Today was the first official day
of the show. Here is some "face time" with some of the great press/writers/people
Kal Rubenstein of Stereophile fame and Len Schneider who has written
many wonderful articles in various industry magazines.
John Wyckoff of Enjoy the Music.com™
Jim Saxon and Todd Warkne of Enjoy the Music.com™.
Yes, you read that right. The ever popular Jim and Todd are now writers for
our Review Magazine. Welcome aboard dudes!
Gene Pitts of The Audiophile Voice
Dawn Gordon from CompuServe fame. Many years ago, before the Newsgroups were
popular, there were quite a few of us who thoroughly enjoyed the CompuServe
audio discussion board. At that time Dawn Gordon was the head moderator.
Steve Stone, Barbara Dwyer and John Gannon
Home Theater magazine.
Kore-eda Lab 2658B monoblock amplifier (approximately $25,000/pr.)
are designed by the legendary in Japan Shigeharu Kore-eda. He has been building
custom tube amplifiers for well over 20 years. During this time he has earned
great respect from Japanese manic audiophiles. The above unit uses two 300B
output tubes to produce 16 watts in push-pull operation. Custom transformers
plus the highest and most musically synergist components are used throughout
the entire design.
Seen above is the Kore-eda Lab 2660B pre-amplifier
(approximately $27,500) employs six 12AU6 tubes to achieve 12.2dB of gain with
a low distortion rating of less than 0.02%% at one volt output. Surprisingly,
for an audiophile product, there are tone controls! A +-12dB at 50Hz and
+-10dB at 15kHz for making adjustments to your music. Frequency response is
claimed at an outstanding 3Hz to 100kHz (-2dB).
As seen within our last year's CES/T.H.E. Show
coverage, the 47 Labs Pitracer
CD transport (approximately $25,000) is once again being displayed. It has
been further refined by Junji Kimura to be the ultimate CD transport. The CD
remains still as the entire laser pickup system moves on the side rails as necessary.
This system is said to insure a perfect 90 degree angle to even those discs
that are cut off center. Four digital SPDIF (two RCA, two BNC) and an AES/EBU
output are included. Seen above in the silver brushed aluminum finish, while a
black anodized aluminum finish is also available.
Hovland has an officially nameless amplifier, tentatively called the
Sapphire ($7,800), that produces 40-45 wpc using two EL34 output tubes and one
12AU7 for driver duties per channel. This unit consists of a solid-state input
mated to a tube output circuitry. The output transformers are custom made
while partial point to point wiring is used to insure signal purity. The round
Pyrex glass cylinders looked way cool around the tubes while they are
illuminated in a lovely blue light. This unit is also bridgeable for monoblock use.
As seen in our extensive pre-show report,
deHavilland had their Aries-845 center and the Aries-572.
Buggtussel's Amygdala loudspeaker ($2,999/pr) is named after part of the human brain anatomy.
Just think about that one! The cabinet design is a combination of partial transmission line.
One 7" midrange/woofer and a 1" tweeter give the Amygdala a rated
frequency response of 32Hz to 22kHz. Sensitivity is claimed as 91 dB/w/m. The tweeter
is 24k gold coated (vapor deposited) and has a rear chamber that is specially tuned for
The Messenger Line pre-amplifier ($25,000) is a modular design
with twelve tubes in the separate outboard power supply. An unusual assortment
of two 0B2, 12BY7, 5AR4 and 6AS7 are used to supply power to the tubed
pre-amplifier circuitry that uses one 6AS7 and one 6829 per channel. Just to
give you an idea how serious a unit we are talking about, the power supply
weighs in at 74 lbs.!
You can see the Messenger Line pre-amplifier in Bright Star audio's
impressive new Gibraltar 4 rack ($999). The wood accents really looked
OS Services Inc. was filled with the Jean Marie Reynaud Offrande monitors
($4,295 including stand), Audion Golden Dream Level 6 amplifier ($15,795) and
the cool blue center monoblock amplifier by Cadence called the Canasya ($24,995) as first seen worldwide on
our Hi-Fi News show back in 1999.
As Enjoy the Music.com™ was the
first to break the news about the new Lehmann Audio Black Cube power supply
($275, seen right) in our pre-show report, it can be
added to any existing unit for a vast gain in power supply quality. The bare board
to the left is soon to be Lehmann Audio's new Silver Cube phono stage that will be enclosed
inside an aluminum case. It uses high-quality Musicaps and other top-flight components. Retail
for the new Silver Cube will be around $1,350 and include a better power supply than the
one offered as an upgrade for the existing Black Cube!
Kirksaeter were making some good sounds with their Silverline 60 compact bookshelf
loudspeakers ($698/pr). These small units are only 7.5 x 10.5 x 11.5 (HxWxD) include
a 15cm coated carbon fiber midrange/woofer and a 25mm soft metal dome
tweeter. They were placed near the rear wall and were indeed making some
surprisingly good sound for their diminutive size.
In the Granite Audio room was their 860.1 DECO monoblock amplifier
($24,700/pr). Two KT88 output tubes per monoblock amplifiers with zero feedback
can be operated in either triode or pentode mode. An Alps attenuator is mounted on the top
plate so that it can be used without a pre-amplifier for those with a single
source music reproduction system. All internal wiring is of the hand
soldered point to point variety.
Tenor Audio's new Classic line includes the 75 Wi OTL (output
transformer less) monoblock integrated amplifier ($18,600). Very high quality
components are used throughout including the Elna stepped attenuator (24 steps). It produces 75 wpc. using the Russian 6C33C-B output tube. The input tube is the 6H30P
and the 6H6P tubes. A special 60 second delay soft start circuitry insures
that the tube heaters are at the proper operating temperature before fully
powering the output tube. This extends the operating life of the tube.
Tyler Acoustics Taylo stand mounted Reference Monitor
($2,450/pr.) uses a 6.5" Seas midrange/woofer and Scanspeak Revelator
1" dome tweeter. The large floorstanding Lynnbrook Signature system
($6,000/pr.) have two separate enclosures. The lower unit holds two 8"
Seas magnesium cone woofers while the top unit has a 1" Seas Millennium
tweeter flanked above and below by a 6.5" Seas magnesium cone midrange
driver. Hovland capacitors and Alpha Core inductors are joined by Cardas wire,
solder and binding posts. Frequency response is claimed as 25 Hz to 25 kHz
with a 92 dB/w/m sensitivity.
A trio of tonearms from Mørch.
In the Hammer Dynamics room was their Super 12 ($575 in kit form which includes
everything but the cabinet). Cabinet plans are included as is an extensive
manual. This is a full-range unit with a 12" driver covering the
frequencies from 40 Hz to 10 kHz while the tweeter covers from 10 kHz on up. Front end
amplification was by ElectraPrint. Cabling is by a new company called Zu Cable. According to Sean
Casey of Zu Cable, their cables "are fun".
The now in production audioharma Cable Cooker 2.0 ($649) is
said to greatly improve cables and power conditioners through the use of sophisticated
circuitry that sends a watt of power through interconnects and 22 watts for
loudspeaker cables. It can also be used with power filters to further enhance
Click here to see
a complete listing of
specialty high-end audio show exhibitors.
Click here to see last
year's show coverage.