CES Show Report
Thiel's new C3.7 ($8,000/pr or thereabouts) has new, ridged cones made from aluminum. The woofers are domed and ridged, thought the coax dome tweeter is centrally mounted to the flat plane, yet ridged cone midrange unit. They are hoping for 90dB/W/m sensitivity with the aid of a 10-inch woofer plus a 10-inch passive radiator. The cabinet rear is a curved structure to reduce standing waves, enhance rigidly, and of course they're internal bracing. Also of note is that the tweeter/midrange coax driver has its own internal cabinet to eliminate the woofer's affect.
Acoustic Signature had a room filled with seven different models of turntables. Seen here are the Mombo ($4,500, left) and Challenger ($1,800, right). All have motors electric supplied for the sine wave. A dry running bearing, no lubrication needed, comes with a 10-year warranty. Speaking of which, there are an overwhelming amount if room at both Vegas shows using vinyl replay. Digital may not be dead, but it seems obvious that with all the uncertainty of DVD-Audio, the Sony proprietary SACD format, and the upcoming unresolved HD DVD formats and their audio format, vinyl is the front end of preference.
Tim Paravicini now offers his own turntable called the Disc Master ($13,500). The motor system is completely decoupled from the unit. It is magnetically driven! Tim said there are so many things about it that are ingenious that he won' begin discussing them here.
iPod and portable audio lovers can rejoice as Kimber Kable now offers their GQ-Mini in all cooper ($75/meter), silver/copper ($240), and all silver ($360). The headphone jack is gold-plated while WBT secures the RCA side.
Take a seat, relax, have a wonderful espresso, and allow the music to flow with Italy's Unison Research Sinfoni and Opera Audio's Mod. Opera Quinta ($3,795). Vita bella, and enjoy the music...
Manley Labs' Mantaray ($4,000) is a stereo integrated unit with both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) input. It has five inputs plus an iPod input and they plan to have USB input. Output is 100 watts per channel, wireless remote controllable, three turtledoves, two calling birds, and a partridge in a pear tree :)
Coincident Speakers' Total Victory II ($13G's) is the culmination of a decade of research and development. The nine-driver compliment produces from 26Hz to 40kHz, is 96dB/W/m sensitive, and have a flat 10-ohm load. Can you say singe-ended tube love-fest!
Did i mention that turntables rule the day as Pro-Ject RM 9.1 ($1,499) with brand new single-piece tonearm with integrated headshell and conical shaped rear. The large, adjustable cone feet are multi-layer with aluminum and Sorbothane to reduce resonances. It is a mass-loaded design with decoupled motor. Inverted thrust, ceramic ball bearing.
The recent Web buzz has been about the Feastrex single-driver, field coil full range driver with paper cone. It uses a unique magnet and other bits to produce a gap flux density of 17,000 Gauss for their D5e unit and 22,500 Gauss for the D6e. Basically, this is much stronger than a standard design plus coil resistance has been reduced by 15 percent or so according to the manufacturer. i could say more, but rabid fans of Lowthers will surely look these guys up.
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