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CES 2013 & T.H.E. Show Report  2013
CES 2013 Show Report & CES Coverage   T.H.E. Show 2013 Las Vegas Report
CES & T.H.E. Show Report 2013
Coverage By Steven R. Rochlin

  Light Harmonic's new Da Vinci Dual DAC is at CES 2013 as the company steadily redefines their state-of-the-art in digital playback. Light Harmonic's Da Vinci DAC utilizes unique, proprietary design elements to set their new standard of fidelity and musicality in digital music reproduction. The dual DAC unit features a 32-bit/384K Asynchronous USB input which accepts pulse code modulation (PCM) digital audio without artificial up-sampling. Their 3-L Buffering provides a jitter-free, three-layer elastic buffer between the music source and digital sample conversion, completely decoupling speed fluctuations in the source, and enabling Da Vinci to convert music samples using the most accurate core clocks. The three Clocks provides on-the-fly selection of one of three highly precise -166dB phase-error clocks, according to the sample rate of the input file. Of important note is that the Light Harmonic Da Vinci Dual DAC is designed for PCM playback yet has another internal system for high performance with DSD. The DSD section is separate and is optimized to extract the best performance for this digital file type. As such, there are completely separate and discrete decoding engines for both formats: one designed and optimized specifically for PCM, one designed and optimized specifically for DSD.


At T.H.E. Show 1013 Las Vegas Audience is showcasing their ClairAudient 1+1 loudspeaker and
new top range Au24 SE Cables. The ClairAudient 1+1 is a compact speaker that delivers expansive sound in a small footprint. It utilizes two of Audience's A3-S full-range drivers in the front and rear along with two side-firing passive radiators in a crossoverless design. This is said to provide an exceptionally coherent and musically natural performance. In addition, exclusive SSIT (SweetSpace Imaging Technology) enables an expanded listening area rather than the usual single listener sweet spot. The new Au24 SE RCA interconnect cables offer a significant sonic step forward in the company's acclaimed cables. They have been improved from previous models with ultra-low-mass, high-purity copper connectors that Audience says "allows the passage of more low-level information, for an even more compelling and involving musical experience."


PTE Aoustics will be showing the Phoenix powered high output audiophile monitor and the MMMC-R Phono Preamp ($5700 and $1600 respectively). The Phoenix uses multiple small Class A/B amplifiers combined in both parallel and series. This technology decreases noise and distortion, while improving system power and reliability. The Phoenix speaker also includes switches for tweeter level adjustment and bass adjustments for tailoring to your room's acoustic environment. The PTE MMMC phonograph preamplifier is solid-state and features accurate frequency response, very low noise and low distortion. The preamplifier is housed is a solid mahogany enclosure and has many settings for MM/MC cartridge loading.


Audio Impossible has their Metronome, Metronome Signature and the 2-to-1 speaker selector units ($2,300, $4,400 and $280 respectively). The Metronome headphone amplifier is a high quality unit with a frequency response from 5 Hz to 60 kHz. Output power for this headphone amplifier is 250mW + 250mW with a SNR or 100dB. Output impedance is 32, 300 and 600 Ohms, with connections being an unbalanced 1/4" headphone jack. The 2-to-1 speaker selector is a high quality remote-controlled and 12 Volt triggered loudspeakers switching system. It is suitable for loudspeaker and power amplifier selection in home and showroom environments.


PranaFidelity is at CES 2013 with their model Fifty90 loudspeaker, PranaFidelity Purna amplifier, PranaFidelity Purna preamplifier ($3495, $8950 and TBA respectively). The Fifty90 loudspeaker is a two-way symmetrical array with dual 15cm woofers and 30mm tweeter. Frequency response is from 39 Hz to 22 kHz, 8 Ohms impedance and sensitivity of 89.5dB/W/m. The PranaFidelity Purna amplifier produces 400 watts per channel at 8 Ohms with a frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. SNR is 128dB (unweighted) and analog inputs are both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA. PranaFidelity's Purna preamplifier includes a MM/MC phono stage with gain of 40 to 80 dB via DIP switch selection. The line stage also has gain settings of 0, 6, and 12 dB.


