Articles

CES 2010-Full Coverage

ARTICLE INDEX

Piero Gabucci, Senior Editor Reports - Day 2 and 3

From the Venetian for high-end audio...

Paradigm/Anthem

There is no better place to start coverage of CES 2010 than in the Paradigm/Anthem room on the 30th floor of the Venetian Towers. Why? Their demo is unrivalled.

Anthem showed the new $799 MSRP Blu-Ray player, the BLX 200. Built-in processing of the new codex and multi channel PCM via HDMI and 1 GB of built in memory.

Subs are everything it seems, the Sub 12-12" driver has 3,400 watts of dynamic power and 1,700 continuous.

Mark Aling holding the 10" driver of the monocoque exterior Seismic 110, with 2,550 watts dynamically and 1,500 continuous.

Expect some really great surprises from Anthem in the coming months leading up to CEDIA.

Wisdom Audio

Wisdom Audio does in-wall as good as anyone. The Sage Series, although shown they are meant to be hidden behind a screen. The L100i L/R and C150i are planar magnetic line array 50" high. Add 8-woofer array drivers powered by a 500-watt amplifier. The cost may be prohibitive for most of us, but the demonstration was spectacular.

Polk Audio

Polk has responded to the market with a convenient surround rear speaker for left and right in one unit. Capable of wireless called the F/X, it can be placed behind a sofa, the $500 unit compliments a surround bar and/or in-wall/in-ceiling situations.

Wadia

Wadia is finally ready to ship the $1,195, 151PowerDac mini. Upsampling to 24-bit/384kHz it accepts 24-bit/192kHz data. 25 watts into 8 ohm, or 50 watts into 4 ohm with 4 digital inputs, this is a stunning piece and would make any audiophile drool.

Day 3 CES 2010 - Piero Gabucci

...and more from the Venetian..

NAD

Introduced a short time ago, the Master Series M2 Direct Digital amplifier from NAD. I'd heard the M2 when it was first brought out and it sounded outstanding. At $5,999 it may be the last amp you buy for awhile.

Tivoli Audio

These are still some of the most stylish table-top radios I've ever seen. Fidelity of course to match.

Gallo Acoustics

Anthony Gallo has a dedicated following and he's very excited about Reference Strada. A pair of cylindrical diaphragm transducers with a 180 degree dispersion and two 4" drivers make up the stand or wall mounted design.

Creek

Michael Creek is doing some amazing things with digital from programmable phono stages like the Wyndsor phono preamp, that stores multiple configurations for cartridge type and a variety of parameters. At $1,750 it's very much in line with comparable phono stages.

His new full-sized Epos Encore 50 speakers are both passive and active and can be modified on the fly. The crossovers cabinet in the base allows access to make adjustments. Custom DACs are available for this stunning $9,995 speaker.

Creek introduced the new Evolution 5350 amplifier at $1,795. Although a 2-channel amp, it can integrate into a theater setup for direct input from a receiver or pre/pro.

Coincident

A very pleasant chat with Israel Blume of this All-Canadian company that manufacturers everything at home, amazingly at far-east prices.

The built quality is stunning of both his speakers, the $9,499 Super Victory speakers (93 db sensitivity).

The polished new Statement phono stage with separate power supply. It sells for $5,499.

Driving the system was the Dragon 211P push-pull mono 80 watt amps at $8,999 for the pair.

Perfect Technologies

This system called Perfect 8 from Swedish manufacturer Perfect Technologies looks right at home in stylish Las Vegas. Stunning glass and stainless steel and gold adorn this package from The Force tower speaker with continuous ribbon tweeters, to the cube stand-mounted units and hidden glass subs. I didn't ask the price.

Acoustic Technologies

Start-up company from Chicago, I was blown away by what was done with a small 3" driver. It doesn't take much to drive the 8 ohm speaker that runs $2,650 per pair. More are on the way, but wow, this was a great start.

Cary Audio Design

Probably boasted as the most expensive setup I listened to. At $167,700 this is serious hardware. My impression was a bit conservative, yet full and clean.

ADA, Audio Design Associates and RBH speakers

One of the best demos was from a friend in Richard Stoerger VP and COO of ADA. They were showing a new standalone room eq system from Trinnov Audio.

It includes a 4-point microphone, software and a component that did amazing things in the room.

The software stores all kinds of information and makes corrections. Rbh speakers yielded impressive sound from ADA's Suite 7.1 processor while the projector from Avielo rounded out this impressive suite.

Rogue Audio

I was glad to run into Mark O'Brien of Rogue Audio. I still regret returning the Perseus preamp I reviewed. We're looking to arrange something else but shown is the new Hera II Reference Preamp at $7,995.

The room sounded great pushing Wilson Sophia speakers driven by Rogue Audio's Apollo tube monoblocks at $10,000 per pair.

I was jealous when he said he was taking the system home.

Merrill Williams Audio

I was happy to run into a very nice George Merrill who had me drooling over his new turntable that sounded great feeding Quad speakers. He uses lots of elastomer and rubber to isolate sound transmission. At $3,595 it's very affordable for a turntable of this caliber.