CES 2007

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 08, 2007 Published: Jan 09, 2007 1 comments
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2007 2 comments
One of the bugbears of mounting speakers—and especially subwoofers—in a wall is that the drive-unit behavior depends on the less-than-rigid behavior of the sheetrock. Most manufacturers of architectural speakers get around this by using a back box to provide the correct acoustic loading. THX's Laurie Fincham (who is going to hate me for referring him as one of the grand old men of English audio) had a different idea.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jan 09, 2007 5 comments
Convergent Audio Technologies' SL-1, in its various iterations, has been my reference preamp for some time. When the SL-1 Ultimate came out, I kidded designer Ken Stevens about the fact this designation implied that there was simply no way to improve it, so what was he going to do when—inevitably, in my view—he found ways to tweak the design? Well, sure enough, the SL-1 Ultimate is now the SL-1 Ultimate Mk.II, and Ken has a new preamp called the Legend, which is said to be even better. Improvements over the Ultimate Mk.II include a Teflon circuit board, Black Gate electrolytic capacitors, separate left and right volume controls, and a constrained-layer aluminum/steel bottom plate. An interesting feature is that the AV bypass works even without the preamp being turned on, saving tube life. The price is $15,995, which makes the $7995 for the Ultimate Mk.II seem like a positive bargain.
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2007 Published: Jan 09, 2007 2 comments
If you're PrimaLuna, it's the DiaLogue, an integrated tube amp available in two models: the $2199 DiaLogue One and the $2499 DiaLogue Two. Both amps deliver 21Wpc in triode operation and 30Wpc in ultralinear mode. What's the difference? The Two comes with Genalux KT88s, Solen capacitors, fast recovery diodes in the power supply, and a high-gloss hand-rubbed finish.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2007 0 comments
Since my first CES, in 1979, I have always enjoyed the chance encounters in the corridors. Some of these turn out to be with people who, unknown at the time, end up being audio superstars. I don't know whether Larry Forbes will succeed, but he certainly has the passion. His Klee Cables use flat, thin conductors of different metals and he has applied for a patent for this conductor configuration, having not found any prior art. Well yes, Larry admits, Goertz did something similar, but that didn't involve different metals. You can contact Larry at Larry_Forbes@hotmail.com.
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2007 Published: Jan 09, 2007 1 comments
"What's new?" We'd just walked into the Channel Islands Audio room and spotted Dusty Vawter.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2007 2 comments
The mark of a great large speaker is that it can sound small when the music demands it. Such was the case with the humongous La Sphère speaker from French manufacturer Cabasse, one of the many high-end companies who chose to “outboard” this year at an off-site hotel. With its four-way coaxial design, it resembles a scaled-up version of the Baltic that Mikey Fremer reviewed in September 2005, but is fully active with the crossover realized in the digital domain. Demonstrated in a large room with Cabasse’s own amplification and Bel Canto preamp and source components, it offered tremendous dynamic range and loudness capability on full-scale orchestral music and film soundtracks (for which the pair of Spheres was joined by a full surround system and a subwoofer using a 22” driver). For me, however, the magic was greatest when Christopher Cabasse (shown standing with his company’s creation) played a two-channel recording of solo violin and piano, proving that La Sphère can be a quiet speaker when necessary.
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2007 Published: Jan 09, 2007 0 comments
We caught up with Ultimate Ears' Mike Diaz at the Taqueria. "Check this out," he said, plunking a pair of earbuds in front of us with his iPod Mini. We cued up The Carpenters' "Close to You" and inserted the 'phones.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 08, 2007 Published: Jan 09, 2007 0 comments
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2007 Published: Jan 09, 2007 0 comments
Here's the part that goes on your iPod to communicate with the base unit.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 08, 2007 Published: Jan 09, 2007 0 comments
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Kalman Rubinson Posted: Jan 09, 2007 2 comments
Photographed by Jason Victor Serinus in the Sumiko room on the 35th floor of the Venetian Hotel, this is the prototype of a new flagship speaker from Vienna Acoustics. Its signature elements are an innovative coaxial midrange/tweeter with a flat, reinforced, flat diaphragm for the midrange to eliminate any horn effect on the tweeter dome and an ultra HF unit to optimize polar response in the upper range. Note that the upper enclosure can be aimed to improve imaging.
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2007 Published: Jan 09, 2007 0 comments
An inside look at PrimaLuna's adaptive auto-bias. Sometimes simpler is quite complex.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jan 09, 2007 0 comments
People whose memories go back a long way may remember Dick Sequerra’s highly-regarded Metronome Seven loudspeakers. They haven't been made for some years, but the importers of Thorens products have prevailed on Dick Sequerra to start making them, and a pair of these (serial No.3) was being used in a system that included a Thorens turntable (natch), Ron Sutherland’s PhD phono stage and Direct Line Stage, and new $15,000/pair Thorens monoblocks. The speakers are designated Metronome 7.7 Mk.6, and are priced at $1995/pair. Very nice sound, especially considering the fact that the system was in one of the Venetian rooms with ceilings that are much higher than any normal home. Here are Ron Sutherland and Thorens importer Chuck Kennedy, kneeling at the altar of High Fidelity.
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2007 Published: Jan 09, 2007 0 comments
"Well, there's another new development—sort of," Channel Island Audio's Dusty Vawter said. "We've upgraded our $599 VDP-1 by essentially removing the entire circuit board and replacing it with a better circuit."

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