Axiss Distribution was on hand to display new products from Olasonic including a CD transport and DAC (shown in photo). Axiss' Arturo Manzano explained that Olasonic is a Japanese company comprised of ex-Sony engineers who had worked on SACD development. The products are made in China and come in white or black finishes while retailing for $800 each.
Having had a Meridian Sooloos in my system for the last few years, I'm a sucker for a nice big touch screen for controlling a music collection. Done right, there's nothing like it. So I made a beeline to the $9,995 Pathos Musiteca, which I first observed in prototype form at a previous CES.
Very similar in features to Meridian's Control 15, with built in 1TB drive, CD slot for ripping discs and network connection for gathering metadata, the Musiteca also has a built in tube DAC based on the design for the company's Endorphin CD player.
The Musiteca has beautiful styling, however when I started tapping the screen and calling up music, I found it a bit pokey in the speed department. Also, there is currently no method for adding more hard drive space in case you exceed the roughly 2,000 CD storage capacity.
Still, it looks gorgeous sitting there and should be available in April.
After last year's shipping mishap, I thought it would be appropriate to provide a shot of the actual product since it finally arrived in Vegas.
From last year's post: The $40k Rubicon features a built-in analog to digital converter that can be driven from an internal phono preamp, several sets of regular line level RCA jacks, or balanced XLRs. Digital inputs include 2 SPDIF, 2 Toslink and AES/EBU. Analog and digital outputs are also available. The Atomic part of the product's name refers to the 10MHz rubiduim atomic clock driving its 384kH converters.
While some companies have been focusing on using Bluetooth or Wifi to stream music around a room, HRT decided to use RF as their method.
Unfortunately, HRT's Kevin Halverson was in a bicycle accident a couple months back, so was holding forth from his wheelchair (he should make an almost complete recovery). Halverson said that the system will comprise two parts: a Wireless Master which sends the signal from your source (the smaller device in the photo) and the larger Airstreamer (seen in a photo mockup).
The RF signal can cover a distance of up to 15 meters and send 24/48 PCM. The system will cost $249 and should be shipping around March 15th. Hopefully Kevin will be walking around a bit by then.
New for Antelope Audio this year is the Zodiac Platinum DAC at $5,500, which in addition to the normal PCM stuff, handles DSD 64, 128 and has the ability to upsample these to DSD256. The spec sheet also lists "64 bit precision 8x linear phase PCM upsampling" with the onboard FPGA, quad DAC architecture, and for extra precision there is an input for Antelope's 10M Rubidium atomic clock.
There are two headphone jacks on the front, volume control, and input switching for a wide variety of digital inputs. There are also 2 "de-jittered" SPDIF outputs for up to 24/192 PCM. The Zodiac Platinum is available now.
Announced today at 5pm was Light Harmonic's new DAC with an eye-popping price of $120,000. Add $10,000 to include the server option.
Why is the company's Steve Holt standing there with his arms open? They don't have the product yet, so we'll have to guess if it'll look as out-there as the company's Da Vinci DAC. Holt did say they'll have a prototype at the Munich Show in May.
The company's promo sheet states: "Even Da Vinci must kneel before his sire." Other details include: 2 femto clocks, 7 sets of digital inputs, "Ultra-high speed" DAC that will handle both 32/768 PCM and DSD 256, "Digital+Analog" hybrid volume control and 5 year unlimited upgrading at no additional cost to future-proof your purchase.
They'll also throw in a Lightspeed USB cable and plan to make only 24 per year.
AMR's iFi line starts dinky with the iDSD Nano, gets slightly larger with the iDAC line and then tops out (as far as size goes) with the new iFi iDSD Mini DAC.
Still not large by normal component standards, the Mini, which was shown in prototype form at the show, handles a wide range of digital sources including up to 24/384 PCM, DSD, Double DSD and DXD. Also included on the back is a full range of input jacks, with a volume control and headphone jack on the front.
Inside, there is aptX Bluetooth streaming, 4 Burr Brown DACs, and 4 filters set by the user. Retail price will be under $1,000 and it should arrive sometime this quarter according to the distributor, Avatar Acoustics.
Another petite USB DAC which includes asynchronous USB interface, and up to 24/192 streaming. The Chinese built USBStreamer is available only online for $115. The company also offers OEM versions of the DAC for the DIY crowd.
MSB didn't have any new products on hand, but they have been busy spiffing up the look of a few of their existing products. Shown in the photo is the latest version of the new casework with cleaner lines and reworked "euro-style" heatsinks.
Also new in the AMR (Abbingdon Music Research) room is the DP-777 DAC/Preamp SE (special edition) which features a "Quad Core Digital Engine", NOS GE 5670 Tubes and "Ultra Premium" coupling capacitors. The DAC handles PCM inputs up to 24/192 and pricing is still to be determined, but it will be somewhere north of $5k.