Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

June 3-5, 2016

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016: I Finally Got a Decent MQA Demo!

When SoundStage! published my report about the MQA demo at Munich’s High End 2016 a few weeks ago, we ruffled some feathers -- not only of the people behind MQA, but of some audio writers who were already on the record with effusive praise of MQA. Fortunately for me, the MQA folks knew I would be attending last weekend’s T.H.E. Show Newport Irvine, California, and were willing to give me a more useful demo.

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T.H.E. Show Newport 2016: Grab Bag

While strolling the halls of the Hotel Irvine, site of last weekend’s T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 in Irvine, California, I encountered numerous interesting products that didn’t fit into categories large enough to populate an entire column. So I thought I’d wrap up my new products coverage with a column full of somewhat random stuff: headphone amps, acoustic treatments, and more. They’re arranged here in alphabetical order by brand, with all prices listed in USD.

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T.H.E. Show Newport 2016: Source Devices

It’s always fun at audio shows to watch how the choice of source devices evolves. At T.H.E. Show Newport 2016, the source devices of choice were computers, record players, and half-inch analog tape. I’m sure there was a CD player somewhere, but I didn’t notice it. Here are the most interesting developments in source devices I found at the show, with the products arranged in alphabetical order by brand and all prices in USD.

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T.H.E. Show Newport 2016: Amps and Preamps

With increasing focus on digital technology, headphones, and compact systems, traditional amps and preamps don’t seem as prominent at hi-fi shows as they once were. Still, as I walked the halls and show floor of T.H.E. Show Newport 2016, held at the Hotel Irvine in Irvine, California, I did find a few new amps and preamps that caught my eyes and ears. Actually, they’re new in one sense and old in another, because four of the six components are tube-based. Products below are presented in alphabetical order by brand, with all prices in USD.

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T.H.E. Show Newport 2016: Speakers

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016, held at the Hotel Irvine in Irvine, California, featured a few new speakers plus several being demoed for the first time in North America. The offerings ranged from ultra-retro to ultra-modern, at prices from a few hundred dollars to more than a hundred thousand dollars. Here are the ones I thought were most interesting. Speakers are presented in alphabetical order by brand, with all prices in USD.

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T.H.E. Show Newport 2016: Affordable Headphones at a High-End Show?

Since it moved to the much nicer venue of the Hotel Irvine last year, T.H.E. Show Newport has become one of North America’s more important regional hi-fi shows. The show’s website says that the show will feature more than 400 manufacturers. I walked some of the show yesterday during the press preview. Many of the manufacturers were still setting up in preparation for weekend crowds, but that didn’t stop me from noticing the first trend of the show. To my surprise, the most interesting thing I saw during the first day was the introduction of several shockingly affordable new headphones. It’s especially surprising after I spent so much of the first day listening to speakers costing more than $10,000 USD per pair.

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