CES 2015 - Las Vegas, USA
- Written by News Editor News Editor
- Parent Category: CES 2015 CES 2015
- Created: 08 January 2015 08 January 2015
Companies featured in gallery below: Crystal Cable, Focus Audio, Mark Levinson, JL Audio, Velodyne, Rockport Technologies, Magico, Devialet, Lumin, EMM Labs, Rogue Audio, Arcam
All prices in US dollars unless otherwise indicated
Crystal Cable was playing its new Crystal Cable Integrated amplifier (CCI), which the company says can be thought of as a mini Siltech S.A.G.A. (Crystal's sister brand's flagship amplification system). We're told the CCI uses absolutely no negative feedback, and implements star grounding for the cleanest possible sound. The CCI has three "true balanced" inputs and three single-ended inputs, in addition to the coolest little remote control we've ever seen. The remote is a two-way device, meaning that if you change anything on the amplifier, like volume, it will also be displayed on the remote. Slick. The CCI will reportedly produce up to 100Wpc into 8 ohms and 300Wpc into 2 ohms. The retail price has not been finalized, but we were told it will be under $20,000 when launched.
The Canadian-made Focus Audio Liszt Concerto mono amplifier is rated to deliver 60W into 8 ohms. Obviously, two are needed for stereo. The amplifier operates in a push-pull fashion using EL34 tubes (two pairs per channel). Company representatives told us that in the Liszt Concerto many of the interior parts have been upgraded over what was in the company's original Sonata stereo integrated amp. The retail price of the Liszt Concerto is $30,000 per pair.
Also from Focus Audio is the attractive Master 3 BE loudspeaker. The original Master 3 is now ten years old, and we were told the company felt that now was the perfect time to upgrade it. The Master 3 BE has . . .
. . . a pair of beryllium tweeters mounted on an aluminum sub-baffle. The price for the Master 3 BE is $33,000/pr.
Harman International's Mark Levinson brand displayed its upcoming 536 mono power amplifier at the company's off-site display at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. This powerhouse is rated to produce 400W into 8 ohms or 800W into 4 ohms. The 536 is a . . .
. . . class-AB, discrete design that has no integrated circuits in the signal path. We were told the 536 would be replacing the current model 532. The price is $15,000 each, and availability is slated for the fall of this year.
JL Audio introduced a new line of subwoofers that it has deemed Dominion. The two Dominion models are the larger d110 ($999 to $1099 depending on finish, shown in photo above) and smaller d108 ($799 to $899 depending on finish). The 10" d110 is powered by a 750W power amplifier, whereas the 8" d108 is propelled by a 500W unit. As always, the drivers . . .
. . . are designed specifically for this series by engineers at JL Audio. The Dominions are built in the company's Florida factory and, if the demo we attended is any indication, play far beyond what their price and size would suggest.
Velodyne showed an early prototype of its Deep 1 subwoofer. It will be available later this year and will feature a 300W amplifier and a new driver designed from the ground up by Velodyne in 10" and 12" versions. There will also be built-in auto EQ calibration, remote control, and an LED volume display on the front baffle. The gold ring around the driver and trim at the top and bottom of the front baffle may change in the final production versions. No firm pricing was announced, but expect it to start at around $600.
The Rockport Technologies Cygnus is a three-way, 285-pound floorstander that features a pair of the company's new 10" carbon-fiber-composite woofers along with its 6" midrange. New for the company is . . .
. . . the waveguide that surrounds the beryllium-dome tweeter (we expect the waveguide to find its way into future Rockport designs). All the drivers are mounted on a constrained-layer-damped aluminum sub-baffle, which is bonded to an MDF core. The price for the Cygnus is $62,500/pr.
Magico's three-way, five-driver M Project loudspeaker made a static appearance in the company's Mirage suite, even though you can't buy a pair. The company limited production to 50 pairs -- and they're all sold. The list price is -- uh, was -- $129,000/pr.
In case you're just returning from the moon and don't know, this is the Devialet Phantom all-in-one superspeaker -- Doug Schneider wrote about it extensively on this site in December. Priced at $1990 each, the Phantom features a concentric tweeter-midrange on the front and two extreme-excursion woofers on the sides. These drivers are powered by a 750W Analog Digital Hybrid (ADH) amplifier. The Phantom will reportedly play 99dB. But if you need even more output, there's also a Silver Phantom, which plays to 105dB and costs $2390 each.
The Phantoms can be placed on a table, shelf, etc., or attached to the optional stand, called Branch, which also acts as a heatsink. Firm pricing for the Branch stand isn't established, but company reps say they should be less than $400 each.
Devialet's Dialog box is a purpose-built computer that attaches to a network and can communicate with the company's amps and new Phantom-series speakers. Users interact with Dialog through Devialet's Spark app, which runs on tablets and smartphones. Using Spark, users can stream files from network-attached storage devices and streaming services. Dialog also has multiple digital inputs to connect digital sources directly to it. Although no firm price for Dialog is established, it's likely to cost less than $400 when released.
Lumin introduced a new top-of-the-line music server, the S1, which is priced at $12,000. The S1 features four ESS Sabre DAC chips (two per channel), a new clocking system, and . . .
. . . an enhanced external power supply featuring dual toroidal transformers. The S1 comes in either black or silver finishes.
EMM Labs had on display a new flagship DAC at CES 2015, the DA2. This unit comes with what the company says are its next-generation digital and analog systems. The DA2 will play music at resolutions of up to 32-bit/384kHz and double DSD. The DA2's list price is $25,000, although that can increase depending on the finish options chosen.
Rogue Audio says it will be shipping the new RP-5 preamplifier ($3495) in a matter of weeks. The preamp also includes a tube headphone amp, an MM/MC phono stage, and a ten-function remote control. The RP-5 is fully hand-built in Pennsylvania, USA.
Arcam's Solo Movie is described as an audiophile "home theater in a box." It utilizes the company's class-G amplifier topology, which is also found in its top-of-the-line A49 and A39 integrated amplifiers and in its P49 power amplifier. The Solo Movie is rated to deliver 60Wpc into 8 ohms with all five channels driven. Looking inside the case, we could see a large toroidal transformer present. There is a BD/SACD/DVD/CD optical drive, as well as numerous digital inputs: HDMI, coax, optical, USB, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet. There is also support for Bluetooth via aptX. The Solo Movie is expected to sell for approximately $3000 when it becomes available in the second quarter of 2015.
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