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.
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.
I have long admired the sound of the Danish-made Raidho speakers, but have found it difficult to relate to their pricesexcept for a small two-way, all well north of $10k/pair. I was then pleased to find out that there's a new Raidho-affiliated brand name: Scansonic HD.
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.
"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.
I first heard the King Audio Limited (also known as KingSound) Prince electrostatic loudspeaker several years ago at the Montreal show, and was impressed by the transparency of its sound, which reminded me of the KLH Nines that I used to own.
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.