CES 2016

Sort By: Post DateTitle Publish Date
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 09, 2016  |  5 comments
Sometimes, even in audio, numbers do speak for themselves. I reviewed the Rogue Sphinx ($1395) almost two years ago—and still, everyday I like it more. The Sphinx continues to deliver more quality sonics (into a wider variety of speaker loads) per dollar than any amp I ever knew. Now they appear to have accomplished the same thing again—this time it is a beautiful little $1695 preamplifier called the RP-1.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  2 comments
Finished in Lancaster Grey, the Quad PA-One headphone amplifier is a full-tube design, with a built-in DAC.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 14, 2016  |  0 comments
GoldenEar was showing two new models at CES: the Triton 3+ ($2500/pair) and the larger Triton 2+ ($3500/pair). Both new GoldenEar loudspeakers have powered low-frequency drivers. The Triton 2+ and 3+ models both have new bass-mid drivers, new balanced crossovers, new bass tuning, and "new Triton 1 voicing!" Both models could move and handle like European race cars.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 13, 2016  |  0 comments
Paradigm exhibited its new Prestige 1000SW, 12" Subwoofer. Priced at $2999, the subwoofer uses a single 12" brushed-aluminum, high-excursion X-PAL driver in a sealed enclosure which is driven by a class-D, 1000W RMS (1700W peak) amplifier.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  0 comments
Pass Laboratories celebrated its 25th Anniversary in business by introducing its HPA-1 headphone amplifier ($3500). The circuitry is a two-stage CFA topology using cascaded ultra-low noise Toshiba JFETs driving complementary Fairchild power MOSFETs running in class-A.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  0 comments
Pass Laboratories designer Wayne Colburn showed me their new INT-60 Integrated amplifier ($9000). Rated at 60Wpc, the amplifier uses the same heatsinks, power supplies, and output stages as the Pass Point 8 power amplifiers.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 14, 2016  |  0 comments
Conrad Johnson's TEA 2 phono stage was being fed by one of my favorite moderately priced record spinners: the Acoustic Signature WOW XL ($2395) with its own TA-1000 tonearm ($1995) and an Ortofon 2M Black moving-magnet cartridge ($755). The CA150 integrated amp was driving the 2-way, stand-mounted Penaudio Cenya Signature loudspeakers ($4000/pair)—the presentation had this fast forward-moving grainlessness that I found quite beguiling.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 12, 2016  |  0 comments
"Clear sound from the north" is how the speakers from Penaudio are identified in the product literature, and my immediate thought was that this is a speaker from The Great White North, ie, Canada. Actually, the speakers are designed in Finland, with the factory in Latvia. The speaker in the photo is the Serenade Signature ($10,999/pair), a slim floorstander that uses custom SEAS drivers. Good sound with Conrad-Johnson electronics.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 16, 2016  |  7 comments
Many of you have seen the posts about Graham Nash touring the high end audio exhibits at CES earlier this month. The experience taught me this: it isn't how good you hear, but how well you listen.

I'm not sure what readers expected from this, and I certainly wasn't sure what to expect, which is why it was an attractive idea. Yes Nash ended up liking what he heard, but for those cynical enough to think he was just being polite, I'm here to tell you first hand that he was excited by the experience, and his enthusiasm was genuine.

Herb Reichert  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  0 comments
PrimaLuna products flesh out texture, hall sound, and instrumental color better than the tube amps of yore and on the scale of warm to cool, PrimaLuna is always exactly in the middle—as in Goldilocks' "just right." In fact, I would have to say that PrimaLuna's just-right neutrality is its #1 best trait.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2016  |  0 comments
Making good on the prototype that Great Britain's Prism was showing last year, the new Callia DAC will finally be released for retail this month at $1,895. It will handle 32/394 PCM and double DSD via USB, optical and SPDIF inputs on back. There will be both balanced and unbalanced audio outputs with digital volume control along with low-impedance headphone output with sensitivity adjustments on the back panel.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 13, 2016  |  0 comments
PSB Speakers was exhibiting a new bass-reflex subwoofer, the SubSeries (SS) 450, which will be shipping in April 2016 at a suggested US price of $1499. The driver features a 12", woven-fiber-glass cone. The subwoofer employs a 450W class-D amplifier, a built-in 4th order, continuously variable low-pass filter. The subwoofer was on exhibit and not playing.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  2 comments
Quad electrostatic loudspeakers have been unavailable in the United States retail market for the past few years because there has been no importer. In the past 12 months, MoFi Distribution has stepped up to develop a dealer network and provide service. Jonathan Derda, Mo-Fi's National Sales and Marketing Manager, described the new service center in Fairfax, Virginia that will service all vintages and versions of the loudspeaker.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2016  |  0 comments
Questyle's Bruce Ball was on hand to demo the R or Reference version of their player that John Atkinson just reviewed for Stereophile. You can check the review for details, but here are the basics: the QP1R is available now for $899 and essentially offers more internal memory and higher quality components than the regular QP1 ($599). Check out the photo below of all the parts inside the new player. Gorgeous!
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 14, 2016  |  0 comments
Raidho principals Lars Kristensen, whose surname, thanks to his business card, I've finally spelled correctly after all these years; Mikkel Simonsen, who specializes in digital circuits, software, and PCB work; and Michael Børresen, the speaker designer/chief engineer who is responsible for overall concepts, visual and functional design, and analog circuitry; showed off the great, full-range sound of Raidho's new D-3.1 loudspeakers ($65,500/pair). Not the least bit shy at frequency extremes, the D-3.1 loudspeaker topped off a system that was equally at ease with fast, slamming percussion and naturally zingy piccolo.