CES 2015

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Kalman Rubinson  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  1 comments
For years, I have greeted Rogue's Mark O'Brien with the question, "Anything new in digital?" fully knowing that Rogue Audio is committed to vacuum tube-based analog. This time I asked "Anything new that is not digital?" and Mark beamed. Finally, I had asked the right question...
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  1 comments
Black shiny products are tough to photograph at shows, so trust me when I say the new N31 is dripping with gorgeousness not reflected in this photo.

Priced at $18k and available this May, the N31 will process both 24/192 PCM and DSD sources (including iPods/iPads/iPhones). MBL's Juergen Reis showed me a screen shot of an iPhone playing a 24/192 file in the the USB 2 input of the N31, using iTunes USB storage feature.

Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  0 comments
Bryston's James Tanner and Brian Russell (left to right) seemed pretty happy at CES, and with good reason.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  0 comments
Marc Sheforgen (left) and Chad Kassem (right) of Acoustic Sounds' Super HiRez DSD download site spilled the beans that in a few weeks, the world's first live-to-DSD hi-rez recordings of "a handful of" blues artists will become available as both stereo and multi-channel downloads. Recorded in the company's Blue Heaven recording studio/concert venue, a converted church in Salina, KS, these may be the first unedited live DSD recordings ever issued.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  1 comments
However, I was rather touched by the banner promoting the stated aim of CES: "A Better Life, A Better World." It's hard to argue against this sentiment.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  1 comments
Naim's new Super Lumina range of high-end interconnects and speaker cables was developed in parallel with its new, ultra-expensive Statement amplifiers.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  6 comments
No, we're not talking alchemy, but rather AudioQuest's new line of USB to Lightning cables. Designed to facilitate transfer of music from iOS devices to computers or whatever, AQ's Cinnamon, Carbon, and Diamond models made their first appearance at CEDIA. Steve Niemi of AudioQuest (above), who introduced me to the cables, forecasts the lowest-priced Forest model by summer.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  0 comments
Magnepan demonstrated their new .7 speaker with the Conrad-Johnson MF2275 ($3850).
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  0 comments
MSB is now shipping new casework for both the UMT ($6,995) and Diamond DAC V ($29,995), which I think better reflect the company's dedication to digital audio perfection. The DAC is shown above and the UMT below.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  3 comments
At Musical Surroundings, the Metis line-stage preamp from Aesthetix, first seen at the 2014 RMAF, was running the big demo system. This new 4-tube preamp replaces the multi-chassis Callisto at about $25,000.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  0 comments
Constellation creates some of the most innovative casework at CES, and the Cygnus is no exception. First shown at CES a couple years back, the product will soon be shipping in two form factors: standalone DAC ($27k) and a DAC/Server ($32k) configuration (shown above).
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  0 comments
Sandy Gross and his charming daughter, Wendy, who was at CES helping dad out.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  3 comments
Meetings were frequently in progress when I glanced at the HDTracks booth in the Hi-Res Audio Workshop ballroom. Every time I take a look at the company's site, it's loaded with new releases from everyone from The Who and Eric Clapton to Anna Netrebko and a host of Grammy 2015 nominees. It was great to see David Chesky again, even though he kept mistaking me for tenor Jonas Kaufmann. I should be so lucky.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  2 comments
For those interested in audio, the products on display at Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) are of little interest. And yet...I don't think I would feel that I've attended CES unless I spent a few hours at LVCC. I figured that it would be best to go on the first day of 2015 CES, before the show really got going.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 11, 2015  |  5 comments
Critical Mass has just released its new entry-level Sotto Voce equipment rack ($4500 for four tiers). Far more affordable than the company's other racks, it is made of Sapele, a wood that I understand is in the Mahogany family. The rack is upgradeable to include Critical Mass's filter systems that enhance component performance. The upgrade path starts at $225, and can include filter systems that cost up to $2895.