Link Spotlights
The Pinnacle of The Electrostatic Sound
 photo Ad FinalESP_zpsrrsd0soy.gif
Audiophile Power Cords/Distributor

Friday, February 24, 2017

Home Theater Receiver Review!
Anthem MRX-720 7-Channel Receiver
“Nets AKM DAC/140 WPC Amp Section"



Brevis
Price: $2,499
Likes: high-end sound, easy setup
Dislikes: DSD converted to PCM
Wow Factor: a step-up HT receiver
More info: Anthem MRX-720

by John Gatski
  I have always liked the multi-channel Anthem receivers and preamp processors. The  previous generation MRX-710 was a good receiver, and the AVM-50 pre-pro was quite capable, handling high-end, multi-channel duties with Anthem and other user-selected amps.
  From my lengthy review tenure, I will tell you that the new MRX-720 (and through extrapolation, the big brother MRX-1120) is a fantastic receiver that combines a significant step up in audio quality, thanks to implementation of the AKM 4458 DAC chip and an  internal amp design that features 140 wpc Class A/B bipolar amp channels for the five main channels and a Class D amp section for two additional channels, such as height or used in a zone setup.
  If you combine its upper-echelon receiver sound quality withs its ease of use and the plethora of bells and whistles that keep it modern, the MRX-720 is as good as a receiver as any at twice the price. I normally don’t do this so early in the review, but my opinion is that the MRX-720 is an award-garnering receiver — and it only costs $2,499.

Features
  The MRX-720 is a full-featured, multichannel receiver that includes such features as Dolby Atmos, AKM 4458 D/A converters. 140 Class AB watts per channel x 5 main channels (and 100 Class D watts per channel for either two additional surround channels or in a zone), 11.2 channels preamp output, DTS-X-capability, DTS Play-Fi wireless streaming, High Dynamic Range/4K HDMI 2.0a video output, and Anthem Room Correction. There are also various DSP sound settings including DTS Neo.
  The welcome, uncluttered front panels sports a center panel-located, LED display, large volume control, function/navigation buttons that duplicate essential remote functions, various mode buttons — including setup, mode, display brightness, level set, zone and input. Behind a removable cover on the left side is an extra HDMI input, USB input for software upgrades, and a headphone jack.

 If you are in the market for a new surround receiver that is not that expensive, but sounds like it is comprised of better separates, the Anthem MRX-720 should be on your buy list.

  The receiver features five line inputs, seven HDMI inputs/two HDMI outputs, zone I/O, two SPDIF coax inputs, three TOSlink inputs, one TOSlink output, Ethernet port, RS-232 port, an IR receiver port, 12-volt trigger and a USB input.
  The unit comes with a remote control, which is lightweight plastic, but exhibits a solid feel and not so many buttons to overwhelm the user. The included Anthem Room Correction (ARC) is contained in a smaller box and includes a plastic mic stand, the measurement mic, a USB cable and the downloadable software. Older versions of the ARC used to include a real metal mic stand with a heavy base. This new one sports a combo plastic leg/metal tube mic stand, which can be knocked over easier as the old one, but it gets the job done.

Lots of connections, but easy to connect

   Unlike many other receivers and pre/pros out in the surround world, the MRX-720 is a breeze to set up with easy-to-read, marked input/output jacks on the back panels and a logical, minimized setup menu function. I had this receiver up and running in 20 minutes, including the ARC setup process and a subsequent manual set up. It is indeed that easy. The ease of use is the result of fewer menus, plus the menu adjustment windows and parameters are easy to understand.
  The main Setup menu includes the sub menus, including Speaker Setup, Bass Management, Listener Position, Level Calibration, Input Setup, Preferences/Line Input, Network/Remote Control, General Configuration, Save/Load Systems. Even a newbie can figure out what the adjustments do.
  The MRX includes the acclaimed Anthem Room Correction (ARC), which automatically measures and corrects room boundary anomalies through equalization. It can also be run manually as well as through an automated software process. The ARC process works through a calibrated mic that measures the rooms response and sends, the results to the host Windows OS computer (still no Mac software — boo-hoo), which then provides the software-adjusted EQ curves that “flattens” the sound to optimize its listenability. The new EQ settings are than transmitted to the MRX’s internal CPU and, voila, you get a cleaner sounding system.


