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The Day The AV Dream Died, Cont.

The Oppo XLR suggestion got me to thinking. The 2-channel Magtech and the multichannel Sunfire Cinema Grand amps both have XLR connections. So I spent a few bucks at Amazon and ordered a six pack of XLR wires made by GLS Audio.

Not expecting really too much I swapped out the front right, left, center, and rear channel RCA connectors to the Magtech and Cinema Grand. Whammo! The XLR interconnects immediately laid down Ohm’s musical law, especially between the Magtech and the big Omega ribbons, which are really fussy about panel control, especially in the bass.

The XLR wires clamped down on the Omegas, hard. It was like watching a massive killer whale chomping down on a Discovery Channel seal. The XLR’s held on tight no matter how much the bass ribbons tried to wriggle and squirm their way out of the wires’ iron grip. The Omega’s mid and top end ribbons also popped their eyes wide open at the XLR spectacle, exclaiming forth a clear, clean torrent of sound. Sonofabitch.

But as the relatively low cost XLR wires started to break in a noticeable metallic sheen became apparent. First it pervaded the highs and then it invaded the mids. The sonic tightness was still there but now it became a shiny chrome collar around the music's throat. Crap. Out came the XLR's and back in went the Nordost Valhalla wires with RCA plugs. It was like swatting a pesky mosquito that kept waking you up. Back came sheer musical joy and a hard steel lesson learned.

If the lady were a cheap XLR hookup this would not have a happy ending.

Also finally getting into the audio act was the Oppo. The BDP-95 took about 50 hours to break-in and its music making Mojo only really came alive at around the 100-hour mark. If this thing were any slower to wake up I would have pulled the feeding tube. The Oppo warranty should include a living will.

In any event, once it woke up and got moving around the house the BDP-95 didn’t waste any time. This thing could make music! I’d put this $1,000 player up against units costing 3 to 5 times as much and be confident it would deliver a big knuckle sandwich to their expensive smirks.

You also want this one in your video playback corner. Together, the BDP-95 and the GT30 delivered astonishingly good picture quality with high quality Blu-ray material.

Now all that was needed was a good network storage device that would hold all the household's AV files. Every time Apple introduces a new iKnow-You-Want-It toy, iTunes gets busy tapping out the credit cards and media file storage starts tilting towards zero like empty bank account statements strewn across the floor.

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21st, The VXM Network, http://www.vxm.com