Articles, Reviews and Measurements of Audio Products

Florida International Audio Expo 2023

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Florida International Audio Expo
Brings the Heat for 2023

Tampa, Florida—January 2023—Florida International Audio Expo takes place Friday–Sunday, February 17–19, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore. The more than 65 exhibit spaces will be the scene for plenty of action—several rooms will unveil new products, letting show attendees be among the first to experience some of the best new high-performance audio gear.

We have been traveling the globe to reach new exhibitors, and locally, we are participating in several shows to reach new attendee groups,” said Bart Andeer, co-founder and operations manager of the Florida International Audio Expo. “We are proud to offer our attendees the opportunity to experience various levels of products available in the market, always with the focus on celebrating and enjoying our shared passion for music in a fun, relaxed environment.

With over 12 floors of demonstrations to...

JBL 708i Monitor Review (DSP: Part 2)

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This is a follow up to my part 1 review of the JBL 708i speaker (monitor) using active DSP amplification. A Crown DCI 4/300n four channel amplifier with built-in DSP and profiles for 708i was used in bi-amp configuration.
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The process of configuring the amplifier DSP with the profile for 708i is not overly complicated but made more tedious by missing information in the manual and even bad links. It you can survive through it, you will face a problem in that the gain for the Crown amp is set using analog trim pots. These are notoriously inaccurate. In the normal course of using the amplifier for stereo or multichannel use, this is not a big problem. But when using one channel for woofer and another for tweeter, such mismatch completely...

Marantz Cinema 50 AVR Review

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My Friends C50 and I don't know the price of this item.

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You can see what I saw. This is what it looks like.

Marantz C50 AVR SINAD 20k 4 Ohm 5 W.PNG

4ohm, optical in, front LR, 20k
Marantz C50 AVR SINAD 22.4k 4 Ohm 5 W.PNG

4ohm, optical in, front LR, 22.4k
Marantz C50 AVR SINAD 40k 4 Ohm 5 W.PNG

4ohm, optical in, front LR, 40k

Marantz C50 AVR RCA In SINAD 20k 4 Ohm 5 W.PNG

4ohm, rca in, front LR, 20k

Marantz C50 AVR RCA In SINAD 22.4k 4 Ohm 5 W.PNG

4ohm, rca in, front LR, 22.4k

Marantz C50 AVR RCA In SINAD 40k 4 Ohm 5 W.PNG

4ohm, rca in, front LR...

JBL 708i Monitor Review (Passive: Part 1)

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This is a partial review of the JBL 708i discrete active speaker but tested as a passive. It was purchased used by a member and kindly sent to me for testing. I *think* it costs US $1,900 each.

JBL 708i Speaker Active Monitor Review.jpg

Sorry for the stock picture. The unit is still on Klippel NFS measurement stand to be tested in Part 2. The reason is that this speaker has mandatory drive requirement using a DSP or combo DSP+Crown amplifier from JBL:
JBL 708i Speaker Active Monitor  Amplifier Warning.png


Member and I were curious what its performance would be without the DSP and hence this set of measurements. I do have the Crown amplifier with the necessary filters loaded. But need to build some wiring harness to interface it to my measurement system (comes with binding posts rather than XLR). At first I thought all the crossover circuits were in the DSP unit but it seems when...

S.M.S.L PO100, PO100 PRO & PO100 AK Measurements (Digital interfaces & DAC)

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S.M.S.L PO100, PO100 PRO & PO100 AK Measurements

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Hey folks,

It is time for my very last review of the year. A very special one, as there are three products to be measured today ! S.M.S.L released earlier this year the PO100, a tiny and fairly cheap USB to S/PDIF interface. Later in 2022, they launched the PO100 PRO and PO100 AK. The PO100 MSRP is 39$, but this one seems to be discontinued by the time of this writing. PO100 Pro costs 69$, while PO100 AK is priced at 89$ (a bit more expensive in EU for each). I will cover their respective features below. I bought all three myself on Amazon.

