Top Audio & Video 2000
Keeping an eye and ear on the home theater market, Pearl Audio Technology was showing their big loudspeakers in the lobby
(see first day's coverage) while in their room upstairs was the new Centrica
center channel loudspeaker and Celesta minimonitor were offered.
The Kron's of KR Enterprise fame will be promoting at the CES their Antates 300BXLS dual mono amplifier.
We get a sneak peek here at this new design. Reviewers worldwide will be
working hard as they are giving one of these beauties away during the CES in
January 2001. The task foe reviewers is to come up with the best slogan.
Pricing will be approximately $3,500 USD.
Digidesign, the computer-based digital audio dudes, were here
in Milan showcasing a truly incredible setup! Their recording studio
hardware/software can support 64 channels simultaneously at 24-bit/48kHz. Everything is intergraded
within their mixing system to easily control the desired automation (moving of
faders, controls, etc.).
In The Sound of the Valve room was an interesting tube
amplifier and turntable. In fact their Morbiani turntable can hold up to three tonearms!
Alas, there was no literature, though they seem to have a website at www.studiodigit.it/morsiani.
Coming back again with their very small single driver in large enclosure is Souono
Point. Alas, it seems to be more a curiosity than something i would want in my
humble abode. Another design of their seems slightly more conventional (left
loudspeaker) and uses three drivers with each being enclosed within their own
custom made cabinet.
VYGER is at it again with their new Indian turntable ($8,000 USD).
The Signature version as pictured above will retail about $13,000 USD. The
difference is that the Signature includes the stand and also as added lower section weight.
Various isolations systems are employed to keep both airborne as floor
vibration to an absolute minimum, thereby not negative altering its music
reproduction capabilities. The very tight tolerance of only a few microns
makes each piece used within the turntable design extremely high precision. To
be precise, radial error is at most 3 microns while axial error is at most 10
microns. Elastic bands are used to "float" the motor within it's
housing to one again keep negative vibrations away.
For those looking to break in new cables, or perhaps improving
their already used ones is the Cable Cooker 2.0. It accepts RCA, XLR, loudspeaker as well as power cables.
Here is something virtually every retail store should invest in to give their
customers the best conditioned cables possible.
In the Italian magazine Fedola del Suono had quite an
interesting presentation at the Top Audio & Video show here in Milan. Using five Sonus Faber Concerto loudspeakers with some very interesting
recording studio front-end gear, they let show goers hear the difference
between two channel and five channel 24-bit/96kHz music. Various Tascam (and
other) recording studio gear was employed. This was five channels of 24-bit/96kHz of live
piano that sounded very good. In fact the five channel version seemed to have
more air and space, yet this was far from optimal conditions and there were
many others sitting all around me and the room was quite small.
SAP Anniversary integrated amplifier and Rega Planar 3
turntable were seen in the Strumenti Acustici Precisione (SAP) room . SAP has
long made some very impressive tube gear which has been seen during our previous
Milan show reports. The above unit is of an OTL design with eight 6AS7G
tubes for power output. Four 6922 assist in giving this unit a total of 25
watts per channel into 8 ohms. You can look forward to an Enjoy the Music.com
exclusive review of their Anniversary in the near future.
EXCLUSIVE WORLD'S FIRST: Also seen in the SAP room was
the new Nagra PL-L preamplifier (pricing is said to be 30% below their PL-P
unit). The PL-L has four stereo inputs (one XLR and three RCA) selectable from
the front left knob. Audio output consists of two stereo RCA and one stereo XLR. Volume and
balance adjustments are via the front, center knobs. This is a world's first
as the unit was literally released today to specifically be shown here in
Italy. The Nagra representative said that only three of these units exist in
the world for the moment.
None other than Mr. A J Van Den Hul was here in Milan! In fact
i personally shared a wonderful dinner with him and we had some quite
amusing stories to tell one anther.
EXCLUSIVE WORLD'S FIRST: An all new KEF mini monitor will be officially launched at the UK show next week,
but you have a sneak peek right now before anyone else! Seen above is Johan
Coorg holding their very stylish ported monitor loudspeaker. The model
HTS-2001 above uses a KEF made 4" Uni-Q driver that provides a maximum of
104db output. Frequency response is claimed as being 80-20,000 Hz. The Uni-Q
design places a separate soft-dome tweeter directly in the middle of the new
"alu-skin" aluminum faced polypropylene 4" midrange/woofer
driver. The lovely housing is mode of aluminum and includes a matching
mountable stand that can also be used for wall mounting as desired. The
HTS-2001 will generally be sold with an 8" powered subwoofer unit
(PSW2000). Pricing is 500£ for the stereo setup (two HTS-2001 and one
PSW2000). In a five channel surround configuration (five HTS-2001 and one
PSW2000) will be priced at £800.
RPS sistemi elettronici's new Andrew75 had what seemed to be the coolest looking green glowing
tubes at the Milan show. The green lighted tubes were such that the green glow
became wider the louder the music signal. A special circuit within the
Andrew75 makes a special, variable dampening factor according to frequency. In the lower frequencies the dampening is high, whereas in the upper frequencies
the dampening is low. Four 6550 tubes provide for 70 watts per channel. The 6BR5
(or EM80) are those groovy green glowers. YOWSER! The green glow-babies also
are used as "meters" for the biasing of the output tubes. MAN-O-MAN i want me some of this!!! 9,000,000 Lira
here folks and all this can be yours.
EXCLUSIVE WORLD'S FIRST: Sony's new DVP-9000ES DVD-Video/SACD
player was playing their proprietary SACD discs. While no price set (though maybe 3,000,000 Lira),
there are no plans for any Sony product to support the proper industry
standard DVD-Audio according to their Italy representative. This unit will
also play DVD-Video discs for the videophile. Availability should be sometime in November.
Also announced is one of Italy's own recording labels, foné, will soon
be offering eight SACD discs. In fact a multi-channel SACD disc of Vivaldi's
The Four Seasons will be released by foné and was made with the assistance
of the Philips engineers.
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