Antrhem Room Correction (ARC) hardware

  According to Anthem, “ARC corrects the effects of reflective surfaces and room boundaries on sound quality by measuring the response of each speaker relative to the listening area and equalizing it. ARC equalizes response without stressing the amplifier or speakers and does not downsample the source material to process it. ARC’s filters are neither graphic nor parametric – ARC is a sophisticated system that flattens response using its ability to create practically any suitable function, inherently correcting phase effects created by the room.”
  I have reviewed a number of Anthem surround products over the years, and the ARC works splendidly. Unlike other room correction systems I have used from other brands, the ARC does not add additional mid bass in my room. My room is pretty flat in its bass response at the listener position any EQ, and does not need much correcting.
  But I always run self-correcting EQ system, such as ARC, during the review to see if these software based tools can read the room correctly. ARC and a few others do a good job; lesser correction software that comes with many budget priced surround gear always overcompensate the bass, adding a woofy, thick, mid bass, which is not accurate. It is nice to know that ARC can correctly read a room, and, if necessary, apply EQ to reduce the  aberrant response to make it more listenable.

  The MRX-720 is a breeze to set up — with easy-to-read, marked input/output jacks on the back panels and logical, minimized menu functions/GUI. I had this receiver up and running in 20 minutes, including the ARC setup process and a subsequent manual set up.

  Besides the ARC, you can also do the old fashioned manual speaker setup through the MRX-720’s own set up parameters for distance and level, as well as set the crossover frequencies for each speaker and activate the number of desired channels. The manual set up is so darn easy that any neophyte with a reasonably accurate handheld decibel meter can do it. I set up the MRX’s manual mode with a professional Real Time Analyzer, but you can do it with a tablet/phone decibel meter.
  From a feature standpoint, I really like the Anthem MRX line’s simpler-is-better design. Sure it has the new wireless, stereo streaming option via the DTS Play-Fi feature and a pretty good sounding headphone circuit derived from the main L and R amp channels, but this receiver is optimized for multichannel sound quality and useful, flexible, connectivity.
  For example, it has a full set of 11.2 preamp outputs so you can use those wonderful converters with bigger amps in a bigger room for a full Dolby Atmos system. Many receivers no longer have preamp outputs (none have preamp inputs since the receivers have such good converters). The pre-outs’ inclusion on the MRX-720 shows Anthem's commitment to the true multichannel audio enthusiast.


MRX remote: not so many buttons

  For music, the MRX-720 decodes up to 24/192 in PCM. However, its only omissive flaw, in the otherwise excellent design, is no direct DSD decoding. Multichannel or stereo DSD via HDMI is converted to 24/88.2 PCM. A number of competitors do have direct DSD decoding from the HDMI bitstream to at least the standard 2.8 MHz DSD. And we know that the AKM chips can certainly decode DSD.
  Since the receiver does not have multichannel analog input, you also cannot use a SACD player to output its multichannel DSD analog to the MRX either. You can, however, play DSD stereo music via your player’s analog output when connected to a pair of the stereo inputs of the MRX-720.
  I bring the DSD compatibility up because the receiver sounds so good on PCM, for even high-end audiophiles, that inclusion of DSD decoding would make it even better. The DSD-to-24/88 PCM is okay, but not as good as straight DSD decoding. Anthem engineers say that DSD cannot be processed in its native form for EQ, etc. and must be converted to PCM to enables various MRX features.

The set up
  In my room, I ran the MRX-720 in a 5.1 set up with the three Westlake LC Series professional cinema speakers (two LC 8.1 for L-R and one center-channel LC 2.65) set to full size — with no crossover. Rear channels were NHT One surrounds set to 80 Hz. The Paradigm Pro 15 subwoofer was also set to 80 Hz. The MRX-720 was connected to a Sony full array backlight 60-inch LED, and the source was a new Oppo BDP-203, an excellent universal player with impressive picture quality and multichannel/stereo output, thanks to the same AKM chip set used in the Anthem.
   I connected the speakers to the receiver using MIT cables; all HDMI cables including the 12 ft. long run to the Sony LED were provided by the Wireworld’s Platinum series. Speaking of LED and video, unlike previous Anthem receivers this one has no video scaler circuitry for the video path. You basically are running your video directly to the video screen, which I always did anyway. And that feature also helps to simplify the setup process.
  I have reviewed numerous receivers and pre-pros with an overabundance of video adjustment parameters that often confused the end user. Not the MRX. For example, the only HDMI video adjustment parameter is assigning the audio and video from the HDMI input to the correct overall input. No scaler, or video parameters, such as sharpness, contrast and chroma, to adjust on the receiver. The HDMI 2.0a does meet the spec for High Dynamic Range and 4K video, so if you have those sources it gets passed on untouched by the receiver.

