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CES 2000

Pluto 12a

  Seen above is the Pluto 12a special series 2 turntable. After two full years of careful development, the 12a uses aluminum, carbon fibre, ceramic compounds and stainless steel to offer exceptional vinyl replay. The bearing is a "hand built ball and diamond seated side bearing". The motor is continuously adjustable for 33.3 and 45 rpm playback. Suspension is via very a stiff spring mechanism. To reduce the effects of power supply instability from adversely upsetting the rotational speed, a battery supply PUS is employed. The 12a turntable is $6,800, the 5A tonearm is $4,300 and Pluto 1 cartridge is $4,600.


Contrary to the gossip, the Jeff Roland Design Group is in business and happily offering more of their critically acclaimed devices. Seen here is their new MC-6 ($15,800), six-channel amplifier. Capable of producing 150 wpc into six channels @ 8 ohm. This was quite a large unit and like other Jeff Roland amplifiers, it is built like a German tank. Both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) inputs are provided for with very high quality speaker binding posts included as well.


SAP Cinema

The wonderful Italians at SAP are now offering their Cinema ($2,500 for two channel, $5,100 five channel) an all tube modular five-channel amplifier. You can start with two channels of tube amplification and eventually add three more modular boards to complete this five channel unit. Claimed power output is 30 wpc with a frequency response of a super wide 18 Hz to 250 kHz.


SAP Anniversary Phono Stage

Seen above is the SAP Anniversary Phono Stage ($1,050) that mates with their Anniversary integrated OTL amplifier ($5,500) or can be used alone with external power supply ($500). When used with their Anniversary preamplifier, the electrical power is supplied to the phono stage via an umbilical cord. SAP is definitely a company to keep a close lookout for in your local stores.


Tetra Listening Instruments

Tetra Listening Instruments were showing (from left to right) their Rebel ($2,350), Live ($5,600), and Space ($3,500) triangle-shaped loudspeakers. All three are ported designs and use a 1" tweeter. The Rebel uses a 5" woofer driver while the Live employs a 8" driver. Meanwhile, the Space uses 6" driver.


Bright Star Audio now offers an Air Mass DVD ($149) platform to "decouple" your sensitive DVD player from external vibrations from adversely affecting your music reproduction system. They have now offer a Reference Series which utilizes new higher-grade polymers and multi-layer construction. Five different models are now offered including the Air Mass 2 Reference ($750), Air Mass 3 reference ($650), Big Rock 2 Reference ($500), Big Rock 3 Reference (($350) and Little Rock 2 reference ($500).


VAC Avatar

VAC's Avatar ($3,590) is a great retro-tube looking E34 based integrated amplifier. This fully integrated preamplifier/amplifier and includes a phono stage too! The phono stage handles both MM and high output MC cartridges. Multiple input capability, tape loop, and "home theater bypass mode" (which allows the amplification to be used more purely) are provided for. Speaking of amplification, push-pull EL34 pairs are used to produce a 60 wpc output. User selectable triode/ultra-linear operation is also included too. A wireless remote control is available for only $390.


Wavelength Audio Napoleon (front) and Mercury AV20 (rear)

Wavelength Audio were using their Napoleon (front) or  new Mercury AV20 (rear) on my new fave horn loudspeaker... the Avantgarde Acoustic Unos.  The Mercury AV20 is a single stage, single tube single-ended amplifier. Hmmm.. makes me glad i am a single, not married, guy. Seen here, it is using the highly desired Western Electric 437A driver tube. Also used in this system was the Nirvana cables (another favorite of mine). Nirvana now offers their all new S-X Ltd. interconnect cable which is claimed to achieve and even lower noise floor than their well received S-L model. Also new is their DC 110 AES-EBU digital cable.


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