Wow, it is Monday already? Seems
like only yesterday we were finishing off our pre-show
report. Today we have
some really special goodies for you to see. And they are...
Having a Big Mac attack for tubes? Look no further than the McIntosh MC2102 tubed
stereo amplifier for 100 wpc. of glorious tube sound from eight KT88 output
tubes. The classic centrally-mounted Big Mc meters with flanking
knobs screams classic two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese,
pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
Speaking of classic, virtually nothing from England is more classic
than Quad. Their model II forty tube amplifiers uses two KT88 and a 5U4 driver to produce 40
wpc. Also seen here is their QC twenty four pre-amplifier. The whole package
will set you back £4,000.
Manley Labs were thoroughly covered in our
pre-show report, though we felt you would like to see a "live"
photo of the Steelhead phono stage and Manley Wave DAC. Enjoy!
In the Manley Labs room were the wonderful Coincident Speaker
Technology Total Eclipse ($7,999, leftmost loudspeaker) and Partial Eclipse ($2,999). The Total Eclipse is 94 dB/w/m
sensitive and presents a mere 14 ohm load so tube heads will love it! Frequency response is 24Hz to 30kHz. The
Partial Eclipse is 91dB/W/m sensitive with a flat 8 ohm load. Frequency is 30Hz to 22kHz.
The tweeter and midrange drivers are completely sealed within their own
compartment. The side-firing woofers help to reduce the front width of the
cabinet to enhance the imaging capabilities.
Audes had their Poseidon loudspeaker ($10,000) that employs the popular Seas Millennium
tweeter. Meanwhile the other drivers are all custom made within their own factory.
The internal hookup wire is the DH Labs Silver Sonic while the loudspeaker cable and interconnects were from Silversmith. Crossover components include Hovland and
Bring a powerful amplifier as the sensitivity is only 88 dB/W/m while it
presents a 6 ohm resistance load.
The new company, Threshold Pro, is going to release this amplifier shortly that is along the lines of the old Threshold T300
amplifier and be priced at approximately $8,000. While the new Threshold will
not honor the warranty older products, a representative did say that they
might honor some warranty claims on a case by case basis. The only real
connection between the old Threshold and the new one is that the new company
paid a lot of money to buy out the old Threshold name and designs. Like many
solid-state amplifiers, the output devices in the old models are no longer
available (score one for forty year old tube amplifiers whose tubes are readably
available today). Therefore if you own an old Threshold amplifier and the
output devices fail, you may need to change them all the new, different
devices that will surely change the performance of the amplifier (for better
Looking drop dead gorgeous is the JJ Electronic 322 stereo
amplifier. With two 300B tubes per channel operating in parallel, it
produces 20 wpc. For those with only one source component, a front knob allows
for volume adjustment. JJ Electronic also had their JJ828 stereo amplifier
that uses the KT88 output tube.
Good ol' Nagra had their MPA amplifier ($12,000) and PL-L
wireless remote controllable preamplifier ($6,800, seen above). We gave the
world a first look at the PL-L in our Milan 2000 show
Going into my personal "is it real or just a fairy
tale" is the Western Electric 91-C monoblock amplifier ($16,000/pr). i
remember hearing about Western Electric making new tubes other than the 300B
many years ago and so far no results. As for the 91-C, i am not holding my
Genesis Technologies' new 450XS loudspeakers ($20,000) feature two G-929 woofers, an
amazing all new 24" midrange ribbon and four Genesis G-SAT 1000 watt servo amplifiers.
Frequency response is an amazing 18 Hz to 36 kHz (+-3dB). Each speaker weighs
in at 200 lbs.
Roland Design Group's new Concerto ($4,000 or so) is an 80 wpc. solid-state integrated amplifier.
This is basically a smaller version of their Concentra II 150 wpc. integrated
amplifier at a more attractive price.
Linn's new Komri is their no-compromise flagship loudspeaker. The Komri is a five-way
loudspeaker employing one very high frequency driver, one tweeter driver, a midrange driver,
an upper bass driver and two
long-throw active bass drivers. Each bass driver is coupled to independent power
amplifiers that employ Servo Bass Management for clean, deep bass reproduction.
Alon's new Exotica Grand Reference System as in our pre-show
report. They sounded incredible... even in the smallish room at CES.
Smooth bass, extended highs and a lively midrange.
B-b-b-bad. Bad to the bone John Curl of CTC Builders.
Wickedly cool Blue Room loudspeakers ($449 on up) and their Minipod
woofer (approximately $500) were among the coolest looking loudspeaker at the
Friends, Romans and Countrymen, lend me your ear. The EAR M100A
to be exact. As we have been so thorough in our pre-show
report, it is hard to add to what we already said about the EAR M100A.
Tim de Paravicini, designer extraordinaire for EAR.
Basis Audio Vector tonearm ($2,000 or so) employs various levels of viscous
dampening to achieve high-performance in vinyl playback. The Vector will fit
into standard Basis arm boards such as those for the RB250, 300 and 900.
Possibly the funkiest horns at the show goes to the folks at TLG Acoustics.
Their TLG Series 3 ($45,000) has the most unique bass horn mated with the more
normal midrange, tweeter and supertweeter.
TLG Acoustic's more, um, normal Series 4 ($19,000) loudspeaker seems to a
psudo D'Appolito design with a centrally located tweeter with top and bottom
flanking midrange drivers. A side-firing 18" subwoofer provides lower
The new Cardas loudspeaker terminal CPBP (Cardas Patented Binding
Post) was seen on quite a few new amplifier at the show. It will securely hold
loudspeaker spade lugs by turning the large knob. No tools needed to tighten
and loosen your cables.
Technical guru Robert Harley.
Click here to see
a complete listing of
specialty high-end audio show exhibitors.
Click here to see last
year's show coverage.