The Channel Islands Audio room featured two brand spankin' new products; the Soul Sister loudspeakers ($5000/pair with an optional up-charge of $1000 for custom veneer) which reach down to 27Hz and have a 90dB sensitivity according to Dusty Vawter of CI Audio. They should be available within two months. The other new product is so new it showed up in prototype plain clothesthe upcoming Asynchronous USB DAC ($1500 projected price), which should be available in the near future and feature 3 coax inputs, 3 Toslink inputs, and a USB input and will handle resolutions up to 32 bits and sampling rates as high as 384kHz.
All electronics were also from CI Audio: PLC-1 MkII passive line controller ($900) and the D-500 MkII monoblock power amplifiers ($5000/pair). Speaker cable was the Harmonic Technology Pro II and the interconnects were 50 cents/foot Mogami microphone cable. (Dusty Vawter is not a fan of audiophile cable.) The rack was custom-built by Billy Bags for CI Audio and can be made to match your speakers. Real Traps were standing in between the speakers looking real busy trapping.
Here was another room with a seemingly endless stream of people asking endless amounts of questions about computer-based audio that made listening to music difficult at best. Music volume rose and fell according to the tide of conversation. But I’m not really complaining. After all direct access to designers and distributors is one of the great things about a consumer hi-fi show. I’m just explaining why there are not a lot of comments on the sound of music. From the little I did hear, this system sounded promising.