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Las Vegas 2001

CES

T.H.E. SHOW

 

Kora Cosmos

  Kora had their new Cosmos monoblock amplifier ($4,400/pr) as seen in our massive pre-show report. The Cosmos 100w triode monoblocks use eight Svetlana 6AS7G power tubes in push-pull configuration.

 

Galante Audio

Galante Audio had their first (unnamed) new small black stand mounted minimonitors loudspeakers ($1,800-2,400/pr) that use an 8" coax driver with a true center mounted 1" horn compression tweeter. Their floorstanding Buckingham ($6,500) uses a 15" driver with horn tweeter.

 

Galante Audio Type 45 Amplifier

Galante Audio also was showing another first! Their new amplifier, again with no name, that will retail for approximately $3,500. It uses a single type 45 output tube stereo, Magnequest output transformers. It looked very impressive and it is good to see more manufactures building type 45 single-ended tube amplifiers. It is time for the 2A3 to rest in piece as the type 45 is an amazing tube in my humble opinion.

 

WAVAC

The new WAVAC unit in the center bottom is their model EC-300B stereo amplifier. Using a single 300B output tube to produce 10 watts of output power, it seems quite impressive as most manufactures only achieve only 7 watts or so. WAVAC uses their proprietary IITC interstage transformers to achieve this high performance. The frequency response is  said to be from 20 Hz to 100 kHz. The outermost units are the MD-811 stereo integrated amplifier on the left that uses the 811 tube to achieve 15 watts while on the right is the MD-300B stereo integrated amplifier that also uses the 300B output tube to achieve 10 watts per channel. The top center unit is the WAVAC PR-X1 stereo pre-amplifier that offers remote control selectable six inputs while the top of the cabinet is 24 karat gold plated!

 

PEARL and VYGER

The Italians are here! Wish they brought a Ferrari, though they did bring the Pearl Contrabass, the VYGER turntable and for electronics they were showcasing the Nightingale tube amplifiers. Best bet is t see out Milan 1999 and Milan 2000 show coverage. No as for that Ferrari... see our private tour of the Pininfarina facility. The cool loudspeaker are the Pearl Linea Granit Contrappunto three-way design. This ported design has a frequency response of 37Hz to 25kHz with a sensitivity of 89dB/W/m.

 

Nightingale ADM-35

The lovely Italian made Nightingale ADM-35 (7,500,000) is a five-channel amplifier. Two channels are tubed while the other three are solid-state (for home theater use) and all channel are rated at 30 wpc. output  ("Class A" for the tubed section).

 

Art Audio PX 25

Art Audio's new PX 25 ($5,495 as seen in chrome, black chassis with chrome accents is $4,995). This six wpc. single-ended tube amplifier uses the PX 25 output tube. An optional volume control is available.

 

U-Vola

From Italy is the U-Vola loudspeakers designer ($2,490) as seen within our pre-show report. These Italian loudspeakers are geared more for the interior decorator than the audiophile. Still, they looked very interesting and are built quite well. Below is a photo of the quite good quality drivers used. Specifically, a 100mm woofer is mated with a centrally-mounted 26mm tweeter.

U-Vola Driver

 

Nearfield Acoustics

A pair of Plinius SA-250 Mark 4 amplifiers were used with the quite large Nearfield Acoustics Reference 18 loudspeakers ($49,500). Welcome to the "more is better" club of audio folks. Kinda reminds me of that stereo salesmen in the movie Ruthless People.

 

Von Schweikert new VR-4 Gen. III ($3,995) is said to reach all new heights of performance for a relatively low price. i must admit they did sound quite impressive! The cabinet is constructed of 1" MDF except for the crucial front baffle that is 2" thick. Two 9" woven-filament carbon fibre woofers cover the lowermost frequencies. Meanwhile a 6" Vifa/Scanspeak midrange and 1" Vifa/Scanspeak tweeter reproduce the upper octaves. A rear dipolar tweeter is also included to assist in adding ambience and "space". Two pairs of gold plated Cardas binding posts are included for bi-wiring capabilities.

 

SLS Monitors

The SLS S8R monitors are intended for near field use as is found in recording and pre/post production facilities. and 8" woofer with phase and 5" ribbon tweeter reproduce frequencies from 44 Hz to 20 kHz.

