Sonneteer/Bardaudio also makes a wireless receiver that houses a 25Wpc stereo amplifier. The Bardthree amp/receiver comes in several varieties, priced $1,225-1,350, and can be used to stream full-bandwidth tunes to another room, or to a set of rear channels in a hard-to-wire spot.
One would think that the Internet was growing crowded with online music retailers such as CDnow/N2K, Amazon.com, EveryCD, and Tower Records, just to name a few, all hustling CDs. But the lure of gold in them e-commerce hills is hard to resist. Last week, barnesandnoble.com jumped into the fray and announced the launch of its own Music Store, featuring what the company describes as the first "online classical music superstore." Notably late to market with its online bookselling franchise, barnesandnoble.com hopes to gain ground against arch-rival Amazon.com by expanding beyond books and better focusing on niche markets.
Conventional wisdom has it that, compared to men, few women express much interest in consumer electronics, and especially audio equipment. In fact, according to Consumer Electronics Association statistics, women accounted for only 22% of the $81 billion spent on consumer electronics in 1999. Prognosticator Jupiter Communcations predicts that, in spite of this, women will account for 46 million online buyers by 2003, and will overtake men in online purchasing.
Bel Canto has three asynchronous USB link converters new to CES this year starting with the mLink at $375, the uLink at $675 and the REFLink at $1,500. All three units can handle 24/192 sample rates and will isolate the music signal, and clocks, from the "harsh, noisy electrical environments of computers and music servers."
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.
Bel Canto had several digital products on display including the CD3t CD Transport (pictured above) which includes both AES and SPDIF (via BNC connector) outputs at $1,495.
Playing in a side room was the C7R DAC Integrated Receiver with an amplifier section based on the companies REF150 and includes a built-in DAC, FM tuner, phono section and some pretty beefy speaker connectors on the back. This modest size box would make a great companion to the CD3t mentioned above. Retail is $2,995.
The company was also showing off a pair of product updates. The DAC3.5VB MK II includes an improved analog supply that Bel Canto claims better isolates the PCM1792 converter and a new, low-phase-noise main clock oscillator. Price is $5,895. The uLink USB-to-digital audio interface is now 24/192. Shipping next month for $795 MSRP
Robert Baird got the scoop on this one in the February issue of Stereophile. Check his Aural Robert column for details about the Sonic Focus technology included in this iPod dock and its surprising heritage.