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."
It was disorienting to arrive in the Denver Convention Center and both have to re-learn where everything is and to try to maintain my bearings on the Show floor. The grid of floor sites is very approximately regular, with each numbered row thickening and thinning to complement its neighbors. At one point, I had let myself be led around to three different booths by a press representative, only to look up and not know which was the front and which was back!
Marantz was showing some heavy metal: Its new line of reference components, which will only be available at select dealers. Shown here are the SA-11S2 SACD player ($6999.99), the SA-7S2 stereo control preamplifier ($7999.99), and the MA-9S2 monoblock power amplifiers ($7999.99 each).
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.