This review has two purposes, checking...​

Canton Vento 826.2 Speaker Review

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This is a review, listening tests and detailed measurements of the Canton Vento 826.2 2-way stand-mount speaker. It is on kind loan from a member and costs 1,000 Euros.
Canton Vento 826.2 standmount bookshelf speaker review.jpg

The German manufacturer knows how to deliver a high quality enclosure and finish that is required at this price point. Not much to see in the back:

Canton Vento 826.2 standmount bookshelf speaker back panel port binding posts review.jpg


I read that Canton was once again distributing speakers in US and Germany. But as of now, I could not find any sellers in US and hence the EURO pricing. Don't know if they changed their mind and they are no longer being sold here.

For the measurements you are about to see, the reference axis is the lower part of the tweeter ring. Using the tweeter center as I normally do, created a broad(er) dip in the middle of the measurement range. The grill was not used.

Canton Vento 826.2 Measurements
Let's start with our usual frequency response measurements:
Canton Vento 826.2 standmount bookshelf speaker frequency response measurements.png
...

Buckeye 3 Channel Purifi Amp Review

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This is review and detailed measurements of the Buckeye 3 Channel Purifi amplifier based power amp. It was kindly drop shipped to me by a member and costs US $1,699.
Buckeye 3 channel purifi amplifier balanced Review.jpg

As you see, the case is utilitarian. The amplifier is extremely light making you think there is nothing in the box! The back side shows the features you want, sans RCA inputs:
Buckeye 3 channel purifi amplifier balanced back panel Review.jpg

I like the three gain settings to let you get the best out of your sources. Full power is achieved nearly 2 volts in high gain letting you drive it with many AVRs. Low gain requires 6.5 volts or so.

Three channel configuration is naturally aimed at home theater applications for front left, right and center.

Buckeye Purifi 3 Channel Amplifier Measurements
Let's start with our warm up test:
[ATTACH type="full" alt="Buckeye 3 channel...

Peachtree amp500 Amplifier Review

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Peachtree amp500 stereo amplifier. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $1,499.
Peachtree amp500 stereo amplifier balanced Review.jpg

The amp500 comes in the same packaging of many previous Peachtree products. I wish company would innovate here as the design looks kind of dated. Then again it is very unique. This amplifier comes with balanced inputs which I very much like:
Peachtree amp500 stereo amplifier balanced back panel Review.jpg


When I pushed the amp, the protection circuit naturally kicked it but unlike many other amps, recovered automatically without the need for a power cycle.

The back half of the box is empty so the amp module is small. And there is plenty of ventilation on top. There was only modest temperature rise in the case post all the testing I did which is admirable.

Peachtree amp500 Measurements
The amplifier was ready on power up:
Peachtree amp500 stereo amplifier balanced measurements.png


Dashboard measurement shows above average performance:
[ATTACH...

AV123 X-CS Encore Center Speaker Review

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This is a review, listening tests and measurements of the AV123-CS center speaker. It was kindly sent to me by a member:
AV123 X-CS Center Speaker X-CS Encore GR Research Kit Review.jpg


Speaker is long discontinued (reviews date back 2007). But it seems the designer (?) Danny Ritchie is selling a kit based on the same (GR Research X-CS Encore) for $239 (driver+xover only). Old prices I can find are just $139 for plain finish and $199 for the gorgeous sample I have:

AV123 X-CS Center Speaker X-CS Encore GR Research Kit old Review.png

As noted, the speaker weighs 33 pounds which is quite heavy. This is likely due to the very deep cabinet and heavy construction.

The grill is unusual: it is a very thick gage metal piece screwed to the cabinet using very long stand offs. Since it was fastened such, I assumed it was part of the design and performed my testing with it in place.

AV123 X-CS Speaker Measurements
As usual we start with our "spinorama"...
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