) Optical and (1) USB


Is it  a state-of-the-art digital masterpiece? No. Is the Eastern Electric Tube Dac Plus we reviewed better? Sure. But it's out of Cheap Bastard

territory at $1,195, though still a great value. This DAC only does 24/96 via USB. So what?

How many 24/ anything-higher-than-96 music files are out there? If you have an older CD player (especially solid-state) or want to improve the sound

coming out of your computer, for $325 this thing is amazing.

 

 

DISC PLAYER

OPPO BD 95 BLU-RAY UNIVERSAL DISK PLAYER

$995

Yes, it just sneaks in under a thousand bucks. We got this in because our readers asked us if it sounds as good as

others said it did. They wanted to know what we think before they pulled the trigger.

So. Is it as good as everyone else says it is?

No. It's better!

This thing plays every format of disk - audio and video - on the planet. Yes, even Blu-Ray. And SACD, DVD-Audio in both Stereo and surround.

It also does a fantastic job with HDCD disks. Reference Recording and Linn CD's for example which are all recorded in HDCD, sound like stereo SACD's on other lesser players.

Incredible. It would be a mad steal even if it played no video at all. It's that good.

Sounds like a good transport playing through the solid-state (and sometimes even tube) output of the Eastern Electric Tube DAC Plus. And that's just Redbook.

And how much did we just say the Tube Dac Plus sells for by itself? 

This is easily one of high-end audio's biggest no-brainers and best values.

Our publisher bought his review unit. And you know what a perfectionist he is.

So go ahead. Pull that fraken trigger.

 

PACIFIC VALVE CYBERSERVER MUSIC SERVER

List Price: From $720 depending on amount of storage selected
$821 as tested with 64 Gigabye Solid State Storage.

 

A MUSIC SERVER FOR UNDER $1,000?

Music servers are the latest, greatest thing, but most of them are pretty pricey, leaning towards $5,000 and up. Store your whole digital collection in one place

and you can access it all instantly. Play a whole album or make your own playlist from your chair.

No more running to your system to change discs. The server itself costs $720 but does not include a DAC or a monitor.

If you have a decent CD player with a digital input, you can use that as a DAC. There are no moving parts since the memory is solid-state. You can increase the 32 gig memory if you need to.

Cyberserver Review

 

TURNTABLE & PHONO PRE

 

EDWARDS AUDIO TT1 TURNTABLE $725
EDWARDS AUDIO MM1 PHONO PREAMP $349

The TT1 is the first turntable design from U.K. based manufacturer TALK Electronics and offers superb value for the money.

The core of the TT1 is the venerable Rega Planar 2, whose plinth and RB251 arm are used in concert with an exclusive new bearing and platter.

Either one of these is a terrific value on their own, but together they represent a real entry level steal.

Edwards Audio Review

 

 

MONITOR SPEAKER

LSA .5  $779

Dynamite little speakers that look like much more expensive fare. Just look at the lustrous, rosewood sculpted cabinets. Sound like it, too.

Diabolically disappear. Expansive, vivid soundstage with bass that is unbelievable. Dynamic and detailed.

Cheap Bastard price. Real high-end sound.

FLOORSTANDING SPEAKER

TEKTON M-LORE $649/pr

Combing through the sea of affordable audio for Cheap Bastards, there are few diamonds in the rough, but that is exactly what we are here to find.

The M-lore is more "diamond" and less "rough" and will easily find itself at home in any small to medium sized room in an affordable system with modest power.

This is a very 95db sensitive speaker, a key consideration when assembling a system knowing that a good deal of affordable high-end amps may only have 30-60 watts.

Very tube amp friendly!

The M-lore is so diverse and represents such a great value,

we believe there is little in this speaker that would not make everyone looking in this range and significantly above happy for a very long time.

M-LORE REVIEW

 

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