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CES 2012 Preview & T.H.E. Show Report 2012
CES 2012 & CES Coverage   The Home Entertainment Show (THE Show) 2012
Consumer Electronics Show & T.H.E. Show 2012

Attendees of the Las Vegas T.H.E. Show (and CES) should head to the Flamingo Hotel for great deals on new music, audiophile accessories and much more. Vendors selling their products include Elusive Disc, MA Recordings, Quality Rare Records, RATOC Systems, Reference Recordings, Sonic Studio, Tweak Studio, Ultra Systems, Woo Audio, Audio Desk Systeme, Audio Fidelity, Auraliti, Cathedral Sound, HiFi-Tuning, HIQ, Impex, NITTY GRITTY, ORG, Pure Pleasure, SOTA turntables, Stockfisch and WA-Quantum. T.H.E. Show is conveniently located at the Flamingo Hotel, a 15 minute walk south from the Venetian, same side of The Strip. Or the Flamingo is a Monorail stop (every 5 minutes) direct from the Convention Center.


Paradigm's new SHIFT series is three new earbuds engineered in the company’s Canadian factory as well as a pair of Sport Ear Hooks manufactured in-house. Unlike most other speaker and headphone manufacturers, Paradigm has its own audio research and development facility, complete with a 36,000-cubic-foot anechoic chamber for taking accurate sound measurements. The company also has multiple double blind listening rooms used to test every product. Specifically for earbuds and personal audio products, Paradigm SHIFT employs an advanced head and torso 'manikin' that acts as a human simulator, measuring the sonic properties while helping with ergonomic design and frequency response adjustments. SHIFT earbuds are critically tuned to Paradigm’s three main speaker lines: Monitor, Studio and Signature. Models are stepped in the depth and degree of bass offered. Designed for portable personal audio, PC and gaming, the E1, E2m and E3m earbuds were built for comfort without sacrificing performance. Bass performance is enhanced by a rigid connection between the tip and actual earbud, lessening the loss of low frequencies. All three are available in black and white finishes and feature an air tight seal for superb noise isolation, three sizes of tips for ears of all sizes, a tangle-resistant 1.2 meter cord and a padded travel case/pouch for protection. The E2m and E3m models also feature an in-line remote and microphone that allow users to pause and play music as well as answer and disconnect telephone calls with one click. Available as an optional accessory (sold separately) is a pair of Sport Ear Hooks in a one-piece, comfy-curve molded polymer designed and manufactured in-house. Made for Paradigm SHIFT earbuds, new sport ear hooks sit snug around your ear even during the most intense physical activity. The E1 ($50) is critically tuned to Paradigm’s Monitor Series 7 speakers and use an 8mm super-neodymium driver that is 103dB sensitivity and has a frequency response from 10 Hz to 18 kHz. Paradigm's SHIFT E2m ($100) is critically tuned to Paradigm’s high-end Reference Studio speakers. The E2m are a two-piece sealed construction with 8mm drivers and a sensitivity of 104dB with a frequency response from 10 Hz to 19 kHz. Paradigm's top-of-the-range E3m ($130) is critically tuned to Paradigm’s ultimate high-end Reference Signature speakers. The E3m are crafted from one-piece CNC precision-machined aluminum, uses 8mm drivers and has a sensitivity is 105dB. Frequency response is from 8 Hz to 19 kHz.

Paradigm Electronics' new SHIFT BD 1 ($60) universal Bluetooth receiver allows users to stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device supporting Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) or Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP). This includes such devices as the iPhone, Android and Blackberry phones plus other Bluetooth-enabled devices such as laptops and tablet PCs. The Paradigm SHIFT BD 1 package includes a BD 1 Bluetooth Receiver, a built-in 250mAH Li-polymer rechargeable battery, an audio cable, and an AC adaptor (or, for international customers, a USB power cable that will work with a USB AC power converter, sold separately). Installation is a snap: simply connect the BD 1 to a power outlet, plug the 3.5mm audio cable into your powered speakers or portable sound system, sync the Bluetooth receiver, and you’re done. After initial setup, your synced device and the BD 1 will remember each other in the future.