Zesto Audio is at CES 2013 with their Leto Preamp and Andros Phonostage ($7500 and $4300 respectively). The Andros PS1 Phonostage is being touted as delivering a classic tube sound. It will work with most cartridges and is uncommonly quiet. Inspired by RCA's vacuum tube circuit designs from the 1930s, the Andros PS1 has been engineered to bring clarity and depth of the original recording. Each unit goes through 50 hours of factory burn in on all circuits and vacuum tubes. A low Noise level of -75dBu ensures the quietest passages are heard. The output circuit is designed to drive your cables and isolates the output from the influence of the next stage. All RCA connectors are high quality, Gold plated, recessed with an isolated ground. The Zest Audio Leta preamplifier has input selections that use only electromechanical switching to provide the most musical detail. True floating transformer balanced Inputs and Outputs have lower noise and isolate one piece of gear to the next. Left and Right ground switches allows users to control the grounding of the RCA outputs. Recessed unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR connectors are high quality, Gold plated, with an isolated ground.



Audio-Technica has not one, not two... but four audiophile headphones ere at CES 2013! The new ATH-AD900x, ATH-AD700x and ATH-AD500x ($300, $200 and $170 respectively) are ideal for music lovers who enjoy the spacious quality of open-back headphones and combine involving sound with long-wearing comfort. The ATH-A500x offers excellent sound and a comfortable fit for music lovers who prefer the sound isolation and performance of a closed-back design. The ATH-AD900x, ATH-AD700x and ATH-AD500x all feature large 53 mm drivers that have been exclusively designed for the headphones, with high-power magnets and Audio-Technica's copper-clad aluminum-wire (CCAW) voice coil technology for superior audio reproduction and a wide frequency response from 5 Hz up to 35 kHz. All models come with a 10-foot Hi-OFC oxygen-free copper cord with a 1/8-inch (3.5 mm) stereo plug and a 1/4-inch stereo adapter.


AVM-TEC was founded by Alexander Vitus Mogensen, whose father Hans-Ole Vitus is the founder and chief designer of the well-known high-end audio manufacturer Vitus Audio. CES 2013 brings the introduction of Alluxity, Alexander's line of full-featured products. The first two Alluxity products, the Pre One and Power One, are said to possess a natural, transparent and free-flowing sound quality lacking any sense of stress. The products are designed to be easy to operate and are durable with ultra-low maintenance requirements. Both the Pre One and Power One feature 5" touch-screen displays with product-specific graphics which are easy to use and will provide clear feedback on device status. Both products are equipped with Ethernet and a separate intelligent two-way interface which allows communication between Preamp and Power amp.  When Ethernet is used, apps are available for iPhone, iPad and Android handheld devices, allowing full remote control functions. The chassis is milled from solid billets of aluminum and designed to enhance channel separation and reduce noise. The Preamp One is $8000 whilst the Poweramp One is $10,500.


Bel Canto is featuring their new Asynchronous USB Link Converters such as the DAC3.5VBMKII, VBS1, Phono3VB, REF500Ms and all their new 24-bit/192kHz USB Link Converters. Bel Canto's wide range of highly-respected and well-reviewed products are centered upon DAC Controllers for systems with or without a preamplifier accommodating analog, digital and computer-based inputs. Their 24/192 USB Links aid computer audiophiles with beyond-CD sound quality. Bel Canto's three new Asynchronous USB Link Converters; the entry-level mLink, moving-on-up uLink, and top-of-the-line REFLink isolate the music signal and clocks from the harsh, noisy electrical environments of computers and music servers. The new Bel Canto Link Converters take the USB output of your computer and deliver ultra-low jitter S/PDIF for your favorite DAC. All three USB Link Converters feature native MAC USB 2.0 compatibility, a custom Windows USB 2.0 driver, and operate at 16- or 24-bits at 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz on a proprietary 500MHz DSP Core.


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