CES 2015

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Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
Another music server that caught my eye was the latest offering from SOtM, which will hit retailers in February for around $3k. Though the front of the box is plain, this is a full-featured machine, as evidenced by the back panel. USB inputs and outputs support up to 32/384 PCM and native DSD, and networking support for DLNA is included.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  1 comments
See that picture of a well-suited handsome man? That's Keith Martin of Washington-State firm, Vana Ltd. Vana distributes cool stuff like Vienna Acoustic loudspeakers, IsoTek AC line voltage products, Dr. Feikert Analogue (maker of one of the finest alignment protractors), and Acoustical Systems (makers of the Axiom tonearm, Archon cartridge, the Arché headshell, and the $799, SMARTractor cartridge alignment tool). What Keith is holding is the new Blue Horizons ProFono MM/MC phono stage ($1249).
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
The DAC BOX has now been upgraded to include DSD decoding in addition to 24/192 PCM. There are USB 2.0, SPDIF and optical inputs as well as analog RCA outputs on the back and a button for two filter settings on the front. Price is $499.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
In the Devore Fidelity room was the Line Magnetic DAC that sports both a tube and solid state user-selectable output section via a front panel switch. Async USB, SPDIF, optical and AES/EBU connectors on the back and the LM-502CA has been updated inside to accept up to 32/356 PCM. Available now for $1,795.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  1 comments
I am a sucker for the new breed of desktop "wireless" loudspeakers—when they look and sound as natural and dynamic as the new Audioengine B2 Premium Bluetooth loudspeaker, I can dance around, sing, dream on Bartok, or play air guitar while streaming Tidal or WFMU. You are invited!
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
Michael Lavorgna reviewed the X30 (above) earlier this year after spotting it at CES last year. ML details all the spex in his report, so I'll stick to the basics: the X30 retails for $1,695 which includes the remote you see to the right of the box, and also includes a 50 wpc amp and on-screen graphics when hooked up to a display.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  1 comments
I liked the sound of the music in this room. Driven by a Calyx M series music player and a Virtue Audio, "Virtue One" class-T integrated amp ($499), the Well Rounded Sound EXP loudspeakers ($1599/pair) and the WRS SUBST sub ($799) played the joyous hell out a variety of musical selections.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
T+A's lively and energetic Jochen Fabricius was eager to fill me in on the new, 3-way, 183 lb, $55,000/pair T+A CWT 1000-8 SE floorstander. This speaker uses a 25" by 2" electrostatic line tweeter that covers the frequency range from 2kHz to 40kHz.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
Wilson Audio’s Peter McGrath and John Giolas walked me through the design of the new $15,000/pair Sabrina. The loudspeaker has same general form factor and is slightly taller than their original WATT-Puppy, which was also a $15,000/pair speaker when it was first produced more than 20 years ago.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  2 comments
With the demise of the iPod, the number of high quality portable players has jumped. Case in point are these two new players from Questyle. Both play DSD and Double DSD files along with about a dozen PCM formats up to 24/192. The players also feature the company's unique "current mode" headphone amplification.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  10 comments
My experience with the new AudioQuest Nighthawk headphones ($599) was one of highest points of my CES adventure.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
This is one of the smallest boxes I've seen that handles both streaming and conversion, and the price is tiny to match: $249. The BurrBrown chip inside handles up to 32/384 via USB and there are also analog RCA outputs on back. Though not listed in the catalog, there is a filter switch on the display unit.

Pro-Ject also has another new streamer that didn't make it to the show called the Stream BOX S. It will include UPnP and DLNA ethernet and WiFi connectivity to your network and support app control of your streams. No pricing yet, but should show up near the middle of the year.

Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  1 comments
Though they only had a prototype board (in the photo below) as well as the poster (in the photo above) in the room, Calyx were announcing the new PaT DAC which should hit retailers in February for $99. Handles PCM up to 16/48, but no DSD. One interesting feature is the buttons on the panel can control your play, volume and skip features on the connected phone.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  2 comments
I fell in love with this new, cool, 5mm-thick, two-layer, bi-rubber compound mat . . . Only one problem: It costs $400.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  1 comments
Rega has updated their compact DAC with a new remote control and three user selectable digital filters. A pair of Wolfson DAC chips inside handle digital files up to 24/192 via USB, SPDIF or optical digital inputs. There are also unbalanced analog, SPDIF and optical digital outputs on the back. Retail price is $1,195 and the DAC-R is available now.

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