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International CES 2008 Show Report
Consumer Electronics Show 2008 Report & Coverage
Consumer Electronics Show 2008 Preview

Marten  FormSeries LoudspeakersMarten FormSeries will be at the 2008 CES and represents a new concept of loudspeaker design from Leif Marten Olofsson, chief designer and founder of this Swedish manufacturer. Some of the goals were to create a beautiful and simple geometrical form that would fit into the interior of any contemporary home, yet provide the high-end sound quality and cabinetry. The lineup includes the FormSub, FormFloor and FormCentre (3100€, 4500€, and 2100€ respectively). The FormFloor and FormCentre models are two way loudspeakers that employ a pure ceramic bass/mid driver and ribbon tweeter. The triangular configuration of the FormFloor and FormCentre models is acoustically optimized to allow the speakers to totally disappear within the soundstage. The finishes are piano lacquer in five different colors/woods. The powerful FormSub model contains a 10-inch extremely long throw driver that is powered with a 400 watt Class D amplifier.

Lansche Audio No.8 Loudspeaker

Lansche Audio, manufacturer of the Corona plasma tweeter, will debut their new No.8 loudspeaker ($100,000) at THE Show 2008. This truly staggering statement piece features a newly updated Corona plasma tweeter, four passive 8-inch mid-bass drivers and four active 12-inch subwoofers all in a sealed cabinet. Each subwoofer has its own internal 300 watt analog power amplifier. The mid-bass drivers have paper composite cones and a moving mass of a mere 8 grams each while the subwoofers have Nomex-Kevlar-Glassfibre composite cones. The Corona plasma tweeter uses a crossover at 2.5kHz and mid-basses are at 80Hz with network components from Duelund and Mundorf. Frequency response is 20Hz to 150kHz with a sensitivity of 99dB/W/m and impedance is 8 Ohms. The cabinet is finished with matched real wood veneers and several layers of polyester clear lacquer.


Nagra Audio VPS PhonostageNagra Audio  will be at the 2008 Consumer Electronic Show with their new VPS (from £3600) dedicated phono preamplifier. This low-level phono preamplifier is said to be "of uncompromising sonic quality, excellent flexibility, unparalleled precision, and robustness synonymous with the Nagra brand the world over" according to the press release. The VPS circuit is based on the phono section of the full-function PL-P preamplifier that was introduced by Nagra in 1997. However, the VPS offers a considerable number of design enhancements to take performance to a much higher level by changing a number of key components as well as having more space to implement the circuit, thereby limiting crosstalk between channels. The new input transformers and cartridge loading system offer improved transient performance and lower noise floor, and the miniature plug-in boards enable customizing cartridge loading to specifically match a cartridge's loading requirements exactly. The VPS comes standard with one MC input board, while a second MC or MM board can be added. Output is selectable between low and high gain; the low gain output derives its signal directly from the tube gain stage, and where more gain is required due to low cartridge output or preamplifier gain, a discrete solid- state buffered output can be engaged. Overall gain can be adjusted between 50dB and 64dB, allowing cartridges with outputs as low as 0.1mV to be used.


Concert Fidelity CF-080LS Hybrid Linestage PreamplifierSilicon Arts will be introducing some new products at CES 2008 under both Silicon Arts Design and Concert Fidelity brands. These new include the Concert Fidelity CF-080LS hybrid linestage preamplifier (pictured) and Silicon Arts Design ZL-120 solid-state monoblock amplifier, both of which were recently reviewed by Dick Olsher in the December issue of Enjoy the Music.com Superior Audio magazine. Also new is the Concert Fidelity SPA-4B phono equalizer (approximately $14,000) as a very limited edition being manufactured for only two months. Also showing will be their Concert Fidelity DAC-040 hybrid DAC and Silicon Arts Design ZF-80 stereo power amplifier (approximately $16,000). Both brands features the artistry of chief designer Masataka Tsuda, who has been designing and building vacuum tube and solid-state electronics for over 35 years.