The audition
  Per my usual audition material, I popped in the 2008 animated Blu-ray, titled Bolt. The opening chase sequence, where pet owner Penny and cartoon doggie Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) are shooting a fantasy action show about the super hero dog, is an immersive DTS Master HD surround track with considerable dynamic range, steering effects (speeding motorcycles, helicopters, gun fire and more), a driving music presence and deep subwoofer sounds.

Great sonics equal a great DAC chip!

  Immediately, I noticed how good the Anthem MRX-720 relays a Blu-ray’s soundtrack. The MRX-delivered Bolt’s multichannel audio with a full range of effects, bass bombast and music. To my ears, the sonics of this $2,500 receiver exhibited the precision of an expensive pre-pro/multiple amplifier combo or a receiver that costs twice the price. Deep separation and depth embody the MRX’s big soundstage with a smoothness that can be attributed to the AKM converters. That tale-tale texture of the transient  sounds is an attribute of AKM that was clearly heard through the MRX-720.
  I then auditioned the fantasy BD movie John Carter, which has equally as good sound effects’ usage, proving that the the Bolt soundtrack’s A+ demo through the MRX was no fluke. The directional sounds moved from front-to-back and side-to-side in convincing fashion, especially the scenes where John Carter is battling the enemy Martians via various kinds of other worldly transport devices. With just five speakers, the sonic spread was immense
  The previous version, MRX-710 was a very good receiver, but I do not remember it having as vivid multichannel soundstage and width impression as the MRX-720. And the MRX-710’s smoothness quotient was not as high as the the 720 either. On every grade A+ soundtrack I ran through the 720, it sounded darn near as fleshed out as my reference AudioControl Maestro 6 receiver, which costs nearly $6,000.
  Another set of movies that really shined, as played through the Anthem MRX-720, was the Lord of The Rings trilogy, the unabridged director’s cut BD series. The battle scenes have hundreds of audio tracks mixed into the master and a really good home cinema surround processor, like the MRX-720, allows one to notice the distinct subtle effects tracks, even in the background, as much more separated.

Not only performs well; the look is high class

  The AKM DAC-equipped receiver is so easy to listen to. Effortless precision is an expression I use when someone asks me about the sonic signature of the AKM converters for audiophile listening. They do an equally beautiful job in multichannel home cinema
  Following numerous movie BIu-rays, I then switched over to some music BDs, such as The WhoLive At The Isle of Wight performance from 1970. The 5.1 DTS Master HD is a 24-bit/96 transfer that showcases The Who at their best. The remote-truck, multitrack recording shakes out nicely — with clearly delineated electric guitar, bass, drums and vocals.
  Pete Townsend’s Gibson SG guitar (with the older P90 single pickups) plugged into the Hi-Watt tube amplifiers is a signature sound that is clearly delivered with an organic accuracy and driving force that the guitarist is noted for. This is one of the best examples of Mr. Townsend’s classic, in-his-prime tone. The mix down 16/48 stereo track sounds good, but not nearly as involving as the multitrack 5.1.


  The 24/96 5.1 mix of  The Talking Heads — Little Creatures title track came through the MRX-7020 like it was playing through separates.

   Switching to other music, via the Oppo HDMI output and decoded by the MRX-720. I found the receiver to be equally as good at all sorts of music — without the video. In multichannel PCM, such as 2L classical BD’s, several DVD-Audio discs and on stereo discs and download tracks, the AKM converters, plus amp section, offer impressive accuracy  — without audible hardness of lower-class receivers I have tested.
  On the Ole Bull Violin Concerto BD  on 2L, the violin tone  (at 24/192) was complex with most of the vivid, string-to-bow textures that I hear in good audiophile systems. The full orchestra was lush and full of life, similar to me playing the album through the TEAC UD-503 standalone DAC, which uses the same chip
  I demo’d the Dual-Disc (remember those) of Talking HeadsLittle Creatures and proceeded to play the 24/96 5.1 mix, which really opens up an already good-sounding stereo recording. The title cut with its more country feel (pedal steel guitar and little bits of Fender Stratocaster fills) was relayed convincingly through this moderately priced Anthem receiver. It helps that the surround tracks for Little Creatures was mixed intelligently — with subtle ambiance sounds and no gimmicky effects rear-channel steering you often hear in Pop/Rock surround music.
  Of course, playing the music and movies through $20,000 worth of Westlake professional cinema speakers enhances the experience. The review also proves that receivers from just a few years ago are obsolete in terms of the sonic finesse and precision, compared to this new breed of receiver that use newer DAC chips. I also believe that using a higher-current Class A/B amplifiers also heightens the result.



