Scot Markwell of Elite AV Distribution proudly displayed Furutech's top-of-the-line Nanoflux power cable ($3495/1.8m, almost 6 feet). The cable's wire is coated with Nanofluid, microscopic gold and silver suspended in squalene oil that fills in tiny gaps between wire crystals to improve performance.
Larry Smith (left) and David Salz (right) of Wireworld have every reason to smile. Not only have they entered the headphone cable market with four levels of Nano cables for headphones and portables, and stand prepared to market a Starlight CAT7a media network cable ($TBD) that claims higher transmission speeds for streamed music and video, but they've also come out on top in a recently published cable listening comparison test.
For the second consecutive year, Hi-Res Audio made a major statement on the main floor of the Venetian Hotel via a large Ballroom exhibit and star-studded panels. I took in "Meet the Hi-Res Music Creators." Moderated by recording engineer Maureen Droney (pictured fourth, going left to right), Senior Executive Director of the Producers & Engineers wing of The Recording Academy (the Grammy people), the panel consisted of four major engineers who record multiple genres in hi-res.
Meetings were frequently in progress when I glanced at the HDTracks booth in the Hi-Res Audio Workshop ballroom. Every time I take a look at the company's site, it's loaded with new releases from everyone from The Who and Eric Clapton to Anna Netrebko and a host of Grammy 2015 nominees. It was great to see David Chesky again, even though he kept mistaking me for tenor Jonas Kaufmann. I should be so lucky.
Marc Sheforgen (left) and Chad Kassem (right) of Acoustic Sounds' Super HiRez DSD download site spilled the beans that in a few weeks, the world's first live-to-DSD hi-rez recordings of "a handful of" blues artists will become available as both stereo and multi-channel downloads. Recorded in the company's Blue Heaven recording studio/concert venue, a converted church in Salina, KS, these may be the first unedited live DSD recordings ever issued.
Hi-rez pioneer/evangelist/recording engineer Mark Waldrep of AIX Records held forth in the Hi-Res Audio Showroom in the Venetian Hotel, near booths from Super HiRez and HDTracks. AIX Records' 2015 sampler, containing three different mixes of 70 tracks drawn from its rich catalog, is due sometime in February.
Critical Mass has just released its new entry-level Sotto Voce equipment rack ($4500 for four tiers). Far more affordable than the company's other racks, it is made of Sapele, a wood that I understand is in the Mahogany family. The rack is upgradeable to include Critical Mass's filter systems that enhance component performance. The upgrade path starts at $225, and can include filter systems that cost up to $2895.