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CES 2010-Full Coverage

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Piero Gabucci, Senior Editor Reports - Warp-Up

Sunday is travel day for me and I leave exhausted from the show having missed more than I hoped. This is both positive and frustrating as it seems CES 2010 has regained some energy it lacked the last several outings. Frustrating because the crowds bring longer lines and more traffic.

As my concentration on 2-channel audio took me almost exclusively through the floors at the Venetian, I'm impressed by the overall built quality of equipment and especially speakers – a whole lot of value out there producing excellent sound: Definitive Technologies with their wonderful sounding flat speaker Mythos XTR-50 is very promising.

Atlantic Technology's deep bass output H-PAS floorstanding speaker will soon be available for about $2,000 per pair, wow!

KEF was impressive with the Concept Blade one-off speaker with their 10th generation Uni-Q driver array. I'm very interested in the trickle down on that one.

Audio equipment too continues to provide incredible features at better values. Onkyo's "THX stack" with the first ever pre/pro and Blu-ray player would make any home theater amazing.

Digital is here and Wadia's mini power DAC is the future along with newly introduced music servers from the likes of McIntosh and Meridian's Sooloos.

And finally on a sad note of interest was the memorial for Jim Thiel that was very well attended. Ironically right next door the legend of Thiel Audio lives on in their booth with their superb CS3.7's. Thiel was known for his meticulous record keeping and by surrounding himself with some great people like Thiel Co-owner and President Kathy Gornik who was there from the beginning.

So we leave Las Vegas with some trepidation and cautious optimism. I do take a healthy outlook on the coming year, although I don't believe we'll return anytime soon to pre-recession buying. I give credit to the manufacturers who bravely drudge on in the audio world. It only proves how passionate this industry is and has been and I'm thrilled to be part of it.