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Las Vegas 2001




Added 01 / 02 / 01

Symposium Acoustics RollerblocksSymposium Acoustics will be exhibiting at Alexis Park suite 1952 demonstrating their isolation/vibration control products, such as Rollerblocks (seen right) with Grade 3 SuperBalls, Ultra and Super Platforms, and Svelte Shelves. They will also be showing some new products including Fat Padz, the Quantum Platform and a new Precision Rack. Also in suite 1952 will be the latest electronics from Balanced Audio Technology including VKD5SE CD, VK50SE pre-amplifier, and VK150SE monoblock amplifiers. Loudspeakers will be the newest generation Parsifal from Verity Audio. Symposium products will also be on display and in use in the Wavac room at T.H.E. Show, used with the Sony SCD-1 SACD player and Wavac single-ended triode tube amplifiers and preamplifiers. Symposium Ultra Platforms and Rollerblocks will also be on display and in use at the Aerial Acoustics room at T.H.E. Show. Top that off with Symposium's Svelte platforms will be on display with 47 Labs electronics at T.H.E. Show. WOW!



Sony SACDSony Electronics and Philips will be at the St. Tropez Hotel demonstrating their new proprietary multi-channel SACD players along with a selection of new multi-channel titles from various music labels. Sony will also have an SACD Pavilion that showcases a wide assortment of SACD compatible products and music titles.



Joseph Audio RM7si SignaturesJoseph Audio will be at the Alexis Park suite 1958 with Cardas Audio feature their new RM33si ($6000) and the Cinergy 5.1 LCR speakers the Shallow Depth RM7si Signatures (RM7sigWM; RM7si Signatures seen right) plus they will have the Joseph Audio surround dipole/bipole loudspeakers and a "cute lil' subwoofer" according to the owner of Joseph Audio, Jeff Joseph. The front end will consist of an Arcam CD transport feeding a dCS Purcell upsampler and Delius converter (24-bit/192kHz). An alternate front end will be a Pioneer DVD-Audio/SACD player. These both will feed through an Audio Refinement Pre-5 preamplifier and a pair of VTL MB450 monoblocks and Theta's Dreadnaught for two channel or six channel sources.



ChadwickWhitley Ltd. will once again showcase their core products including the Chadwick ($7,800 as seen right) and Auditorium ($6,800) loudspeakers. Both units are constructed in a patented design called the Double Traveled Transmission Line (DTTL). These are two-way designs with sensitivities of 89.6dB/W/m and 88 dB/w/m respectively. Their DAC-i ($2,800) is a 24-bit/96kHz digital to analog converter design with "phase distortion-less technology that enables the most coherent DAC ever". It is powered by batteries so bring the Energizer bunny with you. For pre-amplification duties their Stage Explorer ($1,380) will be employed. This minimalist contender has only two stages in the active circuit. Input impedance can reach 500K ohms while the buffered output impedance is as low as 3 ohms.



Lumenwhite whitelightLumen White will be at the Alexis Park Hotel showcasing a most fascinating German made loudspeaker system. Their Lumenwhite whitelight monitors (70,000 DM) are said to be extremely fast, exceedingly transparent and offer an outstanding sense of realistic imagine. Commissioned by an institutional media client to complement their top of the range audio electronics by Spectral, dCS and other, the whitelight ultra-precision monitor loudspeakers are time and phase coherent. The five driver, three-way design uses high-technology ceramic membranes in all drivers. A minimalist crossover topology and active shielding (!) help to round out the system.

whitelight technical specifications:

Frequency response : 28Hz - 35kHz (28hz - 80khz with optional pure diamond-diaphragm tweeter

Sensitivity: 91.5dB/W/m

Nominal impedance: 4 ohms

Driver arrangement: 
1" concave ceramic inverted dome tweeter (pure diamond membrane tweeter from Q2/ 2001 on)

Three 5" concave ceramic inverted dome midrange in proprietary biconcave sealed cabinet

Three  7" concave ceramic inverted dome woofers 
in an innovative new "jet-valve" streaming engine cabinet

