CES 2015

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Kalman Rubinson  |  Jan 16, 2015  |  0 comments
Manley Labs' Evanna Manley was deeply involved in discussion so I asked around about what new amps/preamps are showing. The answer was that, since there were no new products being introduced, they decided to present their current offerings to emphasize their aesthetics by having them framed and hung. Point taken. Picture taken.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Jan 16, 2015  |  0 comments
Kevin Deal was so proud of his new DiaLogue Premium HP power amplifier ($3899 stereo or monoblock) that he insisted on showing off its underside so that we can all appreciate the quality of the components and the fastidious wiring.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Jan 16, 2015  |  0 comments
I visited the Burson room because I retain a strange interest in this Australian company’s innovative discrete op-amp modules even though I am long past my DIY years. (JA has a pair of Burson's op-amp modules in for evaluation.)
Kalman Rubinson  |  Jan 16, 2015  |  0 comments
Dynaudio North America's Michael Manousselis was proudly demonstrating the Danish parent company's Contour S 3.4 LE speakers with the new Octave V 110 integrated amplifier ($8000), a fixed-bias pentode design that has been optimized specifically for the KT120 tube. Features include wideband output transformers while utilizing soft-start circuitry, extensive monitoring and protection circuitry, as well as an energy-saving EcoMode feature.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Jan 16, 2015  |  0 comments
T+A's entire HV range was the epitome of sleek and sexy. I was particularly impressed with physical architecture, even beneath the skin, as there is a casework frame of solid aluminum plates, screwed together. The plates form sealed chambers to de-couple and shield all sub-assemblies from each other. External case parts are up to 40mm thick!
Kalman Rubinson  |  Jan 16, 2015  |  2 comments
The big news at Ayre is that the standing range of "5"-series components is being upgraded to "The Twenty Editions," which incorporate the circuit and performance facilities of the well-received flagship KX-R Twenty, MX-R Twenty and VX-R Twenty.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  2 comments
With the demise of the iPod, the number of high quality portable players has jumped. Case in point are these two new players from Questyle. Both play DSD and Double DSD files along with about a dozen PCM formats up to 24/192. The players also feature the company's unique "current mode" headphone amplification.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
Another music server that caught my eye was the latest offering from SOtM, which will hit retailers in February for around $3k. Though the front of the box is plain, this is a full-featured machine, as evidenced by the back panel. USB inputs and outputs support up to 32/384 PCM and native DSD, and networking support for DLNA is included.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
Another interesting small package from Pro-Ject is the new Bluetooth BOX S which includes aptX for streaming from your pad or smartphone. Pro-Ject says the BOX S can memorize up to eight different Bluetooth sources and works up to about 30 feet away. There are both 3.5mm stereo analog and optical digital outputs.

BTW, the plastic panel on the front is not a display, but hides the antenna.

Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
This is one of the smallest boxes I've seen that handles both streaming and conversion, and the price is tiny to match: $249. The BurrBrown chip inside handles up to 32/384 via USB and there are also analog RCA outputs on back. Though not listed in the catalog, there is a filter switch on the display unit.

Pro-Ject also has another new streamer that didn't make it to the show called the Stream BOX S. It will include UPnP and DLNA ethernet and WiFi connectivity to your network and support app control of your streams. No pricing yet, but should show up near the middle of the year.

Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
The DAC BOX has now been upgraded to include DSD decoding in addition to 24/192 PCM. There are USB 2.0, SPDIF and optical inputs as well as analog RCA outputs on the back and a button for two filter settings on the front. Price is $499.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  1 comments
This is a handsome iPod like player with 4.65 inch OLED display on the front and a pair of memory slots on the top (as shown in the photo below). The slots included are one micro SD and one regular SD with current maximum capacity of 512GB. The company says that they should be able to accept cards of up to 2TB in the future.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  1 comments
Though they only had a prototype board (in the photo below) as well as the poster (in the photo above) in the room, Calyx were announcing the new PaT DAC which should hit retailers in February for $99. Handles PCM up to 16/48, but no DSD. One interesting feature is the buttons on the panel can control your play, volume and skip features on the connected phone.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
In the Devore Fidelity room was the Line Magnetic DAC that sports both a tube and solid state user-selectable output section via a front panel switch. Async USB, SPDIF, optical and AES/EBU connectors on the back and the LM-502CA has been updated inside to accept up to 32/356 PCM. Available now for $1,795.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
This is the third year I've seen QAT at CES and they seem to making steady improvements. Part of that progress is the new RS3 server, from their lower-priced KUAN series, which retails for $1,800 and is available now. Features include a front-loading replaceable 2.5 inch HDD/SSD with capacity up to 2TB as well as both PCM and DSD support.

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