CES 2009

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
With the cover and top plate of the CD8 off, the Philips Pro-2 transport mechanism is revealed along with the damping system coupling the laser and spindle with the aluminum I-beam below.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 09, 2009 12 comments
Here is Wadia's new 381 Integrated CD Player, which retails at $6,950 and offers the same performance of the company's 581se minus SACD playback.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2009 2 comments
The original Coltrane speaker from Swedish company Mrten Design got the thumbs-up from Michael Fremer when he reviewed it three years ago, so I was not surprised to hear good sound in importer EAR USA's room from the new Coltrane Soprano ($45,000/pair). The Soprano combines a diamond tweeter from Jantzen Audio said to have a 55kHz bandwidth, with two 7" ceramic-cone woofers from Accuton. Other than the 56mm-thick front baffle, the stylin' gracefully curved enclosure is fabricated from carbon-fiber laminate.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 09, 2009 1 comments
Bel Canto's designer, John Stronczer, proudly showed off the the Minnesotan company's e.One s300 integrated amplifier ($2495), that was recently reviewed by Wes Phillips. A dual-mono design with a class-D output stage, it outputs 300Wpc into 4 ohms and 150Wpc into 8 ohms, the diminutive integrated amp features Bel Canto's single button control for inputs and volume, as well as a remote control.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Luke Manley was muttering about the problems he was having naming the latest iteration of the VTL TL-5.5 line preamplifier ($6000). "I've already done a signature version and I don't want to confuse people—it really does represent major improvements in sound."
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 09, 2009 39 comments
Go forth and find ye cables, tweaks, power products, and low-cost amplification, saith the Lord of Atkinson. Little did I realize how much fun my assignment would be. While I didn't run across any low-cost amplification on my first day at CES, there were cables and tweaks galore.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jan 09, 2009 6 comments
Possibly the most visually striking product I've seen at the show so far is the 20Wpc dual-mono integrated the LARS ($100,000). Designed by Lars Engstrom and hand-built in Sweden, the LARS has two separate chassis, one for each channel—with inputs also on each channel. An umbilical transmits control commands from the right channel to the left.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 09, 2009 6 comments
Audio Research is showing their new replacement for the CD7, the Reference CD8 CD player shipping now at $9,995. They've taken a Philips Pro-2 transport and attached it with isolation pads to a machined aluminum I-beam which in turn is bolted to a machined aluminum bottom plate.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 09, 2009 24 comments
Wadia's iTransport was a big hit at last year's show, so they are back this year with a pile of new products.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
8 DACs per channel and upsampling to provide a 2,8224MHz data rate with 26-bit resolution from a standard CD. Retail is $33,450 and availability will be March.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2009 1 comments
I went into the Pass Labs room to check out the company's new amps. But what caught my eye was the SR-1 loudspeaker ($25,000/pair). SR-1 stands for "First Son of Rushmore," the Rushmore being Nelson Pass's original assault on the state of the speaker art. A conventional deign compared with the active quad-amplified Rushmore, the four-way SR-1 uses four top-line SEAS drive-units, including a 29mm Hexadym soft-dome tweeter,
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jan 09, 2009 15 comments
Peachtree Audio has declared that "Computer Audio is here to stay—so let's make it sound right." The 80Wpc Nova ($1199) includes an ESS 9006 Sabre DAc, which has a jitter reduction circuit and a 24-bit/96kHz upsampler. It employs a 6922 tube tas the driver for its class-A/B output stage. It decodes MP3, MP4, FLAC, AIFF, ALC, "plus all others. It even has a slot in the back to accommodate a Sonos ZP80/90. And did I mention that it has an HT pass-through? Or 11 regulated power supplies? That last is to isolate separate sections from digitally generated noise.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Gary Koh of Genesis was delighted to show me his Absolute Fidelity Foundation. These brand new, extremely attractive rack and amplifier stands are available in various sizes and support configurations.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jan 09, 2009 1 comments
Credit where credit is due: Here's the man himself, Lars Engstrom, standing with theLARS.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jan 09, 2009 2 comments
Simaudio's 100Wpc Moon i3.3 ($3300) is a very flexible component. In its stock version, it's an integrated amplifier with five single-ended line-level inputs, an RS 232 communication port, and a headphone jack. However, users can add a phono section module ($300), a balanced input module ($200), and a DAC module ($400) that accepts USB2, S/PDIF, and Toslink. In fact, buy all three modules when you buy the i3.3 and you get the whole package for $4000.

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