CES 2016

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Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 08, 2016  |  4 comments
Moderately Priced Speakers. That's my assignment for this year's CES show report—as well as moderately priced turntables and other phono equipment—Moderate being defined this time as priced from $4000/pair to $18,000/pair. Right at the top of this range is the $18,000/pair Raidho XT-2, an extremely slim floorstander that uses the same tweeter as the rest of the Raidho range and two 4" cone drivers.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 11, 2016  |  0 comments
I'm familiar with how opening or closing a side entrance to a music room can affect bass loading, But when Philip O'Hanlon of A Higher Note demonstrated how opening the sliding doors behind the new Vivid B1 Decade loudspeakers ($28,000/pair) increased air and spaciousness, I was duly impressed.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 13, 2016  |  0 comments
REL Acoustics was displaying their new S/5 SHO 12" subwoofer at CES. Like other S-Series subwoofers that came before, the S/5 has a forward-facing, 12" active driver and a 12" passive downward-firing passive driver. The S/5 can be driven wirelessly, and employs the 3-stage, low-noise "limitless" electronics for a wide-dynamic range and increased power output.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 13, 2016  |  0 comments
Because the total 6-pack sets one back $24,000, I asked REL Acoustics' David Schultz if there might be a "Six-Pack light" version. Yes, he replied, we have the "poor man's six-pack," the REL Acoustics 212SE. Wireless-capable, the almost-70 lb, 212-SE sealed-cabinet enclosure stands 20" tall and uses two active 12" and two passive 12" drivers, all powered by the 1000W RMS class-D internal amplifier with a new low-noise 3-stage input circuit.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 14, 2016  |  0 comments
Roger Gibboni of Rogers High Fidelity unveiled the Rogers 34S-1 integrated amplifier ($19,900, top on rack in photo). A dual-mono class-A amplifier with eight EL-34 power tubes, this baby, set to ship in March, has a unique, dedicated iOS platform (visible on Gibboni's iPad) which allows for complete functionality including bad tube indicators. Apple and Android smartphone operation via Bluetooth is included, and auto-bias circuitry and a lifetime warranty are other pluses. On a scale of 1 to 10, this product's cool factor is very, very high.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 13, 2016  |  0 comments
Jeff Rowland's Model 725 S2 monoblocks ($34,000/pair) have been out maybe four years, but now include new error-correction circuitry originally developed for the Jeff Rowland 625 S2. Also of import are ceramic circuit boards, 4-pole Jensen capacitors, and virtually immeasurable distortion from 20Hz–20kHz. The class-A/B amps deliver 330Wpc into 8 ohms, and have fully balanced transformer coupled inputs as well as switch-mode power supplies with power-factor correction. The display was passive, with Rowland's active system, complete with Nordost cabling, showcasing other products.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 08, 2016  |  1 comments
At $15,995/pair, the Tempus III is the top-of-the-line from Ryan Speakers. Their speakers have impressed me before as offering high quality for the price, but perhaps not world-beaters. The Tempus III is different. It uses proprietary drivers, including a new beryllium-dome tweeter, two side-firing woofers, and a midbass that covers the range from 100Hz to 350Hz.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  0 comments
Scientific Audio Electronics (SAE), founded in 1967, has been out of business for decades. Recently, Morris Kessler of ATI, manufacturers of the ATI and Theta brands,helped restore the company. At CES, Bill Skaer, National Director of Sales, presented the firm's latest amplifier, the 125 lb, SAE 2 HP-D Display version ($19,995).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 12, 2016  |  5 comments
I find it hard to believe, but only in the last 5 or 10 years did the museum in Cremona, Italy, where famed violinmaker Antonio Stradivari was born in 1644, receive the first violin that Stradivari ever made. To honor the occasion, Sonus Faber loudspeakers has issued Il Cremonese ($45,000/pair), whose price is far lower than that violin. An extension of Sonus Faber's Cremona and Stradivarius series, Il Cremonese incorporates technology from the company's higher-level models. Paolo Tezzon custom-designed all drivers to achieve greater accuracy and coherency.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 07, 2016  |  1 comments
But there is evidence for Sony's commitment to sound quality in their support of Hi-Res audio. Fasulo reported great interest on the part of major record labels in higher quality recording technology, a need that is met by Sony's development of Hi-Res audio.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 07, 2016  |  0 comments
The day before the opening of CES is devoted to press conferences, mostly by the big boys: Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, etc. These are generally of little interest to Stereophile readers, so our detailed show coverage doesn't start until the official CES opening.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 07, 2016  |  3 comments
When the presentation turned to audio, Sony's Michael Fasulo referred to consumers' desire for "an even better listening experience," and that this was illustrated by the progression from LP to compact cassette, and then to CD, and to MP3. I must admit that I was taken aback by this statement. These changes in recorded music media may well represent a search for increased convenience, but few audiophiles would argue that a change from LP to compact cassette or from CD to MP3 represents "even better listening experience."
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 14, 2016  |  1 comments
First shown at Rocky Mountain in October, the soulution 760 DAC was again on hand and is now expected to ship at the end of January for startling $72,000. I say startling not only because this is pre-owned Aston Martin DB-9 territory but also because soulution tends to go with a minimilist esthetic with their casework. So the focus is on what's inside, not the fancy metal.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 14, 2016  |  0 comments
If my title lacks poetry, my notes are worse: they inexplicably lack any record of the sound in this room! With apologies to all, what I can tell you is that the Soulution 755 phono preamplifier ($72,000) is now available. Complete with an analog, passive volume/balance control that uses low-noise, metal-foil resistors, the 755 can be connected to an amplifier without need of a separate line stage.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 13, 2016  |  0 comments
None other than designer Terry Miles was on hand to introduce Spendor's "all-new top-of-line Spendor Classic" 3-way loudspeaker ($24,995/pair).