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CES Preview & T.H.E. Show Preview 2011
CES 2011 & CES Coverage   The Home Entertainment Show (THE Show)
Consumer Electronics Show & T.H.E. Show 2011 Preview / Pre-Show Report

Blue Smoke Entertainment Systems Black BoxBlue Smoke Entertainment Systems, manufacturers of The Black Box ($6995) audiophile music server, has been selected by BAlabo-USA to showcase their world-class BD-1 DAC and award-winning BC-1 MK-II control preamplifier and BP-1 MK-II power amplifier at the Venetian Hotel room 35-310r. New 2011 updates for The Black Box include upgraded system software (Windows 7) and Auto Sample-Rate Selection (up to 24-bit/192kHz). The unique "hybrid" design of the Black Box marries an industry-standard platform, maximizing system upgradeability, integration and flexibility along with Blue Smoke's own proprietary software/hardware. The Black Box supports a wide variety of audio formats and sample rates (up to 24-bit/192kHz) through both Media Player & Media Center. Significant resources were allocated to create this powerful, extreme-ultra-low jitter, DSP design offering several exclusive features, including an on-board, hardware-based upsampler, as well as advanced word-clock synchronization. In addition to outputting 24-bit/192kHz through AES/EBU (cable included) and S/PDIF (via BNC) at ultra low rates of jitter, it also supports the MSB Network's proprietary I2S interconnect.


EgglestonWorks SavoyEgglestonWorks has announced its plans for the 2011 CES and will unveil and showcase several new models. For the first time in company history EgglestonWorks will have most of its line on display in its suite at the Venetian Hotel in Suite 30-310. The EgglestonWorks line currently consists of 15 models ranging in price from $2750 to $135,000. The extensive line will be represented at CES 2011 by current production models, The Savoy Signature ($55,000 per pair), The Andra III ($24,900.00 per pair), The Nine ($13,900 per pair), The Dianne ($3450 per pair) and The Katherine On-Wall ($3850.00per pair). New models on display will include the Fontaine Signature ($7890 per pair) as well as the world debut of the Rosa Signature (Price to be determined in March 2011). The company continues to update and enhance the line with the Signature Series treatment to current models. The Signature Series features aluminum side panels, aluminum baffle plates, re-engineered and enhanced crossover networks, new carbon fiber midrange drivers and the highest quality automotive-grade paint. The aesthetic statement the speaker makes is understated elegance, while also something that will demand a second look.


Nagra Audio 300i And 300p Stereo Tube AmplifiersNagra Audio will have their new 300i and 300p stereo tube amplifiers at the CES 2011. In parallel with the transistorized hi-fi equipment and professional digital audio recorders, Nagra Audio regularly develops new valve equipment. For 2011, Nagra 60th anniversary, it will pay respect to the mythical audio tube. Specifically, the 300B by launching two units designed around these tubes: the Nagra 300p power amplifier and the 300i integrated power amplifier. Nagra engineers have put the severity of the electronic precision in the center of the  specifications of the 300i and 300p. They have been particularly careful to achieve this objective by using a conception to purify the circuitry, without compromising elements of comfort and security, expected in modern equipment. Nagra has opted for a circuit design drawing a realistic power from the 300B to comfortably drive speakers with intermediate sensitivity, that are numerous in today's market. It is a Class A push-pull configuration, allowing 20 Watts RMS of output power per channel. The aspect of the amplifiers, had to match the Nagra standards in terms of dimensions, finish, quality of execution and durability. The 300i and 300p fit harmoniously into the company's current product range. They are built by the same teams in the same laboratories as the professional recorders, with the same norms and exactitude. The ground-plane of the circuits adopts a "star" configuration, and is organized around a common earthing point. This lay-out, that favors the most natural flow of ground flux, avoids creating loops and generation of parasitic hum. The input printed circuit of the 300i and 300p is identical but equipped with different components, corresponding to the different specifications of the two units. The integrated 300i is designed to accept four different sources, on three sets of Cinch and one pair of XLR connectors. The Cinch inputs are isolated from ground which renders the signal pseudo-symmetrical up to the amplification circuit. The input selection is handled by high quality relay pairs. Only the ground of the active input is used, all the others are left out of circuit to assure that no parasitic noise sources are created. The two output transformers of the 300i and 300p amplifiers are carefully dimensioned and weigh 8.8 lbs each. Relieved of air gaps and fitted with a complex winding, they offer exemplary performance under all conditions, including very low frequencies. They are housed in a semi-cylindrical module connected to the top of the unit. This module ensures the insulation of the transformers, and can be easily removed to facilitate transportation. Three impedance levels of 4, 8 and 16 Ohms are available on the gold plated connection posts.


