CES 2015

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Herb Reichert  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  3 comments
The newly styled Roksan K3 integrated amp ($2500 with aptX streaming), the K3 CD player ($2500, which I am dying to review), and the soon-to-be-released K3 DAC ($2500) are so art-deco cool and artfully streamlined in their appearance that I was both gob-smacked and envious of the person who drew the lines that created these elegant faceplates.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
Morel's new Octave 6 bookshelf loudspeakers ($2500/pair) employ the kinds of new technologies I believe are leading today's audiophiles into some fresh, open, and I would say newly transparent realms of musical enjoyment. Driven by Hegel H300 amplifiers ($5500), the Morel Octave 6s played with a strength and precision that speakers of even the recent past could not achieve.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  1 comments
I liked the sound of the music in this room. Driven by a Calyx M series music player and a Virtue Audio, "Virtue One" class-T integrated amp ($499), the Well Rounded Sound EXP loudspeakers ($1599/pair) and the WRS SUBST sub ($799) played the joyous hell out a variety of musical selections.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  2 comments
Bryston's latest DAC was on hand, and yes all of those buttons on the front represent the number of input options! In addition to the normal SPDIF, optical and USB inputs are four HDMI inputs for hooking up computer-based, SACD, Blu-ray and other "modern digital sources".
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  0 comments
You can use this one just for headphones or hook up a pair of speakers to the 150 wpc amp. In addition to a handful of analog inputs, the H160 accepts SPDIF, USB, optical and ethernet connections for digital audio. But that's not all: Hegel has done some tweaking in software to improve wireless playback from any Apple AirPlay or DLNA device. Available now for $3,500
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  0 comments
There are four digital inputs on the back including USB and both PCM and DSD files are processed natively before reaching the analog section. In addition to a headphone jack, both balanced and unbalanced outputs are available and the $1,400 HD12 includes a remote control for use as a preamp. Available now.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  0 comments
Though the basic package is still the same, Furutech says it has completely redesigned the insides of the GT40α which now handles 24/192 PCM. The company claims that they've added some "serious shielding" inside to protect noise from getting into the built-in MM/MC phono preamp. There is also a USB output for recording your discs to computer. MSRP is $529 in the US.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  0 comments
These aren't new products to CES, but I thought it was worth throwing a photo up since Kevro International says they plan to reboot the line in the US this year. The Streamline2 retails for $2399 with the Xa going for $2499. Potential dealers take note.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  0 comments
The TT ("Table Top") is the new larger sibling to the hand-sized Hugo DAC released last year, which the company says expands connectivity options and improves performance. There are two 1/4 inch headphone jacks on the front panel and a bevy of inputs outputs on the back: SPDIF, USB (up to 32/384 PCM) and optical in, and balanced and unbalanced analog out. DSD64 is available on all inputs and DSD128 via SPDIF or USB. Chord's Rob Watts encourages users to connect with the USB input if possible.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  0 comments
There are two versions of the dsp coming: the dsp for android devices (the red version above) and the i-dsp for iOS stuff (the white version shown below). Both will retail for $69.95 with the i-dsp arriving in a couple months and the dsp here now.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  1 comments
Seen last year in prototype form, the production version is here and as shown above, consists of two units: the RF transmitter is the smaller grey thing (on the left) that connects to your computer or tablet/phone, with the other unit, the receiver, connecting to your audio system. HRT claims that RF has sonic benefits over Bluetooth for sending a signal through the air.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  2 comments
You connect the B1 to the analog input of your system and then pair it with your bluetooth smartphone or tablet and you're off and running. The Cambridge audio DAC I reviewed a couple months back had this capability built in and my guests loved using Bluetooth to play music from their phones over the system.

Inside is a 24 bit DAC and Sam Tellig raved about the aptX B1 last month in Stereophile. The B1 should be available for purchase starting now for $189.

Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  0 comments
Though still sporting the classic Mac look, there is plenty of new tech packed into the D150. USB gets you up to 32/192 PCM as well as DSD 64/128 and DXD 352.8/384 and there are also two SPDIF and optical connections. There is a custom DIN connector for connecting a McIntosh CD/SACD transport such as the new $3,500 MCT450 (available in a couple months).

There's also a high quality headphone amp and Mac's "Advanced Quad Balanced" DAC section. Price is $3k.

Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  0 comments
The MB100 was on display last CES, but did not start shipping until mid 2014 for $6k, so I'll include a quick recap here. There is a 1TB internal drive for music storage (up to 24/192 PCM) and networking for external drives. iOS or Android app or TV interface controls the MB100 and support for Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, Rhapsody and TuneIn is included.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  1 comments
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 listen—and discovered that the exhibitor was not Crystal Cable, but a company called Crystal Acoustics, based in Greece.

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