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Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
The Home Entertainment Show 2004
Consumer Electronics Show 2004


Report by Dick Olsher

Page 2

Electronic Goodies

Put on your shades, or reduce your monitor's brightness setting It's the human limecycle! Well, no, actually it's the flamboyant Jim Bongiorno and the new Son of Ampzilla2000. One cool dude, and yet another great design from an American audio icon. For details visit www.ampzilla2000.com/bonge2.html.


The Kondo Sound Labs Crown Jewels were on display in the Audio Note Japan room. It's like walking into a depository bank vault and looking at a stack of gold bouillon. Take the legendary Ongaku amplifier: it's retail price still exceeds the annual salary of most Americans. Unfortunately, it was a case of the curse of Audio Note UK: Great amplifiers, but mediocre loudspeakers. Hey guys, lose the loudspeakers, please!


From the prolific mind of Antique Sound laboratory's Joseph Lau Tze Wah, here's yet another winning product. The LH-01 is an OTL headphone amplifier and fine preamplifier in its own right. The LH-01 features a high voltage output optimized for driving the fabulous AKG 1000 headphones. Believe me, the combo is incredibly good without any tendency toward brightness, which sometimes plagues the AKG cans. The price? How about $595! For more information, visit  www.divertech.com.

Another significant Hong Kong connection is Eastern Electric, imported by Bill O'Connell, Morningstar Audio Imports. The MiniMax series promises mini prices and maximum performance. Our own Karl Lozier definitely agreed re the MiniMax pre-amplifier. New in the series are an 8-watt push-pull stereo power amplifier ($1,350) using a quad set of 6BM8 tubes (which I shall be reviewing shortly), and a CD player ($1,350). Visit www.eeaudio.com for more information.


A well-kept industry secret is the Cyrus Brenneman Audio line of cathode follower tube amplifiers. New is the Cavalier Plus ($3,500), which delivers 15-wpc single-ended power from a KT-100. However, an EL-34 or a KT-88 may be used at reduced power output.


The deHavilland Electric Amplifier Company introduced a stereo version of the 845 SE triode monoblocks rated at 25 wpc ($3,995). Same circuit topology and sound as the monoblocks says designer Kara Chaffee. For details www.dehavillandhifi.com

Nelson Pass And the First Watt

First Watt is a brand name of General Amplifier, Inc., accompany owned and operated by Nelson Pass. Its reason for being is to design simple, ultra-high quality low-power audio amplifiers suitable for driving high-efficiency or high-sensitivity loudspeakers. In looking over his list of design principles, it would appear that Nelson is a soul mate of mine. At the top of the pile is the following: "The first watt coming out of an audio amplifier is the most important one" - a principle I expounded some 10 years ago. And last but not least" "It is easier to build high quality into a low power amplifier than in a high power one, and people with sensitive loudspeakers do not require or even want a high power amplifier." Nelson, may you live long and prosper.

















































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