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Consumer Electronic Show 2002
Consumer Electronic Show 2002 (CES)


Pre-Show Report

Vince Christian E9In Alexis Park 2208, Vince Christian Ltd. will be collaborating with Dignity Audio's tube amplifiers from Vancouver, showing SET monoblocks ($16,000 per pair) and 35 watts push/pull monoblocks ($16,000). The new Vince Christian E9 (shown right) is described as a "possibly revolutionary three tiered, high density PVC body with cylindrical midrange chambers and no front baffle, with estimated pricing around $11,000 for the system including the c12p subwoofer modules". Ancillary equipment will be Acoustic Zen cables, Audio Points and Alvin Lloyd's Grand Prix Audio equipment racks, with a digital front end by Audio Note.



The Omicron Group, founded by Mauri Mauro after fifteen years experience as director of a precision mechanics company, will be at the Alexis Park room AP2115 showcasing their complete line of loudspeakers, stands and cabling. Their Stargate is an anti-vibrating modular structure adaptable to all combinations and can be modified as well wide and height. It is made from aluminum with a milled-joint frame. The dampening effect of the shelves is made possible by means of solid round aluminum bars with concave extremities into which cushioning material is inserted thus annulling the propagation of vibrations to the subsequent shelf. Standard-glass shelves are 56.5 x 59.5 cm (big size) or 53 x 50 cm (inside shelf). Custom size shelving is available. Omicron cabling includes their White Gold, Cavi di Segnale, Cavo digitale 75 Ohm and many others.

Omicron Coherence StageM. Acoustics is a factory of the Omicron Group producing acoustic loudspeakers using what they feel are the best diffusers at present within the marketplace. Furniture grade construction in collaborating with the best Italian laboratories with years of experience brings this complete loudspeaker line into reality. Omicron's loudspeaker line includes the Coherence Stage (€15.184, pictured here), Eclipse (€7.747), Monitor Special Edition (€1.673) and standard Monitor (€1.301). Specification for the Coherence Stage is as follows:

Three way system bass reflex without patented S.C.V.
Tweeter: ESS AMT Heil
Middle: Gorlich Zellatron 5"
Woofer: Custom Morel driver 8.5"
External cross-over with cable White Gold. Tri-wiring and/or tri-amplifier
Impendence: 6 ohms nominal
Frequency response: 28 - 24.000 Hz (± 3dB)
Sensitivity: 90 dB/w/m
Dimension: 300 x 560 x 1070 (WxDxH in mm)
Weight: 50 Kg.



Avantgarde SoloAvantgarde-USA announced a new Avantgarde Duo 3.0 and full production version Avantgarde Solo, to be shown in Alexis Park Suite 1805. The new DUO 3.0 includes: completely new SUB 225 amplifier module w/speaker or line inputs; new woofer surrounds; custom Cardas internal wiring; Cardas binding posts; custom Cardas one-piece jumper wire; custom Cardas 8' power cord; and Black Diamond Racing feet. Suggested retail, depending on finish, will be $16,970-18,970 per pair. SOLO prototypes were shown at CES 2001 & HE 2001, but for CES 2002, actual production units will be on demo. The finalized Solo is a self-powered dual-concentric horn system designed for music and multi-channel systems where space or budget preclude Avantgarde's larger floor standing models. Bandwidth is -3 dB from below 30 Hz to 20 kHz. All six standard Avantgarde lacquer finishes are available. The enclosure has been greatly revised and improved for better sound and aesthetics. The built-in power amp is rated at 250 watts per channel. Driver efficiency is 98dB, and the new Solo has been outfitted with a 12 volt remote power trigger and includes a custom Cardas 10' power cord. Dedicated stands, designed for sonics and appearance, are also available. Suggested retail for the new Avantgarde Solo is $3,970 each, or $3,750 each with purchase of two or more. The firm's Uno and Trio models have also been updated to 3.0 series stature, with further details to be announced at CES. Avantgarde also announced the world-premiere showing of the Audiopax Model 88 single-ended pentode monoblocks for which they recently became the exclusive sales and distribution agent for North America (see Enjoy the Music.com™'s exclusive world premiere review here).



