CES 2015

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 13, 2015  |  0 comments
Transparent also introduced the colorful, entry-level Hardwired brand, which is designed to satisfy the wants of newcomers to the fold.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 13, 2015  |  0 comments
With the assistance of Jochen Fabricius, who designed T+A's new cable line, I learned that T+A's Speaker Hex ($1600/3m pair) uses new Rhodium contacts, and contains six cores of stranded wire that are twisted for low inductance.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 13, 2015  |  0 comments
Scot Markwell of Elite AV Distribution proudly displayed Furutech's top-of-the-line Nanoflux power cable ($4395/1.8m, almost 6 feet). The cable's wire is coated with Nanofluid, microscopic gold and silver suspended in squalene oil that fills in tiny gaps between wire crystals to improve performance.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 13, 2015  |  0 comments
Larry Smith (left) and David Salz (right) of Wireworld have every reason to smile. Not only have they entered the headphone cable market with four levels of Nano cables for headphones and portables, and stand prepared to market a Starlight CAT7a media network cable ($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.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 13, 2015  |  0 comments
Nordost has just crossed the audiophile–musician border with their first Pro Audio products, the Ax Angel guitar cable ($250/3m) and Ax Angel power cables for keyboards and guitar amps ($200/1m).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 13, 2015  |  0 comments
With a major nod to ZenSati, who designed the cables, Viola Audio Labs' president and technical director Paul Jayson happily displayed the company's new cable line.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  0 comments
First time I've seen this manufacturer at CES, but WOW what a gorgeous product! I've included a couple more shots from their website so you can see how this Swiss jewel is put together. The aluminum chassis is surrounded on all four sides by glass, for example, and can sit vertical or horizontal.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  0 comments
If this product has halfway decent sound, it should be a hit at $540 retail.

Included is a built-in USB DAC as well as analog line in and Bluetooth wireless capability for connection to smartphones and the like. Power output is 25 watts/channel (MOSFET Class A) and there is also a headphone jack on the front. A preamp out is also included if you'd like to use the MARS just as a tube DAC to drive your he-man amp. Looks well made and available now.

Jon Iverson  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  0 comments
Aurender had a cool hand-size device in their room that not only functions as a normal DAC/Headphone amp for portable use, but also sports optional mSATA storage up to 1TB(!!) of user installable SSD, turning the thing into a player. I must admit the form factor for the FLOW is pretty seductive with a large velocity sensitive volume knob on the front and smooth satin aluminum case.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  1 comments
Though the company calls the N100 a server in one of their press releases (not in the brochure luckily), I tend to think of these types of products as network players, since it does not have a built-in drive for storing music and relies on NAS drives on a network. Nonetheless, the N100, which retails for $2,499, looks very promising and will be available this month. Another version called the N100S with 1TB internal storage (thus making it truly a server) was also announced, though there was no price at press time.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  0 comments
Confusingly, the N10 is listed in the company's product brochure as a Network Music Player, but also has a 1TB SSD inside, so I'm calling this one a server. Some details such as pricing were not available at the show, but the N10 will have more caching (240GB - though in one spot the literature says 120GB) for playback than the N100 and more of a full size case.

Also features the linear power supply, Tidal-readiness and app. Projected release date is March.

Herb Reichert  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  5 comments
My CES encounter with Hegel featured the 75Wpc H80 integrated amp ($2000) driving (are you ready?) the Magico S-1 loudspeakers ($12,900/pair).
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  6 comments
Every CES show reporter I bumped into would start the conversation with, "So, Herb what have you seen that you liked?" Or, "What's the coolest new product?" The second I walked it the Naim room, I knew the answer to both questions.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  0 comments
The new Audeze EL-8s ($699) are not just moderately-priced alternatives to the reference quality LCD-Xs—they offer their own special brand of reference quality and new technologies.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  2 comments
To me, the most important issue surrounding the digital vs analog debate is not sound quality (each has their virtues). It is always the user interface: Must I use a keyboard, a remote, or a tonearm finger-lift? I love turntables, tonearms, and cartridges. I especially love them when they are inexpensive, beautiful, easy to use, come with a mounted and aligned Audio Technica cartridge and, amazingly, a uni-pivot tonearm like the new $999 Thorens TD-203 does. Fit and finish looked superb.