CES 2009

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Wes Phillips  |  Jan 14, 2009  |  0 comments
Over at the Boing Boing blog, it is customary to run a "unicorn chaser," an overly cute picture of a unicorn after posting a post that makes you go "eeeew." German Physiks Unicorn mk II ($21,500/pair) were sort of like that, only for show sound. Ahh, that's better.
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 08, 2009  |  1 comments
A different take on an integrated is the two-chassis 1000Wpc Uniwave Tek Digital Anaco 2 stereo amplifiers ($6800). The switch-mode power supply is in a separate chassis from the signal-carrying elements. That 1000Wpc rating, by the way, is at 4 ohms. Bandwidth is claimed to be 250kHz.
John Atkinson  |  Jan 11, 2009  |  2 comments
Montreal-based company Verity has been slowly building a reputation for sound quality with its unique speakers, which combine a conventional head-unit on-top a woofer module that, unusually, mounts the drivers on its rear. CES saw the launch of two new models, the Leonore ($15,995/pair) and Finn ($5995/pair). Both speakers offer high sensitivities in the low 90s, and while the Leonore produced an impressive sound from Keith Jarrett's Live at Carnegie Hall CD powered by Nagra's forthcoming MSA stereo amp that Wes Phillips blogged about earlier, I was also impressed by the more affordable, one-box Finn, which was demmed with Nagra's PMA "pyramid" amps. The rest of the system included a Basis Debut turntable and Vector 4 tonearm, Nagra PLL preamp and Nagra's new battery-powered BPS phono stage, which I am sure Mikey Fremer will be reviewing in the near future.
John Atkinson  |  Jan 13, 2009  |  0 comments
Demonstrating the obsessive attention to detail in Vienna Acoustics' new Kiss loudspeaker are the micrometer-realized alignment adjustments on its rear panel.
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 13, 2009  |  0 comments
"You have got to check out Vitus," Jon Iverson enthused. When I did, I took his point. Vitus Audio is the love child of Hans-Ole Vitus, who takes a holistic approach to audio design. Vitus products are, he explains, the result of relationships—not just parts and circuits, but how they interact with one another. I suspect, from looking at the gear, Vitus is also concerned about beauty, too.
John Atkinson  |  Jan 14, 2009  |  10 comments
Although it was shown in protype form at the 2008 CES, the Giya from South African manufacturer Vivid ($58,000/pair) is now in production and was being demmed in US distributor On A Higher Note's penthouse suite at the Mirage hotel with Luxman amplification, Nordost Odin cabling, Quantum power conditioning, and open-reel tapes from The Tape Project's second batch of releases played back on a Tim de Paravicini-modified Technics deck.
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 09, 2009  |  0 comments
Luke Manley was muttering about the problems he was having naming the latest iteration of the VTL TL-5.5 line preamplifier ($6000). "I've already done a signature version and I don't want to confuse people—it really does represent major improvements in sound."
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 09, 2009  |  12 comments
Here is Wadia's new 381 Integrated CD Player, which retails at $6,950 and offers the same performance of the company's 581se minus SACD playback.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 09, 2009  |  0 comments
Wadia is also showing the new 571 CD transport at &7,950 and is also slated for a March ship date.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 09, 2009  |  0 comments
8 DACs per channel and upsampling to provide a 2,8224MHz data rate with 26-bit resolution from a standard CD. Retail is $33,450 and availability will be March.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 09, 2009  |  24 comments
Wadia's iTransport was a big hit at last year's show, so they are back this year with a pile of new products.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 12, 2009  |  0 comments
Stillpoints, a vibration-control company that has been making equipment support racks since 2003, has just introduced a 40"-wide, low mass, open-air rack that allows you to stack two components side by side on each support shelf. Each ultra long support shelf holds two 20"x16" equipment shelves, each of which can hold a separate component on the appropriate support technology. Each equipment shelf also contains six pockets of Stillpoints' multi-patented vibration damping technology, making for 12 pockets of vibration control per large support shelf. Stillpoints' Paul Wakeen claims that each time you add another layer of Stillpoint isolation, the sound of your system improves.
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 12, 2009  |  1 comments
It belonged to a tenor! (ba-dum-dum) Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I'll be here all week.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 11, 2009  |  3 comments
Want to hear silver turn to platinum? Check out Wireworld's new line of Platinum Eclipse Reference audio cables, whose interconnects are composed of four flat conductors made of Ohno continuous cast solid silver of 99.99997% purity.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 11, 2009  |  7 comments
When John Atkinson requested that I check out the new state-of-the-art Sennheiser HD 800 headphones ($1399.95), which will debut next month, I dreaded descending into the madness of the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Little did I know that instead of encountering an impossible throng of tech-crazed computer geeks, I would have my peak sonic experience of CES 2009.