International CES 2007 Show Report
Tuesday Page 1
Due to location and time limitations, today was dedicated to the CES.
Rest assured that tomorrow will be dedicated to T.H.E. show.
Vincent Audio proudly showcases the tubes in their unit, with the 6Z4 mounted in the
front that is accompanied by a 6N6 and 6N1 within on their SP2-100 ($2495/pr) monoblock tube amplifier. This unit uses Toshiba bipolars for solid-state Class A output. Their CD player and preamplifier follow the same front tube visuals. Ah yes, that warm glow of tubes! Headphone guys may like the fact their CD player uses tubed
amplification for the 'phone jack.
So what can you get for $399 each for a high-end loudspeaker? How about if it came in piano black or, you know it, Ferrari red? Tangent, a Denmark company, offers their Clarity 8 floorstanding loudspeaker that uses 1-inch soft dome tweeter and pair of 6.5-inch midrange/woofers. They looked very well built and perhaps an excellent value (for the ever-declining vale) of the dollar.
The reports of our demise are... Yes, you could buy CDs and other things at the
CES show. Although some felt the added complication to pay proper Las Vegas sales taxes was daunting, obviously those with some care were happily
selling their products during the CES.
McIntosh had their XRT300 extremely large monoblock amplifier. This 1200-watt behemoth uses tubes for preamplification and solid-state for output. The super large analog meter is, as always, a warm welcome in knowing you have a Mac.
Longstanding and incredibly knowledgeable hi-fi photojournalist Ken Kessler has just released his new book entitled
McIntosh "...for the love of music...". The over 300-page book features immense history, amazing photos, and
is a must-have for audiophiles who love this legendary brand. Of note is that the same day the book
is released (today) Dave O'Brian, who did the McIntosh clinics for well over three decades, passed away. This book should
serve as a warm way of remembrance as Dave gladly went from store to store testing, tweaking, and repairing
products for McIntosh products.
The new conrad-johnson Art Series 3 ($25,000) linestage is a cost-no-object design,
separate right and left channel chassis (mono preamplifiers). Other goodies include Tea1 ($10,000) phonostage with two phono inputs (one high, the other low gain). Lastly, their ET250S ($7500 pictured) that is a triode amplifier with transistor buffer stage instead of transformer to produce 250 watt per channel stereo.
As always, Furutech were displaying a wide variety of tweak parts, accessories, and wiring. They produce everything from carbon fiber electrical outlet faceplates to power filters and quite a bit in-between. Furutech received
a Design and Engineering award from the CES this year!
Coincident Speaker Technology was jamming out with their way cool Total Eclipse II (8999) large floorstanding unit. And hey look kids; there is Israel who is the owner and chief designer standing proudly with his new baby. This is an update
of the original version, which was a TAS Golden Ear award winner. Now it has been
improved in many ways including extender feet with large spikes, Extreme
series copper internal wiring, crossover changes, and further development in port tuning.
Manley Labs, another party animal company, has further improved their award-winning Stingray ($3250 or so) integrated amplifier by adding a wireless remote, iPod
port, and headphone jack. Same good stuff inside, though externally there are newer and cooler backlit knobs. The wireless remote is IR and RF to operate the Stingray and also
WLM's newest baby is their Diva ($5500) coax 10-inch loudspeaker with awesome stripped Zebra wood finish. The Eminence driver is a paper main cone and centrally mounted short horn tweeter, with the tweeter being an attenuation adjustment on the back of the cabinet. This ported design, which is user tunable, allows for 97dB/W/m sensitivity. An adjustable speaker, so have it your way :)
Cary's CAD 120S ($5000) stereo tube amplifier produces 120 watts per channel using a quad of KT88 in ultralinear, or 60 in triode mode. According to the Cary rep, it is just a kick
axe amp designed to match their other like-priced units.
Jeff Joseph of Joseph Audio, those multi-award winners who create, design, and unleash on the public awesome
loudspeakers, had their RM33LE ($10,500) floorstanders. 1-inch soft dome, 5-inch magnesium cone midrange, and side-mounted 8-inch aluminum done woofer with 4-layer voice coil.
Pass Labs, makers of truly outstanding amplification devices, was showcasing their newest prototype loudspeaker ($20,000 approximate) with dedicated crossover. They are efficient, will have plenty of power, etc. Other new goodies are the integrated stereo amplifier ($6000 approximately) that produces 150 watts per channel and includes wireless remote. This is an X.5-series unit and should be appearing at stores in mid 2007.
Click here page two.