Pioneer showed a number of interesting new products in two-channel electronics and speakers. but pride of place was ceded to their new flagship A/V receiver, the SC-09TX. This is almost, but not quite, a pair of separates with the 10-channel, ICE-powered class-D amp confined to a chassis separated from the rest of the digital and line-level electronics. The main 7 channels are rated at 200W, operated simultaneously. I thought it notable that the amplifier chassis is configured to be under the main chassis and that indicates that we’ve reached a point where the efficiency of class-D amps allows the power-hungry DSP and video processing to breathe out the top. Fans help, too. Every conceivable input and output is provided including 6 HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs, accommodations for XM, Sirius, and iPod input, and a talented EtherNet link. I show you the back panel to impress you with the connectivity and the distinct chassis for the power amp. The front panel sports a 4" LCD for control and video previewing.
I decided that since Stereophile only had two show bloggers this year, I would avoid writing about weird custom-install products and home-theater systems. However, rules, as they say, are made to be broken.
Billed as the "world's first audiophile music server," the MS250 contains a 400GB hard disk and a CD ripper/player, as well as "a custom sound card specifically designed for the MS250 using four Crystal CS4398, 120dB dynamic-range, 24-bit, stereo DACs, plus properly implemented power supplies and output filters, just like an Arcam CD player."
Dynaudio actually had a "production prototype" of its $16,500 Sapphire 30 30th anniversary loudspeaker at CEDIA, seen here photographed by Kal Rubinson. All of the drivers are "Evidence-grade," Michael Manoussellis told us. The drivers are Dynaudio's 1.1" (28mm) soft-dome tweeter, 5.5" (15cm) MSP-cone midrange, and two 8" MSP-cone woofers. The cabinet is faceted, hence the jewel reference. It's pretty dramatic looking. Now we're slavering to hear it.
McIntosh has introduced a turntable. It has the classic black and blue faceplate, which looked a tad bizarre to these eyes. The platter is "polished, fully-balanced green tint," meaning glass, we presume. The tonearm and cartridge are custom-made by McIntosh. An isolated speed stabilizer drives the precision motor.
Lyngdorf was showing a $16,800 system that incorporated its RoomPerfect digital room correction system, which creates an EQ curve based on measurements taken in seven positions. The result is said to be a sweet spot that is spot-on in one position and "extremely fine" for up to eight target positions.
Thiel was showing honest-to-God production samples of its CS3.7 ($9900/pair), which has a few cosmetic flourishes I hadn't noticed the times I spotted prototypes at earlier Shows. I could be wrong, but that aluminum cowling looks better-integrated with the body than I recall.
What Mirage did display for real was the OM-28, their $7500/pair floorstander that boasts a real-size omnipolar titanium-dome tweeter, a 5.25" carbon-fiber midrange driver, and two 8" carbon-fiber woofers. The cabinet is ported with down-firing vents.