Began today at T.H.E. Show (The Home Entertainment Show, an independent dedicated high-end event at the St. Tropez that operates at the same time as
CEA's CES. The buzz is obviously about the new high-end audio venue for the CES (Venetian) and will the industry come across town to this show. As many of you recall, the previous CES venue was directly next to the St. Tropez. Another note of interest is the difference in pricing between the CES and T.H.E Show, with CES generally being two to three times (or more) the cost for the basic room. i could go on, but these are developing stories whose outcome/result is to be determined once both shows end.
My first stop was the Acoustic Dreams room and they import the Blue Pearl Audio turntable called the Jem ($8,500). This
price includes the stand, plus the table has a magnetic platter and zero feedback motor control. The entire system weights in at 250 lbs., so consider it a substantially solid setup. As for speeds, 33.3, 45, and 78 are possibly via an easy switch, with fine-tuning possible.
Sentient Acoustics', whose loudspeaker lineup includes their F200A and SPM2 monitor ($8,000 and $457
respectively), each has a unique driver compliment with the F200A having a Fostex full range 8-inch driver and 3-inch tweeter. Only the tweeter has a crossover network. As for the SPM2, it has a 7-inch Peerless and Seas 1-inch soft dome tweeter. As for the cabinet, a nice thick 2-inch MDF and shaped sides and simple single pair of binding posts on the rear. The Stillponts component stands are included with the floorstanders, as this was part of the design.
Entering the Montana Loudspeakers room was Peter, a guy i've met at oh, about 12 years ago when i worked at a high-end audio store in Florida. Great guy and his new Master Reference ($85,000 with bass amp, $65,000 without) that stand a staggering 7-feet (that's 84 inches for you guys out there with...). The loudspeakers have dual 18-inch woofers that are actively equalized and produce frequencies down to a room shake rattle n'roll 18Hz. Pair of 10-inch Peerless midwoofers and to 5.25-inch Seas midrange units, and a 1.25-inch wide dispersion tweeter. Single-ended tubes guys will love the 94dB/W/m sensitivity while the impedance is between 4 Ohms and 11 Ohms (lowest point being within the midrange). While they are in a lighter solid Maple front and Oak back, they can easily match whatever your wood decor desires, with truly exotic types being an
While Peter Q of Audio Note could not hold court in Las Vegas, the Ongaku
integrated amplifier and ANE/SPe HE loudspeakers ($85000 and $6900
respectively) made their showing. No need to produce more cyber ink on the Ongaku, as this 211 single-ended unit is well known and a longstanding reference product. The loudspeakers feature a 1-inch silver voice coil soft dome tweeter and 8-inch hemp cone highly efficient midrange/woofer, Like all Audio Note loudspeakers, efficiency is
high, with these being 97dB/W/m sensitivity so your 2.5 watt amplifier should be fine and the 25 watt
per channel Ongaku will drive them to staggering levels. The loudspeakers here are in a standard finish,
with exotic finishes being available and priced accordingly. The new distributor, Audio Federation, said new one-box CD players would also make a
showing this year.
Hearing a nice relaxed sound is always a welcome from the sometimes horrible to downright shouty sounds that pierce forth in some rooms. The Raysonic room was one of those really smooth, relaxed, all-day enjoyable
experiences. Seen here is the company's C-128 ($1700) CD player with 24-bit Burr Brown 196kHz sampling rate chipset. A quad of Russian 6922 tubes are employed for analog output. Have been sitting here for about 5 minutes and the system is nicely resolved, involving, and totally unforgiving. To be fair, other bit in the system include the Raysonic C200 and M100monoblock amplifiers ($3000 and $8000/pr respectively). Speakers were by Jas model Odin (SEE REVIEW HERE $7000/pr) that has a ribbon tweeter and pair of 6-inch ceramic drivers.
vmps had their nearly 6-foot high RMv60 ($8900/pr) full ribbon upper frequency design with three 6.5-inch woofers at he bottom. With the outboard crossover, it is easy to tweak parts, use a digital crossover.... whatever. The open baffle design makes for a nice V towards the rear. Atma-sphere's MA-2 MK III OTL amplifier was driving the loudspeakers to good effect.
While the whole digital disc war goes on, German manufacturer Acoustic Signature unveiled their new Manfred ($1849) turntable. All precision machining is done in house via CNC, yes the Rega tonearm is included, and the solid wood with cherry,
maple veneer, or 7-layer black piano ($300 upcharge). The motor is controlled externally with a simple switch for either 33.3- or 45-rpm speeds. The specially designed oil-free bearing comes with 10-year warranty. With vinyl sounding so
My brain is searching as this design look very familiar. American Digital Audio had their OL-6NP1 ($499) stereo amplifier with volume control. Both loudspeaker binding posts and headphone jack are provided for. Tubes are four 6NP1and two 6N3, a very interesting tube compliment. At $499 it seems like it could be a very good deal. Oh, wattage output is 10 per channel and claimed frequency response is from 7Hz to 100kHz (-3dB).
Now i remember what it looks like, the Unison lil integrated amplifier.
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