CES 2015

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Herb Reichert  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  5 comments
My CES encounter with Hegel featured the 75Wpc H80 integrated amp ($2000) driving (are you ready?) the Magico S-1 loudspeakers ($12,900/pair).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  4 comments
It's not every show that a cable company invites a publication's staff to breakfast to preview a power conditioner whose faceplate isn't even ready for viewing. But after a short but most impressive listen to the patent pending circuitry in AudioQuest's forthcoming Niagara 7000 Low-Z Power–AC Grounded Noise-Dissipation System ($TBD), I'm convinced that something special is coming our way.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  5 comments
The main joy of returning to audio and writing for Stereophile is the pure fanboy excitement of meeting the folk-heroes of high-end and getting to talk them. In one great-sounding room I got to meet three at once: Wendell Diller of Magnepan (one of the nicest humans in the audio schema) as well as Bill Conrad and Lew Johnson of Conrad-Johnson.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  1 comments
They were still playing with name ideas when I spotted the prototype media server, here shown from behind with the top off. MSB says there will be up to 3TB of storage inside (which is expandable with external NAS drives) along with an "industrial-grade" CPU with 7 year guarantee. Also included is the company's legendary Femto clock, and MSB Pro I2S output. Control will be via web browser and the server should be available in around 6 months for approx $29k.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  2 comments
One of the trends in amplification this year is the large number of stereo integrated amplifiers with digital inputs. Among these, the Parasound Halo Integrated stands out for its impressive feature set.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  0 comments
Lumin started shipping their flagship S1 this year and displayed it in both silver and black in their room. In the photo above is the silver S1 along with two L1 Music Library UPnP 2 TB servers below.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  3 comments
For the second consecutive year, Hi-Res Audio made a major statement on the main floor of the Venetian Hotel via a large Ballroom exhibit and star-studded panels. I took in "Meet the Hi-Res Music Creators." Moderated by recording engineer Maureen Droney (pictured fourth, going left to right), Senior Executive Director of the Producers & Engineers wing of The Recording Academy (the Grammy people), the panel consisted of four major engineers who record multiple genres in hi-res.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  0 comments
That was the subject heading of an email that I received from GoldenEar's Sandy Gross back in November.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  0 comments
Hi-rez pioneer/evangelist/recording engineer Mark Waldrep of AIX Records held forth in the Hi-Res Audio Showroom in the Venetian Hotel, near booths from Super HiRez and HDTracks. AIX Records' 2015 sampler, containing three different mixes of 70 tracks drawn from its rich catalog, is due sometime in February.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  4 comments
Thiel is back! Following a period of reorganization necessitated by the death of Jim Thiel, the "new Thiel," while varying in specifics, promises to respect Jim Thiel's sonic ideals while developing speakers for both two channel and multichannel.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  1 comments
Grant Samuelson of Shunyata Research introduced me to the company's new Sigma series of power cords. Designed to intercept noise at a component's power supply, the Sigmas are available in different models specifically intended for digital, analog, and high-current equipment. Each model has a different ETRON™ filter set that measurably reduces noise for the class of equipment for which it is designed.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  0 comments
Synergistic Research has just introduced four levels of its new, hand-fabricated Atmosphere interconnects ($695–$2500 for a 1m/pair, depending upon level) and Atmosphere speaker cables (approx. twice the price). Non-active, which means that they don't need to be connected to an external power supply, albeit actively grounded, the cables come complete with blue and red tuning bullets specifically designed for this new "passive" cable line.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  0 comments
There's been some back and forth on AudioStream.com and other forums about how to best play back DSD and PCM, with some finding that having a single digital section converting both formats is less than optimal.

T+A decided that in order to do both formats justice in a single product, they would have to create completely independent decoding and analog output sections (including two sets of analog output jacks on the back!). The result is a design that the company believes is a unique and "fully optimized approach to the decoding of both PCM and DSD."

Herb Reichert  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  0 comments
Those who’ve read my reviews will already know how much musical pleasure my vintage Creek 4330 integrated amp has given me. On the first day of CES I got to relax and listen to the legendary Mike Creek show and tell about the Evolution 50CD ($1695) which is really a high-end DAC with a built in transport.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  0 comments
Unfortunately The Beast was not in their room when I visited MSB, and only showed up later, so I asked MSB's Vince Galbo to send me some photos. MSB is the North American distributor for the Swiss-built The Beast.