Verity Audio is at their Mirage hospitality suite in Penthouse and at Venetian Tower suite 35-309 during the 2012 International CES 2012. On display are the pinnacle of the Verity design team's 18 years of dedication to their art: the mighty Lohengrin II, and the latest in its new series of higher-sensitivity loudspeaker designs, Amadis. The company's Lohengrin II is their benchmark for all of Verity's design efforts as it combines proprietary technologies, including the in-house Verity Audio pure ribbon tweeter. Occupying a place in the product line just above the legacy Verity Audio product, Parsifal Ovation, the two-cabinet three-way Amadis uses custom 6" midrange and 9.5" woofer drive units. The radical Neo-dome tweeter was first used in the Verity Leonore. Also of highlight is a new crossover topology and the refined industrial design from our latest offerings. Amadis is a nominal 8 Ohm load and features a 93dB/W/m sensitivity.


This year’s 14th Annual T.H.E. Show at the famous Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas will be serving lunch from 11:45am to 1:15pm. T.H.E. Show's Opening Night Reception (Tuesday, Jan 10th from 6pm until 8:30pm) will be hosted by John Atkinson of Stereophile magazine and will feature new singing sensation Christina Granatelli, accompanied by Noah Harmon (sponsored by Stillpoints and Exemplar Audio), as well as a full concert by Dr. Hagia Pastor, direct from her many popular European engagements (sponsored by ZenSati Aps). Also, on Wednesday evening beginning about 6:15pm in the Red Rock Ballroom - An Evening With Noel "Paul" Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary fame. All of these entertainers are also performing in the VMPS Live-Versus-Recorded demo in the Lake Mead Ballroom, Tuesday thru Friday, 1pm through 6pm. T.H.E. Show is still the premiere show presenting exclusively only the finest in high-end audio and home theater. Also: T.H.E. Show Marketplace will be open daily with the latest and classic CD’s; Vinyl, Software, Headphones and more for purchase. There are over 20 of the best companies represented in The Show’s Marketplace including Elusive Disc; Reference Recordings; M.A. Recordings; Woo Audio; Music Direct; HeadRoom; CEntrance and many more. And, for the first time ever, Jon Whitledge brings his MUSIC BUS to T.H.E. Show in Vegas. If you haven’t experienced this -- put it on your "Must See" list. The Absolute Sound called this "The World's Best Car Stereo" so don’t miss the bus right outside the Red Rock Ballroom doors.


DEQX, an Australian company providing leading-edge digital loudspeaker correction, crossover and room compensation technology, is at CES 2012 suite 30-218 introducing their HDP-4. The HDP-4 is an HDP-3 gone ultra-rez with 24-bit/192kHz digital inputs. Many options as standard like digital and active balanced analog outputs for all three channels. The HDP-4 provides users many digital inputs, a USB audio option, 32-bit/192kHz DACs, the new high-speed DEQX circuit board, audiophile-grade chassis with sturdy case-mounted connectors and a 12mm brushed aluminum faceplate available in Silver or Black. Each of the three digital output channels is equipped with S/PDIF on true 75 Ohm BNC connectors. The fourth digital output is a Digital DSP Input Pass-Through for slaving selected digital inputs for further processing. On the input side, the HDP-4 now supports optical TosLink as well as the optional USB digital audio input module. There is a Remote Control offering Standby, Profile Select, Volume, Mute and Input. The Volume control uses floating-point 32-bit resolution via DSP power whilst the HDP-4 comes with DEQX Cal Software and easily updatable firmware. DEQX technology is unique in correcting frequency-related amplitude and timing errors by adjusting thousands of frequency groups to different degrees as required allowing all frequency groups to arrive at precisely the right time. Multi-0channel analog outputs are via RCA or balanced XLR. Also in the room are Gallo Acoustics Reference 3s, Parasound Halo amplifiers and a Sonata Music Server.


