T+A released two new integrated amplifiers in its updated R line: the PA 2500 R (€6500, shown), which is rated at 140Wpc into 8 ohms or 280Wpc into 4 ohms, and the PA 2000 R (€4000, not shown), which is rated at 100Wpc into 8 ohms or 200Wpc into 4 ohms. Both models come equipped with a bevy of analog and digital inputs. Also new in the R line is the . . .
. . . MP 2000 R multisource player. Multisource means that it will not only play CDs, but also contains a PCM- and DSD-capable DAC, an FM tuner, and is even aptX Bluetooth compatible. The price for the MP is €4900. Although the R-series models are less expensive than the company's flagship HV-series components, they still look super-substantial in terms of casework and internal componentry. All R-series products are available in black or silver finishes.
Burmester's retro-looking Phase 3 system will retail for approximately €28,000 when it becomes available later in the year. The system contains a pair of two-way stand-mounted loudspeakers and what the company calls a "receiver," though the quality of it looks more high end than most receivers you'll see. Although it appears that the two boxes in the center are both audio components, only the top unit contains active circuitry -- the bottom box is for housing another component of your choosing, such as a Blu-ray player, in order to preserve the upscale look of the system. The receiver contains the power amplifier for the speakers, a CD player, and various digital and analog inputs.
Amphion introduced the Base One 25 "bass extension system" (not to be confused with a subwoofer, according to the company), which comprises a bass tower per side that also acts as a stand for the company's smaller speaker models. Each Base One 25 cabinet houses dual 25cm (approx. 10") drivers. Sold in pairs for €6000, the complete system comes with an external component that houses a crossover and power amplifier for both channels. The company states that the Base One 25 is compatible with all Amphion minimonitors. (The Amphion Two 18 speaker on top of the Base One 25 retails for €6000 per pair, for a total speaker system price as shown of €12,000.)
B.M.C. debuted the PureMedia (€4000), a component that combines music playback, video playback up to 4K resolution, and internal storage for your music collection. The PureMedia comes with a minimum of 2TB of internal storage, though more is available. The PureMedia is fitted with coaxial and USB outputs, as there is no internal DAC. Also new from B.M.C. is the . . .
. . . PureAmp (€2498), which is rated to deliver 100Wpc into 8 ohms or 160Wpc into 4 ohms. The PureAmp uses the company's Load Effect Free circuit topology, which sports "phase-independent current and voltage delivery," for what is said to be superior control of the speaker drive units.
Hegel Music Systems was justifiably proud of its new H360 integrated amplifier-DAC, which contains the company's new SoundEngine 2 technology. S2 reportedly yields four times the damping factor of the original SoundEngine circuit, and is said to have lower distortion as well. This replacement for the outgoing H300 has new output transistors and a new transformer that the company says delivers 1.5 times the current of the H300's toroid. The preamp-DAC section of the H360 also has its own dedicated power supply -- another upgrade over the H300. The H360 is also Apple AirPlay compatible and has numerous digital inputs. The H360's price is €4900, which seems quite reasonable considering the impressive hardware and features.
Octave Audio, based in Germany, introduced the new V 80 SE integrated amplifier. This unit features KT150 output tubes and is rated to deliver 130Wpc into 4 ohms. Connections include four pairs of RCA jacks and one pair of XLR connectors. The V 80 SE also features preamplifier and headphone outputs. The price is €9250, while an optional phono stage increases the price by €590. The V 80 SE is available in either silver or black.
Sonus Faber's new Chameleon line of loudspeakers comprises three models: the C center-channel, B bookshelf, and T tower. The cool thing about the Chameleons is that the side panels are replaceable by the owner, with six colors available now and more on the way. All drive units in the Chameleon speakers are said to be original to the range. The Chameleon's prices are €900/pr. (B), €450/each (C), and €1750/pr. (T). All models are shipping now.
Sonus Faber's Olympica and Homage lines are now available in a beautiful seven-layer black-lacquer finish. Company reps told us that the new finish requires a 5% upcharge on the Olympica models, but is included as a standard finish for the Homage speakers.
