International CES 2007
Having made my way from T.H.E. Show
to the to the CES' Venetian, i first entered the PMC loudspeaker suite. They had a trio of their designs; all of which were easily switchable to play for demonstration purposes. These were the GB1 small two-way, OB1 three-way, and BB5 large unit ($2249, $5199, and $22,000 per pair). All take advantage of transmission line design for extended bass response. Their crossovers are high order, from 12 to 24dB/octave for power handling, phase, and wide dispersion. This makes for a larger sweet spot.
Many of us online guys know of Thorsten Loesch. He is a smart designer who knows which end of the soldering gun is hot. His company Abbingdon Music Research has their new CD-77 and AM-77 ($8500 each), with the CD unit uses a TDA1541A DAC from Philips. Thorsen chose that DAC because it sounds good,
which he said was better than all others he tried. The transport is their own, too many details to list here so see there website. NOS valves in the analog output stage while user has a choice of no oversampling, standard, 2x, 4x or full upsampling. The internally dual monoblock amplifier features NOS 5687 tubes for voltage amplification, then a unique solid-state amplification Thorsten dubs as Class X. Hmmmm
Usher Audio BE-718 ($2500) two-way monitors are part of the company's Dancer line and feature the Usher Berlin 1-inch dome tweeter and 7-inch midrange/woofer. The cabinet is front slot ported with heavy-duty loudspeaker terminals (bi-wireable). The sensual wood side panels are Birchwood, with different stains available.
Sutherlands's PH3D ($1000) phonostage is completely battery powered and lasts for 1,200 hours according to Chad Kassem of
Acoustic Sounds. Wima caps throughout and all the usual high-end MM and MC loading options. Clean board layout and of course totally unsusceptible to AC noise :)
The artisans at Mastersound had the Final 845 Monoblock uses a pair of 845 in parallel single-ended 50 watt per channel. The special output transformer allows for such strong power and frequency response 10Hz to 40kHz. Of course they are crafted with Italian nugget wood from the
Alps, so it is very solid and dense.
Nightingale, another great company from Italy, had their Gala where one chassis is tubed for power supply while the other is for the amplification stage ($16,000). This push-pull 300B design products 18 watt per channel in Class A. Tubes in the power supply (left in photo) is two E83CC, one OD3, 6336A and two GZ34/5AR4. So yeah, l most definitely one of those really awesome tube amplifier designs to the n'th degree.
Diablo loudspeakers ($65000), imported by Signals Super-Fi is their all-out top-line wired internally with Stereovox silver wire, it presents a constant 7 Ohm impedance, sensitivity of 94dB/W/m, custom drivers by Audiotechnology... You get the idea.
Audio Space just released their new Reference-2 ($9900) true
balanced 300B preamplifier. That is right, not a 300B amplifier but a pre that uses 300B tubes and also has MM and MC phonostage, gain control for MC and of course
phonostage adjustments. This is match for the company's Reference-1 (19,900/pr) balanced 845 tube amplifier. A front switch
on the amplifier allows for switching between two source components and there is a way cool analog meter on the front panel for bias adjustment. Very nice!
MoFi is now offering their Carbon 3.5 MC (0.24mV output) 11,5 gram weight cartridge ($3500). Ogura line contact diamond is used, and said to track like a son of a gun. The cantilever is aluminum and of course the body is carbon fiber.
Symposium's new ribbon technology loudspeakers called the Panorama
($60,000) presents a 4-Ohm load and are 93.5dB sensitive. These are not off the shelf ribbons, but special proprietary design and are the result of over a decade of research and development. One of the keys is a premium neodymium magnet system of exceptionally strong current.
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