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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 0 comments
Going into the Audio Arts room at CES was like going through a time portal into the 1986 CES, as Flim and the BB's classic album Tricycle was playing. The system was based on the top-line Zellaton speakers ($79,750/pair) driven by Swiss CH amplification connected with Schnerzinger cables. According to the meters on the Precision M1 monoblocks ($94,750/pair), while the average level was 4–5W, the peaks on the drums reached 360W and more! Yet the sound remained clean and uncompressed. An impressive if expensive sound.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 0 comments
Danish speaker manufacturer Gamut showed its new RS7 speaker at CES. Costing $39,900/pair, the RS7 is basically the smaller RS5 ($31,990/pair) that I favorably reported on in our 2014 RMAF report with an extra woofer mounted above the tweeter to give a full three-way design.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 1 comments
Rega introduced its first low-output moving-coil cartridge, the Apheta, in 2006, but it got mixed reviews, due to a high-frequency peak at the top of the audioband. Rega showed the Apheta 2 ($1895) at CES, mounted on the vestigial RP10 turntable. The Apheta 2 has benefited from some serious production engineering and has a lower moving mass, the latter moving the treble peak higher, to 18kHz or so.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 3 comments
As I was leaving the Venetian after closing up the Stereophile room on the last day of CES, I bumped into AudioQuest's Steve Silberman in the elevator. "I've got one left, take it," he said and handed me the little USB thingie in my photograph. "It's going to cost $49 and will be available in the spring."
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 1 comments
Ayre has been getting major exposure for their work with Pono, but have also been working on their own breakthrough device which grew out of that project, the Codex. Due to hit retailers in March for $1,500, inside will be an ESS Sabre ES9018 DAC chip that will handle PCM up to 32/384 and DSD128.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
Last year Bruno Putzeys simply held up a layered stack of circuit boards when describing his new DAC, but this year we were able to hear the DAC in Philip O'Hanlon's On a Higher Note room, shown above in the Makua preamp, with the bottom cover off and LEDs all aglow.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
In the back room, O'Hanlon was running a demo with the Luxman D-06a playing his show mix CD. The Luxman retails for $9,900 and employs a pair of BurrBrown PCM1792A chips in a dual-mono setup. The USB input on back accepts PCM up to 32/384 and DSD to 5.6MHz, while SPDIF and optical accepts up to 24/192 PCM. Both balanced and unbalanced analog audio and SPDIF and optical digital out on the back.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
I was mightily impressed by the Cambridge Audio 851D Preamp/DAC when it was in my system last year, especially at its price point of $1,695! So seeing a new flagship streaming/preamp/DAC product piqued my interest.

A Cambridge rep explained that the new 851N is essentially a CXN and 851D put together, which is surprising since the price only jumps one C-note to $1,799 when it becomes available in March. See details on the 851D in my review and check out the CXN in the post below.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 1 comments
If you only need to add networking functionality to your system, the CXN will provide wired UPnP, wi-fi, USB Audio, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, aptX Bluetooth, and internet radio which is sent to either a digital out for your DAC or through its own dual Wolfson 24 bit DAC section. It will handle both PCM and DSD sources and upsamples all inputs to 24/384 for digital filtering if using the built-in DAC.

Price is $999 and it should be here in March.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
Closing three days of Hi-Res presentations at CES 2015 were (from left–right) Maureen Droney, Senior Executive Director of The Recording Academy's Producers and Engineers Wing and a recording engineer who has worked with Santana and John Hiatt; Marc Finer, whose Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) consults with Sony and other entities as he attempts to align messaging on the hi-res front; and Robert Heiblim, Vice Chair of the Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA) Audio Division.

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