Nordost has released what they claim is the first HDMI cable manufactured in North America. The Blue Heaven HDMI cable uses the company's Micro Mono-Filament conductors and is double shielded. The Blue Heaven HDMI is fully 3D compliant and costs $350 for a 1m cable ($100 per additional meter).
Legacy Audio introduced the new Aeris loudspeaker, which is priced at $15,900/pr. Bass is handled through two 12" woofers and a 10" midbass. Perhaps the most notable design feature is . . .
. . . the company's new dual Air Motion Tweeter. Additionally, the midrange and midbass drivers operate in a dipole fashion down to 200Hz due to the open-back design of the cabinet.
Sanders Sound Systems played their newest electronic component, the aptly named "Preamplifier," which is built entirely in the United States (why bother with model names?). The Preamplifier's retail price is $4000, which includes a phono stage.
Canada's Tenor Audio displayed the 175S stereo amplifier, which has been in production for several years . . . but not in the striking piano-black finish that is a nice contrast to their usual wood-grain look. The price of the 175S is a cool $55,000.
Von Schweikert Audio showed an active version of their VR-44 at the last CES, but used this show to launch the passive version, which sells for $22,000/pair. Like the active version, the passive version uses dual 8.8" woofers and has a rear-mounted ambiance tweeter.
Your Final System's new music server is the HD Ref3 SE, which retails for $12,000 in the configuration shown (it starts at $9000 in basic form) and is controlled by an iPad. The HD Ref3 SE contains 32GB of DR3 RAM and a 512GB solid-state hard drive, but according to the company's reps, the HD Ref3 SE can be custom-configured in any way the customer pleases.
Vapor Audio of St. Louis, USA, showed the Jewel Black three-way stand-mount loudspeakers, which are priced at $8995/pr. including the stands. This model includes a RAAL tweeter along with a baffle made from a phenolic and aluminum sandwich that is split to provide isolation between the drive units, and is topped with an ultra-thin wood-veneered outer surface. There is more to this speaker than meets the eye!
Mojo Audio debuted the Mystique tube-based DAC, which is priced at $4999.95. Mojo Audio is proud to state that their DAC uses no filtering, no error correction, and no upsampling. There are six power supplies contained within the nondescript chassis.
Devore Fidelity introduced a new model to the Orangutan line, the 93, which is priced at $7900/pr. This model is rated at 93dB sensitivity and has a 10-ohm impedance, meaning that it's an easy load for low-powered tube amps. The Orangutan 93 is also rated to play down to 30Hz through its large 10" driver.
The Zu Audio Union loudspeaker is priced at $2000/pr. in standard wood finishes, including the walnut version shown. The Union . . .
. . . features a unique 10" coaxial driver -- the super tweeter is crossed over to the wideband cone driver at a very high 12kHz.
Joseph Audio played the new Pearl 3 loudspeaker for the first time at RMAF 2012. This updated model is defined by a new crossover based on this company's Infinite Slope technology, which Jeff Joseph says helps him attain a sound quality he has been chasing for his entire career. The Pearl 3's price is $28,500/pr.
The Estelon XB from Estonia was on display in a striking blue finish at RMAF 2012. This speaker retails for $32,500/pr. and incorporates . . .
. . . an 8" woofer, a 6.25" midrange, and a 1" tweeter -- all made from ceramic and sourced from Accuton. We thought that this speaker looked really sharp and sounded really nice.
MSB Technology introduced the Analog DAC, which processes PCM-based audio up to 32-bit/384kHz resolution, as well as all DSD formats. The basic analog DAC retails for $7000 and comes with the top piece and an external box-type power supply (not shown). The upgraded Analog DAC is priced at $10,000 and comes with the power supply shown in the photo above, with the two cases separated by spikes -- nice industrial design. The Analog DAC . . .
. . . also has a novel volume display built into the top panel.
Bob Carver (yes, that Bob Carver) played the Amazing Line Source loudspeaker, which is a two-way line-source tower that incorporates 13 front-firing ribbon tweeters and 22 side-mounted high-excursion woofers (11 on each side). There is also a . . .
. . . tube-based analog crossover that is used between the preamp and power amplifiers to create a fully active, biamplified system. The price for the entire speaker system, including crossover, is $19,700/pr. We thought this was a very interesting and promising design.
Sonic Studio released a new version of Amarra Vinyl, a software system that allows the digitizing of analog sources (e.g., vinyl, tape, etc.) at up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution and allows the user to remove the distortions such as clicks, crackles, and hiss, ostensibly leaving only the music behind. Amarra Vinyl also supports metadata tagging, making it highly compatible with music servers. The price for the new Amarra Vinyl will be announced soon.