Day 3 - Page 2
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How do they get the finish to look that way?
EAD had a slightly delayed arrival, but as always, made up for it with the splendid visual appeal of their products. The silver faceplate looks faceted but is flat to the touch. I have a friend that is a metal worker, and he tells me it takes some effort to get this appearance, but the final result is well worth the time involved. EAD brought the meat of their current lineup to the show, on static display. The newly introduced TheaterVision-P (US$2,750), progressive scan DVD player, uses a DVDO chip to create the progressive scan frames. Tagging along for the ride was the Ovation (US$4,500) preamp/processor -- the mezzo entry for their pre/pro line. Boasting individual DACs for each channel, a newly upgraded remote, Digital Flywheel circuitry, and balanced front left and right outputs, this preamp is all digital. To complete the stack of gear brought along to the show, EAD showed their corresponding five channel amplifier, the PowerMaster 1000 (US$2,750) -- which manages to output a substantial 200 watts per channel into an 8 ohm load, all channels driven, with full power bandwidth exceeding 30 kHz. Here's how the components listed above looked from the front and back.
If you're one of those people who thinks overkill is good, check out EAD's Powermaster 2000. This behemoth amplifier outputs 400wpc into an 8 ohm load across all 5 of its channels simultaneously. Realistically speaking, it is limited by the current available from your electrical circuit. Seriously consider installing a 220v / 20 amp circuit to handle the massive power requirements of this amplifier. We took a shot of the inside of this amp to give you an idea how well the amplifier is built.
What color are your Link DACs?
MSB continues to introduce improvements to their DAC lineup on a regular basis. The latest offering in the popular Link DAC line is the Platinum (US$3,395). This state-of-the-art DAC is capable of accepting up to a 24bit/384 kHz input. Since the current DVD-Audio maximum sampling frequency is 192 kHz, this should keep the Platinum Link DAC from becoming obsolete in the foreseeable future. The Platinum also features differential 24 bit DACs, yielding an effective resolution of 48 bits. Upsampling is another feature available with the Platinum, and it can also auto-switch up to four digital sources.
MSB was also showing the rest of their lineup, including the Gold Link DAC (US$1,395) which retains many features of the Platinum. One DAC per channel is employed, and upsampling is optional.
The Platinum and Gold Link DACs are in this stack that includes the majority of the MSB lineup. The Platinum is on top of the stack, and the Gold is the 3rd item from the top.
It isn't all about looks.
We go from the polished, gleaming silver faceplates of EAD, to the sturdy, no nonsense appearance of the ATI products. ATI was showing one new item, plus a final prototype of their awaited preamp/processor. The new product is a mutli-zone amplifier, the model 6012 (US$1695). If you can't tell by the name, it is capable of outputting 12 channels at 60 watts per channel. Paired with somewhat efficient speakers, it can provide six rooms of your house with stereo amplification. You could also use this amp in a 6.1 environment, with each speaker bi-amplified.
Also on display was a late prototype of the ATI 7.1 preamp/processor. The folks at ATI say it should be available for sale by Christmas 2000. The feature that really caught my eye was the inclusion of a 5" LCD monitor that can be used in lieu of the On-Screen Display to make configuration changes. Other features include full analog capability, component video switching, and the capability to add a Firewire input should it be adopted as the transmission medium of choice for digital output of SACD and DVD-Audio data.
Improving the Spouse Acceptance Factor of Planar Speakers
What's the planar speaker enthusiast to do when their spouse can't live with having planar speakers out in plain view? If you go to the right people, the Radia Series can help keep the peace in the household. The Radia Series is a collection of custom installation Ribbon/Dynamic hybrid loudspeakers specifically designed for inwall as well as standard floor-standing configurations. Because CEDIA is a custom installation show, the Radia Series team put on a demonstration in a hotel conference room, with mock walls used to mount the in-wall speakers. In use were the R50s (US$3,800/pair) as front left and rights, the RLCR (US$1,250/each) as a center channel, and the R40s (US$3,000/pair) as surrounds. Driven by an ADA Rhapsody Cinema controller, and an ADA amplifier, this system was capable of producing excellent stereo and superb surround utilizing zero floor space. These speakers are also sold under the Bohlender-Graebner name as freestanding loudspeakers. Below are pictures of the R50, RLCR, and R40 respectively.
More coverage to follow.
- Stacey Spears and John Kotches -
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