CES 2010

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Erick Lichte Posted: Jan 09, 2010 7 comments
Also showing in the Ayre room were their MX-R monoblocks ($9250 each) and also a Stereophile “Product of the Year” in 2007), connected to the actual samples of Vandersteen Model Seven speakers that Michael Fremer will be reviewing for Stereophile in March. The MX-R, like its KX-R brother, is carved out of a single block of aluminum and puts out 300W into 8 ohms and 600W into 4 ohms. The amps were fed by Ayre’s CX-7eMP CD player and KX-R preamplifier and the sound of the MX-R amps driving the Vandersteen Sevens was detailed and— pun fully intended— airy.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 09, 2010 5 comments
If anyone could possibly bewitch me, it's Ella Fitzgerald. I found it impossible to resist her spell as she sang "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" through the wonderful pairing of Karan Acoustics' KA L Ref MK2 line preamplifier ($17,500) and KA S 180 stereo power amplifier ($9700), Zanden Model 2500 Signature CD player ($20,000), Finite Elemente racks, Cardas Clear cabling, and new Avalon Acoustics TIME dynamic loudspeaker system with new diamond tweeter, ceramic mid, and two 11" Kevlar woofers ($47,000/pair). This system's intimacy, midrange warmth, and complete lack of barriers beckoned me deeper into the magic of Ella's delivery. Wonderful.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 09, 2010 3 comments
Here we see Simaudio's Lionel Goodfield proudly displaying his company's new Moon 300D DAC which retails for $1,600 and is available now. Inputs on the back include USB, SPDIF and Toslink and can accept streams up to 24bit/192kHz.
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Erick Lichte Posted: Jan 09, 2010 7 comments
Amplification in the Signature system in the Lamm room featured the ML3 Signature power amplifiers ($139,290/pair). Like the LL1 preamplifier, the ML3 isalso a four-chassis system. These 32W, single-ended, pure class-A amp is based on a direct-heated GM-70 triode.
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Erick Lichte Posted: Jan 09, 2010 1 comments
Though the Stereophile Product of the Year award is more transparent than an Oscar or Golden Globe, it is no less coveted. In the Ayre room at the Venetian, the proud winners of the 2009 Amplification Component of the Year award show off their trophy next to a cut-away of their winning KX-R preamplifier. The preamp was featured in Ayre’s system at their suite high atop the Venetian.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 09, 2010 2 comments
"How much does this little integrated stereo amp cost?" I asked. $3000 was the reply.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 09, 2010 12 comments
I've been a major fan of Echole Obsession cabling ever since hearing it paired with Kaiser Kawero loudspeakers at RMAF 2008. With those marvelous babies lamentably absent, here it was paired with a loudspeaker new to me, the towering, 500 lb Tidal Sunray ($178,600/pair), whose 6'8" designer, Jörn Janczak, is equally imposing.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 09, 2010 10 comments
Bel Canto has clearly been busy on the digital front. Three new DACs are on display: the e.One DAC1.5 at $1,395, e.One DAC2.5 at $1,995, and the e.One DAC3.5VB at $3,495. The company explains that the core of all three products is the "jitter-eliminating" Two-Stage Master Reference UltraClock.
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Erick Lichte Posted: Jan 09, 2010 10 comments
One of the great things about coming to CES is getting the opportunity to hear gear that’s rarely near. I was really happy as I strolled down the 35th floor to walk into the Lamm room. I don’t have a Lamm dealer in Minneapolis so I haven’t ever had the chance to hear this lauded and expensive tube gear.
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Erick Lichte Posted: Jan 09, 2010 1 comments
I reviewed the Pass Labs XA 30.5 a few months back for Stereophile . I loved it. Now Nelson Pass, known for his impulsive but inspired ideas, has taken the same class-A solid-state power amplifier and transformed it into an integrated amp. Though the new INT-30A ($7150) was only on silent display (the unit seen here didn't even have any guts inside!) I hope to hear it in my own system soon.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 08, 2010 4 comments
Nothing beats starting off four days of room-hopping at CES on a joyful. In this case, the delights were provided by Jeff Joseph of Joseph Audio.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 08, 2010 2 comments
I got to the LVCC just in time. The journalist registration line in the second floor pressroom was virtually non-existent . . . until I finished. By then, 20 more journalists had lined up behind me.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2010 5 comments
Speaking of handy little devices, the new Lindemann USB-DDC 24/96 converts USB to SPDIF for the simple reason that some folks who want to use their computer as a source already have a classic DAC that they love, but it lacks a USB input. It's available now for $650.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 Published: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
Now that Meridian Sooloos has stabilized the hardware offerings in their front-to-back media server system, the new 2.1 software upgrades are getting most of the attention at this year's show.
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Erick Lichte Posted: Jan 08, 2010 7 comments
Minneapolis-based Bel Canto Design (props to my homies) brought a new amplifier to CES this year. The e.One REF150s ($1495, shown on the lower rack) is a fully balanced dual-mono amplifier that will put out 150Wpc into 8 ohms This may be a wee-sized amplifier, but it sounded huge strapped to a pair of new Joseph Audio bookshelf speakers.

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