I finally got a chance to look at, but not yet hear, Bryston's first venture into a source component, the BCD-1 CD player. James Tanner gave me a tour of the innards which were even more impressive than the beautifully carved front panel and sturdy disc tray. He said that, while they used a Philips transport, all the control electronics were replaced by discrete Bryston-designed drivers and DACs and that separate transformer windings powered separate power supplies for the transport and audio electronics, with multiple isolated and regulated supplies for individual circuits and channels. That allows the class-A output stages to function best. In addition to the analog outputs, transformer-coupled S/PDIF and AES/EBU digital outputs are provided.
Marantz was showing some heavy metal: Its new line of reference components, which will only be available at select dealers. Shown here are the SA-11S2 SACD player ($6999.99), the SA-7S2 stereo control preamplifier ($7999.99), and the MA-9S2 monoblock power amplifiers ($7999.99 each).
Pioneer showed a number of interesting new products in two-channel electronics and speakers. but pride of place was ceded to their new flagship A/V receiver, the SC-09TX. This is almost, but not quite, a pair of separates with the 10-channel, ICE-powered class-D amp confined to a chassis separated from the rest of the digital and line-level electronics. The main 7 channels are rated at 200W, operated simultaneously. I thought it notable that the amplifier chassis is configured to be under the main chassis and that indicates that we’ve reached a point where the efficiency of class-D amps allows the power-hungry DSP and video processing to breathe out the top. Fans help, too. Every conceivable input and output is provided including 6 HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs, accommodations for XM, Sirius, and iPod input, and a talented EtherNet link. I show you the back panel to impress you with the connectivity and the distinct chassis for the power amp. The front panel sports a 4" LCD for control and video previewing.
McIntosh has introduced a turntable. It has the classic black and blue faceplate, which looked a tad bizarre to these eyes. The platter is "polished, fully-balanced green tint," meaning glass, we presume. The tonearm and cartridge are custom-made by McIntosh. An isolated speed stabilizer drives the precision motor.
Dynaudio actually had a "production prototype" of its $16,500 Sapphire 30 30th anniversary loudspeaker at CEDIA, seen here photographed by Kal Rubinson. All of the drivers are "Evidence-grade," Michael Manoussellis told us. The drivers are Dynaudio's 1.1" (28mm) soft-dome tweeter, 5.5" (15cm) MSP-cone midrange, and two 8" MSP-cone woofers. The cabinet is faceted, hence the jewel reference. It's pretty dramatic looking. Now we're slavering to hear it.
Thiel was showing honest-to-God production samples of its CS3.7 ($9900/pair), which has a few cosmetic flourishes I hadn't noticed the times I spotted prototypes at earlier Shows. I could be wrong, but that aluminum cowling looks better-integrated with the body than I recall.
Lyngdorf was showing a $16,800 system that incorporated its RoomPerfect digital room correction system, which creates an EQ curve based on measurements taken in seven positions. The result is said to be a sweet spot that is spot-on in one position and "extremely fine" for up to eight target positions.
What Mirage did display for real was the OM-28, their $7500/pair floorstander that boasts a real-size omnipolar titanium-dome tweeter, a 5.25" carbon-fiber midrange driver, and two 8" carbon-fiber woofers. The cabinet is ported with down-firing vents.