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CES 2015 Show Report & Live Streaming Coverage by Enjoy the Music.com
CES 2015 Preview Report -- Part 6

Wireworld Cable Technology Nano Series

  Wireworld Cable Technology is releasing their Nano series of ultra light and flexible audio cables for headphones and portable audio devices at CES 2015 (Venetian suite 29-104) and Starlight Ethernet CAT7a cable. The Nano series will include four level options, each of which utilizes patented Wireworld technology. All four Nano cables use patented DNA Helix design with eight signal conductors to channel the electromagnetic signal energy more efficiently. They also utilize Wireworld's proprietary Composilex 2 insulation that is said to minimize triboelectric noise. Featuring carbon fiber plugs, DNA Helix conductor geometry and Ohno Continuous Cast solid silver conductors, Nano-Platinum Eclipse has a suggested price of $500 (1.5m). Nano-Silver Eclipse features OCC silver-clad copper conductors at $220 (1.5m). The Nano-Eclipse has OCC copper conductors and sells for $160 (1.5m). With molded plugs and OFC conductors, Pulse brings the advantages of the Nano series down to popular pricing at $40 (1.5m). The Nano cables are available with mini jacks, RCA plugs, as well as the most popular headphone terminals in a variety of standard and custom lengths.

Wireworld Cable Technology Starlight Ethernet CAT7a Cable

Wireworld Cable Technology's Starlight CAT7a high performance Ethernet cable is for high speed media network applications. This cable utilizes a new internal structure developed by Wireworld to provide a claimed higher transmission speed "for the most lifelike reproduction of streamed music and video". Starlight's internal design provides greater separation between the four conductor pairs to provide lower crosstalk, supporting higher transmission speeds than other designs. The cable also utilizes Wireworld's proprietary Composilex 2 insulation to minimize triboelectric noise. Factory terminated Starlight 7a cables will feature state-of-the-art Z-Max RJ45 plugs by Siemon Corporation, a world leader in multi-gigabit network cable technology. The refined transmission properties afforded by the combination of these technologies ensures high performance in signal transmission. "Media networks have become the backbone of modern home entertainment systems," comments Wireworld President and founder David Salz. "Starlight's superior transmission speed and reduced noise provide clear improvements in sound and image quality."


Rogers LS3/5a Speaker

Dared Audio International will be at CES 2015 (Venetian suite 29-128) as the exclusive distributor for the line of UK designed BBC licensed loudspeakers from Rogers. A true treasure sought by many audiophiles, the Model LS3/5a bookshelf was licensed to commercial speaker companies for production, with the original Rogers version appearing in 1975. In the days, the 65th Anniversary Edition of the legendary LS3/5A bookshelf speaker ($1800) joins the company's LS5/9A studio speaker ($3800), of which 50,000 units were sold. In fact it is considered as one of the top 3 of 100 speakers ever produced with that “British natural sound”. Since 1993 all Rogers loudspeakers were manufactured by Rogers High Fidelity in Hong Kong. Roger's LS3/5 is a two-way design with a frequency response from 70 Hz to 20 kHz, sensitivity os 83dB/W/m and it presents an 11 Ohm load. A 19mm tweeter is mated to a 138mm midrange/bass driver. The cabinet is made with 10mm birch multi-ply in red cherry color and the LS3/5 comes with a Black Tygan grill cover.


Meridian Audio Explorer2 Portable USB DAC

Meridian Audio's Explorer2 portable, compact and rugged USB DAC is capable of delivering high quality audio including the company's newly announced MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) lossless audio files. Building on the original Explorer, the new model features a significantly more powerful DSP capability than it predecessor. It is this advanced Meridian-designed digital signal processing, which enables the Explorer2 to decode and render the MQA format, delivering authenticated master-quality replay. Designed and handmade in the UK, Explorer2 employs audiophile-grade components throughout. The elegant all-metal enclosure houses a six-layer circuit board and the compact unit weighs just 50 grams. Meridian's Explorer2 upsamples all input signal to 176.4/192kHz and includes Meridian's proprietary apodising filter. The up-sampling and apodising technologies are inherited from Meridian’s award winning Reference 800 Series and they correct errors in the original digital recordings while "helping improve the quality of standard recordings". Meridian Audio's Explorer2 is simple to use and install in virtually any computer with a USB port.


Griffin Technology Twenty

Griffin Technology will be at CES 2015 (North Hall booth 4310) with their award-winning Twenty digital audio stereo amplifier ($149). The new Twenty connects to your speakers and streams music from any handheld Bluetooth-enabled device or via optical TosLink input, giving you the convenience of streaming music throughout the home or office wirelessly. It also has a stereo 3.5 mm jack for analog input. Named for its 20 Watts per channel via a Class D TI PurePath amplifier, the Twenty provides Bluetooth streamed music including AAC / aptX and has a analog subwoofer output. With Twenty's single-button design, all you have to do is press the Quick Connect button on the front to reconnect a previously paired device and start listening immediately. Connect the included optical cable to an Apple TV, Airport Express, CD transport, computer or video game console for optical TosLink audio. The clean minimal visual aesthetic combines thoughtful industrial design with recognizable function, all the way down to the brushed aluminum volume knob.


