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Show Report

Home Entertainment 2003

San Francisco, California

June 5 - 8, 2003

 


 

Genesis Speakers demonstrated a new setup that has subwoofer signals spread around the room instead of being relegated to one subwoofer. The sound was spectacular.

China is coming on strong with imports of their own brands, including these Ming Da Power Amplifiers. Each monoblock produces 75 watts of pure Class A sound, using 300Bs as drivers and 845s as output tubes. Beautiful power meters on the front, a la McIntosh. $10,000 the pair.

Here is a close-up of one of the Ming Da monoblocks. The power supply is in the bottom chassis, and the amplifier circuits are in the top chassis. Heavy? Very!

Totem Acoustic showed off their very compact surround sound speaker set (called the Dreamcatcher), including the subwoofer at the bottom center (which is about 10" in width), having a 200 watt amplifier. The veneer is real cherry, not vinyl. $1,695 for the system.

MBL sported their CD transport retailing for about $15,000. No SACD no DVD-A. No hurry.

Vinyl is alive and well, at least in Italy where V.Y.G.E.R. makes 30 of these $32,000 turntables each year. It has compressed air cylinders that isolate it from the floor. If I ever got one of these, maybe I could rent it to George Lucas as a prop, to pay for it.

It sure looks like Lucite is popular in making turntables

Perhaps these horn speakers, by BassHorns, would not be popular with the spouse, but they are so efficient (112 dB/w/m), that only a few watts are necessary to drive them to satisfying volume. They remind me of a set of drums I had in college, except that they play music a lot better than I did.


Balanced Audio Technology has their new VK-600 stereo power amplifier. See all those power supply capacitors in there? That is what makes a good power amplifier. They also make a good power amplifier expensive.

Monster Cable sponsored a nice luncheon for the press at the Westin St. Francis hotel, where the show was held.

Tetra floor-standers.

Racks and racks of new DVD-A releases.

Legend Audio speakers.

Red Rose speakers. The inset photo shows a close-up of the ribbon tweeter.

Straightwire speaker cables. I imagine these can carry plenty of current.

Penaudio Charisma bookshelf speaker sitting on top of the Charm subwoofer.

Inteset combines home entertainment and computers.

UmeVoice's "The Boom" headset for telephone use has noise cancellation technology built-in. Originally designed for use in Black Hawk helicopters.

Talon Audio Technologies showed their Hawk monitor speakers (on the stand) - $8,000/pair and Thunderbird subwoofer ($10,000).

Vishorn is a company in China now importing their own brand to the USA. They have been producing hundreds of thousands of speakers and amplifiers each month for other companies, so they want to sell their own. They, along with other China OEMs are really coming on strong with their products, which are nicely built and very, very affordable.

Gershman Acoustics 520-X (in the rear).

Pipe Dreams column speakers with subwoofer, driven by VAC tube power amplifiers.

Wisdom Audio Adrenaline column speakers and subwoofer.

Dolby Laboratories gave a press conference in their reference theater room. The chandeliers in the photo were from "The Godfather" movie.

The bottom line on the show was an emphasis on DVD-A, tall thin speakers, and pyramidal shaped speakers. The pyramid shape provides strength (less vibration) and also reduces standing waves. There were also lots of tube products. The long awaited Sony SXRD projector (three-panel LCD, 1920 x 1080 native) introduction had good and bad about it. The gamma setting appeared to be incorrect. The color gamut was way beyond SMPTE C, which is how DVDs and HD are color corrected against. Blacks and whites were crushed. The image was soft. Black was not as good as current DLP. The contrast ratio (CR) was not even close to 3000:1. Best guess was 700:1. Some of these issues may have been setup, or prototype problems, but you would expect them to get it right. We suspect their first SXRD product will be in the $25k range.
 

Copyright 2003 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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