Altec Lansing's new LIVE 5000T (MN5000, $499) is a Wi-Fi all-in-one amplifier stereo unit for listening to cloud content and personal music libraries from a wide range of devices. This flexible unit is for those who want to add audio into any room of the house. As Altec Lansing's first product in a new entertainment ecosystem for the company, the LIVE 5000 connects to a consumer's existing home Wi-Fi network, is controllable from iOS, Android and Desktop applications and delivers music from the Internet's most popular content providers. Many handheld devices are able to stream and control content from their 802.11 b/g/n wireless network to any room in the house. Whole home users are able to stream different music to different rooms or the same music to multiple rooms by linking LIVE 5000 units. The free Android, iOS and Desktop LIVE Controller apps allow control of all units. Driven by a tri-amplified system, the two 3-inch Kevlar midrange drivers are coupled with a pair of neodymium soft-dome tweeters. The long-throw 4-inch subwoofer and passive radiator are specifically designed for punchy bass reproduction. The LIVE 5000 is voiced to produce the best frequency response, group delay and tone quality to faithfully reproduce any program material.


Legendary loudspeaker manufacturer JBL is showing their S4700 ($20,000 per pair) high-sensitivity large floorstanding loudspeaker. The S4700 includes a 15-inch woofer plus horn-loaded tweeter and super tweeter mounted by radial compression driver + horn. The compression drivers are JBL's 175Nd adopted the 50mm tweeter diaphragm and JBL's 138Nd 19mm super tweeter diaphragm. The woofer's pure pulp cone is curved and corrugated while the motor is equipped with a double ring-shaped neodymium magnet. The woofer cabinet is bass reflex and is internally braced to avoid unwanted resonances. The natural wood is hand finished in classic wood color as is expected from JBL enthusiasts. The magnetic circuit to NDD has a two-stage voice coil. Sensitivity is 94dB/W/m, frequency response is from 38 Hz to 40 kHz (-6dB) and the crossover frequencies are 800 Hz and 12 kHz. Premium components are used within the crossover network. Overall cabinet dimensions ate 500 x 1068 x 371 (WxHxD in mm) and each unit weights 110 lbs.


dCS is at CES 2012 Venetian Tower suite 29-131 with their range of digital audiophile products. The system includes their award-winning Puccini and U-Clock plus an update to dCS' Debussy D/A converter (pictured above) that will allow DSD to be passed over its asynchronous USB input. dCS' entire range, including their reference Scarlatti and Paganini systems, are on display in the suite. dCS pledges to continue to refine and improve their product line in 2012 with updates to the Paganini and Scarlatti range that will include completing the hardware and corresponding software for all USB-input-equipped products to accept datastreams up to 24-bit/192kHz over their proprietary asynchronous USB interface. A specially-modified Debussy D/A converter will be used to play DSD files over USB along with a Puccini and U-Clock in the main Venetian Tower Suite, and the complete, reference Scarlatti system will be demonstrated in a Mirage hospitality suite. In December dCS launched a new campaign that is focused on great music playback in the home. The idea behind the 'Only The Music' project is that great music playback is a combination of talented people, great music and cutting edge technology. The OTM site aims to highlight some of these people, wonderful pieces of music, and the bits of gear that help to create such great sound.


