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TRIO AWARDS 08 / REAL SOUND GEAR

Which Is The Best Real Sound Gear?

By Mike Wheeler | Friday | 06/06/2008

We help fine-tune your music experience by providing a heads up on the best gear that will enhance your listening pleasure.

BEST CD PLAYER

Marantz


Click to enlarge


SA 7S1

RRP $12,500


Yes, its asking price may sound high, but this top-of-the-line, state-of-art CD player sets the benchmark for all CD players. It's not a brand new product for Marantz, but its quality and reproduction of sound has stood the test of time. Thus, for the serious audiophile, this player may even seem somewhat of a bargain.


BEST RECEIVER

Yamaha
RX-Z11


Click to enlarge


RRP $7,999


This hot new 11.2 channel uber-amp ticks all the boxes. The combination of features, design and performance took four years to develop. We say it's the most flexible, feature-laden and future-proof AV amp we've seen, and we're confident it will remain a class-leader for some time to come. Awesome!


 

BEST DOCKING SPEAKERS

Bowers & Wilkins


Click to enlarge


Zeppelin


RRP $999.95


This B&W iPod dock raises the bar of iPod sound systems. Using technologies from the company's high-end 800 series speaker range, the dock is designed to provide audio quality never-before-heard from compressed audio files. Zeppelin is uniquely styled, guaranteed to stand out in any room.


BEST SUBWOOFER

REL
T1


Click to enlarge


RRP $1,999


This small but beefy subwoofer is an oldie but a goodie. We remain impressed by its versatility and the synergy of all that it does. As a decent sub should it has superb output, plus it will have the Wife Acceptance Factor with its compact, stylish looks. A very musical subwoofer, this REL is a real class act.


 

BEST SPEAKERS UNDER $3,000

Acoustic Energy


Click to enlarge


Aelite 3


RRP $1,999


Acoustic Energy proved its Real Sound chops back in the 80s with the Aelite 1. Fast forward a few decades and we have this more affordable and highly impressive floorstander: the Aelite 3. With its attractive and functional curved sides, and its metal cone drivers, you get exceptional neutrality with weighty but very smooth bass.


BEST SPEAKERS OVER $3,000

Bowers & Wilkins
802D


Click to enlarge


RRP $22,000


We think this behemoth of a speaker is still king of the castle of full-sized speakers. Sure, you need the dollars behind you to bring this king home, but rest assured, it is worth the cash. These speakers have been awarded by SmartHouse many times over, and the reason is that they continue to stand out in terms of sheer audiophile performance.

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