Available elevators at CES are usually scarce, so seasoned show-goers hit the stairs at the end of each floor to move up or down. Since the Simaudio room was right next to the stairs, we decided to head straight up five floors to the 35th where distributor Bluebird Music had their nest in one of the larger Venetian suites. Jake bounced up the stairs no problem carrying his ukulele, the rest of us maybe a tad more winded. But we made it and were greeted by the Bluebird and Chord crew as we entered.
I am an Anglophile and a Brit-fi guy. I just am. Back in 1982 I really wanted a wood-cased A&R Cambridge A60 to drive my Rogers LS3/5a speakers. But I couldn't afford its modest price. Somewhere around then, this venerable UK company simplified their name to Arcam.
Look at that photo, with the beautiful wood-plinthed KT88 amp. What do you notice? That's not a dCS digital stack lying on the table bottom-right: It's an iPad. A fancy red cable, whose name I forgot to get, is connecting a portable music source to the line-level input of a $1850 single-ended stereo integrated headphone amplifier called the Mogwai.
Technics spent all of 2016 re-emerging into the Euro-American audio marketand they did it with full-on high Japanese style and connoisseur-level sound. At last year's CES, Technics introduced their Grand, Premium, and Reference class audio productsincluding the 100 percent new SL-1200GAE/G/GR turntables! They made a big splash then, and now they're doing it again.
Under the mistaken impression that I had covered all the new cables, accessories, and $20,000/pair-and-up speakers in the Venetiansave for one cable company whose rep was deeply engaged both times I visited the room and one speaker company whose blare into the hallway discouraged me from visitingI invited our own Jana Dagdagan and her video camera to join me as I indulged in auditioning the two rooms populated by Magico loudspeakers.
The company's new Omega-F driver technology, utilized herein, claims to eliminate eddy-current distortion caused by iron-based-magnet motor systems. Instead, it uses a patented cluster of neodymium magnets, which creates a static magnetic field that needs no focusing by iron. As a result, the company claims "better transients, less coloration and more refined complex sound structures."
Turns out the Venetian's Grand Lux Cafe has a decent kale and brown rice salad, which three in our group quickly ate in Stereophile's hospitality room on the 29th floor. After lunch we headed up one floor to the Simaudio room where we were greeted by Lionel Goodfield and the Moon Units (sorry couldn't resist). Simaudio's room is at the back corner of one of the wings, and though much smaller than the suites on the top floors, is still twice as big as the regular rooms on their floor.
With a shipping weight of 1.3 tons, this is YG's first four-way loudspeaker. All drivers are manufactured in-house, which in this case means one very unique ForgeCore tweeter, two BilletCore mids, three BilletCore mid/woofers, and four BilletCore woofers. All drivers are milled from aircraft-grade, solid-core aluminum.
Today, in Vegas, DeVore's super-sensitive Orangutan O/96 loudspeakers ($12,000/pair) were powered by Sugden's Masterclass LA-4 line preamplifier ($3750) and Sapphire FBA800 40Wpc class-A amplifier ($7500). The system was playing Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (on Daptone Records) with super cool but hot-running LP joy.
While the New York Times recently focused on the introduction of the company's SL-1200G coreless-motor direct-drive turntable ($4,000), my interest focused on Technics' 188-lb, $17,000 SE-R1 digital amplifier, which I heard powering their SB-R1 3.5-way floorstanding speakers.