  With the receiver’s DSD-to-PCM conversion of my SACDs, I was not as impressed with the decoding, as I was with the MRX-720's straight PCM; the converted 24/88 sounds hi-fi enough, but not as accurate as either discrete PCM decoding or playing DSD from the Oppo’s analog outputs. In my  stereo SACD listening sessions, I preferred using the Oppo BDP-203’s DSD stereo decode/analog output, connected to the MRX-720’s analog input jacks.
  I tested the DTS Play-Fi wireless playback function  with the MRX, downloading the app from the Google Play Store and playing several 24/192 HDtracks downloads via the onboard Android phone. You can play lossless FLACs and WAV files, as well as MP3 and AAC lossy music. From my Android phone, I enjoyed some Linda Ronstadt and Eagles classic album in 24 bit. You can play from phone or tablet storage, a network drive, or stream from Pandora or Spdify.


MRX-720 features DTS Play-Fi wireless streaming

  I listened through the main speakers and a zone speaker set up — one floor up using  my Legacy Studio HD stand speakers. The sound was as good as wired sources, especially with the receiver's brilliant amp section and 24-bit audio.

The verdict
  Out of the box, I was impressed with the MRX-720’s audio and video performance and a tight band of features and easy set up and operation. The longer I used it, the better I liked the MRX. The awesome audio quality for a moderately priced receiver is to be commended. I have not been excited about a surround receiver in some time. For movies and music, the MRX-720 will fill the needs of majority of its intended users. Even those with are inclined to buy separates will love this receiver.
  If you are in the market for a new surround receiver that is not that expensive, but sounds like it is comprised of better separates, this is your receiver. As stated early in the review we are bestowing a Everything Audio Network Stellar Sound Award and a nomination for  an 2017 EAN Product of The Year in the receiver category. I know it is early in the year, but the MRX-720 is a note-worthy, high-performance receiver.

   John Gatski has been evaluating consumer, audiophile, home cinema and professional audio gear since 1988. In 1995, he created Pro Audio Review, and he has written for Audio, Laserviews, Enjoy The Music, The Audiophile Voice, High Performance Review, Radio World and TV Technology. Everything Audio Network is based in Kensington, Md. Articles on this site are the copyright of the ©Everything Audio Network. Any unauthorized use, via print or Internet, without written permission is prohibited. John Gatski can be reached via email: everything.audio@verizon.net

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Audiophile Review!
Rogue Audio RP-1
Stereo Tube Preamplifier

“Entry-Level-Priced, Made-In-USA RP-1
Is A Serious, Good Sounding Tube Pre

Brevis
Price: $1,695
Likes: sonic depth, I/O, compact
Dislikes: lacks a  processor loop
Wow Factor: a worthy pre for less cash
More info: Rogue Audio RP-1

by John Gatski
  I am going to tell you right up front that the Rogue Audio RP-1 is one of the best deals out there for an entry-level priced, serious audiophile preamp. Whether you are talking tube or solid state, this compact, full-featured preamp, priced at $1,695, offers impressive sonic performance, It is not just a bang-for-the buck sonic treat, but its overall comparative performance, especially in the line stage, will turn your head. Even a picky, high-browed audiophile will smile after listening to the RP-1.

Features
  The RP-1 tube pre is designed around Rogue’s tried and true 12AU7 twin tube Mu follower circuit, and the user flexibility is enhanced by the RP-X Rogue design that showcases active OLED screen and upgraded control via the remote.
  The RP-1 is equipped with four pairs of line level inputs, a 43/58 dB MM/MC phono preamp with internal cartridge loading adjustment, a 1-watt headphone amp and a set of variable unbalanced line outputs, a set of fixed outputs and a home theater bypass.

 I found the Rogue Audio RP-1 most impressive in how it projected hi-res music from the numerous DACs I had on hand. They all sounded terrific through the Rogue. I had three new ESS Pro chipped equipped DACS on hand including the award winning Benchmark DAC3 HGC; the RP-1 did them all proud.