Harbeth Monitor M40.1 Reference LoudspeakerHarbeth is unveiling its new Monitor M40.1 reference loudspeaker ($10,995) during CES 2008. The new three-way builds on the very best of the original Monitor 40, which was designed as BBC's broadcast monitor and direct drop-in replacement for the famous LS5/8. The new Harbeth-design bass unit in the M40.1 has a low-frequency response perfect for more 'lively' environments, such as typical living rooms. As part of the thorough design process, a prototype M40.1 was carefully evaluated in the BBC research department's anechoic chamber at Kingswood Warren in Surrey. Also of note is the new and new RADIAL midrange driver, said to be another excellent improvement and provides highly realistic sound reproduction.


Lamm Industries ML3 Signature Power AmplifierLamm Industries now offers their ML3 Signature power amplifier ($139,290.00/pair) and it will be showcased at the CES 2008. The ML3 Signature is a single-ended tube amplifier with a separate power supply using a powerful directly-heated triode called the GM-70. The ML3 Signature features 32 watts of zero overall feedback, operates in pure Class A power, and uses a special circuit topology with one of the most sophisticated power supplies in audio. Lamm Industries says that the amplifier's innovative circuitry allows one to hear the original spectral balance and harmonic structure of the recorded material without losing the smallest of detail and nuance. Of not is the custom-made output transformer of the highest quality and unique front-end and output stages, plus the sophisticated power supply, allows the ML3 Signature drive most real-world-load speakers. 


Usher Audio Be-718 LoudspeakerUsher Audio will be at the CES 2008 showcasing their new Be-718 monitor loudspeaker ($2,795 per pair without stands). Featuring Ushers' own 1.25-inch Be beryllium dome tweeters and carbon-impregnated paper-cone midbass drivers, the specialized tweeter is created by heating beryllium formers to greater than 700 degrees, then transforming them into brittle but extremely high-strength beryllium oxide. It is said this ceramic's enormous strength-to-weight ratio pushes the Be dome tweeter's transient response to an extraordinary level while minimizing distortion as no fabric-dome can claim. Naturally Usher has employed their Symme-Motion® technology to the drivers, which symmetrically locates the voice coil within each driver's magnetic field 'linearizing' the motor's movements. With none other than loudspeaker guru Dr. Joseph D'Appolito serving Usher as their technical consultant, providing guidance in crossover design, the new Usher Audio Be-718 should be an extremely promising engineering feat. The cabinet is crafted with wood panels for a luxurious look not usually found in loudspeakers at this price range.


MBL of America's CES 2008 feature will be the unveiling of their 101X-Treme statement loudspeaker ($199,000/pr). Said to be "significantly better our 101E Radialstrahler" according to the press release, the new MBL 101X-Treme employs three pulsating spheres. With two each for bass, midrange, and high frequencies as a starting point, MBL's engineers and craftspeople created this massive four-tower speaker system with mirror-imaged omni-directional Radialstrahler driver arrays supported by an armature of acrylic, steel, and wood plus lacquered woofer columns house a quartet each of proprietary 12-inch bass drivers. The entire array weighs in at 3600 lbs and requires 30 days to fabricate and calibrate. Note that only two sets will be available for purchase in the United States for 2008 delivery.


