Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 05, 2006  |  0 comments
Gotta sing! Gotta dance! The irrepressible Michael Fremer is excited about all the cool analog gear he is going to hear at CES, while Kal "multichannel" Rubinson takes it all in stride.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 05, 2006  |  0 comments
Sony's pre-Show press conference made little reference to sound quality, and SACD did not get even a mention. However, Sony's display did show their latest SACD player and the new MDR-V900HD headphones ($249), which have claimed frequency response extending to 80kHz. These 'phones sounded exceptionally smooth and well-balanced. Comfortable, too.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 05, 2006  |  1 comments
A closeup of the new NHB-18Ns preamplifier ($23,250).
Phillips/Iverson  |  Jan 05, 2006  |  0 comments
I always have time Hervé Delétraz, so we jumped into Blue Light's room, where Jonathan Tinn had assembled a system to show off darTZeel's new NHB-18Nspreamplifier ($23,250). It's battery powered, offering 15 hours of listening between charging sessions and includes a fairly sophisticated phono section. Hervé doesn't believe in contact switches, potentiometers, or stepped attenuators, so he came up with new solutions—including an analog passive signal attenuator, which, he claims, operates over 96dB in .5dB increments.
Phillips/Iverson  |  Jan 05, 2006  |  6 comments
It has been a while since we've seen a new electrostatic enter the fray, so we were surprised at the range of offerings from King's, which ran the gamut from tiny desktop models to a huge baby called the King ($6000). King's has a new angle on 'stats—DC input. The normal technique of using amplified AC voltage caused problems with vibration and interference, they found, so they came up with an efficient DC-driven panel that can be used with as little as 2W.
Phillips/Iverson  |  Jan 05, 2006  |  0 comments
This is the second year I was impressed by the sound of the YG Acoustics modular loudspeaker. As configured, this one runs $90,000/pair, although, as Yoav Gonczarowski, the company sells more of the configuration that eschews the second bass module. That version sells for $60,000, and is the most popular loudspeaker in its price class in Japan, selling four pair each month.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 05, 2006  |  1 comments
The Alexis Park Hotel, also known as the "AP," has been home to high-end audio exhibitors for the past decade. And by that we mean two-channel audio exhibitors. But the last couple of years has seen an increase in video and surround sound home theater demos on the grounds. And this year the hotel changed its name to Alexis Villas, or as we will now be calling it: The AV. Coincidence?
Iverson/Phillips  |  Jan 05, 2006  |  1 comments
A line-up of Usher's colorful Model 6 floorstanders ($2100/pair).
Iverson/Phillips  |  Jan 05, 2006  |  0 comments
Wes Phillips listens to the Usher CP 8571 ($7700/pair), a new speaker with a Beryllium tweeter, which sounded refined and dynamic through Usher's own line of electronics: CD1 ($800) CD player, P307 preamp ($2400), and R1.5 power amp ($2500), which puts out 150Wpc in class-A.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 05, 2006  |  0 comments
Jonathan Tinn of Blue Light Audio came to the show equipped with his collection of classical composer action figures. Mozart is on his shoulder with Beethoven in the other hand. Wagner is still in the package. Collect them all.