International CES 2009
& THE Show Report
Legendary and longstanding audio manufacturer McIntosh will kickoff its 60th anniversary at the 2009 CES by announcing the introduction of two classic amplifiers that were originally produced in the early 1960s. These reissued models will manufactured in a limited edition run in 2009. In addition, the legendary company will also preview several new products scheduled for formal introduction later in the year. At CES 2009, McIntosh will have their reissue C22 preamplifier, which will be packaged with two MC75 tube mono power amplifiers (originally introduced in 1961) and sold as a set in a limited edition run beginning in March.
McIntosh will also unveil their new MXA60 "Executive System", scheduled for availability in the third quarter of 2009. This will be McIntosh's first tabletop integrated audio system.
Award-winning high-end audiophile manufacturer Silbatone will proudly present their Reference 300B integrated tube amplifier. This unit includes a pair of Western Electric 300B output tubes, the highest of grade volume control and solid milled knobs. As with other Silbatone offerings, parts quality is far beyond most commercially-available product, as many of the internals are completely custom made after long research and development that was reached after hundreds of hours of listening sessions. Custom silver capacitors, silver internal wiring, and the CNC milled from aluminum billet chassis only give a hint as to the care taken within the Silbatone Reference 300B. Voltage amplification is via 5965 and driver tubes are the 5687.
Anthony Gallo Acoustics (AGA) has taken their signature spherical loudspeakers to the next level with the new Strada. This model features a brand new impulse correction system as well as the latest version of the company's patented the CDTT 3 tweeter. Along with the Strada Center, the versatile Strada loudspeakers are the latest additions to AGA's Reference Series and are designed for high performance regardless of mounting options or room conditions. Physically, the diminutive Strada measures 6.5 x 12.5 x 5.5 (DxHxW) and as with all AGA speakers, the Strada features the company's patented S2 Technology, that is said to improve low-frequency extension and eliminates unwanted standing wave.
New Ultimate Ears earphones MetroFi 170 and MetroFi 220 (pictued) noise-isolating earphones deliver customized comfort that is excellent for listening to music on a portable audio device ($49.99 and $79.99 respectively). While ear buds sit at the opening of your ear, Ultimate Ears by Logitech earphones deliver customized comfort by creating a "magic" seal between your ear and the outside world, dramatically limiting ambient noise. So you can hear your music clearly without being cut off from the world around you, both the MetroFi 170s and the 220s provide 16dB of noise isolation. MetroFi noise-isolating earphones use silicone ear-cushions that are soft enough to conform to the unique shape of your ear canal, yet strong enough to help create exceptionally accurate sound quality. With three silicone ear-cushions to choose from, users should easily find a fit that makes the MetroFi 170 or the MetroFi 220 earphones a virtually perfect fit.
Paradigm Electronics has added two new in-wall subwoofers, the company's first-ever entries in the category, to their expanding line of custom install music and home theater solutions. Paradigm's new PCS Series Subwoofers line consists of the PCS-80R, an in-ceiling model with a round footprint, and the PCS-80SQ, an in-wall model with a square footprint. Not much bigger than a spotlight, they are the world's most powerful eight-inch in-wall/in-ceiling subwoofers. Clean, clear, accurate bass reproduction is achieved through a combination of industry-leading driver technology, the most rigid chassis and mounting bracket systems on the market, and superior power provided by the matching Paradigm X-Series subwoofer amplifiers (sold separately). The mounting systems for the new PCS Series Subwoofers essentially remove the wall and its undesirable effects from the sonic equation. The combination of die-cast and Glass-Reinforced Injection-Molded Polymer (GRIP) chassis and mounting brackets effectively eliminate dreaded "wall effects." Both systems increase wall rigidity by sandwiching and strengthening the area around the mounting hole, thus removing unwanted resonances and standing waves. For those who don't want to install directly into the wall or ceiling, both subwoofers offer an optional Paradigm Backbox (sold separately). Multi-sub applications are powered by the Paradigm Ultra-Class-D X-300 subwoofer amplifier that produces 900 watts of peak power and includes their proprietary Digital Signal Processing (DSP) design and EQ settings to match cavity size or optional backbox.
Wireworld Platinum Eclsipse loudspeaker cables ($16,400 for a 2.5-meter pair) are the new top-of-the-line loudspeaker cable. They are made with ultra high-purity solid silver, the most conductive metal in nature, and a non-inductive topology provided by the company's proprietary Diagonal Delineated Neutralizing Array (DNA) design. This structure allows for a flat profile cable with 18 six-strand insulated conductors stacked diagonally, like stair steps, with adjacent conductors carrying alternate polarities. Like all Wireworld products designated Platinum, they represent the pinnacle of performance and their conductors are made of solid silver. The conductors in the Platinum Eclipse speaker cables are composed of Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) solid silver of greater than 99.99997 percent purity. They are available in standard, bi-wired, and even tri-wired configurations with silver-clad spade lugs or tubular banana plug terminations.
Logitech's Harmony 1100 advanced universal remote control (499.99) has a 3.5-inch customizable touch screen and is easy to program. With a single touch, the palm-sized Harmony 1100 remote puts the power to control your home-entertainment in your hands. With its fully redesigned software, the 3.5-inch QVGA resolution touch-sensitive screen is clear, bright and easy to read. In addition to the customizable touch screen, the Harmony 1100 offers simple details that also make it easy to use, such as tactile guides, which are located around the touch screen and help position your fingers so that you choose the right command. The brushed-black aluminum top case and soft-touch bottom case make it comfortable to hold as well as a stylish complement to user's living room. And the Harmony 1100 is rechargeable, so you never have to replace the batteries. The Harmony 1100 is equipped with RF capability, so the company's RF Extender (sold separately) combined with the Harmony 1100 remote lets users control devices that are behind the closed doors or even in another room (from up to 100 feet away).
United States distributor Musical Surroundings will have the following at the 2009 CES event.:
The Saturn Series Calypso Signature line stage and Rhea Signature phono stage which use custom Teflon inter-stage coupling capacitors and hand tuned RIAA networks ($7,000 each) and will be demonstrated with the Atlas stereo hybrid power amplifier ($8,000).
Benz Micro S Class
Clearaudio's New Turntables, Tonearms And RCM
Jim Fosgate has applied his extensive engineering knowledge designing an affordable meter to adjust cartridge azimuth (Axial Tilt). The Fozgometer (approximately $200) uses operating principals similar to surround processor logic steering circuits, is simple to use, and reads channel separation and channel balance, as well as signal direction. This unit is battery operated.
Pathos' Adrenalin ($50,000 per pair) is the ultimate realization of the INPOL technology. This monoblock balanced power amplifier features double INPOL circuit, pure Class A operation and zero feedback. It produces 200 watts into 8 ohms with ultra low distortion. The Adrenalin is the pinnacle of the INPOL circuit, in Italian "Insegultore a Pompa Lineare", translated as the Linear Pump Tracker. The INPOL circuit, patented in 1992 by Gianni Borinato who is the the electrical engineer at Pathos Acoustics, feels this is a major breakthrough in Class A amplifier design. It is said to be twice as efficient as other Class A amplifiers. Borinato went one step further, incorporating a vacuum tube input stage for the most accurate voltage amplification with MOSFET output stage for best current delivery. Although twice as efficient as standard Class A designs, INPOL still requires adequate heat dissipation as it operates at "full tilt" at all times.