Coincient Frankenstein M 300B SET Monoblock AmplifierCoincident will be at the 2008 CES proudly introducing their Pure Reference, and Total Eclipse IV loudspeakers ($22,000 and $14,999 respectively) plus their Dragon 211PP and Frankenstein M 300B SET monoblock amplifiers ($8999/pr and $5599/pr respectively). The M300B Frankenstein MK II zero feedback monoblock amplifiers are built to the absolute highest standard with all connections being hardwired, 6N copper output and power transformers, V caps, and self biasing network. The three tube configuration consist of a 6EM7 input driver, 300B output, and 5U4 rectifier. Output power is 8 watts per monoblock with a frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz. Measurements are 12 x 15 x 6 (DxWxH in inches) and weights in at 32 lbs. each. The 211PP Dragon monoblocks employs the same construction techniques plus use no coupling caps in the signal path. Internal parts include Teflon capacitors within the cathode bias circuit, 1500V polypropylene power supply capacitors, Alps volume control, red metal film 1% resistors, and auto bias circuitry. Tube compliment is a 6EM7 super tube for input, 300B for driver, and dual 211 output tubes in a push pull configuration. The unit produces 80 wpc, has a frequency response from 15Hz to 25kHz and weights in at a very hefty 65 lbs.


FurutechFurutech, manufacturer of analog and digital audio and video cable plus accessories, will be at the CES 2008 show. They plan to have their full line of high performance cables, power connectors, award-wining accessories, OEM parts, and power distribution/filtering systems. New products at the CES include power connectors and a new range of audiophile fuses and many new accessories for both analog and digital playback.


Loiminchay Audio Chagall LoudspeakerLoiminchay Audio will be showcasing three of their loudspeakers at the 2008 Consumer Electronic Show. Loiminchay Audio speakers are artisan-crafted from carefully shaped solid layers of Birch MultiPly bored out and finished inside and out with sixteen coats of the finest lacquer available for exceptional appearance and finish. Designed in New York by Loiminchay's owner Patrick Chu, and lovingly crafted in China, all units feature a custom diamond tweeter and ceramic midrange. The Degas ($15,000/pr on up depending on options and finish) is a stand-mounted monitor featuring a sand-filled stand with binding posts conveniently set near the base for clean cable aesthetics and produces bass down to 35Hz. A 6.5-inch ceramic midrange driver and a sparkling 1-inch diamond tweeter brings uppermost frequencies to 27kHz, with an option for top-line diamond tweeter to achieve 50kHz. The Chagall ($35,000/pr on up depending on options and finish) goes the Degas one better with a turned-out bass cabinet with 8-inch woofer. Inside the voluptuously-shaped cabinet is substantial bracing and premium lamb's wool. The Chagall extends down to 28Hz with options for standard or top-line diamond tweeter. Loiminchay's top-of-the-line Kandinsky ($45,000 on up, pictured right) features a gracefully-curved 19-inch wooden horn driven by a custom 2-inch beryllium high-compression driver. The bass unit carries both a special 10-inch midbass and 12-inch woofer with carefully time-aligned crossovers. The 12-inch driver is mounted on a 1-inch concrete plinth covered with fine leather. The Kandinsky goes down to 30Hz with 90dB/W/m efficiency at 8 Ohms and includes a bi-wired silver internal wiring harness.


Cyrus Audio AV MasterCyrus Audio will be debuting many new audio and A/V models at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show 2008. One of the newest models being introduced is the AV Master 8.0 is a sophisticated, configurable 7.1 channel AV system amplifier that includes a 7.1 channel preamplifier, up-sampling multi input DAC and 3 channels of user configurable power amplification. The 3 channels of amplification can be user configured, as this flexible approach allows users to assign the amplifier channels to fit whatever system design you have today, and they can be reassigned if users choose to add more loudspeakers in the future.


Perfect8 The Force LoudspeakerPerfect8 will be attending the CES 2008 to debut their flagship loudspeaker called The Force. Featuring 'Super Silent Glass' technology with gold and glass construction, The Force is a sleek contemporary audio work of art. Weighing in at about 200 Kg per channel and standing an impressive 2 meters high, The Force is composed of two towers fed through separate super quality passive crossovers encased in matching boxes of semitransparent glass. The low end is delivered by a quartet of subwoofers each with dual 12-inch custom modified drivers, fed by a custom active filter. Midrange frequencies are produced by eight 7-inch drivers while uppermost frequencies are produced by a 1600mm ribbon with FEM-optimized neodymium magnet system. System sensitivity is 90dB/W/m.