 

Impact's Airfoil loudspeakers five piece system ($38,500) uses a very innovative Airfoil Bending Wave driver for the upper frequencies (top unit). The special tweeter section is mounted on top of the cabinet that holds two 6.5" poly cone midrange/woofer drivers. The separate cabinet to the left is Impact's specially designed self-powered subwoofer.

 

Seen here is Robert Suchy of Clearaudio with their new Outer Limit rig ($700). It is carefully placed on the top edge of a record to insure the outermost section of your vinyl record remains flat on the turntable's platter. The Outer Limit is machined from a solid block of stainless steel. Clearaudio also has a new small Basic phono stage that can accommodate both MM and MC cartridges (around $600).  

 

Rockport Technology Hyperion

Rockport Technology Hyperion ($86,500) loudspeakers. The baffles are molded from carbon fibre while the back is a special epoxy composite. It employs the Esotar tweeter while a pair of 13" drivers for bass, and two 6" for midrange. All wiring by Transparent Audio.

 

Nitty Gritty Mini Pro II

Seen here is the Nitty Gritty Mini Pro II in special 20th anniversary Cocobola wood ($952). It cleans both sides of your vinyl record at the same time. i personally love my 2.5Fi and the Cocobola wood looked absolutely stunning!

 

Audiogon

As internet companies such as ourselves and Audiogon have succeeded into having room(s) at the show. Seen here is a web surfer checking out Audiogon's website.

 

Antique Sound Lab Tulip

In the Antique Sound Lab room they had their new Tulip 2A3 stereo amplifier ($899). It uses a step-up transformer for the first gain stage to insure quiet signal gain. This is especially needed for guys like me who use high efficiency loudspeakers. It is tube regulated using the 5R4 and is bridgeable to monophonic operation. Output power is 3.5 wpc. of stereo or 12 watt monophonic (because it switches to push-pull operation). Antique Sound Labs Leyla is their 845 stereo integrated unit that includes a wireless remote control ($2,500). It is tube regulated using KT66 tubes. A front bias meter is included for another $90.

 

Atma-Sphere

Atma-Sphere were showing their MA1 ($9,800) 150 wpc. OTL (output transformerless) monoblock amplifier (far right and left). The center unit is their S30 MK. II ($2,850). The S30 MK. II stereo amplifier operates in pure "Class A" to produce 30 wpc. The amazing thing with top-flight OTL designs are their frequency response. The S30 MK.II is claimed to produce frequencies from 2 Hz to 75 kHz!

 

DIVA

Diva had their Tain Zhu ($2,980) designed by T.S. Lim. The 2A3 tube is driven by the 2A3 to a pair of EL34 tubes operated in parallel singled-ended operation to achieve a 25 wpc output rating.

 

Final Labs AC-5RCT

Final Labs AC-6RCT power supply (400,000 yen) is their all new all tube power supply for their Final Labs systems. While their systems are normally 100% battery operated, there was a demand for electrical operation. While not one for the usual simple transformer designs, Final Labs created an all tube power supply! See our review of the Final Labs system within our exclusive Review Magazine.

 

Lamhorn

Lamhorn 1.8 with ADR Mark I German-made driver ($6,500/pr). Uses no crossover and is 99 dB/w/m sensitive. Silver internal wired while the cabinet is optimized for the driver. Frequency response is claimed at 50Hz to 21kHz.

 

Classic Records just released the new Crosby, Stills, & Nash (SD8229) on 180 gm vinyl $30. Songs include "Suite Judy Blue Eyes" and "Marrakech Express" to name a few. "Long Time Gone" too!!!!

 

David Chesky
David Chesky of Chesky Records fame.

 

Wavelength Audio Triton Signature

Wavelength Audio had their new Triton Signature monoblock amplifier (seen above)  and Sine battery powered pre-amplifier (below). The Sine offers a virtually dead quiet operation as this two-chassis design keeps the rechargeable battery power supply separate from the (seen above) pre-amplification stage. Being a single-stage design, only one ECC86 tube is employed for pre-amplification duties. Three inputs and tape plus normal output appear on the rear of the chassis. Most impressive!

Wavelength Audio Sine Pre-amplifier

 

Pioneer DV-AX10

Here is a fast peek at Pioneer's new DV-AX10 universal DVD/DVD-Audio/SACD player. Will give you the lowdown on this ultra-cool unit soon. Stay tuned!

 

Click here to see a complete listing of
specialty high-end audio show exhibitors.

 

Click here to see last year's show coverage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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