CES 2011

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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 08, 2011 0 comments
One of my favorite systems at CES 2011: A Pro-Ject Perspex turntable ($2000) featuring magnetic isolation to prevent acoustic feedback, a carbon fiber tonearm, and Sumiko Blackbird cartridge ($899), CD Box SE CD player ($799), Tune Box SE II MM/MC phono preamp ($749), Pre Box SE with four inputs ($499), Amp Box SE mono ($1098/pair), and matching Speaker Box 5 loudspeakers in high-gloss white ($399/pair). Speaker cable was Pro-Ject’s own, and a REL T5 subwoofer was supporting the low-end. Even at low volumes in a busy room, the music was marked by fine detail, clarity, and speed. Joe Pass sounded as remarkable and unignorable as ever.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 2 comments
Tone Imports' Jonathan Halpern was on hand to demonstrate the new AcousticPlan DriveMaster transport and DacMaster DAC which retail for $4,200 each and were designed and built by Claus Jaeckle. There is also an optional power supply upgrade for $2,000 that will run two units.

These are small but superbly crafted units, and obviously use a novel approach to spinning a disc. The DAC features SPDIF BNC, I2S, and USB inputs.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 07, 2011 Published: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Zoltan Balla rocks out with the Paradigm Active Atom. As its name implies, the Active Atom ($498/pair) is a powered version of Paradigm’s popular Atom monitor.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Rega’s RP-1 record player ($450, plus $195 for the upgrade package which includes Rega’s improved drive belt, a thicker wool platter mat, and Bias 2 phono cartridge), replaces the popular P1 and features a new, hand-assembled RB101 tonearm, a lightweight phenolic resin platter, and a low-vibration motor. Seen here in titanium finish, the RP-1 is also available in gray or white. I’ve been using the RP-1 in my home system, and I’ve come to the conclusion that this no-nonsense turntable plays records like it means it. More to come in the February and March 2011 issues of Stereophile.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 07, 2011 Published: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
The v.6 ($358/pair) is the latest iteration of Paradigm’s classic Atom monitor, a loudspeaker I’ve been attracted to for a long time but have never actually heard. With its 1” high-purity titanium-dome tweeter and 5.5” carbon-infused mid-woofer, the speaker is optimized for high sensitivity (90dB) with high output and low distortion. Impressively finished, the Atom v.6 is available in cherry, rosewood, wenge, white, and black ash veneers. I will have to listen to this speaker at some point in the future.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 08, 2011 1 comments
A look inside the beautiful Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 ($350/pair), a bass-reflex design with a soft-dome tweeter and Kevlar mid-woofer.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 3 comments
Peachtree will be releasing their new $999 iDac next month, which features their "pure digital" iPod dock, ESS 32bit Sabre DAC, and 24bit/192kHz resolution.

This is a DAC only product and is loaded with inputs: 24/96 USB, 24/192 SPDIF coax (2) and optical (2). There is also a video out for watching iPod video content and two buttons for selecting filter settings.

And of course the iDac is wrapped in Peachtree's unique non-resonant MDF case with high-gloss finish.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 07, 2011 1 comments
Polk’s Blackstone TL3 ($300/pair) marks the eight-generation of Polk’s satellite speaker systems, and combines prior Polk technologies with new industrial design and improved time-aligned drive units, including a ring-radiator tweeter. The system we heard included a Marantz receiver and Samsung Blu-ray player, and I was very impressed by the small speakers’ ability to throw a wide soundstage with solid center-fill and fine detail.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 07, 2011 0 comments
Wadia’s new 171iTransport digital iPod dock ($599) is now also compatible with Apple’s iPad. Other changes include an improved circuit board, new clock chip, higher grade connectors, and a better internal power supply. The remote control has also been redesigned for better ease of use.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2011 1 comments
New products from Esoteric this year include the flagship K-01 "Digital Source Device" (pictured above) available now and retailing for $22,000. The K-01 features an asynchronous USB input that Esoteric claims will handle 24bit/192kHz sources due to a proprietary software driver the company has developed.

Other features include the VRDS-NEO transport that spins both SACD and CD discs as well as dual mono DACs.

Esoteric has also released the K-03 at $13,000 which also employs the 24/192 USB input and most of the features of the K-01. While it also plays SACDs and CDs, it includes a less expensive transport design.

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