King's Audio Emperor IIKing's Audio Ltd., the maker of award-winning KingSound electrostatic loudspeaker systems, will be exhibiting at CES and T.H.E. Show on January 6th to 9th, 2011. To mark the company's first ever presence at T.H.E. Show, King's Audio will be debuting two new models there: Emperor II and King III. The elegant Queen II will also be present at T.H.E. Show. Over at CES, attendees will be able to sample the renowned King II and Prince II, partnered with equipment from Cardas Audio and VAC. Like its predecessor, the full-range Emperor II mimics the design of Chinese folding screens to conceal various ESL panels, thus providing a unique appearance as well as great versatility. The main improvement here is that the circuitry is now housed separately from the sounding body, meaning less electromagnetic and physical interference to high fidelity audio reproduction. Carrying the legacy of the popular King and King II ESLs, the new King III is poised to deliver even better reliability and sound quality with a slightly smaller footprint and lighter body. Listeners will again be blown away by the richness of the sound even without assisting subwoofers.

Emperor II
Frequency Response: 25 Hz to 40 kHz (+/-3dB)
Impedance: Nominal 4 Ohm
Crossover: 300Hz / 4.8kHz
Sensitivity: 83dB/W1w (measured at 4 meters)
Audio power (min / max): 100 / 800W (music)
Power input: DC 11-15V, 120mA
Size: 1480 x 60 x 1760 (WxDxH in mm)
Weight: Net 60kg each

King III
Frequency Response: 28 Hz to 40kHz (+/-3dB)
Impedance: Nominal 4 Ohm
Crossover: 1.2kHz
Sensitivity: 84db/1m/1w (measured at 4 meters)
Audio power (min / max): 50 / 300W (music)
Power input: DC 11-15V, 120mA
Size: 660 x 60 x 1633 (WxDxH in mm)
Weight: Net 19kg each


Engström & Engström LARS TYPE 2Engström & Engström, founded in 2009 as a Swedish manufacturer of high-end amplifiers, will have their LARS TYPE 2 power amplifier. it is packed with prime technology components including handmade 300B-XLS tubes, bespoke transformers for the audio dynamics, foil capacitors that minimize the energy loss and unique internal wiring material for optimal sound quality. Every detail and aspect of THE LARS TYPE 2 is designed to produce the purest sound. The wood and glass exterior is made with the same philosophy. Designer, Timo Engström continues a long Scandinavian design tradition. He works with traditional materials to bring form and function in to one.

Power output at 1% THD, 1 kHz: 36W
Amplification: 26dB or 18dB (switch on the back)
Sensitivity: 400mV for full output power
Input impedance: 40kOhm
Impedance selector: 4, 8 or 16 Ohm
Frequency response +0dB -1dB: 10 Hz to 40 kHz
THD (BW 70kHz) 100 Hz to 10 kHz, 32W less than 0,5%
IMD (DIN) 250 Hz / 8 kHz 4:1, 24W: less than 0.3%
Hum and noise: 70dB below full output voltage
Tubes: Two 300B-XLS, two 6V6GT, 6188, two GZ34*
Mains power: 115V / 230V selectable, 50Hz - 60Hz, 200W
Dimensions (W x H x D): 300 x 500 x 380mm each
Weight per monoblock: 66 lbs.


Furutech DeStat IIAward winning company Furutech will be at the 2011 CES with the successor of the original Destat, the Destat II. The DeStat II is incredibly easy to use and removes dust and static charge from audio/video media with a 10 second treatment. High performance enthusiasts know that static charges on analog and optical media. Simply place your media on or hold it under the Destat II and press one button! The powerful fan removes dust while the Destat II’s Balanced Ion Flow Generator eliminates static. Also at the CES will be Furutech's FI-11 Series of high performance AC connectors, their FT-809 Ratcheting Torque Guard binding posts, the debut of the HDMI-N1-4 HMI cable, and the GTX power receptacles.


Furutech GTXFurutech's top-tier GTX receptacles aims to achieve the best performance in every element of AC and signal transfer. Of course everyone would love to make pure-copper receptacles, but its malleability -- lack of stiffness -- makes pure copper a poor choice. That is why Furutech employed intense engineering scrutiny that has resulted in an industry-first, a technique allowing us to use special Furutech 24k gold- or rhodium-plated Alpha pure copper conductors strengthened and sprung by our innovative nonmagnetic Stainless Steel Conductor Spring System that keeps a firm grip yet will not damage male connector blades or their plated surfaces. Even the screw-down pressure plates are curved to maximize contact area. 

