As first seen worldwide during the
Enjoy the Music.com Frankfurt 2001 show
report, Wilson has now officially launched their new Sophia loudspeaker ($11,700 per pair). The Focal inverted tweeter and a Focal midrange driver is mated to an aluminum 10" driver. Sensitivity is rated as 89dB/w/m with a median impedance is 6
ohms. Also seen here is Wilson's Watchdog self-powered subwoofer ($9,950 USD).
A 3" long throw outside surround and two inner spiders are employed to
insure linear motion. The included amplifier is 350 watts and provides a
variable electronic crossover.
Transparent Audio now must make the world's most expensive loudspeaker cables as their Opus MM line has
carbon fibre encased electronic networks. How much is expensive? Hoe does $15,000 for one meter interconnect and $29,500 for eight foot loudspeaker cables? How large in the electronic network? Very large as you can see my approximately 12" long
dark blue HP Jornada 720 HPC above the Transparent Audio carbon fibre audio box for scale.
Longstanding loudspeaker manufacture Snell Acoustics has their new Type XA reference loudspeaker (from $25,000 to $30,000 per pair, depending on finish). The Type XA Reference Speaker consists of seven drivers in a five element model using their "eXpanding Array" technology. A 5" midrange drivers is above and below a 1" titanium dome tweeter (D'Appolito-type design). A pair of 8" woofers are also included for lowermost frequency reproduction. Snell's "eXpanding Array design", to quote their press release "...calculates driver size, spacing, crossover frequency, and slope to come up with an array whose length varies with frequency. As the applied frequency decreases, and the pitch lowers, the effective length expands to give constant directivity." The cabinet is basically a very impressive double enclosure with the internal enclosure and external cosmetic wrap bonded together.
Theta Digital, the folks who are pioneers into the outboard DAC and transport within high-end audio, now have Xtreme DAC that handles twelve channels of 24-bit/384khz digital audio! This is a new expansion card that can be added to any Theta
Casablanca II Cinema and Music Controller. Of course lower digital sources such
as 24-bit/96kHz and 192kHz can be decoded. When all twelve channels are employed, outputs include front left, center, and right; surround left and right; side left and right; front left and right subwoofer; surround left and right sub; and front center sub or rear center surround. Systems with two subwoofers can be configured as left/right or front/back. The basic Casablanca II includes processing/decoding for Dolby Digital, Pro Logic, and DTS. The Casablanca II is priced between $6,000 and $17,000, depending on configuration.
NAD's new entry level T 531 and 571 DVD/CD players ($499 and $799
respectively, T 571 seen above) are also capable of
decoding/playing mp3 CD-R/CD-RW discs. For video, a 10-bit DAC is used for crisp and clean pictures. Progressive Scan is also included as is component video and S-Video outputs. While the T 531 is a single disc unit, the T 571 handles five DVDs and also includes HDCD decoding.
Click here to see
complete listing of show exhibitors.