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International CES 2007 Show Report
Consumer Electronics Show 2007
Tuesday Page 2

  Reference 3a, manufacturers of my computer room/office monitor 3aMM DeCapo-i (see review here), my fave monitor for all-day listening i might add, is now offering their largest model to date. The Grand Veena stands 52 inches high, has a muRata expanding ceramic supertweeter, 1-inch soft-dome tweeter, the same 7-inch midrange unit that is the same as in the Veena with minor tweaks to the suspension, and a pair of 8-inch fiberglass Kevlar honeycomb long throw units. As always, you get extremely minimal crossover, ease to drive from 5.2 to 5.56 Ohm, and 90dB/W/m. Frequency response 36Hz to 100kHz. Talk about super wideband! Of note is that the phase of the signal only various a mere 10 degrees. So basically time and phase accuracy far above many other designs.


Clearaudio was showing prototype of a multi-pivot arm that has a magnetic horizontal bearing and a dual-point vertical bearing. The arm is carbon fiber and VTA is easily adjustable via bottom level. They are calling it the Universal Tonearm and i hope to see the final version at the Munich High End Society show this spring.


On Track felt there needed to be a true reference speaker, where accuracy and musicality without making sacrifices along the way goes hand in hand. The Directorate system ($55,000) features external passive crossovers, ultra-wide dynamic range with flat frequency response from 18Hz to 30kHz. There is no +-, they are talking truly flat, being a mere 3dB down at 14Hz. This is most impressive.


Sophia had an array of new products including their Duan KT88 ($4000) integrated amplifier and Princess 845 ($10,000, pictured) tube monoblocks. They also have a Tube DAC ($3000) with built-in preamplifier. The Princess uses oil filled caps, is tube rectified, and has exotic output transformers using a vintage Western Electric type core material and other special bits.


Oracle, manufacturer of the of the Delphi MK V turntable (reviewed here) that is enjoying a long stay within my main system, is now offering their SI 1000 integrated amplifier ($9250). This stereo unit produces 175 per channel while the preamplification stage is pure Class A. Six inputs, one stereo preamplification output, one balanced input, and wireless remote controllable.


Micopure's Korato ($2700) small monitor loudspeaker is a cute little design with 88dB/W/m sensitivity and presents a 4-Ohm load. It uses the muRata supertweeter (reviewed here) and 4-inch midrange/woofer to produce frequencies from 70Hz to 105kHz. They may soon be releasing a subwoofer to truly make this a very full-range system.


Metronome had their new Gaia ($35,000) turntable is a combination of acrylic and aluminum to damp resonance and a "world class" bearing for ultra-low noise and superior resolution. The aesthetics would make this table easily comfortable in the finest of homes. A low noise motor uses high strength nylon filament to drive the platter, again a route to ensure low noise to the stylus.


Kimber Kable were demonstrating their Iso-Mike technology using original multi-channel digital source and significantly large Sound Lab loudspeakers. Enjoy the Music.com's senior editor, Dick Olsher, is a huge fan of these speakers and as one would expect, amazing sound flowed forth from this system.


SAP Sonora ($4500) loudspeaker is a two-way plus muRata supertweeter, as SAP was the very first manufacturer to use this incredible supertweeter design. The Sonora can be used nearfield or farfield and has rear-mounted tweeter level control plus another adjustment for crossover frequency. You need this crossover adjustment depending on near or far field use. Overall frequency response is extremely flat, yet when in nearfield use you generally want the tweeter levels slightly attenuated according to SAP. There are four real wood finishes available that include, walnut, cherry, maple, and mahogany.


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