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Robert Deutsch Posted: Mar 29, 2015 3 comments
One of the characteristics of shows like SSI, where many of the exhibitors are dealers rather than manufacturers or distributors, is that you may get a chance to hear equipment combinations you would never encounter at CES. At SSI 2015, the Totem Earth speakers were combined with McIntosh electronics, to good effect. Another thing that distinguisher these dealer-exhibitors is that you can buy the products on display—something that's strictly forbidden at CES. The Totem Earth has a list price of CAD$9000/pair, but you could have it a "show special" price of CAD$6000/pair...
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Mar 29, 2015 13 comments
The first room I visited at SSI 2015 was the one devoted to the Soltanus Acoustics ESL Virtuoso loudspeaker (CAD$10,995/pair). Why did I choose this room? First, their room was right next door to mine, so it was a matter of convenience. And when I saw the sign that said that they were showing a full-range electrostatic loudspeaker—well, given my history with the original Quad and KLH Nine, I was most intrigued.

And this speaker turned out to be one of my "finds" at the show...

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Robert Deutsch Posted: Mar 27, 2015 0 comments
So there I was, taking the subway in Toronto to Union Station, where I would be taking the train to Montreal, and this coming weekend’s Salon Son & Image (SSI), when I spotted this sign, advertising the availability of grants for education related to the love of music. Is that fitting, or what? The list of occupations related to music was extensive, and included, in addition to some obvious ones like audio technician, sound mixer, and electrical engineer, some that I would not have thought of, like intellectual property lawyer and accountant. But I was happy to see “magazine editor” on the list.
Robert Deutsch Posted: Feb 04, 2015 18 comments
I reviewed GoldenEar Technology's first speaker, the Triton Two ($2999.98; all prices per pair), in February 2012. It was and is an outstandingly good speaker, but I thought then that if GoldenEar would apply the same expertise to the design of a speaker with fewer cost constraints, the results could be better still. Sandy Gross, president and CEO of GoldenEar, must have been thinking along similar lines when he named the speaker Triton Two, leaving One for a more ambitious future product.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jan 17, 2015 2 comments
For this year's CES show blog, in addition to reporting on new/interesting products, our plan was to ask manufacturers for tips on the installation and optimization of their products, echoing the how-to theme of the articles in Stereophile's 2015 Special "Recommended Components" issue, the cover of which is pictured above with John Atkinson. (This special issue will be available on newsstands and in bookstores next week.)
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
My assignment at CES 2015 was to report on speakers costing less than $10,000/pair, so when I went into each room my first task was to see if they had any new (or at least new-to-me) speakers that met this criterion. I found one in the KEF room that appeared to fit the bill: the sign on the speaker identified it as the Reference 1, priced at $7500/pair. Johan Coorg of KEF explained to the assembled visitors how the design of this speaker utilized knowledge gained in designing the Blade.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
Monitor Audio's Dean Hartley told me that he's been busy, revising the Gold Series (ranging in price from $2000/pair for the Gold 100 to $3500/pair for the Gold 300). He described the changes a "facelift rather than a complete revolution."
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jan 16, 2015 3 comments
An enterprise founded by brothers Trevor and Todd Ryan (left to right), Ryan Speakers proudly proclaims that their loudspeakers are "handcrafted in California." Looking at the Ryan 630 ($5000/pair), I remarked on the presence of felt around the tweeter, a technique pioneered by the late John Dunlavy. "Oh, yes," said Todd Ryan, "felt around the tweeter, offset mounting drivers; we use all the old tricks."
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
What a difference a tweeter makes! Elac makes a small bookshelf speaker, the BS 73, which costs $850/pair. They make another, even smaller, bookshelf speaker, the BS 312, which costs $2800/pair. The BS 312 is shown in the center of the photo, with the BS 73 flanking it (I'm not sure which one). There are some obvious differences in construction (the BS 312 has a metal cabinet), but the greatest difference is probably the tweeter: the BS 73 uses a dome tweeter, whereas the BS 312 uses what they call a JET tweeter.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
Like many (most?) audiophiles, I've tended to turn up my nose at in-wall and on-wall loudspeakers. I normally assume that there must be major sonic compromises in designing speakers that fade into the background. I was then most pleasantly surprised by the sound of the Totem Tribe V ($6000/pair) at CES 2015. This is an on-wall speaker, but that sort of mounting is not possible in a hotel environment, so the speakers were stand-mounted, as close to the wall as possible. The sound was clean, open, and dynamic, with a firm bass foundation.

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