In surprise joint announcement, Gayle Sanders of MartinLogan and Niro Nakamichi of Mechanical Research Corporation will introduce what is described as a "radical new system to broaden surround sound installations" dubbed Niroson. The Niroson concept, originally developed by MRC, combines discrete left, center, and right (L/C/R) channels into a single, compact enclosure. It utilizes a combination of patented DSP algorithms and proprietary driver placement to create a broad and realistic listening experience requiring only one loudspeaker cabinet. "My audiophile roots run deep, so I've had difficulty accepting the poor fidelity and badly executed virtual spatial effects that have become so common in compact, space-conscious all-in-one systems," stated Niro Nakamichi. "With the Niroson technology, however, we've succeeded in creating an extremely compact system with a surprisingly smooth and lifelike soundstage."

MartinLogan and MRC worked closely to evolve Niroson technology for home cinema use. The result? Two centrally located L/C/R Niroson loudspeakers (at the front and rear of the room) along with six channels of amplification and a powered subwoofer optimized for discrete playback of Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1-source material. "With just a sub and two small satellites, we've created a truly broad, detailed and engaging theater experience and an opportunity to enhance peoples lives," noted MartinLogan President Gayle Sanders. "I’m really enjoying the experience of working with Niro Nakamichi to move this exciting technology forward. As a company committed to advancing the home entertainment experience, we find that the Niroson technology fits perfectly with MartinLogan’s mission." Throughout CES 2002, demonstrations of Niroson Cinema will be held at the Alexis Park AP2653. An "in-car" demonstration of the technology will also be ongoing. The NIRO audio suite is located in AP2652. The MartinLogan loudspeaker suite is located in AP2111. Introduction of products featuring Niroson Cinema are expected 2nd/3rd quarter of this year, with complete home theater systems starting under $2,000.



Canada's Blue Circle Audio will introduce its new AG3000 fully balanced purist line stage ($11,500) and AG 8000 hybrid mono amplifiers ($14,500 per pair) in Alexis Park AP1851. The AG3000 is a four chassis, true dual mono affair with dual outboard power supplies, and offers two balanced line level inputs and two resistor-ladder volume controls per channel that allow independent adjustments of the positive and negative signal phase. All four boxes are finished in heavy powder-coat deep blue, with other custom colors available, while a hand-rubbed combination of walnut with a band of Purple Heart adorns the fronts. The power supply features 4 separate toroidal transformers to maintain low noise and accurate phase balance. High speed Hexfred rectifiers, full 35 amp capacity locking DC power connector umbilical from power supply to preamp and custom made Blue Circle power cords fitted with ground lift switch are further features. Blue Circle's new AG 8000 monoblocks produce 150 watts into 8 ohms and are high-biased Class A/B true balanced amplifiers with 6922 tube-based input stage. Like the AG3000 preamplifier, the AG 8000 monoblocks use two chassis per channel. The outboard power supplies provide over 300,000uF capacitance and 2,500 watts power supply transformers.



Von Schweikert Audio dB-100California based loudspeaker company Von Schweikert Audio has announced their dB-99 (room #1962) and dB-100 (room AP1513) high efficiency loudspeaker systems will be showcased during the CES at the Alexis Park. The dB-99 features an unusual cabinet design with visually attractive cosmetics and are priced at $6,995 per pair (standard finish is $5,995 per pair). The dB-100 is priced at $10,995 per pair in black lacquer and $9,995 per pair in standard fabric finish (pictured here). Enjoy the Music.com™'s Review Magazine gave the world premiere review of the Von Schweikert dB-100 that can be seen by clicking here. Listeners will be able to enjoy music through the new dB-99 with upstream equipment including master magneto-optical disc Direct Stream Digital recordings of live jazz performances as played back on the Meitner DSD Professional DAC and Genex DSD recorder using the Sony Professional DSD Recording System. Gordon Rankin of Wavelength Audio will be supplying a stunning single-ended tube amplifier and other electronics to power the dB-99 system.



Brian Ackerman, United States importer of Ensemble, will be presenting a new range of exquisite high-end equipment at the Alexis Park room AP1664. Products at the show will include their floor-standing Figura loudspeaker, pre-power and integrated amplifiers, upsampling D/A converter, ultra-low noise phono stage, dual isolation transformer, and the high-conductivity Synergia connectors to crown Ensemble's ultimate cable range.



Sound Organisation distributes Chord Electronics, Kontak , LFD, Quadraspire, Ruark Acoustics, Sound Organisation and Wilson Benesch will be at the Alexis Park room AP 1864 unveiling Ruark Acoustics's new Contemporary range of loudspeakers. This new line starts from only $549. They will also have Wilson Benesch's new Odyssey range. Also showcased will be cabinets made with carbon fiber, Chiamera at $20,900 through to the ARC at $3,600 and Chord Electronics SPM6000 monoblock amplifiers ($32,000 per pair).



