CES 2011

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Jon Iverson  |  Jan 09, 2011  |  0 comments
Introduced a couple months back, the Moon 100 D DAC includes coax and optical SPDIF as well as USB inputs. It also features an asynchronous sample rate converter and operates at 24bit/192 via SPDIF and 16/48 via USB.

All this for $699. "It's a killer" says Simaudio's Lionel Goodfield.

Stephen Mejias  |  Jan 09, 2011  |  1 comments
The Epic 1 ($599/pair) is the smallest model of Epos’ new Epic series. A simple, handsome appearance is enhanced by a fine vinyl veneer (available in cherry and black ash), and the front baffle can be altered as the owner sees fit—listen to the speaker with its stock “audiophile” baffle, which is said to provide reflection-free properties and forgoes any fixing screws, grille holes or cloth, or remove the stock baffle to reveal the underlying veneer; a cloth-covered grille is also included.

The Epic 1 uses a 1” soft-dome tweeter—the first soft-dome tweeter employed by Epos—and a port-loaded, 5.25” polypropylene mid-woofer. It has a rated sensitivity of 88dB with a 4 ohm nominal impedance.

Stephen Mejias  |  Jan 09, 2011  |  1 comments
Epos’ Epic 2 ($799/pair) uses the same 1” soft-dome tweeter found in the smaller Epic 1, but with a larger cabinet and 6.5” mid-woofer, the Epic 2 is designed to offer greater sensitivity (90dB), bass output, and power handling. Like the Epic 1, the Epic 2 is available in cherry and black ash vinyl veneers and provides a removable baffle cover.
Stephen Mejias  |  Jan 09, 2011  |  0 comments
With Music Hall’s new Cruise Control 2.0 ($299), owners of Music Hall and Pro-Ject turntables no longer need to lift their platters and move their drive belts to switch between 33.3 and 45RPM. The Cruise Control 2.0 makes speed selection possible at the push of a button. In addition, with the appropriate pulley and cartridge, the Cruise Control 2.0 will also adjust for 78RPM records. Fun.
Stephen Mejias  |  Jan 09, 2011  |  0 comments
Music Hall’s USB-1 2-speed, belt-drive turntable has a built-in phono preamp, comes with Audacity software for digitizing vinyl and supplies all necessary cables, uses an S-shaped tonearm with a detachable headshell, and includes an Audio-Technica AT3600L moving-magnet cartridge. With its gloss-black finish and DJ-style platter, it also looks extremely cool. All this, and it costs just $249. A teenager working weekends at Dunkin’ Donuts can afford the Music Hall USB-1. I love this crazy thing and will write more about it in a future issue of Stereophile. Music Hall’s Leland Leard has been crossing the country, getting the USB-1 into his favorite record shops. Good for Music Hall, good for hi-fi, and good for music lovers.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  2 comments
Tone Imports' Jonathan Halpern was on hand to demonstrate the new AcousticPlan DriveMaster transport and DacMaster DAC which retail for $4,200 each and were designed and built by Claus Jaeckle. There is also an optional power supply upgrade for $2,000 that will run two units.

These are small but superbly crafted units, and obviously use a novel approach to spinning a disc. The DAC features SPDIF BNC, I2S, and USB inputs.

Jon Iverson  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
April Music had their new ADAM iPod doc on hand which also sports a USB input and SPDIF output for connecting to the DAC of your choice. The ADAM will retail for $499.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
David Chesky pulled me aside in the Venetian to mention that HDtracks is now offering 24bit/192kHz downloads. The first titles are from Chesky Records and include reVisions: Songs of Stevie Wonder by Jen Chapin and The Jazz Side Of The Moon with Seamus Blake, Ari Hoenig, Mike Moreno, and Sam Yahel.

Introductory pricing for these downloads is $26.98.

For those who are curious, David also noted that the awesome glasses he's wearing in the photo are made of a rubbery plastic, which he says he chose because his kids can't break them.

Stephen Mejias  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
Rega’s RP-1 record player ($450, plus $195 for the upgrade package which includes Rega’s improved drive belt, a thicker wool platter mat, and Bias 2 phono cartridge), replaces the popular P1 and features a new, hand-assembled RB101 tonearm, a lightweight phenolic resin platter, and a low-vibration motor. Seen here in titanium finish, the RP-1 is also available in gray or white. I’ve been using the RP-1 in my home system, and I’ve come to the conclusion that this no-nonsense turntable plays records like it means it. More to come in the February and March 2011 issues of Stereophile.
Stephen Mejias  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
Christopher Morris’ first experience with hi-fi did not go as he had hoped. He had trouble finding information on the products he was interested in, and did not know where to turn for guidance. For whatever reason, his local hi-fi shop offered little help and entry into the hobby seemed more difficult than necessary—an unfortunate and all too familiar story. Now that he is working for The Sound Organisation, however, Christopher Morris is determined to rewrite that story; he wants to build awareness for hi-fi and open its doors to a wider audience. “You need that guy,” Morris said, meaning someone to turn to for guidance, a friend or mentor who will share knowledge and enthusiasm, supporting you along your way, fueling your passion for music and hi-fi.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
Rega's new 24bit/192kHz DAC has the full complement of inputs including USB (running at 16/44) and either Toslink or Coax SPDIF. But what sets it apart at its $995 price point is the pair of Wolfson WM8742 parallel-connected DACs used in a similar configuration to the company's $9,000 Isis CD player.

The DAC also has five front panel selectable filter settings including an apsodizing filter typically found on more expensive DACs. The DAC is shipping now and comes in silver or black.

Stephen Mejias  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  1 comments
A look inside the beautiful Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 ($350/pair), a bass-reflex design with a soft-dome tweeter and Kevlar mid-woofer.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
Norwegian company Electrocompaniet is releasing their new PD 1 DAC in about 3 months, which will include optional wireless streaming at 16bits/48kHz. The DAC will sell for approximately $3,500 and features USB, Coax, Toslink and a RF link. The SPDIF inputs support up to 24/192 while the USB tops out at 16/48. The PD 1 also features balanced audio outputs.

The Accompanying EMS 1 Streamer (shown in the photo above) allows you to stream from any remote computer without any cables, and the company claims there will be no loss in quality compared to a hardwired USB connection. The EMS 1 will retail for $300 and also be available in about 3 months.

Jon Iverson  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments

Sonneteer presented the production version of the $4,000 Server they were showing last year, this time with optional WiFi, and 3TB of storage.

Jon Iverson  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  3 comments
Peachtree will be releasing their new $999 iDac next month, which features their "pure digital" iPod dock, ESS 32bit Sabre DAC, and 24bit/192kHz resolution.

This is a DAC only product and is loaded with inputs: 24/96 USB, 24/192 SPDIF coax (2) and optical (2). There is also a video out for watching iPod video content and two buttons for selecting filter settings.

And of course the iDac is wrapped in Peachtree's unique non-resonant MDF case with high-gloss finish.