Cabinet constructed from 1,2 inch maple plywood

Wiring: single wire connectors "active shielding" internal wire

height: 118 cm 
width: 28 cm 
depth: 62 cm 
weight: 52 kg



Added 12 / 29 / 00

Arcam AVR100ARCAM will be at the Alexis Park suite 2363 showing a dozen new components including the AVR100 Home Theater Receiver and DV88 DVD player. British company Arcam has been active in the home cinema market for many years. The AVR100 is designed to deliver high-performance on both movies and music. The AVR100 receiver uses a huge toroidal transformer at the heart of the power supply and high-grade audiophile components in the critical signal path. There s also a "direct" switch function for bypassing the tone control circuitry for the cleanest possible sound. The AVR100 produces 70 watts into each of its five channels, and 90 watts are available in stereo mode. Powerful 24-bit processor is incorporated for decoding Dolby Digital, Pro Logic and DTS and six 24-bit DACs for the audio conversion. Video routing, complete with on-screen graphics, is available for up to four composite and S-Video sources. Six 2 channel audio inputs along with a direct 6 channel input for connection to multi-channel audio sources such as DVD-Audio. The AVR100 has pre-amp outputs for bi-amp use with matching Arcam amps. Suggested retail price is $1,199.

Arcam's new DV88 DVD player was carefully designed to play music CDs to the same level of quality as a dedicated CD player and also set standards for its performance on video and movie sound track replay for DVD-Videos. The DV88 incorporates many innovative features, such as the use of dual power supplies, with a switch mode supply for the digital electronics and a separate linear supply for the sensitive analogue circuitry. The transformer is a toroidal type for low magnetic field. Two separate Wolfson WM8716 audio DACs are used in mono mode while each DAC has a mono differential output and has its own separately regulated supply. Two asynchronous audio and video clocks derived from separate oscillators help ensure low levels of jitter performance. The SPDIF output uses a high-bandwidth coupling transformer to provide the cleanest possible signal to an external decoder. The DV88 supports all the major video connection standards, with component, RGB, S-VHS and composite outputs. The player is designed to playback regular DVD-Video discs and CDs as well as CD-R and CD-RW discs. It will also playback HDCD and MP3 encoded CDs. Keeping an eye on future technologies, the DV88 has modular multi-board construction and flash programmable memory employed to achieve a flexible platform on which to upgrade to DVD-Audio planned for release in mid 2001. Suggested retail price of the DV88 is $1499.



dCSdCS, well known for their Elgar DAC, will be at the Alexis Park suite 2364 looking to target both analog and digital music lovers with their new digital Grieg component. Named after the famous composer, the Grieg includes the upsampling capabilities of the dCS Purcell with a digital phono stage (oh the heresy!). dCS hopes to eliminate the need for a preamplifier in music reproduction systems that employ both digital and analog sources. The RIAA equalization is accomplished within the digital domain at a sampling rate of 24-bit/192 kHz. dCS will also be demonstrating a new SACD transport with whispers of a universal DVD-Audio/SACD capability (stay tuned to our exclusive show report for this late breaking news).



John Curl and CTC Builders will be showing with Reimer Speaker Systems and Machina Dynamica in room 1307 of T.H.E. Show. Their now infamous Blow Torch preamplifier and BBQ amplifier will be on display. The Blow Torch has a rated bandwidth upwards of 350K with a spectral analysis 2nd & 3rd order only <.01% IM @ 3v out. Signal to noise ration is 113db while the crosstalk between channels is 100db @ 50khz. The Blow Torch retails at $10,000 for line stage unit with phase switch. For an additional $5,000 the Vendetta phono stage is upgraded. Add $1,500 for an additional set of balanced inputs, $1,500 for tape or output buffers... The CTC Builders BBQ amplifier is a 350 wpc amplifier that is capable of an outstanding 125 amps instantaneously and has damping factor greater than 1,000. Weighing in at over 100 pounds, this $7,000 can add music to your BBQ... and that of your neighbors and their neighbors too. Both the Blow Torch and the BBQ were electrically designed by John Curl and voiced by Bob Crump while Carl Thompson did the circuit board layouts. The John Curl/CTC Builder suite will have on display:

Speakers - Reimer Teton GS
DAC - Entec/TG Audio Number Cruncher rev 2.0
Transport - G&D Transforms/TG Audio UTP-1
Preamp - CTC Blowtorch
Amplifier - CTC BBQ One Horsepower
AC Filters - TG Audio BybeeSuckers
Wires - TG HSR throughout
Custom-sized Cetech AV VCS isolation platform
Stand - Machina Dynamica electron microscope stand