  The front panel is a modicum of elegant simplicity with the center positioned, sharp-looking OLED display, a power button, balance control and the volume control.
  The back panel sports all the aforementioned connection options and a removable power cord receptacle. The seven button remote allows you to conveniently access volume, balance, selector and mute functions from your listening position.
  Though it offers a tried and true tube design, the RP-1 is a thoroughly modern preamp with large Microchip software controller (RP-X) that enables an increased user convenience through the defeatable OLED display and full function remote.

Tidy design implementation. Nice power supply

  Rogue Audio’s Mark O’Brien said he and his assemblers are proud of the quality that they were able to squeeze into the RP-1. “The RP-1 is our second preamplifier based on the new RP-X hardware and software platform. Like the RP-5 it combines cutting-edge embedded engineering with tube technology to provide a great sounding tube preamp with all of the "modern" features and technology our customers want,” O’Brien explained.
  “With the RP-1, our design goal was to develop a relatively affordable preamp that offered an extremely high level of performance in a sleek package, yet didn't sacrifice any of the features required by serious audiophiles. The audio section is based on two 12AU7 tubes in a mU follower configuration. This topology provides low noise, excellent specs and a very clean, smooth, and airy sound.”

Advertisement



  O'Brien noted that not only does the preamp sound good with the stock J-J tubes, but customers are reporting impressive sonics with vintage tubes as well. Spec wise, the RP-1 measurements are what you expect from a well-designed tube hi-fi product. It has virtually flat frequency response to 20 kHz (-3 at 75 kHz), 7 dB of gain in the line stage, and THD less than .1%. The preamp measures 15.25 inches wide and only 3.25 inches tall, which makes it easy to place in a busy rack. Weight is 20 pounds.

The set up
  I popped the RP-1 into my primary audiophile rack, along with the Rogue RP-5, a Pass XP-10   preamp and Coda solid state preamp that were along for the ride. Sources included the Oppo BDP-105 universal player, a Clearaudio Emotion turntable with Benz L04 MC cartridge, and my Dell tablet with the Android player: USB Audio Player Pro, which can transmit bit perfect hi-res PCM and DSD to any USB-enabled DAC.


Plenty of inputs on the RP-1

  The review system DACs included the Benchmark DAC3, Oppo HA-1 HP amp/DAC,  the Resonessence Veritas, and the Mytek Digital Brooklyn. The DAC3 and the Veritas both use the new ESS Pro 9028 D/A chip. For speaker listening, I deployed my MartinLogan Montis electrostatics, and a Pass Labs X350.8 MOSFET output amplifier, Pass' highest power stereo design. 
  All analog and digital cables, including USB and HDMI (for the LCD in order to operate the universal player) were Wireworld Eclipse; the Essence II power cords and AC outlet strip were from Essential Sound Products

The audition
  I turned on the RP-1 and let it season for three days, putting a CD on repeat while it drove a pair of AKG K702 headphones at a modest level. After the three days, I then sat down over the next three weeks and did some serious listening. First up was the Warren BernhardtSo Real SACD as recorded by Tom Jung for DMP more than 15 years ago. The title cut still has some of the best “air” around a piano and drum cymbals as I have ever heard. As the heart of a hi-fi system, a good preamp transmits the “So Real” cut’s expansive air. A mediocre preamp lessens the amount of space around the brushed drum cymbals and the upper-register notes of the recorded piano.
  With the RP-1, I was quite pleased with its ability to handle the “So Real” track's transient dimension. In fact, the RP-1 is not far off from the Rogue $3,495 RP-5 tube preamp. The RP-5 sounded a bit bigger in its overall imaging, but the timbre was very close. The RP-1 showcased a dynamic, well-placed stereo image with a discernible audible dimension around the cymbal brushes that was about on par with most good preamps that I have played through this system and the ML Montis electrostats. And the preamp is very quiet, which adds to the detail impression. Bass performance is taut, precise and balanced.


Blue OLED on black — Looks good!