Cabasse, long known for their flagship La Sphere loudspeaker, is touting a new coaxial midrange-tweeter that is said to be a direct descendant from the six-figure-priced La Sphere. It comes . . .
. . . in the new stand-mounted Murano loudspeaker, priced at €4000/pr. The Murano's bass range is reproduced by a 5.5" woofer, which, when combined with the coaxial mid- and high-frequency drive units, yields a three-way configuration. Finishes include Glossy Black, Glossy Wild Cherry, and Glossy Mahogany. The Murano will reportedly handle up to 1000W of peak program material!
Magico's epic Q7 Mk. II loudspeaker made its European debut in Munich. The new flagship features a 28mm diamond-coated beryllium-dome tweeter that is said to be a ground-up Magico design, along with a 6" graphene-coned midrange driver that is reportedly 30% lighter and 300% stiffer than its predecessor. The price of the 750-pound Q7 Mk. II is $229,000/pr. (an upgrade of the original Q7 will set you back $44,000, plus shipping to and from Magico's headquarters in California). If something lighter, less expensive, but still mighty impressive in its own right is more your thing . . .
. . . then look no further than the new Magico S7, which happens to be the new top of the line in the company's popular S-series speakers. This 300-pound model features a version of the company's diamond-coated beryllium tweeter, optimized for the S7, and a midrange that contains a graphene layer similar to that first seen in the company's limited edition M Project speaker. Three 10" woofers handle the bass range. The S7's price is $58,000/pr.
Soulution's 760 is the company's new flagship digital-to-analog converter. This unit possesses a host of technologically impressive features, including the company's Zero Phase Technology, which is said to eliminate the timing errors present in most DACs. On the hardware side, the power supply is equipped with a massive 500,000 microfarads of storage capacitance for the variable or fixed analog outputs. Custom-made clocks (the company states that this is the first application of this unique clocking technology in an audio product) are said to reduce jitter to the lowest possible levels. The 760's price is €50,000. Also new from Soulution . . .
. . . is the 755 phono stage, which features a power supply as hefty as that in the 760 DAC. There are highlights galore, including a variable output for direct connection to an amplifier, which obviously eliminates the need for a preamplifier. The company states that the 80dB of gain the 755 produces yields low noise and high channel separation. The 755 is priced at €50,000.
The Rosso Fiorentino Elba 2.5-way loudspeaker is part of the company's new entry-level line, which also has in it a two-way, stand-mounted model. This three-driver floorstander's lower woofer is said to be crossed over at a low 60Hz, whereas the midrange-woofer above it is crossed over at 2kHz to the tweeter. The unassuming and elegant Elba is priced at €2400/pr.
The Lansche Audio Cubus Mk. II is a three-way loudspeaker with a whopping 18" bass driver, an ion tweeter, and a 50cm midrange horn. How's that for disparate drivers?! The price of the Cubus Mk. II is €65,000/pr. All automotive colors are available as finish options, the company rep stated.
Gryphon Audio Design's Diablo 300 is the replacement to the Danish company's long-running Diablo integrated amplifier. This new beast is rated at 300Wpc into 8 ohms and is said to be capable of delivering up to 950Wpc into 2 ohms. The increase in power is partly due to the Diablo 300's improved power supply, which has a capacitor bank of 64,000 microfarads per channel. The volume control has been improved as well -- it's fully balanced like in the company's flagship Pandora preamplifier. We were also told that there are no more than two transistors in the signal path at any time, resulting in even better sound quality. An optional DAC for it will be available later in the year. The price of the Diablo 300 is €12,800, while the DAC option will be €4800.
The Jeff Rowland Design Group Daemon integrated amplifier is said to produce up to 1500Wpc into 8 ohms and has a full suite of digital inputs, as well as balanced and unbalanced analog inputs. The Daemon also has a power-amp input so that it can be used as a power amplifier only. The Daemon is controlled by a 5"x7" touchscreen. Its price is $38,800. Future options for it will include phono, HDMI, and wireless streaming, but prices for them are yet to be determined.