Jürgen Reis, MBL's lead engineer, was delighted to show me the company's new 560W (into 4 ohms), mono power amplifier, the MBL N15 ($17,800). Slimmer than MBL's reference-line amplifiers, four N15s (for bi-amping) fit into one equipment rack.
The ebullient Irv Gross, Director of Sales at Constellation, greeted me when I walked into the company's exhibit room at CES 2017. He pointed to the back of the room when I asked whether Constellation had introduced a new amplifier: there waited the 185-lb, 500Wpc Centaur II Stereo ($55,000), connected to a pair of Magico M3 loudspeakers ($84,000/pair) via thick MIT speaker cables.
Jewelers Philippe and Mathieu Tournaire add 18-karat bands of gold at each end of the Utopia's headband, and each is set with three 1-karat diamonds in square, triangular, and round shapes, representing the three stages of life: the past, the present, and the future.
Classé premiered its new Delta 3 amplifier series at CES 2017. Rated at 350Wpc RMS, the Delta 3 Stereo ($10,000) employs lateral MOSFETs in its output stage and 234,000 microfarads of German-made 4-pole Mundorf electrolytic capacitors in its power supply.
In the YG Acoustics-Audionet suite, the sound on playback of Jake Shimabukuro's ukulele wizardry came closer to matching his live performance than in most rooms, perhaps as a result of the excellent match between the Audionet Max monoblock amplifiers and YG Acoustics Sonja XV loudspeakers.
In the D'Agostino exhibit, pure AC power was fed to the Progressive monoblocks by a Stromtank independent power source ($30,000): a 276-lb enclosure in which a 16-cell Lithium phosphate battery pack stores up to 4000W, ultimately to be converted to pure-sinewave AC.