Wavelength Audio Royal DHT Line PreamplifierWavelength Audio will be showcasing many new products at the upcoming Consumer Electronic Show 2008. Seen here is the Royal directly heated triode (DHT) line preamplifier. The Royal is the only all DHT preamplifier available in the world according to the company. All three of the inputs are isolated by a custom MagneQuest input transformer. The input selected is fed to the 71A Directly Heated Triode via a Penny and Giles volume control (or optionally a remote motorized volume control). The 71A provides 9dB of gain and low output impedance. The high voltage is created from a 6V4/EZ80 tube rectifier and several stages of Black Gate Capacitors. Also to be shows at the CES 2008 will be the Corona Series SET amplifiers available in VT52, 300B, PX4/RE604 and 6A3/6B4G. This series is designed to accommodate DHT triodes that require DC heaters. Like the Cardinal we used the 5AR4 rectifier and the WE417/5842A input tube. Each amplifier is available in standard, enhanced (higher grade magnetics and capacitors) or silver outputs. In the case of amplifiers that require NOS tubes the price is available on request. Also to be seen at CES 2008 will be the Proton 24/96 LiIon USB DAC with headphone output. The Proton is completely portable and supports 24 bit data rates at 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96 kHz.


High-end audio manufacturer Linn will be offering their new Akurate DS ($6850) digital music server. The Linn Akurate DS provides audiophile-quality music digitally streamed throughout a home or business via a standard network connection. The Akurate DS also integrates seamlessly with other Akurate components for complete control of the entire system through a wireless touch panel, PC, laptop or IR handset. Audio file formats supported include FLAC, WAV plus other formats. The first unveiling will be at CES 2008.


NAD Masters Series M4NAD Electronics, manufacturer of high-performance audio/video components, will have a room at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas to show their new Masters Series M4 analog/digital tuner ($1299). The M4 combines a highly sensitive FM/AM tuning section with the latest digital technology including XM satellite radio input. While transparent Auto Tuning finds all the stations available in any given area, there is a 40-station preset memory which allows listeners to save their favorites. The two-line dot matrix with RDS capability shows information about all broadcasts from RDS-compliant channels, including station IDs and song and artist information. A double-tuned FM detector is included for low distortion and frequency response correction for the multiplex (MPX) filter, and to improve the audio frequency response without sacrificing the filter's ability to block out the pilot tone. A Mute function eliminates inter-station tuning noise while a Blend function reduces the noise from distant stations by reducing high-frequency separation. Additional features include audiophile-quality TI/Burr-Brown digital-to-analog converters, T/I Burr-Brown operational amps, and separate power supplies for the digital control and audio stages. An IR input on the rear panel for interfacing with external IR sensors, an RS-232 port, and a 12-Volt trigger all allow the M4 to be fully integrated with advanced automated control systems, including models certified by Crestron and AMX.


Pass Labs XA.5 Series Of AmplificationPass Laboratories, an audio innovator renowned for its unique high-performance products, will introduce the XA.5 series of power amplifiers at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (prices range from $5000 to $31,000). The XA.5 Series consists of five models: the XA200.5, the XA160.5, the XA100.5, the XA60.5 and XA30.5. All models offer significant improvements on their classic Pass Labs predecessors and are said to possess the dynamic range to do justice to the 24-bit recordings yet retain subtle nuances of micro-dynamics. The top-of-the-range XA30.5 provides larger output current capacity than corresponding models from Pass labs' earlier XA Series, with more than five times the current capability! All models feature pure Class A operation with circuitry that does not compensate for any type of high frequency by using little frequency roll-offs, lag capacitors, output coils, Zobel networks, or other techniques. The amplifiers are stable because they are simple gain stages with minimal feedback. Pass Labs replaced input differential MOSFETs with JFETs possessing much less noise, higher input impedance and greater linearity. A new bias generator was developed that eliminated three sources of variation in the output stage bias current. They improved the power supplies by adding storage capacitance, larger and quieter power transformers, and fast-recovery rectifiers. The XA30.5 amplifier ($5000), smallest model in the line, produces 30 wpc at 8 Ohms with 1 percent THD. Its input impedance is 30 kOhms balanced, 15 kOhms unbalanced, measures 19x7x19 (WxHxD in inches) and weighs 75 lbs. The top line XA200.5 monoblock amplifier ($31,00 per pair) drives 200 wpc at 8 Ohms with 1 percent THD. Its input impedance is 30 kOhms balanced, 15 kOhms unbalanced, measures 19x11x28 (WxHxD in inches) and weighs an impressive 180 lbs.


