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CES 2012 Preview & T.H.E. Show Report 2012
CES 2012 & CES Coverage   The Home Entertainment Show (THE Show) 2012
Consumer Electronics Show & T.H.E. Show 2012

Status Acoustics, a Utah based manufacturer of high-end speakers and audio gear, unveiled their new flagship 8T tower speakers ($50,000 per pair) in their Venetian Hotel suite at the 2012 CES. The new 8T is Status Acoustics most radical design yet/ It incorporates a two-piece design that places the midrange and treble cabinet floating above the bass cabinet. With the 8T’s two-cabinet design, the low and mid frequency enclosures are effectively isolated from each other, nearly eliminating cabinet resonance in the speaker system. The 8T's upper cabinet is held in place by a custom bracket which also inconspicuously carries the wiring from the lower cabinet to the upper cabinet. Due to their design and the complete absence of parallel internal walls, both upper and lower cabinets are exempt from standing waves, thereby increasing performance. Status Acoustics’ engineers designed the 8T around the company’s proprietary 10-inch aluminum cone subwoofers, 6.5-inch Beryllium alloy cone mid-woofers and 1-inch Scan-Speak pure Beryllium dome tweeters. The 8T cabinet construction involves the bonding of multiple layers of material together. This process gives the 8T its unique look while also allowing the cabinet wall thickness to be varied without the limits typically imposed by traditional panel construction, and also grants more extensive internal bracing. Status Acoustics offers the 8T in any of 30 different wood-grain veneers.

 

Kronos Audio is the world’s first counter rotating dual-platter suspended turntable. This design is said to provide an unprecedented level of stability in order to extract more musical information from vinyl records. At CES 2012 is the finalized production model in Venetian suite 35-309. This turntable employs two identical high mass platters, one above the other rotating in opposite directions and moving at precisely the same speed. This engineering is claimed to completely eliminate torsional forces. Since the turntable is protected from mechanical and environmental vibrations, it can therefore be suspended without any negative outcomes. Finally, the judicious use of materials helps minimize the transfer of remaining mechanical vibrations emitted from the bearings and stylus friction. The Kronos uses two high quality Swiss-made DC motors that consistently deliver quiet, smooth, linear power to the platters. DC voltage to the motors is produced from a fully regulated Class A dual power supply, CPU-controlled to maintain constant speed.

 

Harman's Revel line of Performa3 loudspeakers, a complete range of home theater and music loudspeakers that incorporates significant engineering enhancements to the original Performa Series. To improve on their previous sound quality, Revel Performa3 loudspeakers deploy proprietary drivers throughout. The 1-inch pure-aluminum-dome tweeters has extended high-frequency response to beyond 20kHz. The tweeter operate into an exclusive Acoustic Lens Waveguide that is precisely shaped for optimum imaging and horizontal and vertical dispersion both on-and off axis. The midrange and low-frequency drivers employ aluminum cones that have integral ribs which add strength and rigidity. The drivers incorporate additional refinements including cast-aluminum frames and efficiently vented, high-power motor structures. Crossover components within the Revel Performa3 loudspeakers including air-core inductors and audiophile-grade polypropylene capacitors in the crossover network, and heavy-duty gold-plated binding posts. Depending on the model, a tweeter level control allows the speakers' high-frequency balance to be fine-tuned, and a Boundary control enables the speakers to be tailored to individual room acoustics and placement positions. The enclosures are built with internal damping and bracing at critical locations and curved side 
panels that minimize cabinet-induced coloration. The larger models feature individual sub-enclosures for the midrange drivers. Each Revel Performa3 loudspeaker is individually calibrated against a manufacturing reference standard to ensure absolutely consistent performance from every speaker that leaves the factory. Revel Performa3 loudspeakers are available in a choice of high-gloss real-wood and automotive-grade painted finishes. The 10 models in the Performa3 line include the following:

• F308 3-way floorstanding tower (1-inch tweeter, 5.25-inch midrange, three 8-inch woofers; $6,000/pr)
• F208 3-way floorstanding tower (1-inch tweeter, 5.25-inch midrange, dual 8-inch woofers: 4,500/pr)
• F206 3-way floorstanding tower (1-inch tweeter, 5.25-inch midrange, dual 6.5-inch woofers; 3,000/pr)
• M106 2-way bookshelf monitor (1-inch tweeter, 6.5-inch woofer; $1,700/pr)
• M105 2-way bookshelf monitor (1-inch tweeter, 5.25-inch woofer; $1,200/pr)
• C208 3-way center channel (1-inch tweeter, 4-inch midrange, dual 8-inch woofers; $1,700/ea)
• C205 2-way center channel (1-inch tweeter, dual 5.25-inch woofers; $1,000/ea)
• S206 2-way surround speaker (dual 1-inch tweeters, dual 6.5-inch woofers; 1,800/pr) 
• B112 powered subwoofer (12-inch woofer, built-in 1000-watt amplifier; $2,500/ea)
• B110 powered subwoofer (10-inch woofer, built-in 500-watt amplifier; $1,700/ea)

 

DEQX had their new HDP-4 at the Venetian suite 30-218 at the CES 2012. The HDP-4 is the company's Next Generation in a line of HDP processors. Specifically, the HDP-4 is high-resolution preamplifier/DAC with 24-bit/192kHz digital inputs. It also has digital and active balanced analog outputs for all three channels. The HDP-4 new high-speed DEQX circuit board, an audiophile-grade chassis with sturdy case-mounted connectors and a 12mm brushed aluminum faceplate available in Silver or Black. Each of the three digital output channels is equipped with S/PDIF on true 75 Ohm BNC connectors. The fourth digital output is a Digital DSP Input Pass-Through for slaving selected digital inputs for further processing. On the input side, the HDP-4 supports TosLink as well as the optional USB digital audio input module. There is a Remote Control offering Standby, Profile Select, Volume, Mute and Input. The Volume control uses floating-point 32-bit resolution via DSP power.