  Switching off to The Anthony Wilson TrioOur Gang SACD that was dubbed to 24/192, the RP-1 threaded the needle on the title cut with its plump Hammond B3 bass lines and warm jazz guitar tone. A good preamp delivers just the right amount of bass balanced so you hear the essential plumpness of the B3 playback mechanism, yet not too much midbass that obscures the top-end response.
  The RP-1 nailed the recording, in fact, it has the quickness of a solid state preamp, but maintains that easy-to-listen to character of the better tube pre’s. Compared to the RP-5, the big brother’s only advantage was a slightly wider stance in the jazz guitars imaging. Still,  the RP-1 is about 90 percent plus of the RP-5. This is one great preamp.
  I switched off to a 2L Classical recording: The Ole Bull - Violin Concerto Blu-ray in 24/192. Like the RP-5, the RP-1 paints a vivid violin texture which is not overly thick, but with plenty of string harmonics shining through. And again, my listening notes focus on how quiet this RP-1 is. Rogue Audio really grades their tube well.


A minimalist remote that does the job

  On the 24/192 HDtracks download of the Michael JacksonOff The Wall, I really enjoyed the way the RP-5 opens up the rhythm guitar, bass, and drum focus of this  busy analog recording. And on The CarpentersGreatest Hits SACD, Karen Carpenter’s yearning-for-love voice on Rainy Days And Mondays is so hypnotic via the Rogue: rich and full as the vocal solos and then you hear all those background vocal layers that she did with her brother. What a sweet recording; what a sweet preamp.
  After all my digital fun, I plugged in the ClearAudio TT and played a bunch of records. The RP-1 did not disappoint. Although a tad less smooth than the RP-5 on ultimate vinyl playback, the RP-1’s phono preamp circuit is quite dynamic and detailed. The original Flim and The BB’s album from 1978 (Sound 80) relayed all the percussion and keyboard nuance I am used to hearing with a serious phono pre. And the Benz cartridge’s tight bass gets the handoff without any color.
  I particularly liked the bowed cello bass solo  on the The Isao Suzuki QuartetBlow Up, a recent reissue on 180 gram/45 rpm premium vinyl. The TT and phono pre must be in sync to capture that bowed bass tone with a rich cello hue. Well done Mr. RP-1.

  The Rogue Audio RP-1 is one of the best deals out there for an entry-level priced, serious audiophile preamp. Whether you are talking tube or solid state, this compact, full-featured preamp offers impressive sonic performance. Even a picky, high-browed audiophile will smile after listening to the RP-1.

  With my AKG K702 Anniversary and Shure SRH1840 HPs, I found the RP-1 headphone amp quite listenable with a tight, cleanly separated tone. Not quite as smooth as the RP-5’s all tube HP amp, but it gets the job done. And plenty of oomph to drive the AKGs.
  The RP-1 matched up with all sorts of amps: from Rogue’s ultra-accurate tube/digital hybrid Medusa, the Class-A emphasized Pass X350.8 MOSFET, my trusty Bryston 14B SSTII and the extremely clean Benchmark AHB2, both bipolar amps. There was never a mismatch.
  By the way, the RP-1 pre is not balanced, so if you a prefer long runs of balanced cables to a balanced-connector amp you will have to look elsewhere. However, I ran unbalanced runs of 12 ft. to the demo amps.
  I found the Rogue Audio RP-1 most impressive in how it projected hi-res music from the numerous DACs I had on hand. They all sounded terrific through the Rogue. I had three new ESS Pro chipped equipped DACS on hand including the award winning Benchmark DAC3 HGC; the RP-1 did them all proud.



  Not any major negatives with this budget audiophile, made-in-USA RP-1 preamp. There is no balanced connection capability and no processor loop. The former might be a deal breaker for the long cable run guys, but the vast majority of the RP-1’s customers will not care. After all, in short runs, you can’t hear the difference between balanced and unbalanced cables.

The verdict
  As I said up front, the Rogue RP-1 is a major league sounding, budget priced tube preamp with enough connection options to cover most audiophile systems. Its brilliant line stage sonics are accompanied by a quality phono section, and a capable HP amp. Plus, the RP-1 offers a modern OLED display that looks terrific, a full feature remote and a home theater bypass which adds to the pre’s versatility In my book, the RP-1 is a real winner! It gets not only an EAN Stellar Sound Award, but it also received our Everything Audio Network 2016 Product Of The Year Award.

   John Gatski has been evaluating consumer, audiophile, home cinema and professional audio gear since 1988. In 1995, he created Pro Audio Review, and he has written for Audio, Laserviews, Enjoy The Music, The Audiophile Voice, High Performance Review, Radio World and TV Technology. Everything Audio Network is based in Kensington, Md. Articles on this site are the copyright of the ©Everything Audio Network. Any unauthorized use, via print or Internet, without written permission is prohibited. John Gatski can be reached via email: everything.audio@verizon.net