CES 2008

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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2008 0 comments
The PS Audio Memory Link ($1695) is a CD/DVD/RAM drive. It's a mechanical player (ie, it still spins the discs), but it has an unusually large cache. Conventional players have caches of around 8–16MB, the Memory Link has a 64MB cache. Why is this better?
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 08, 2008 1 comments
"Wow, that's great," I said, looking down at B&W's new $599 Zeppelin iPod player, the football-shaped Zeppelin, as it played a track from Tal Wilkenfeld's new Transformation album off of my Apple iPhone. Tal Wilkenfeld, a 21 year-old, very pretty, Australian girl, was all the buzz after she played bass with Jeff Beck at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival Concert in Chicago last summer.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 08, 2008 0 comments
I was excited to see Cambridge Audio's TT50 turntable. On display with their small, S30 loudspeakers ($259/pair), the TT50 was looking pretty darn sexy in its high-gloss jet-black finish. If it reminds you of Pro-Ject's popular Debut III, that's probably because the TT50 was developed in partnership with that Austrian firm. It uses a proprietary tonearm, an Audio Technica AT95E moving magnet cartridge, and its elastomer-coated acrylic platter is said to "control resonance and provide matched acoustic impedance to the vinyl record for maximum detail retrieval."
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2008 20 comments
It exists; we saw it for ourselves! Wadia's $349 iTransport can take the digital signal out of an iPod before the DAC, outputting 16-bit/44.1khz resolution for uncompressed files—it doesn't upconvert lower-rez files like MP3s, but it does reformat them to 16/44.1, according to Wadia's John Schaffer.
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2008 7 comments
We ran into SinglePower Inc.'s Mikhail Rotenberg as he was sprinting down the hall to the Synergistic Research room. "Check these out," he said. "These are a 1932 Tung Argon 4327 and a 1943 722A (323), labeled Centennial, but manufactured by Western Electric."
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2008 4 comments
We're stunned at how few exhibitors spend money for the larger rooms on the 35th floor of the Venetian, since they are so sonically impressive. Sumiko's room with the $28,000 SME 2012, $6000 Audio Research PH7, $10,000 Audio Research Reference 3, Audio Research Reference 210 monoblock amplifiers ($9000/each), and brand-spanking new $25,000/pair Vienna Acoustic Die Musik loudspeakers had us glued to the sweet spot.
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2008 0 comments
Sumiko's Norbert Schmied showed us their new upscale cartridge. "What's it called?"
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2008 1 comments
The ever-lovely Rosemarie Torcivia and Cynthia Fontaine, running the Stereophile room at the Venetian. They'd appreciate it if someone would bring them a decent sounding stereo to listen to. An ipod even.
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2008 1 comments
We were stunned to see Roger Skoff in the Ultralink/XLO room—we thought he'd retired years ago. "I did," he explained, "but I was asked to design some new stuff incorporating new technologies and more advanced versions of our existing designs."
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2008 0 comments
The new Wadia iTransport detailed above also comes in your choice of hot rod finishes. Well not officially, but they couldn't resist making one for the show.
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2008 3 comments
We'd been told to check out Boulder's new music server, but that's not exactly what the $24,000 1021 Disc Player is. It's a CD player (with a few other formats "to be announced") that uses a computer disc drive to feed a one-minute buffer to "preserve the integrity of the audio signal delivered from the drive. "Also," confided Steve Rockwell, "the clock is about this far [pinches fingers together], so jitter is phenomenally low."
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2008 0 comments
Sumiko was showing the $2495 Primare DVD110 DVD/CD player/reciever. It's a two channel unit with a class-D 102Wpc amplifier and a couple of features you don't see on most stereo components: a subwoofer and 1080p video outs.
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2008 9 comments
The three phase power supply is pure Ayre. There are three amplifiers, one for each phase. "Essentially, they are mini-MXRs," said Silberman. They are 120 degrees out of phase with one another, and we need to tune each one with a stethoscope to achieve absolute pitch stability. The result?
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Wes Phillips & Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2008 3 comments
The Music Player has tons of inputs: USB2.0, iPod (with control and display), S/PDIF digital coaxial, TOSlink digital optical, LAN, W-LAn, and RS232 for update and control interface.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2008 3 comments
The back of the iTransport fully decked out with XLO cabling.

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