Rhodium or gold-plated Alpha Pure Copper Conductor (0.8mm)
Nonmagnetic stainless conductor spring system
Body material: Nylon/fiberglass with piezo ceramic and carbon damping material
Cover material: Polycarbonate
Parts set with nonmagnetic 2.0mm-thick stainless brace plate
Specified for wire diameters of 4mm (set screw)
Furutech spade terminal FP-209-10 recommended for 10 AWG wire


Valvet L2 PreamplifierHighend-Electronics will be showing the Valvet L2 ($3575) tube pre-amp with separate power supply. This tube preamplifier is Valvet's new mid-line product and like all other Valvet devices crafted by hand in Germany. A simple, well thought-out circuit, short signal paths and the best, and reliable components such as those from Mundorf. The L2 pre-amplifier operates with just one 6SN7 dual triode per channel. The circuit topology employed has a number of advantages: low distortion without feedback, excellent linearity and (for valves) low output impedance. With the new separate power supply, the VUPPS (Valvet Universal Power Supply), hum interference is ruled out. The VUPPS is equipped with tube rectification, but can optionally be configured with solid-state rectification depending on the listeners taste. The inputs are switched using a precision rotary switch, and all signal paths are hand-wired with pure silver. The volume can be controlled by remote and uses the popular Alps unit. Users can also choose a 24-step resistor ladder switch to control the volume. The L2 pre-amp offers six stereo RCA line inputs and three stereo RCA outputs. Optional WBT NextGen RCA connectors are available for inputs and outputs. Also available an L2 preamplifier version with integrated phono part (P2 and P2c) with four stereo line inputs and MM phono input with passive RIAA. The P2c has, in addition, an MC pure silver transformer. 


Gregitek Equipment RackHighend-Electronics will also have the Gregitek high-end equipment racks. "Sometimes you like vibrations... sometimes you prefer stability" That is Gregitek's motto. Gregitek from Italy, manufacturer of high-end isolation footers, platforms, component racks, speaker stands and cables. With over 40 years experience with industrial vibration control, designer Gregorio Giust has applied his engineering skills to unique resonance control designs fantastically finished and handmade in the finest Italian art. Gregorio Giust is a long time hi-fi enthusiast and audiophile. But first and foremost, he is an expert in the maintenance of electric engines and pumps. Gregorio has many years of experience studying and eliminating vibrations in numerous applications. The goal of the firm is to design and manufacture anti-vibration products that are based on solid technical knowledge and measurements, fine-tuned by ear. More than 50% is crafted by hand in the finest Italian art. Platforms and racks are manufactured from handmade ash heartwood staves and carefully chosen for tonality. Prices are from $765 for the Stab1 platform, $3290 for the Stabtower (3-level) component rack and up to $4790 for the top line component rack Stabtower-2.


Audience LSA 4+4Audience will debut their ClairAudient The ONE single-driver loudspeaker plus the LSA 4+4 advance floorstander and Audience-Modified Oppo BDP-83SE Blu-ray player at T.H.E. Show 2011. The ClairAudient The ONE incorporates the same exclusive A3-S full-range crossover-less driver that is at the heart of every Audience ClairAudient loudspeaker, along with a purpose-designed passive radiator. The A3-S driver is a high power, 12mm excursion, ultra low distortion transducer that is full-range, eliminating the need for a separate woofer, midrange driver and tweeter, and crossover network and their inherent sonic compromises of sonically dissimilar drivers, phase distortions, loss of resolution and transient response degradation. The ONE delivers surprisingly expansive, dynamic and detailed sound from a desktop-style loudspeaker. The ClairAudient LSA 4+4 Advance features four front-facing and four rear-facing A3-S drivers and two passive radiators in a floor standing enclosure, to convey the power and emotion of music with extraordinary clarity, warmth and resolution. Like The ONE, it will be available in a variety of striking, exotic wood veneer finishes and is designed, engineered and handcrafted in the United States. Lastly, the Audience Oppo BDP-83SE Blu-ray player is modified with a new analog section and power supply, a built-in Audience aR1-TO power conditioner, an Audience Au24 powerChord and more than 60 parts upgrades that transform the player into an ultimate-performance source component. Improvements include Audience OHNO high-purity copper internal wiring, Audience TO (Teflon) capacitors in critical circuit applications, all filter capacitors increased in value and quality, all op-amps upgraded to LM4562 ICs, and numerous additional refinements.


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