2008 Show Report
Consumer Electronics Show 2008
Esoteric had their revolutionary MG-10 loudspeaker that utilizes all magnesium (Mg) diaphragms, cones and domes ($5500, with larger sister model MG-20 being $8400). The advantages of using Mg is that high internal energy dissipation provides for extremely fast action virtually free of any distortion and coloration. The MG-10 was developed by Esoteric's in concert with Nippon Kinzoku. Mg is extremely rigid and
dissipates heat fast and is why top-end race cars use Mg rims on their cars. Final acoustic tuning, manufacture and assembly takes place in the United Kingdom by British speaker manufacturer
Clearaudio was here in full force with many of the company's turntable and cartridges. With decades of experience, i proudly use their Stradivari wood body cartridge and it sounds excellent!
The Ear USA room sounded really good and had their Acute CD player, Disc Master turntable, 890 amplifier, and 868 preamplifier ($5895, $17,000, $7295, and $6895 respectively). Loudspeakers are the Martin FormFlor mains with FormSub subwoofer ($6500 and $4450 respectively). During a brief listen I heard a lovely sound, high resolution, smooth and non-fatiguing.
Naim audio had a truly impressive setup with a wide variety of their high end audiophile gear.
Operetta AP5140A ($1000 for stereo, $1600 for full 5 channel) multi-channel 70 watt amplifier can be configured from 1 to 5 channels,
easily. Special features include built-in noise reduction and relay for output protection to thwart loudspeaker damaging DC. If only in stereo configuration, it can easily handle 2 Ohm loads.
Tri had a stunning finish of a type of red with super small metallic flake finish on their TRV-CD4SE CD player and TRV-4SE tube preamplifier ($2000 and $2750). Of note is that this is their limited edition preamplifier that has all 16 Mundorf capacitors and ultra-precise Kawame resistors.
Crystal Cable uses special construction and design to produce top flight products. For RCA, the NexGen made by WBT connectors are employed. Audiophile music labels Chesky
Records and MA Recordings appear to love their stuff.
Audioengine now offers their S8 ($399) which is an 8-inch subwoofer unit that mates with their A5 and A2 monitors. This unit has an internally-mounted 8-inch driver and 125 watt amplifier and accepts RCA, minijack or LFE. Good news is that the crossover is from 50Hz to 130Hz with a fully variable phase control. Also of note is that the unit has an AC out jack so it does not use up your very last power connection.
Pro-Ject had the cutest little Tube Box II vacuum tube MM/MC phonostage ($399). It uses a pair of dual triode 12AX7 tubes, gain is their 40dB or 60dB, there is a subsonic filter, though no loading adjustment. They also have a Tube Box SE II ($599) that offers adjustable loading for impedance and capacitance, uses dual-mono topology and higher graded tubes.
Audio Physic had their new Tempo 6 ($4995) floorstanding loudspeaker uses all new drivers, double basket 6-ich ceramic aluminum midrange unit, 1.25-inch silk dome tweeter, and are of dual 7-inch woofers. Frequency response is from 27Hz to 40kHz with a 91dB/W/m sensitivity.
aaudio importers were showcasing the Acapella High Violin MK IV ($59,000) horn speaker. It has new dual 11-inch drivers for the woofers and upgraded crossover from the previous version. Also, the internal cabinet has been revised to achieve better integration between the midrange horn and bass and improved dynamics.
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Wednesday's CES 2008