CES 2016

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  0 comments
Shipping in the second quarter of 2016, Meitner's extremely powerful MTRX2 1kW monoblock amplifiers (price around $80,000/pair), which output 600W into 8 ohms and 1000W into 4 ohms, may be the weaker siblings of their flagship MTRX predecessors, but they have their own proprietary topology to make them feel their equal.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 13, 2016  |  0 comments
Moon by Simaudio's new Neo ACE ($3500, left) looks and sounds and feels like a 21st-century version of a classic Marantz receiver. It is a 50Wpc, class-A/B integrated amp featuring Simaudio's MiND (Moon intelligent Network Device) digital library interface, and a high-resolution DAC with DSD decoding up to DSD256 and 32-bit/384kHz PCM.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  0 comments
Morel's USA distributor, Nir Paz, was demonstrating the Octave 6 Limited Edition floorstanders ($6000/pair). He was driving them with the new 250Wpc (into 8 ohms) Hegel H360 integrated amplifier ($5700).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 04, 2016  |  22 comments
Today, January 4, at "CES Unveiled" in Las Vegas, MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) launched major partnerships with Morten Lindberg's multiple Grammy Award-nominated, audiophile record label/download store 2L and playback partners Auralic, Aurender, and Bluesound. The entire 2L download catalog, starting with one of Lindberg's first recordings, made in 1993, and extending through his latest DXD (352.8kHz) recordings, has been scrubbed clean and born anew with MQA.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 16, 2016  |  49 comments
Digging MQA (from L–R): Peter McGrath, Jason Victor Serinus, and Michael Fremer, with Bob Stuart anxiously looking on and Winai Pawitwatana behind. (Photo: John Atkinson)

CES 2016 marked the first time that three writers for Stereophile—Editor-in-Chief, John Atkinson; AnalogPlanet analog guru, Michael Fremer; and this Contributing Editor—could sit down in the same room with Bob Stuart of MQA/Meridian and spend a concentrated amount of time comparing before- and after-MQA encoded (Master Quality Authenticated) tracks.

Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  7 comments
CES being quite hectic and hotel rooms being what they are, I try not to do too much listening on the 29th and 30th floors of the Venetian (there are exceptions and the upper suites are a different story, sound-wise). But Vincent Galbo in the MSB room on floor 29 politely insisted I listen to the new Select DAC on the YG speakers they had set up, driven by MSB amps. He played a CD and it was some of the best sound I've ever heard at a show!
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  1 comments
The picture shows the inside of Nagra's new HD Amp, whose 6 output devices are specified as driving 270W into 8 ohms, 1kW into 2 ohms. The HD Amp was on passive display, but Nagra's all-Nagra component chain, feeding Wilson Audio Sabrina loudspeakers, made quite a favorable impression.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 13, 2016  |  0 comments
More than a decade ago, I reviewed Music Hall's first turntable, and not only did it play way better than it should for its price; but it felt distinctly like what would surely become the forefather of long bloodline of musical, high-value record players; and it did. The newest, youngest, and most attractive of them all, the MMF 7.3 looks like a new stud breeding horse and a super value for it $1595 price.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2016  |  0 comments
Pictured here is the tiny, almost pocket-sized digital recorder from NAGRA, the Seven 2 channel Digital Recorder, which lists for $4999 in the US. The Seven can record PCM files up to 192 kHz and has been designed as the successor to the Nagra LB, ARES-C, ARES-BB+ and Nagra V recorders. It has one digital input and two analog inputs equipped with traditional Nagra microphone preamplifiers which include phantom +48V microphones for condenser mics.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  1 comments
Matthieu Latour, Nagra's Marketing Director, spent time showing me the Swiss company's new Classic Integrated Amplifier ($19,450). Both Nagra's Classic Integrated Amplifier and Classic stereo power amplifier deliver 100Wpc into 8 ohms and are strikingly similar, but differ in that the integrated unit has 3 RCA inputs and 1 XLR input and cannot be bridged. It uses a solid-state circuit preamplifier section. The Classic Integrated amplifier will be available in May, 2016.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 13, 2016  |  1 comments
Naim Audio's beautiful Mu-so ($1495)—introduced a year ago—delivered on both counts, and like its predecessor, Naim's new Mu-so "Qb" ($995) is a 5-driver, stereo 3-way design (300W total power) that plays music with grace and acuity but with a smaller footprint and a lower price. The Qb's cubic volume accented by its beautiful bulging grills just screams Museum of Modernity and Wholesome Futurism.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 14, 2016  |  1 comments
MoFi Distribution now distributes the Balanced Audio Technology product line, and were demonstrating the new BAT VK-76SE stereo tubed amplifier. Output is specified as 75Wpc into 8 ohms and 150Wpc into 4 ohms.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 14, 2016  |  1 comments
I talked with Bill Johnson for about 30-minutes, but it was enough to know I was completely enamored with the new Conrad Johnson CA150 integrated amp ($5000, or $7000 for the "ST" version with better parts) and the so-right sounding TEA 2 Triode Equalization Amplifier (aka RIAA phono stage) which costs $3300 stock, or $4500 with Teflon caps.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 08, 2016  |  0 comments
Now this was an interesting one. Just one room over from the expensive Constellation set-up sat extreme bargain-for-the-money Audio Alchemy, designed by the same man who oversaw Constellation's engineering, Peter Madnick. But since my beat was the high-priced spread, I turned from Audio Alchemy's great-sounding gear to the TAD CE1 loudspeakers ($24,000/pair), designed by Toru Nagatani (above).
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 14, 2016  |  0 comments
Bryston also showed, for the first time, value-oriented phono stages for moving-coil and moving-magnet phono cartridges, as well as a power supply for these two units.