PMC MB2XBD-ABryston Ltd. of Canada will have quite a few new products at Alexis Park's room AP2301 including PMC's (Professional Monitor Company, UK) new MB2 series of loudspeakers, MB2XBD-A floorstander, and TLE1 subwoofer. The MB2 line includes single and twin cabinet loudspeakers, available in both passive and active forms. Developments in transmission line technology, cabinet design, and construction techniques increase the MB2s system's performance significantly beyond its predecessor, the MB1. All units in the MB2 line feature a true frequency range from 20Hz - 25kHz (+-3dB). OMC's largest system, the MB2XBD-A (Twin cabinet version, pictured right) has over 1100 watts per channel of power. Drivers include 12" radial woofer, PMC's 3" soft dome midrange and a 27mm silk dome tweeter. The new TLE1 active subwoofer is aimed squarely at audiophiles as has two 6.5-inch shielded custom drivers driven by a 150 watt ultra low distortion audiophile-grade power amplifier.



Morishita 4070Morishita & Associates will be presenting the newest electrostatic earspeaker from Stax in Alexis Park booth AP28 called the model 4070. The 4070 is dubbed the world's first closed-back electrostatic-type headphone designed specifically for use in professional audio applications. The bass-reflex style enclosure is said to result in the famous open-air sound quality of the Stax brand while simultaneously eliminating outside noise.



Alexis Park suite AP1705 will see Viva distributor Terry Combs of Viva Musica / Sound Mind Audio of Dallas, Texas demonstrate a system based on Walker Audio, Viva Audio Devices and Avantgarde components. Walker Audio's Proscenium Reference airbearing turntable, direct-coupled to his completely cryo'd Ultra Reference phono amp and Ultra Reference motor controller, will power Viva's tube preamp and Aurora monoblocks to drive Avantgarde Duo 2.2s, with all cabling provided by Omega Mikro. Enjoy the Music.com™ has publish an exclusive review of the Viva Sintesi integrated amplifier in its February Review Magazine.

Viva Audio Devices and Avantgarde


With a live demo setup in suite #1403 of the Alexis Park, Bill Dudleston's Legacy Audio will introduce its new Helix, 24-bit digital flagship speaker, a high-end self-contained in-wall model and the Victoria 20/20 "world's most versatile" home theater monitor.



Nirvana AudioNominated for "Best Sound at Show" for three straight years, Nirvana Audio cables and Wavelength Audio will be at the Alexis Park AP1513 with an impressive system consisting of:

CEC Belt CD Transport
Nirvana Audio T-2 Digital Interface Cable
Wavelength Audio Cosine-V 24/96 up-sampling tube DAC V3.5
Nirvana Audio S-X Interconnects

RS Labratories RS-A1 tonearm
Shelter 501 Series II cartridge
Rega 25 turntable
Nirvana Audio SL Interconnect
Wavelength Tangent Phono Preamplifier
Nirvana Audio SX Interconnect

Wavelength Audio Sine NCE Battery Pre-amplifier
Nirvana Audio SX Interconnect
Wavelength Audio Cardinal X1 Amplifiers
Nirvana Audio SX Speaker Cable
Von Schweikert Audio dB100 Loudspeakers (review here)



McIntosh Laboratory will introduce the new CC2200 vacuum tube stereo preamplifier and the MCD205 five-disc CD changer in the Executive Board Rooms of the Alexis Park. Employing the "highest available components", the CC2200 achieves full signal amplification with vacuum tubes. Key features include a recorder loop for tape, CD-R or any other recordable media, low-distortion electromagnetic signal switches, 8 programmable source inputs, a new variable rate volume control with digital attenuator, a double-shielded power transformer, three programmable triggers and McIntosh's signature illuminated output level meters. Designed for use in multi-room systems, the MC205 features a direct loading changer, 24-bit DACs, a wide dynamic range, extra low distortion, XLR and RCA outputs, an RS232 interface, low-noise metal film resistors and a shielded power transformer. Also on display will be Academy Series Speaker Systems, including the LS360 and CS350 3-way model s and the WS350 in-wall speaker, all with Bessel function tweeter arrays for top power handling at high frequencies; and the new MX134 A/V Control Center and MHT100 Home Theater Receiver.