Aaudio Imports, a leading supplier of world-class high-end audio products, introduced in suite 30-121 at the CES 2012 Venetian Hotel the Model No. 7 ($100,000) three-Way passive loudspeaker system by Lansche Audio of Germany. Featuring Lansche’s legendary Corona plasma tweeter (pictured above), the No. 7 Speaker includes a new, improved version of the Corona Tweeter. A new aluminum front baffle, integrated adjustable footers for perfect leveling and bi-wiring terminals are just some of the highlights of this new model. Masterfully crafted cabinets are 69 inches high by 17 inches wide by 24 inches deep. The speakers reproduce midrange frequencies using two 4-inch cone drivers from Audio Technologies. They also use four 8.7-inch long-throw drivers for bass, the Corona Plasma Tweeter for higher frequencies, and two passive bass reflex ports in the rear. The 4-inch drivers’ low mass integrates crucial midrange frequencies with the plasma tweeter, while the 8.7-inch woofers consist of coated fabric cones of glass fiber and polyester. A hallmark of Lansche technology, the Corona Plasma Tweeter, employs an 8mm-long electric arc to directly activate the surrounding air as a sound transmission medium. The tweeter’s arc of resonance-free, voltage-modulated air helps it avoid the limitations of conventional tweeters to achieve outstanding impulse, phase and amplitude response, and an exact, three-dimensional sound. As a result, the No. 7 delivers faithful, coherent musical reproduction with incredible precision, speed and economy. The rear of each speaker includes a connection panel with input terminals that accept banana plugs and spades for midrange and high frequencies, six terminals for making treble and bass adjustments, an IEC AC power jack, and a fuse. Two jumpers and two cable bridges per speaker are included with each pair of No. 7 Speakers. Bass reflex ports and an on/off switch rest in the middle of each back panel, and pairs of cooling vents are on the sides.


Aaudio Imports also has the Sleipner airbearing turntable (staring at $48,100) with airbearing tonearm by Bergmann Audio of Denmark. The Sleipner is a reference-level turntable powered by airbearing technology. It includes a linear tracking airbearing tonearm, a digital motor-controlled air supply, and a vacuum clamp to stabilize records. In Danish, “Sleipner” means smooth or gliding, and refers to what is sometimes called the best of all horses, the eight-legged flying stallion ridden by Odin, chief among the mythological Nordic gods. In English, Sleipner stands for a supreme achievement in turntable technology. The Sleipner keeps with Bergmann’s 'Less is more' philosophy, and in keeping with Bergmann’s airbearing technology, which offers a number of advantages. The airbearing process is frictionless, for example, minimizing bearing noise and yielding exceptional stability. The airbearing tonearm glides friction-free and only makes contact with a record through the stylus tip and tonearm wire. The result is an emotionally engaging musical reproduction with an unexpectedly effective bass response that transmits nuances and details as natural elements of a vivid and transparent acoustic image. The Sleipner’s plinth is a six-layer sandwich of different materials for optimal resonance control. The sandwich consists of three boards of powdered granite/epoxy binding material, two layers of aluminum, and one layer of bitumen, all covered in a 12-mm thick coat of hand-painted and polished polyvinyl. The plinth stabilizes the tonearm, and rests on a set of sturdy, adjustable Ceraball feet, which house vibration-controlling ceramic ball-bearings inside aluminum housings. A 20.2-pound aluminum platter rests atop the plinth, and atop a 21-mm record mat made of two layers of polycarbonate and one layer of acrylic. The Sleipner’s air supply both supports and centers the platter and provides a thin, dry film of smoothly flowing air, creating a silent, friction-free movement. The linear-tracking airbearing tonearm consists of a tubular carbon arm and headshell molded in one piece for optimal stiffness. The hollow arm is damped on the inside and houses connecting wires of pure silver. A highly precise, digitally controlled DC motor with an oversized power supply regulates record speeds, including settings for 33 and 45 rpm.


