In 2009, when Jon Iverson reviewed T+A’s Power Plant integrated amplifier, he was impressed by its “tight, yet musical character,” noting well-controlled bass and extended treble. T+A’s E Series Power Plant and Music Player have now been updated with high-quality balanced inputs and outputs.
The first major press event at CES, scheduled to start at 4 pm on the day before the Press Day, is something called CES Unveiled, described as "a pre-show look at who will be making news headlines before the show officially opens...catch all the latest products in one room." This description is a bit...well...exaggerated. The exhibitors are mostly small companies, with no representation from heavy hitters like Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, etc. The high-performance audio companies also pass on it.
Imagine: Somewhere in this pretty purple tangle of cables, there’s the world's hottest audiophile yoga instructora lithe little woman in white tights, stretching her inner sound.
Here we see Alpha Design Labs’ new iDevice ID-30 Series of iPod dock cables. Each uses silver-plated, oxygen-free continuous crystal copper conductors and can be fitted with straight or angled, 24k gold-plated USB A-type or 3.5mm stereo connectors. Prices range from $63 to $185, depending on model and length.
A look inside the PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium integrated amplifier ($3199) reveals neat point-to-point wiring and high-quality parts, like Takman resistors and SRC tinfoil capacitorsstuff that an amp-lover like Art Dudley might appreciate.
A music server priced in the low six figures. An air tight music server filled with inert gasses. A music server so rare, only two have been built to date.
I try to be logical about show coverage so usually start at the top floor and work my way down, room by room, floor by floor.
CES exhibits at the Venetian top out at floor 35, and as soon as I exited the stairwell, I spied the first exhibitor, Magico speakers. I'm here to cover digital and tend to skip the speaker-only rooms, but Magico provides great demos, so I stepped in.
For several years now, the CES's High-Performance Audio exhibits have been housed at the tony Venetian Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. And also for several years, the room shared by Stereophile and Home Theater magazines, now joined by our sister websites AudioStream.com and InnerFidelity.com, has been hosted by our administrative assistant (which means she is the glue that holds us together and tells me she prefers to be called our "Digital Goddess") Rosemarie Torcivia. Welcome to Las Vegas, Ro'.
Unlike the mass-market consumer electronics exhibitors, which started their press conference onslaught over the weekend and Monday, the audiophile exhibitors like to maintain a sane CES schedule.
And so for us lucky enough to cover performance audio, the show starts today, Tuesday. And with a full moon setting over the desert no less. Posts should start dribbling in today, and kick into full gear by this weekend.
The Consumer Electronics Show takes place January 1013 in Las Vegas.
Have I mentioned that I hate Las Vegas? My hatred for Las Vegas is juvenile and irrational and represents what is probably the last strand of my nearly resigned defiance for all things bourgeois, fascist, bogus, and generally lame. I’ve softened up a lot over the last 10 years, but Vegas hardens me anew. I hate Las Vegas.