GamuT Audio D 200Ole Lund Christensen and wife Annie of GamuT Audio will be the CES Alexis Park suite AP2851 with the S 300, C 100 amplifier ($2,995) and D 200 amplifier. GamuT Audio's philosophy is to build a unit employing a single mosfet transistor that it can handle all the power needed in a 200 watt amplifier. The Gamut D-200 and D 100 amplifiers are true dual mono designs with two mains transformers, two rectifiers and two pairs of large power capacitors. Due to a modular design, their amplifier circuit boards can be easily changed/upgraded. In fact the very first GamuT unit from 1990 can be upgraded to today's version. In fact the D 100 and D 200 amplifiers share the same cabinet so the modular structure makes it possible to do a power upgrade (i.e. making a D 100 upgraded to a D 200).



Sim AudioCanadian electronics manufacturer Simaudio Ltd. will display in Alexis Park Suites AP2001 & AP2002 to introduce their massive Moon Rock monoblock amplifiers, Moon Attraction 7.1 processor/preamplifier and the Moon Stellar DVD player with DCDi progressive scan line-doubler option.



Carfrae LBHCarfrae Loudspeakers, the UK manufacturer of backed loaded horn speakers, will be formally introducing the Little Big Horn (LBH) at the Alexis Park AP2763. The LBH uses a single drive unit to create the full frequency range.The front driver provides the treble and mid range (20kHz to 230Hz). The sound coming from the rear of the unit are traveling down a continuously expanding tube. This acts as an acoustic amplifier and gives the sound its power and depth from 230Hz down to 50Hz. A powered sub-bass unit reinforces the lower frequencies without affecting the purity of sound from the Horn. Prices and options to be announced.



PiegaSanibel Sound who distributes AVM, Aloia, Audiomeca and Piega will be in suite AP1312 at the Alexis Park hotel. The Piega C40 loudspeakers ($29,995 per pair, seen right) is a three-way column coaxial system with two 18cm woofers, three 18cm radiators and one coaxial ribbon tweeter. Sensitivity is 89dB/w/m with a 4 ohm load. Frequency response is rated from 28Hz to 50kHz. Dimensions of the loudspeaker is 113cm x 27cm x 41cm (HxWxD) and it weights 75 kg. Also to be seen within the Sanibel Sound room includes AVM AMP monoblock, Aloia Inductive CD player and ST15.01 amplifier.



Sound Alignment Systems (SA-S) will be at the CES in Booth 24331 and offers a complete and comprehensive program of specialized laser alignment tools, accessories, procedures and documentation to allow pro installers to certifiably align and directionalize sound systems with pinpoint accuracy. Endorsed by THX and installers in both professional and home theater arenas, the SA-S system enables exact laser directional placement of any monitor, satellite, sound or home theater system relative to the exact seating or listening station with incredible consistency and accuracy. "The SA-S system is the most innovative and unique development in the audio world since the cone speaker itself," said Jim Webb, owner and designer of SA-S and the SA-S technology. "This system allows speaker and audio manufacturers to encourage and enforce their stringent alignment specifications or recommend layout criteria to enhance or optimize the true qualities of their components’ performance."



ATC Loudspeaker Technology will be at the CES' Alexis Park room AP1456 featuring their new Concept 2 multi-channel 5.1 loudspeaker system. Part of this system includes compact two-way active loudspeaker that owes its striking appearance and much of its technology to their Concept 7 5.1 Collection. The 5.1 Collection features four of ATC's 250 watt "Active 10" loudspeakers, one 250 watt horizontal twin mid/bass driver, a dedicated center channel, and the all-new matching ATC C2 subwoofer with onboard 250 watt amplifier. Each Active 10 speaker is capable of 105dB continuous SPL while ATC's C2 Subwoofer, that employs a 235mm sub-bass driver, will extend down to 20Hz and is claimed to deliver distortion-free bass at 108dB.



Roy Allison of Acoustic Research fame will introduce his new Allison One Signature model ($6,400) under the Allison Acoustics brand in the Alexis Park #2054/2055. Said to share similar acoustic properties to the original Allison Ones first manufactured in 1974, the new iteration uses a redesigned crossover topology and will be limited to just 300 pairs, each bearing a back panel plaque indicating the date of manufacture, with its number in the series above the signature of Roy Allison. A certificate of authenticity will accompany the paperwork that ships with each pair. The Allison One is designed for placement against a flat wall. Essentially a triangular column, the Allison One offers two faces at 45° angles from one another, each housing a tweeter, midrange and 10-inch woofer. Recommended placement for the Allison One loudspeakers is ten feet apart and as close to the wall as possible.


Click here for more of our Pre-Show report


Click here to see last year's show coverage.



































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