CES 2011

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
David Chesky pulled me aside in the Venetian to mention that HDtracks is now offering 24bit/192kHz downloads. The first titles are from Chesky Records and include reVisions: Songs of Stevie Wonder by Jen Chapin and The Jazz Side Of The Moon with Seamus Blake, Ari Hoenig, Mike Moreno, and Sam Yahel.

Introductory pricing for these downloads is $26.98.

For those who are curious, David also noted that the awesome glasses he's wearing in the photo are made of a rubbery plastic, which he says he chose because his kids can't break them.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 07, 2011 Published: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Paradigm’s SE-1 ($698/pair) is marketed as “the stepping stone to the world of true high-end audio for the cost-conscious buyer.” Combining Paradigm and Paradigm Reference technologies, the SE-1 uses a 1” gold-anodized, pure aluminum-dome (G-PAL) tweeter and a 5.5” satin-anodized (S-PAL) mid-woofer. The SE-1 is beautifully finished and comes in rosewood and black ash real-wood veneers.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Rega's new 24bit/192kHz DAC has the full complement of inputs including USB (running at 16/44) and either Toslink or Coax SPDIF. But what sets it apart at its $995 price point is the pair of Wolfson WM8742 parallel-connected DACs used in a similar configuration to the company's $9,000 Isis CD player.

The DAC also has five front panel selectable filter settings including an apsodizing filter typically found on more expensive DACs. The DAC is shipping now and comes in silver or black.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments

Sonneteer presented the production version of the $4,000 Server they were showing last year, this time with optional WiFi, and 3TB of storage.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Got turntables? Pro-Ject’s got turntables. From left: Debut III, Xpression III, RM-1.3, Experience Classic… With each ‘table, the user gains increased adjustability of tonearm parameters and cartridge options, along with increased mass, speed stability, and vibration control.

Pro-Ject celebrated their 20th anniversary at the 2011 CES, hosting a party for “friends of analog in general and Pro-Ject in particular.” Product literature advised, “Go Analogue! in the third millennium.” Stereophile’s Michael Fremer gave a speech, detailing Pro-Ject’s history and accomplishments. We’ll read more about that, and other analog gear at this year’s CES, in the April 2011 installment of Mikey’s “Analog Corner” column.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jan 07, 2011 Published: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Reserving desktop space for work is just the responsible thing to do. Sumiko wants to make it easy for you to act responsibly and produces a complete line of very small stackable components that will allow you to assemble a complete audio system on your desktop with room to spare. The line includes a: CD player, iPod dock, FM tuner, USB DAC, switch box, preamp, headphone amp, class-D power amps, and, of course, numerous phono stages. Check out their Box-Design website to see the line.

Personally, I think they’re cute.

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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jan 07, 2011 Published: Jan 08, 2011 5 comments
Monster Cable press conferences are always fun to attend, Noel Lee (left) demonstrating the enthusiasm that I’m sure has been a major contributor to his company’s success in the business. His son, Elbert, who did some of the presentations, looks like a chip of the old block. Sure, Monster's press conferences have a strong blow-your-own-horn element, but that’s true for all press conferences.

And they had a lot of new products to introduce. I’ll leave the description of these products to my colleague, Jason Victor Serinus, whose show report assignment is accessories, but I’ll note that Monster is introducing a line of car-care products.

For the record: the swag from Monster was a Micro HDMI-to-HDMI cable. I don’t have anything that can use this, so I passed on it.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
April Music had their new ADAM iPod doc on hand which also sports a USB input and SPDIF output for connecting to the DAC of your choice. The ADAM will retail for $499.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 07, 2011 Published: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
In Paradigm’s Signature S-1 ($1798/pair) a 1” pure-beryllium (P-Be) tweeter and 6” cobalt-infused anodized pure-aluminum (CO-PAL) mid-woofer are housed in a die-cast aluminum cabinet, said to work as an effective heatsink. Extensive internal bracing and constrained layer damping are employed to minimize vibrational energy. Cherry, natural maple, and black ash wood veneers are available.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Christopher Morris’ first experience with hi-fi did not go as he had hoped. He had trouble finding information on the products he was interested in, and did not know where to turn for guidance. For whatever reason, his local hi-fi shop offered little help and entry into the hobby seemed more difficult than necessary—an unfortunate and all too familiar story. Now that he is working for The Sound Organisation, however, Christopher Morris is determined to rewrite that story; he wants to build awareness for hi-fi and open its doors to a wider audience. “You need that guy,” Morris said, meaning someone to turn to for guidance, a friend or mentor who will share knowledge and enthusiasm, supporting you along your way, fueling your passion for music and hi-fi.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Norwegian company Electrocompaniet is releasing their new PD 1 DAC in about 3 months, which will include optional wireless streaming at 16bits/48kHz. The DAC will sell for approximately $3,500 and features USB, Coax, Toslink and a RF link. The SPDIF inputs support up to 24/192 while the USB tops out at 16/48. The PD 1 also features balanced audio outputs.

The Accompanying EMS 1 Streamer (shown in the photo above) allows you to stream from any remote computer without any cables, and the company claims there will be no loss in quality compared to a hardwired USB connection. The EMS 1 will retail for $300 and also be available in about 3 months.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
KEF’s Q300 ($600/pair) is a 2-way, bass-reflex design with a 6.5” Uni-Q driver and 1” vented-aluminum tweeter utilizing KEF’s tangerine waveguide, said to reduce the acoustic resonances created by normal direct-radiating tweeters, improving the coupling between the tweeter dome and air. The speaker that was actually playing in the room, however, was the larger Q900 floorstander ($1600/pair), a 2.5-way, bass-reflex design with an 8” Uni-Q driver and 1.5” vented-aluminum tweeter and tangerine waveguide. Partnered with an inexpensive Denon player and Integra receiver, the sound was marked by quick, extended highs and controlled lows.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 07, 2011 0 comments
The T+A Caruso ($3000) is a complete 2.1 system with iPod dock, FM tuner, alarm clock, USB input, and CD/DVD player, but is also compatible with external speakers, thus turning its onboard drive units into a center channel. It employs DSP processing for its admirable bass quality and wide dispersion, and seemed to have a very relaxed, enjoyable sound.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2011 4 comments
I have no idea what it has to do with an audio show either, not that Stephen Mejias seems to care.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jan 07, 2011 0 comments
“CES Unveiled” is the name of an event that’s presents a sort of preview of CES itself, featuring products that had been given awards for innovation. It takes place on the day before the CES Press Day, two days before CES is open. I normally don’t get to Las Vegas early enough to attend, but I did this time, so I thought I would check it out.

I got there nearly an hour before the four o’clock opening of CES Unveiled, and there were already hundreds of people—all accredited members of print or internet media or bloggers—waiting to get in. Were they expecting to get some valuable swag (promotional item), like an iPad? I checked at the entrance, and, indeed, there was some swag that was to be given to each person attending: not quite an iPad, but an external battery for an iPhone/iPod. Hmm. . .I recently bought an iPhone 4. I could use a battery for it. But there was no way I would wait that long. I wandered away, and came back at about a quarter to four. The line was then much longer, and I still ended up waiting about three-quarters of an hour before I got in. And—guess what—all the iPhone batteries were gone. I’m told they had 800 of them. Total attendance of the "CES Unveiled" event must have been over a thousand. It’s going to be a busy CES. . .

But I did get a little gift: an iPhone 4 case in shocking pink. Now I just have to find someone I can give it to.

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