The Home Entertainment Expo 2002
Tom Fung and Frank Hale are standing next to their new
impressively large Swan F1 ($8,299 per pair) that features four 8" woofer,
four 3" fabric dome midrange drivers and four 2.5" ribbon tweeters. Sensitivity is
quite reasonable at 92 dB/w/m (6 ohms). Swan also has a major budget beater! Their M200 ($285 per
pair, seen below next to a portable CD player) includes a 5" midrange/woofer
mated with a 1" silk soft-dome tweeter in a wood accented, ported cabinet.
At the Magnepan room was Wendell Diller with the new MC1 ($725).
MC stands for Multi-Channel as in good ol' surround sound. This quasi-ribbon design uses an approximately 36" x 2" ribbon tweeter/midrange
while lower frequency reproduction is a planer magnet driver. The MC1 can be mounted in-wall, on-wall (as seen here) or stand mounted.
In the Edge Audio room was a complete system employing their Signature 1 pre-amplifier ($8,950) that is
powered by a pure DC supply (via gel cell battery) and NL Signature 1 ($31,000 per
pair) 400-watt monoblock amplifier. These are "dual-dual" monoblock units where the positive channel has
its own power supply as does the negative part of the signal. This is
obviously a unique and "cost no object" design.
Edge Audio was also showcasing their NL10 monoblock amplifier ($10,800 per pair) "topless" as seen here. Note the
impressive and extensive power supply.
Adrian Butts of Bang the Drum Promotions Inc. is the
crossover genius for Tetra Listening Instruments and Kenundrum
Loudspeakers. The loudspeakers seen above are (from left to right) the Bullit
with Resolver Subwoofer by Tetra Listening Instruments ($4,000 per pair), The Kid by Kenundrum Loudspeakers
($5,000 per pair), and The Space by Tetra Listening Instruments ($4,000 per
Triode Girl's shoes
Seen above is the ReTHM "The Second" ($6,000 per pair with Lother DX4 driver). Designer/manufacture Jacob
George proudly was discussing the virtues of their highly efficient products (101dB for this model). Also see
in the room was the new Third ReTHM as seen on Enjoy the Music.com™'s
THE Expo pre-show report.
Supra Cables are made in Sweden employed 99.999 copper that is tin-plated. A special geometry is used for what they feel
offers the best result for signal transfer.
Wisdom Audio's M-50 were being driven to good effect by Roland amplification.
Spectron's "Class D" amplifier called Troubadour ($2,495) is a 125 watt per channel stereo amplifier that features analog and S/PDIF input so XLR or RCA analog
inputs are handled through a ADC. Meanwhile pure digital RCA coax signal input
is handled and decoded to whatever a Crystal 8414 receiver chip 24-bit/192kHs
max) can receive.
The deHavilland GM-70 tube amplifier ($10,000 per pair)
monoblock produce 30 watts with a 300B driver tube, 12SN7 pre-driver and Ulyanov GM-70 large glass
output tube. Frequency response is rated at 20Hz to 35kHz. Anodized brushed aluminum front faceplate seen here sports an optional stepped attenuator (shunt type, $600) for signal purity for those who only need a single
input and want to avoid using an outboard pre-amplifier.
Kevin Blair of Buggtussel loudspeakers and Vinylzyme Record Cleaning
Solution fame! The loudspeakers seen here are smallish Solitarious ($2,600 per pair in standard finish).
This loudspeaker use a 7" midrange/woofer and 1" gold damped metal dome tweeter all in a
sturdy tune transmission line cabinet. The larger Amygdala ($4,000 per pair in standard finish) in the same basic design, yet with two 7" drivers.
Loth-X's critically acclaimed JI-300 integrated amplifier ($11,995) produces 8 watts per channel with a single 300B operating in single-ended triode. Look for review coming soon within
Enjoy the Music.com™'s Review
Quantor line of loudspeakers were partnered with their Cyclin electronics. The large Anacrouse loudspeakers ($10,000 per pair) is a transmission line unit with decoupled tweeter. The stand-mounted Mycron ($3,500 per pair) is also seen here. The Mycron has a rear mounted 7" passive
radiator to enhance the clarity of the loudspeakers output.
Taking me by surprise was Moondog Audio's new Maya Horn System with its Lowther PM4A driver in a horn-loaded bass cabinet to reproduce 40Hz-20kHz (+-6dB). Efficiency is 106dB
and presents an 8 ohm load while no crossover is employed to keep the signal as pure as possible.
They also were featuring their Yote 2A3 zero feedback single-ended tube monoblock amplifier ($3,900 per pair). These monoblocks produce 3.5 watts with a frequency response of 10Hz
to 38kHz (-3dB) with Electriprint's excellent output transformers.
Talon loudspeakers and Electrocompaniet joined forces for an all-out system. Electrocompniet's EMC1
MK. II ($4,995) 24-bit/192kHz DAC while the pre-amplifier is a prototype (model
4.8 and to be priced around $3,500) will include a home theater pass through, all new internals so to speak as well. Also new (shipping in March) is their W 400M monoblock amplifier ($7,995 per pair) capable of producing 400 watts.
This is a fully balanced differential design that has balanced XLR inputs only.
It operates in "high Class A" biasing. Lastly is their new AW 220M, 220-watt stereo amplifier ($1,995).
At the HyEnd Audio room is the Bluenote Audio line of turntables from Italy. From their
entry line Deck 12 Basic ($595) turntable with acrylic platter, record hold down clamp 24-pole synchronous motor that pulley drives the platter to reduce vibrations to the platter (tonearm not included). Their Bellosguardo ($1,395) adds weighs to the platter that act as energy dissipating cylinders. Pictured here is their top-of-the-line Belvedere ($2,495)
that employs a "totally isolated" motor while two stacked bases insure the critical needle to vinyl connection is not negatively effected by outside interference.
In the OS Services room are some United States firsts! The
Audion PX25 stereo amplifier ($2,295) produces 6 watts per channel with a PX25 globe tube.
OS Services also now distributes the excellent Zingali hornspeakers.
Seen here is just a small example of Zingali's extensive lineup. Have heard these loudspeakers at the Milan show for
quite a few years and it is good to finally see a great product like this reach American shores.
In the WAVAC room was their MD-300B 10-watt integrated amplifier ($6,100). It accepts three inputs while the volume adjustment is via a
front-mounted passive attenuator. Frequency response is rated at 30Hz-60kHz (-1dB). New at the show is WHT model PR4 loudspeaker
(seen below) that uses a 12" midrange/woofer with a highly customized tweeter. Pure silver wired internally while crossover components,
being minimal, are of the highest quality. Sensitivity is 102dB at 8 ohms with a frequency response of 28Hz-23kHz (-3dB). Standard finish is veneer wood, seen here in optional piano black. Automotive finishes can also be requested (oh la la in Ferrari red).
Glass Amplifier Company's new single-ended stereo PL509 amplifier ($2,800) uses one 40KG6 per channel. Independent right/let attenuators and incorporated Black Diamond Racing vibration control media.