GoldenEar Technology is celebrating its first full year of product shipments with three important new product introductions at CES' Venetian Hotel suites 30-332 and 30-334. The importance and strength of the line is now clear as GoldenEar Technology has just added their second Triton Tower, their first soundbar and first main front stage architectural loudspeaker offering. The new Triton Three ($999 each) is literally a smaller version of the company's Triton Two. It is an excellent solution for listeners looking for a more compact loudspeaker that offers superb performance for both high-quality two-channel systems as well as in multi-channel home theater and music systems. Its sleek, elegantly curved and tapered design mirrors the award winning styling of the Triton Two with its marriage of piano-gloss black and designer-fabric-covered surfaces. GoldenEar Technology's Triton Three incorporates the built-in powered subwoofer technology first pioneered by GoldenEar principals Sandy Gross and Don Givogue. In this case, there is an integral 800-watt digital/DSP controlled power amp driving an active front-mounted long-throw 5" x 9" quadratic subwoofer driver. This is coupled to two opposing, internally balanced 6.75" x 8" quadratic planar infrasonic passive radiators which are located on the sides, near the floor. There is one of the same 4.5" high-definition cast basket MVPP drivers as used in the Triton Two, along with the same GoldenEar signature High Velocity Folded Ribbon (HVFR) tweeter. Overall efficiency is 90dB/W/m, impedance is 8 Ohms and frequency response is from 20 Hz to 35 kHz. GoldEar Technology's SuperCinema 3D Array ($999 each) combines the elegant form factor of a soundbar with the sonic performance of a true surround system. GoldenEar Technology has developed a unique new three-channel front soundstage soundbar that incorporates special 3D image optimization technology to achieve lifelike, wide, deep 3D front stage playback. The soundbar is only 49" wide and 2.7" thin enclosure that complements the latest super-thin flat panel TVs. Frequency response is from 80 Hz to 35 kHz and efficiency is 91dB/W/m. Lastly, the Invisa HTR 7000 ($499 each) is designed for use as a ceiling-mounted main front stage left-, right- or center-channel speaker in high-quality home theater and music systems. It has a flat, round, magnetically attached micro-perforated grille that covers the mounting flange for an attractive, nearly invisible look. The drivers are mounted at precisely calculated angles so that they face the normal listening position, for exceptional imaging, frequency response and clarity. The driver complement combines the same 7" high-definition cast-basket driver used in the acclaimed Aon 3, with one of GoldenEar's signature technology High Velocity Folded Ribbon tweeters. A complex crossover network assures perfect blending. Overall diameter is 10", frequency response of from 25 Hz to 35 kHz and sensitivity is 90dB/W/m.


Furutech's Alpha Design Labs (ADL) has just launched three new products at CES' the Venetian suite 30-215. Their new Esprit DAC digital preamplifier, Stride portable headphone amplifier, and iD-30P series iDock cables add to the company's already immense and award-winning product lines. Last year Furutech introduced the popular ADL GT40 USB DAC/Analog Recorder. It is the analog cousin of the more highly specified Esprit, a compact USB DAC/Preamplifier with digital as well as analog inputs. Completely control an analog, digital or computer-based system with superior sound while recording vinyl or any other analog or digital source to hard disk! The exceptional headphone amplifier drives 32 to 600 Ohm headphones The Stride is a 'Hip Younger Brother' to the ADL Cruise headphone amplifier. The Stride's Black or Silver aluminum body is somewhat more low-key than the ADL Cruise's mirror-polished stainless-steel and gorgeous carbon fiber body (pictured above). The unit delivers thrilling sound when listening to low-bit-rate downloads or high resolution music files. Just connect your computer to the Stride with one of our matching ADL Formula 2 USB cables or the new i-D35SP analog stereo cables. The iD-30P Series of personal audio cables connect to iDocks, headphone amps, home audio and even car systems. The iD-30P series are engineered and produced with Furutech’s Pure Transmission technology and feature silver-plated Alpha OCC conductor (28AWG) for minimal transmission loss and 24k gold-plated USB A-type or 3.5mm stereo connector straight or angled. The cable achieves top-grade noise isolation using double-layer shielding – aluminum foil and tinned copper – in a RoHS-compliant sheath. The main conductors are treated with Furutech's Alpha Process – a deep cryogenic and demagnetizing process.


Click here for CES 2012 / THE Show 2012 part 2.













































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