Dynaudio, which often exhibits with Simaudio Moon electronics, this time was doing a demo (with Mick Tillman in the photo) of their Contour S 3.4 LE speaker ($7850/pair) in a system featuring the Octave V110 integrated, T+A Elektroakustik music player/CD transport/DAC, and In-Akustik cables.
"Have you heard the Larsen speakers?" The person posing this query was one of CES attendees in the elevator with me at the Venetian, who looked at my badge and noted my affiliation. "No, I can't say I have. I don't think I've even heard of them." He then proceeded to tell me that he owned these speakers, and loved them. They were exhibiting at the Venetian.
Walking the halls of the Venetian, you often hear music emanating from the rooms, the sound prompting you either to want to check it out or to walk on by. I was attracted by the music coming from the room identified as Crystal: a clear, lively sound that could be appropriately described as "crystalline." I assumed that the exhibitor was Crystal Cable, which I knew to make some excellent speakers, but which have prices above my CES report coverage limit of $10k/pair. Nevertheless, I went into the Crystal room to have a closer listenand discovered that the exhibitor was not Crystal Cable, but a company called Crystal Acoustics, based in Greece.
Speaker designer Paul Barton is not known for coming up with new models willy-nilly, so a new model that represents a potential advance in sound qualityrather than just meeting a particular price pointis a significant event. The new speaker is the T3 ($7500/pair), and represents collaboration with a different overseas manufacturing facility than earlier models like the T2.
Thiel is back! Following a period of reorganization necessitated by the death of Jim Thiel, the "new Thiel," while varying in specifics, promises to respect Jim Thiel's sonic ideals while developing speakers for both two channel and multichannel.
For those interested in audio, the products on display at Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) are of little interest. And yet...I don't think I would feel that I've attended CES unless I spent a few hours at LVCC. I figured that it would be best to go on the first day of 2015 CES, before the show really got going.