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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 14, 2016 0 comments
Though there was scant information, here's a photo of the planned new network player from Esoteric, protected by a plastic box. I was told to ignore the back panel so don't know what connectivity is planned, and in another room, a rep suggested that this prototype is actually one of their products with a one-off front panel attached. Supposed to be here this summer when all gets sorted out.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 14, 2016 0 comments
First, Bryston reminded show-goers that earlier this year they updated their BDP-2 Music Player (reviewed here by Michael Lavorgna at AudioStream.com and Larry Greenhill here and the box on top in the photo above) with a new "Integrated Audio Device" or "IAD".

Bryston claims that the new IAD delivers improved specifications and replaces the current two-piece third-party sound card and SPDIF interface module. All new BDP-2 players are currently shipping with the new IAD installed, and legacy BDP-2 consumers have an option to retrofit to the new device for $500.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 14, 2016 0 comments
Making good on the prototype that Great Britain's Prism was showing last year, the new Callia DAC will finally be released for retail this month at $1,895. It will handle 32/394 PCM and double DSD via USB, optical and SPDIF inputs on back. There will be both balanced and unbalanced audio outputs with digital volume control along with low-impedance headphone output with sensitivity adjustments on the back panel.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 14, 2016 0 comments
The Pandora is a tube-based DAC with one USB and three SPDIF inputs, which also forms the basis for the Romulus CD player that I reviewed favorably a couple years back. Aesthetix has now updated both products with what they call Eclipse upgrades, which include StealthCap capacitors, improved chassis damping and isolation, and upgraded grounding design in the power supply. The Pandora DAC is now $12,000 with the Eclipse updates.
Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 13, 2016 10 comments
I'm grouping these two rooms together since we didn't listen to Graham Nash's album in either one, but rather had each host pick something out. We were getting behind schedule, so the idea was to expose Nash to some completely different speaker technologies back to back and see what he thought.
Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 13, 2016 9 comments
Graham Nash seemed to know right away that these were the guys that provided the guts for his buddy Neil Young's Pono player and wanted to know all about it. After all, there is a version with Nash's signature on it.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 13, 2016 0 comments
Lots of all-in-one type digital music systems at CES this year, but this has to be one of the most simple and straightforward in purpose. You have a network ethernet port and a couple of USB inputs (for storage or flash drives) on the back and then left and right speaker posts. That's it, except for the power switch and plug of course.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 13, 2016 0 comments
So new there isn't yet a firm US price (somewhere between $6-7k is the guess), the U1 is Lumin's latest high end network player with support for 32/384 PCM and DSD128. Tidal and Qobuz are built in and everything is run by the Lumin custom iOS and Android compatible music browsing app.

On the back are five types of digital output: USB, SPDIF, AES/EBU, BNC, and optical. Digital inputs include Gigabit Ethernet and USB for external or flash drives. Should arrive in the US next month.

Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 12, 2016 1 comments
We were clearly off to a good start, so I was wondering what Graham Nash's reaction would be to an all out audiophile assault.

I explained to Nash that the Vivid speakers and Luxman system we just heard were relatively compact, by audiophile standards (though by no means modest), and that the next room would be more typical of the cost-no-object approach. Judged by Graham's "impact of the music" criteria, would bigger necessarily be better, or might it detract from the musical intent he was looking for?

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 12, 2016 0 comments
Proprietor Gavin Fish was on hand to show off LH Lab's latest prototype, the Geek Source (initially started as an Indiegogo project), slated for release this spring at a retail price of around $5,000. There are optional Femto clocks and the Source will handle pretty much all PCM and DSD formats.

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