Top Audio & Video 2000
German company MBL has made some very interesting loudspeakers
over the years. Their new MBL 311D loudspeaker (7,000,000 lira w/stand) uses
custom drivers and more standard dynamic drivers unlike their very interesting
"watermelon" loudspeakers we have see in the past.
Walking into the Recton room it was great to see quite a
crown of music enthusiasts enjoying high resolution audio on DVD (Chesky Records Livingston Taylor to be exact).
It sounded so smooth and relaxed giving the 24-bit/96kHz technology a thumbs
up. Chesky really knows their great musicians too!
Coming in as big news is Audio Note's all new Jinro. The owner
of Audio said the names comes from his favorite Russian drink (Jin no
doubt). Claiming this will be the successor to their longstanding all silvered
wired Ongaku, it just so Audio Note to outdo themselves. While not in full finalized
production, it uses a 6J5GT2 for input voltage amplification that is directly coupled to a 2A3. That, in turn, is transformer coupled to the 211 output tube. Two 5R4 for rectification for the 211 while the driver stage is a 5V4.
Strangely, it is all copper wiring as standard (no doubt an all silver version
will eventually appear at additional costs). These monoblock amplifiers use a potted mains transformer so that there is vanishing low,
if any, noise according to the designer.
The VPI turntable was singing sweet sounds with B&W's new
801 loudspeakers. Their Synchronous Drive System motor speed control insures
extremely accurate turntable rotational speed.
Also seen at the Milan Top Audio & Video show is the Panasonic DVD-A10 (2,500,000 lira)
top level DVD-Audio player. While DVD-Audio discs are as rare as hen's teeth,
once the politics and bean counters figure out a proper protection scheme we
can hope to see many music titles available. This is where Sony, with their
SACD format, has been leagues ahead of the game. While not at the show, they also offer a model
that has the new feature for DVD recording up to 24-bit/192 kHz. This unit
will first be shows at the upcoming show in Japan according to the Technics representative.
Their DVD-Audio unit upsamples 16-bit CDs to 24-bit! Alas, the recording model was not being show here in Italy. Maybe we will have the worlds first look in London?
We can only hope. Stay tuned next week for our virtually live show coverage.
CEDIA Italia was here too! As we just covered their US show that you can see
by clicking here, CEDIA generally concerns
custom home installation.
President of Sonus Faber Cesare Bevilacqua, a highly revered loudspeaker
manufacture in Italy, is seen here with their new Grand Piano Home (2,350
€). This loudspeaker uses their 26mm silk-dome ferrofluid cooled tweeter and
180mm fiber glass multicoated cone. As for the cabinet, Sonus Faber has
"decoupled" the side panels to achieve wonderful music reproduction
capabilities. Sensitivity is rated at 88 db/w/m and presents a 6 ohm load.
Frequency response is claimed to be 35Hz to 20kHz.
In the Technics room, Japanese display of their DVD-Audio demonstration. While
i have scored a DVD-Audio disc, the hopes of a player entering my humbly abode
in eminent. A large crowd was also enjoying the demonstration (seen below).
In the Zingali room was their all new Home Monitor line. Their Home Monitor
215 (21,000 €) seen here with their stunning international sales representative
Julia Righi uses two 390mm midrange/bass drivers for the lower frequencies
while a remarkable wood horn 25mm tweeter covers the upper frequencies. While
Zingali claims the unit can handle 600 watts, this 100dB/W/m, 4 ohm
high sensitivity loudspeaker can easily be driven with a small handful of
watts. For years i have been wishing they get a USA distributor so that the
American market can finally experience their critically acclaimed products.
Always one to gravitate towards great vinyl wherever he goes
is none other than Listener Magazine/Hi-Fi
News/Stereophile writer Michael
Fremer! Who knows what jewels he will be able to mine from our kind Italian
vendors. Go Mike go!
here for Saturday's coverage