Day 3 of the 2000 CES

Digital perfectionists Meridian obviously pulled out all the stops on their new flagship speaker product, the DSP8000. Checking in at $45,000/pair, the eight-driver Digital Active design is expected to hit the market sometime in March. Meridian claims the three-way powered speaker has a 24/96 digital input on the back and processes the digital signal internally with two 100MHz DSP engines operating with 24/192 resolution. Also on display were the new DSP33s, also Digital Active but more modestly priced at $4500/pair.

MartinLogan had their new $10,000/pair Prodigy electrostatic speaker on hand, featuring two 10" woofers per cabinet. Genesis Technologies is presenting—at $32,500/pair—the new 350 SE, which the company says is derived from their model 350 and 200 designs. It sports a dipolar line-source midrange, a high-frequency ribbon array, and a multi-driver servo-bass system, all in one cabinet that tips the scales at 315 pounds.

Greybeard introduced the new and very solid-looking KB/3/3, scheduled for release this spring in slate ($13,500/pair) or Italian granite ($17,400/pair). Newcomer Impact Technology had the Charisma 2000 on hand, featuring the company's Pressure Chamber Labyrinth. Diminutive in size, the speakers retail for $2250/pair and produce surprisingly rich bass from 4" drivers.

Joining the extreme-design-and-size crowd, the new Loreley speaker system from German Physiks features the company's unique bending-wave converter coupled with four 12" woofers per side. The company claims that, using the included active crossover, the bottom end starts flat at 10Hz, and the whole system can handle 10,000W peaks. Price ranges from $89,000 to $95,000, depending on "polish."

At the other end of the size scale, Silverline Audio Technology had the latest version of their SR 12 speaker, an 11"-tall bookshelf model with an amazing-looking finish in real briarwood. Silverline has priced the SR 12 at $1000/pair—very reasonable, considering the fit'n'finish of the cabinets, and the sound coming out of them.

Plenty of new digital technology abounded around Las Vegas. Yamaha is showing their version of the latest twist in CD recorders: a CD-R, CD-RW (ReWritable) machine. With the ability to re-record the same disc over and over, the only drawback is that most other CD players are not CD-RW compatible.

Perpetual Technologies is breaking new digital ground with their announcement of the DAW-1 Digital Audio Workstation, retailing at $1999 and featuring an Upsampling Engine that does 24/96, 24/192, and DSD conversion. The DAW-1 is equipped with four digital and three analog inputs, and comes ready for upgrades to a speaker-correction system or speaker-and-room-correction system. It is expected to ship in the third quarter of this year. Also on hand is the new P-3A DAC, intended as a companion to the company's first product, the P-1A. Priced at $599, the P-3A is expected this March; it, too, does 24/96, 24/192, and DSD converting, as well as upsampling to 96kHz. Now all we need is for Sony to let loose that DSD audiostream . . .

The award for Most Extreme Digital Concept goes to Linn, who were showing a very proto version of the Kivor, which the company dubs a "Record, Archive, and Retrieval Source." Essentially a massive array of computer hard disks, the Kivor stores up to 300 hours of uncompressed CD audio, which can be played back on demand. Linn says that the design will allow customers to play up to 16 audiostreams simultaneously, each with independent start times. A CD-ROM drive on the front of the unit accepts one disc at a time, the contents of which are stored on the machine's hard drives. Linn claims that users will be able to link up a virtually unlimited number of Kivors, allowing for vast storage times. The product is expected for delivery in late 2000.