PS AudioPS Audio, manufacturers of both high-end audio and AC power products, has announced their PowerPlay line of globally accessible AC power control centers and a new network memory CD transport ($1499 for transport). PS Audio will be showcasing five models of their PowerPlay line of AC power conditioners at the upcoming CES 2008. The PowerPlay concept permits the complete control of an entire home theater system through any web based medium, including an iPhone or Blackberry phone from anywhere in the world. The system does not require special software nor a static IP and can be installed in under 60 seconds. PS Audio's memory transport, as of yet unnamed, is the first in a new series of network addressable audio equipment from the company. The transport features true Exact Audio Copy (EAC) data acquisition, full memory playback, low jitter fixed clock output, built in Digital Lens, variable bit rate for Red Book CD's with upwards of 24-bits, upgradeable CODECS, access to internet meta data sources to display both cover art and track titles, wireless, USB and Ethernet port access to the outside world. This slot loaded TEAC drive makes inserting discs easy as a soft nylon ESD brush set in the opening of the slot loading mouth dissipates any static charge on the disc before it gets read. Error correction reporting is stated on the front panel and will display the quality of the data on any particular disc. PS Audio's new transport has a front panel with two inch color LCD display which, when the unit is connected to an internet connection, will go out and locate the cover art and song titles on the disc being played and display it on the front panel. If not connected to the internet, it will display individual time codes and track numbers. There will be a single knob in the center of the unit and a few touch buttons. The knob can be used to scroll through the song titles as well as menu items. Menu items include variable bit length so you can choose 16, 20, or 24 bit length for any CD playing.


Waterfall Audio Victoria EVOWaterfall Audio, known worldwide for their glass-enclosure designs it distributes in 30 different countries, will demonstrate their unique Victoria EVO and Iguasçu EVO at the upcoming CES 2008 ($5400 and $3,900 per pair respectively). Waterfall's loudspeaker designs feature dramatic enclosures that are individually handcrafted entirely of glass, which produce the visual effect of drivers that seem to "float" invisibly in the room. The Victoria EVO and Iguasçu EVO are slim, pure-glass towers standing 40 inches high and 10 inches wide. The Victoria EVO (pictured) is a three-way/four-driver design and includes Waterfall's proprietary down-firing, 8.5-inch passive woofer. The Iguasçu stands 34-inches tall, 10-inches wide, and employs identical drivers including the passive woofer in a two-way/three-driver arrangement. Both models use a key Waterfall technology including the Acoustic Damping Tube (ADT), which performs near-total damping of mid- and low-frequency "back-wave" artifacts, and precise damping control of midrange reflections. Both models use the Atohm 6-inch bass/midrange and Atohm 0/75-inch silk dome tweeter.