Marshall Headphones will be at CES 2015 with their just-announced Major II classic looking headphones ($120). The Major II kicks up its performance a few notches over previous Marshall Headphone models via updated sound, looks and durability, as well as improved ergonomics. Their Major II has advanced sound features including customized drivers to deliver deeper bass and more extended detailed highs with a refined midrange and overall lower distortion. The detachable double-ended coil cord with microphone and remote is equipped with an L-plug end. This gives the Major II improved durability and carrying ease. The dual 3.5 mm jacks allow you to choose which side you prefer to wear your cable on or to plug in and share your music with a friend. The Major's already classic good looks has been redesigned for the Major II with a more rounded construction and extra durable vinyl finish. Newly constructed hinges and headband design allow for a better fit too. Marshall has increased the flexibility of the ears caps to rotate more freely, whilst the Major II adapts to your head shape for increased comfort during those long listening sessions.


Keith Monks Audio Works discOvery mini One Sapphire Record Cleaning Machine

The new limited edition Keith Monks Audio Works discOvery mini One Sapphire ($3795) will be at CES 02015 (Venetian suite 29-139) celebrating 45 years of the original Keith Monks Record Cleaning Machine. Their new discOvery mini One Sapphire Limited Edition Record Cleaning Machine takes many of the benefits of the discOveryOne launched in 2013 and then improves on it. The Sapphire is the smallest ever Keith Monks and features a vacuum gauge, hinged lid cover and the Keith Monks Classic precision wash system built in. Each Sapphire machine comes with a certificate and are individually numbered, and both display a reproduction Keith Monks original signature. The discOvery mini One Sapphire is a limited edition of 45 production units worldwide. Key features os the Keith Monks discOvery mini One include a relatively compact footprint, a retro sports car style vacuum gauge, new hinged lift-up smoked translucent lid cover, and a deep blue cabinet


Astell&Kerns AK500N Networked NAS And Audio Player / Disc Ripper
's AK500N will be showcased during CES 2015, and wasfirst shown in prototype within Enjoy the Music.com's T.H.E. Show Newport 2014 report. As the company's Ultimate MQS network audio player, the Astell&Kern AK500N handles everything from lossy compressed MP3 to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD 2.8 MHz and 5.6 MHz. The AK500N includes a handy four-bay SSD (solid-state drive) NAS unit to store TBs of audio files. The AK500N is the first desktop network audio product from Astell&Kern that truly combines advanced digital technology with analog sound, thus embracing and implementing the culmination of their experience and know-how. One-click CD-ripping and perfect noise isolation through battery-only operation is assured. PCM to DSD conversion is said to be "faithful to the original sound and excellent compatibility with a wide range of devices." The NAS section employs standard DLNA networking and is combined with high-reliability SSD storage. By using a highly-optimized ripping engine, the AK500N provides users with flawless CD rips through enhanced jitter and error correction support. The highest sound quality is captured with enhanced jitter correction and excellent CD track error detection and correction. There are two speeds for ripping (Normal / Fast) and the audio tracks can be saved in either WAV or FLAC. In addition, Album art and music data are automatically imported from Gracenote's latest music database. Another consideration within the Astell&Kern AK500N is that AC power can be problematic, and thus the AC power supply is a point of entry for unwanted external noise and exit for device noise. Thus the unit is designed to use a built-in battery for noise isolation. The AK500N physically blocks noise generated in the AC power supply to prevent sound degradation at all levels. Music playback on the AK500N is achieved with a 10,400mAh 7.4V Li-Ion battery-only operation. The SMPS (Switched Mode Power Supply) employed within the AK500N is claimed to be "an outstanding device with a Level 5 efficiency rating. The noise-sensitive power ripple noise is below 50mVp-p at full load (5A)".Plyaback time via battery is rated at about 7 hours. The AK500N features a dedicated DSD chipset for DSD playback and converts PCM file to DSD64 data through audio engine of Astell&Kern. Of note is that the AK500N converts high-resolution 32-bit/384kHz WAV PCM and 24-bit/352kHz FLAC PCM file to DSD64. In addition, real time PCM file to DSD64 data playback available. For storage, the Astell&Kern AK500N features multi-level cell (MLC) SSD rather than a triple-level cell (TLC) SSD for increased durability and reliability. The vibration noise generated by conventional HDDs has said to be completely eliminated. Storage options include 1TB, 2TB and 4TB SSD units within the four-bay structure. For data security assurance, RAID 0 and 5 capabilities have been optimized for each drive capacity. The AK500N supports a wide range of inputs and outputs including digital inputs and outputs being XLR-based AES/EBU, RCA-based S/PDIF coaxial, TosLink optical and S/PDIF via BNC. Analog outputs include a 1/4" stereo headphone jack with dedicated amplifier and both Fixed stereo set and Variable stereo set of balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA at 10V and 7.5V respectively. The AK500N has a 7" WXGA (1280 x 800) touchscreen for control, and handles WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE (Normal, High, Fast), AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSD and DSF. Internal DAC is a pair of Cirrus Logic CS4398. For USB, there are two Type A and a single Type B. Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz) and Ethernet 10/100/1000 is included. Dimensions are 214 x 243 x 238 (WxHxD in mm) and the unit weighs 25 lbs. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Blue Note Award earning Astell&Kern AK120 and reviewed the Blue Note awarded AK240.


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