Cary Audio of North Carolina will be at the Alexis Park suite 1753 with their new CAD-280 SA (V-12) monoblock amplifiers ($4,000). The CAD-280 SA (V-12) has new features for a Cary stereo power amplifier. Cary is claiming to have finally designed a stable and reliable unit. Deciding to not follow signal purity by using triode tubes as many other high-end companies are finding the best way to reproduce music, Cary has instead employed the versatility of using the EL-34, 6550 and/or KT-88 tubes extensively in the output section. If a user enjoys the musicality of EL-34 tubes, they can be used in the CAD-280 SA (V-12). The CAD-280 SA (V-12) will also accommodate other output pentodes such as the KT-66, KT88, 6550c, 6L6, EL-34, 6V6 or KT-90 tubes. Manual bias of the output tubes help users to manually adjust each of the twelve tubes. The output stage does offer switches for triode or ultra-linear output mode. The complete tube compliment is six output tubes, one EL-84 and one 6922 per channel.



Added 12 / 28 / 00

Lehmann Audio Black CubePopular phono stage manufacture Lehmann Audio will be in suites 1004 and 1004 of T.H.E. Show with their new optional high current toroidal transformer for the Black Cube photo stage. The Black Cube was first discovered outside the USA by none other than Enjoy the Music.com™'s editor Steven R. Rochlin who gave the original (first 120 volt unit ever made!), a rave review. Years later the Black Cube has been receiving worldwide success as Steve's review made an impact on the world of audio and analog lovers throughout the universe! The new Black Cube features a higher grade power supply (10x more power than the standard unit), low impedance voltage regulation and gold plated Neutrix XLR connectors. The new Black Cube offers improved internal parts too! The passive RIAA network between two active gain stages allows for four different gain levels upwards of 66dB. All capacitors in the signal path are high-precision tinfoil type while the output stage is built around complementary FET drivers without the use of negative feedback. The gain stages use separate shunt supply voltage regulators. A detachable low impedance, high current choke power supply provides Lehmann Audio's most sophisticated electronic architecture while the analog stage is enclosed in a specially made milled non-magnetic aluminum case for enhanced music reproduction quality. Precision-made German WBT audio connectors round out the final improvements over the older standard version. The new retail price for the standard Black Cube is $595. Remember, you heard about it here first!



Bright Star AudioBright Star Audio will be at Suite 1001 of T.H.E. Show with their new IsoNode isolation feet, IsoRock 5 platform, IsoRock 4 platform, Little Rock 4 & 5 and the Rack Of Gibraltar 4. The new IsoNode isolation feet from Bright Star provide their most cost-effective upgrade! The unique IsoNode polymer rejects a wide range of vibration trying to enter from underneath the component. The highly compliant IsoNode simultaneously acts as both a liquid and a solid for superior vibration control. The large size is 1.25 " x 3/4" tall and is priced at $19.95 for a set of four. The smaller size of 3/4" x 3/8" tall retial at only $12.50 for a set of four! A new price barrier in isolation units! Bright Star Audio's new IsoRock 5 platform employs multi-layer construction of high-density polymers. Thick 5/8" multi-density fiberboard, polymer adhesives and a non-resonant coating is said to provide effective control of vibration and resonance to enhance the performance of sensitive audio and video components. The included IsoNode isolation feet further decouple the IsoRock from floor borne vibration. Dimensions are 18.5" x 15" x 1" and holds 28 lbs. and retails for $49.95. Their IsoRock 4 platform is said to provide excellent vibration control for audio and video components using advanced construction of dual high-density polymer sheets, dual 1/2" multi-density fiberboard sheets, polymer adhesives and a non-resonant coating provides effective control of vibration and resonance. Large sized IsoNode isolation feet are included to provide additional rejection of floor borne vibration. Dimensions are 18.5" x 15" x 1 .75" and holds 38 lbs and retails at 79.95. Bright Star Audio's new Little Rock 4 and Little Rock 5 provide high-mass and damping to the top of audio and video components . The twelve layer construction reduces unwanted vibration and resonance for improved performance. Little Rock 4 dimensions are 16" x 12" x 1" and retail at $69.95 while the Little Rock 5 dimensions are 12" x 6" x 1" and retail for only $39.95!!