Revolver Audio Cygnis Loudspeaker and Replay TurntableRevolver Audio has announced their for the Cygnis loudspeaker and Replay turntable will be appearing at the January Consumer Electronic Show (£6000 and £1500 respectively). Cygnis' Replay turntable benefits from three years of intensive research and development. While it employs the same acoustic principles as it's famous forbear, the Revolver Rebel, added benefits of new technology and materials are mated with modern esoteric styling. Revolver Audio's Cygnis loudspeaker is a three-way design and provides a high sensitivity of (91dB/W/m. Frequency response is from 45Hz to 22kHz (+/-3dB) and the hand-built crossover utilizes air cored inductors, custom polypropylene capacitors and silver plated OFC wiring. To ensure top quality sound, the crossover network is acoustically isolated in a dedicated enclosure to keep unwanted resonances away from the critical components. Bi-wireable inputs are via heavy duty nickel plated minimum resistance binding posts and the enclosure is available is Maple or Dark Cherry veneer.


Jaton HD-661DX SpeakerJaton, specialists in designing and manufacturing high-performance computer and consumer electronics products, will launch the new Operetta AP2300A high-performance amplifier and Lyra HD-661DX speaker at the CES 2008 ($5000 and $1600/pr respectively). The Operetta AP2300A stereo amplifier produces 300 wpc and operates in high-end Class A. Each part within the amplifier has been carefully chosen to provide top quality sound and long-term reliability. The Lyra HD-661DX speaker is Jaton's newest version of their well received monitor, yet now employs an updated the tweeter and bi-wire ability. This three-way unit produces frequencies all the way to 25 kHz. The new HD-661DX is said to produce a much larger soundstage than the previous version while keeping a smooth and very enjoyable midrange and highs.


Eventus Audio Lysithea LoudspeakerEventus Audio will be premiering at the 2008 International CES their Lysithea ($28,000) three-way loudspeaker that utilizes an evolution of the patented Simulated Anechoic Cabinet Construction [SACC] technology. SACC is said to reduces cabinet vibration and internal reflections to eliminate unwanted cabinet-causing distortions. The overall design is similar to a large stand mounted monitor; however, in place of a stand is an elegantly designed base with a captive low frequency driver. The crossover, located outside of the cabinet in the back of the loudspeaker, is damp-mounted in order to minimize the deleterious effects of the driver vibrations and its typology comes from the Eventus Audio's Nebula. A ring radiator tweeter and 5-inch carbon fiber cone midrange and mated with a 7.5-inch carbon fiber woofer to produce frequencies from 40Hz to 45kHz. Sensitivity is 89dB/W/m, weight is a staggering 99 lbs each, and dimensions are 42 x 12 x 21.5 (HxWxD in inches).


Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USBAm getting many press releases concerning the upcoming CES 2008, and one of them states that Audio-Technica will debut its QuietPoint ATH-ANC3 high-performance active noise-canceling in-ear headphones and AT-LP2D-USB LP-to-digital system. The ATH-ANC3 earphones are the newest member of the QuietPoint family, which also includes the award-winning ATH-ANC7 headphones. These new in-ear headphones use patented QuietPoint noise-cancellation technology to deliver superior performance and block 85 percent of outside noise. Audio-Technica will also have their new AT-LP2D-USB LP-to-digital recording system, a complete USB turntable and software package that makes it easy to transfer vinyl records to digital media files and CDs.


Pass Laboratories INT-150 Stereo Integrated AmplifierPass Laboratories will soon launch their INT-150 stereo integrated amplifier ($6,500) at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show. As the company's first integrated amplifier, the INT-150 is based on the company's acclaimed X-150.5 stereo amplifier. Design technology and refinements include Pass Labs' patented Super-Symmetry circuit, said to improve performance by precisely matching characteristics of the two halves of a balanced amplifier. The company says the INT-150 will boast an excellent dynamic range and fast response. Rated at 150 wpc into 8 Ohms (300 @ 4 Ohms), convenience features include a wireless remote control for power, mute, volume, balance, choosing between five inputs plus tape. The main power switch is also on the rear, but a convenient standby switch is available on the front panel. The INT-150 accepts four single-ended inputs via RCA connectors, and two balanced XLR inputs. Loudspeaker outputs are equipped with heavy-duty, international safety-rated, five-way binding posts.


Click here for main CES 2008 show coverage page.












































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