 

Penaudio is at CES 2012 Mirage Penthouse suite D29 with a world premiere of their Sara S floorstanding loudspeaker. Penaudio developed its Sara in 2010 as the first in a new line of loudspeakers intended to bridge the gap between its two-way monitors and three-way floorstanders. The Sara features drivers derived from Penaudio's Rebel3-series that allows the diminutive floorstander to "play big and have a warm, natural character overall". This 2.5-way, 4 Ohm design matches the original Sara in width and height but is 2" deeper to allow the magnesium coned midrange/woofers more volume. The drive units are a 0.75" ferrofluid cooled textile dome tweeter by Seas, two 6.5" magnesium coned midrange/woofer drivers with copper rings above and below T-shaped pole piece plus radial reinforced rubber surround (Seas Excel). Crossover points are 300 and 4500 Hz, frequency range is from 45 Hz to 28 kHz and sensitivity is 86dB/W/m.

 

Anthem launched their Statement D2v and Anthem AVM 50v processors ($8999 and $5999/pictured) and now get newfound enhancements. This new dealer installed update provides 3D switching and automatic passthrough along with other useful performance features. Owners of these high performance A/V processors will now be able to switch between 3D sources on HDMI inputs one through four and HDMI output one, or enable automatic passthrough as a per-source menu option for video output configuration. A physical upgrade for existing owners of the two Anthem preamplifier/processors will also be available via a new dealer-installed circuit board which replaces two smaller boards for HDMI inputs one through four and HDMI output one, followed by a software update. Complementing the 3D switching and automatic passthrough features, the upgrade equips the Statement D2v and Anthem AVM 50V with video processor bypass for 2D, useful for reference quality video content that doesn’t require cleanup or scaling. The on-screen status display information does not apply in “Through” mode, since video processing is bypassed. For additional convenience, the upgraded processors automatically match the output refresh rate to the source’s frame refresh rate which is useful for sources that output a mix between 24, 50, and 60 Hz. The processors are equipped with four additional HDMI 1.3c inputs (for a total of eight) and one additional HDMI 1.3c output (for a total of two), delivering unprecedented connection capabilities for a preamplifier/processor. All inputs and outputs offer Deep-Color support (36-bit).

 

Amphion is at the CES Venetian Towers 29-312 with the company's new Argon7L floorstanding loudspeaker ($6000). The company says these "are speakers that are classified as neutral. There are speakers that are classified as musical. But how many speakers could be classified as possessing Musical Neutrality?" According to the company, "Achieving this in a loudspeaker, which needs to work with wide range of signal chains and different rooms, means balancing quite a palette of things. Transparency and detail are achieved by keeping the measured response straight and neutral. But quite often this leads to forward presentation in less-than-perfectly recorded material. The real key is to keep openness and neutrality but allow musical representation with lesser quality material." The Argon7L is a two-way, vented design that uses a 1" titanium tweeter and two 6.5" aluminum cone midrange/woofers. The crossover point is 1600 Hz, impedance is 4 Ohm and sensitivity is 93dB/W/m. Overall frequency response is from 28 Hz to 25 kHz, dimensions are 1160 x 191 x 305 (HxWxD in mm) and each unit weighs 66 lbs.

 

Meridian Audio is at CES' Venetian Tower suites 30-235 and 30-236 introducing their 818 Reference Audio Core preamplifier (£7,500) with a full suite of proprietary resolution enhancement technologies, and provides connectivity to Meridian’s unique range of DSP Loudspeakers. In addition to its external source connectivity, 818 also provides an internal Meridian Sooloos source through a network connection to any Meridian Sooloos Digital Media System. As part of the Meridian 800 Reference Series, 818 is the highest performance two-channel preamplifier and Sooloos end-point manufactured by the company. The 818 offers simple networked integration with any Meridian Sooloos Digital Media System plus an array of other sources through high-performance analogue and digital inputs. Meridian's 818 employs triple FIFO buffering along with a full suite of Meridian’s proprietary resolution enhancing DSP technologies, including apodising up-sampling of standard-rate digital inputs. The ID41 Sooloos Card enables 818 to connect directly to a Meridian Sooloos Digital Media System. When connected, the 818 becomes an audio endpoint and renders audio streamed from the Digital Media System. The new card has been designed with particular attention being paid to magnetic isolation, a factor which is able to help maximize the performance of the Sooloos source without the need for external cable filtering. A diverse range of audio inputs, both analog and digital can be switched and processed using the audio enhancing DSP as the internal Sooloos source. The high-speed USB input on 818 allows a simple high-quality connection to be made between a personal computer and the Reference Audio Core, allowing 818 to function as an external soundcard for the computer.

 

SRS Labs announced that their advanced new PC audio performance enhancement solution suite, Premium Sound 3DT, is now available to current PC OEM partners for implementation. Premium Sound 3D is the first PC audio solution suite to feature SRS' advanced new spatial rendering technologies capable of delivering audio with a remarkable sense of realism through its ability to accurately reproduce a soundtrack's width, depth and height characteristics. SRS Premium Sound 3D is the most powerful PC audio processing solution suite that SRS has ever developed. Featuring a distinct combination of proprietary SRS EQ technologies and performance enhancing audio solutions, users will experience spatial rendered surround sound, depth and height characteristics and more. The end result is a realistic listening experience that SRS Labs claims will rival live performances. They also say that movies and video games will sound more immersive.

 

Click here main CES 2012 show report / THE Show 2012 coverage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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