Coming in beautiful hardwood trim and patented Bright Star Audio technology, the new Gibraltar 4 places a Gemini isolation twin at the top shelf position for control of vibrations and resonances. The four shelf positions use thick 5/8" multi-density fiberboard to support audio and video components and let you add additional Bright Star products to complete your vibration control system. Solid hardwood trim complements the extremely rigid, welded steel framework. Adjustable Gibraltar spikes are included. The Gibraltar 4 retails for $999. The top-line Rack Of Gibraltar 4G includes four Gemini platforms and retails for $1999 for a savings of over $135 if purchased separately.



Critically acclaimed Hovland will be in suite 1003 at T.H.E. Show featuring their all new hybrid stereo amplifier that uses tube output. Few details are being released at this time so watch our show report for more information. The front-end components will include a Graham 2.0 tonearm with Lyra Helikon cartridge, Dodson DAC and a Marantz SA-1 SACD. For loudspeaker duties the $10,000 Von Schweikert Audio VR-5 Hovland Special Edition will be used. This special unit includes custom Hovland Music Inductors and extra MusiCap capacitors in the crossover.



Panamax MAX 5500 AC RegeneratorPanamax will be at the CES booth 8054 introducing their new MAX 5500 AC Regenerator featuring Isolation Transformer technology with line conditioning and premier surge protection for high-end audio and home theater systems. "We are introducing an exciting new product with absolute isolation circuitry that is a firewall for noise." states Bob Smith, VP Products Development. "The firewall concept for the four isolated outlets eliminates the transfer of any line noise. There is absolutely no interference from the receptacle to connected digital equipment and no interference from the connected digital equipment back to the other outlets." Smart function delayed start switches and premier SurgeGate Plus over voltage and under voltage surge protection sets the standard for a true high-end isolation component to enhance and protect their total system. The MAX 5500 AC Regenerator is the only product available that truly isolates outlets. Many other manufacturers claim isolation filtering, but in fact, do not provide true isolation. Additional features included on the front panel are an Analog Voltmeter and Analog Ampmeter with adjustable lights, removable plug-in gooseneck rack lighting fixture, and one AC outlet on the stylized faceplate. The back panel houses four always on outlets, four switched 500VA isolation transformer outlets for DVD, CD's and other digital media, two delayed outlets with high current/low impedance filtering, adjustable startup delays for the switched and delayed outlets, one 12V trigger input, and SurgeGate Plus over voltage and under voltage power monitoring protection Furthermore, the unit provides Optimized Coaxial Line Protection with SignalPerfect Circuitry for two F-connector pairs optimized specifically for cable TV (and HDTV), two F-connector pairs engineered for satellite systems, and one pair of RJ-45 telephone jacks. The MAX 5500 AC Regenerator retails for $849.95 in the U.S., carries a Lifetime Product Warranty and a $5,000,000 Connected Equipment Warranty.



iRAD-CAudioRamp will be at booth 24382 of the CES showing their "Intelligent Audio" products and services that are said to focus on "providing audiophiles with dynamic access to the audio and related resources they want, where they want it and when they want it." Their iRAD-C is the first audio device to integrate internet streaming and downloadable audio (storing over 1000 songs) into a home stereo or entertainment system. iRAD-C allows users to download, assemble and manage their personal music library from online music sites, CD or internet streaming broadcasts and play them through an existing home stereo. Furthermore, the iRAD-C is designed to connect to MyAudioRamp, a personalized website designed around the listener's favorite genre, source and artist preferences. MyAudioRamp will dynamically retrieve personalized audio and music content on a daily basis and present it to the consumer in a tailored form. Advantages? The iRAD-C is not connected to a PC. It directly connects to a home audio system and the user's phone line to download music. As for audio output, standard stereo analog RCA jacks or digitally through optical TOSlink connection are included. A built-in program called IntelligentAudio dynamically monitors the listening behavior, reconciles those actions against the set preferences and then dynamically builds a customized music bank for you against a proprietary database of audio and music content managed by AudioRamp including radio, internet music, news, etc. Listen to any song on AM/FM broadcast, streaming audio, CD, MP3, WMA, or other formats. If a user pushes the iRAD ActionButton,  IntelligentAudio will take a digital fingerprint of the song to provide the artist's name, song title, album name and label. IntelligentAudio will then match the artists and song against the MyAudioRamp website, store your action in the MyAudioRamp MyActions section for future reference.


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