The Big Venture
Given that my assigned "territory" for CES included new cables, power products, and accessories, I was able to indulge in a few of the big system rooms on the Venetian's 34th and 35th floors. These are the systems that many of the sightseers who came to CES for other reasons came up to marvel at. As did I.
I'm so glad that Venture of Belgium and Singapore has a new line of cabling, because it gave me an excuse to hear Reference Recordings' "Pie Jesu" from the Rutter Requiem as I've never heard it before. I was blown away by the huge dynamics, room fixture-shaking bass, mind-boggling clarity of the massed voices, and sheer beauty of the sound. Gorgeous.
The cabling, initially manufactured as internal wiring for the Venture Grand Reference Ultimate Mk.II loudspeakers ($98,000/pair), is not cheap. The Grand Reference Diamond interconnect runs $12,000/1m pair, and is, as best as I can decipher my notes, a microwave cable with a coaxial design. The balanced version ($15,000/pair) runs four lines rather than two. There is even a Grand Reference power cable ($15,000/1.8m). The bottom of Venture's line is the Black Reference III, whose RCA interconnects are $4000/1m pair.
The rest of this system, some of which appears in this photo with Venture's Hong Kong (Didi) Njoo, included Venture's V200A monoblocks ($120,000/pair) and VP100L preamplifier ($36,400). The digital front end at the time I listened was a Windows 7 laptop playing XXHighend software player in hog mode ($99), feeding the Phasure NOS1 USB upsampling DAC ($4500). The DAC upsamples to 24/768k).