Luxman, through On a Higher Note, the company's North American distributor, debuted a trio of new components that define, at least in terms of build quality, what can be offered for under ten grand. Shown first is the M-700u stereo power amplifier, rated to deliver 120Wpc into 8 ohms (or 420W into 8 ohms in mono). A slightly scaled-down version of the highly acclaimed M-900u, which retails for $19,900, the M-700u is priced at about half that: $9900. For the same price you can get the matching . . .
. . . C-700u preamplifier, which, like the M-900u, features similarly stunning casework. Unlike the C-900u preamplifier, which retails for $19,900, the C-700u is not a fully balanced design. It does, however, have single-ended and balanced inputs and outputs. Like the C-900u, mind you, the C-700u features tone controls.
The Luxman D-06u SACD/CD player-DAC ($9900) features the company's LxDTM transport mechanism. Digital inputs include coax, TosLink, and USB. The D-06u supports PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz, and DSD up to 5.64MHz.
Mola-Mola's long-awaited DAC made an appearance -- as a module in the company's Makua preamplifier that adds $5000 to the Makua's $13,450 list price. The optional phono stage adds another $2500. So a fully optioned Makua -- line-level, phono, and digital inputs -- is roughly $21,000. Mola-Mola also intends to release a standalone DAC later this year.
Sandy Gross of GoldenEar Technology demonstrated another new speaker in the company's impressive Triton series -- the Five. The Five is a fully passive speaker and is essentially a larger version of the Triton Seven, the other fully passive model in the line (the Triton One, Two, and Three have powered bass sections). The excellent sounding . . .
. . . HVFR (High Velocity Folded Ribbon) tweeter is nestled between two 6" bass-midrange drivers on the front baffle. On the sides . . .
. . . are a total of four 8" passive planar bass radiators (two on each side). The Triton Five also utilizes GoldenEar's balanced crossover topology with polypropylene capacitors, which the company first used in its flagship Triton One. The Triton Five is expected to be available in March 2015, and will be priced at $999 each.
Also in GoldenEar's room was the new SuperSub XXL powered subwoofer, which features dual-plane inertially balanced drivers and radiators. Housed in a relatively compact and attractive enclosure, two 12" active drivers are inertially balanced in the horizontal plane and two 12.75" x 14.5" planar radiators on the top and bottom surfaces are inertially balanced in the vertical plane. The balancing of drivers is done to reduce cabinet resonances and movement. A 1600W Triton digital amplifier powers the active drivers. The SuperSub XXL, which is rated down to 10Hz, will be priced at $1999 when it becomes available in the summer of 2015.
The Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Grand Symphony Edition loudspeaker ($8500/pr.), which made its debut at this show, is a five-driver, three-way floorstander. It comprises a 1" tweeter, 5" midrange, and three 7" woofers. The company rep stated that all the drivers are proprietary to Vienna Acoustics.
The Stenheim Reference is the flagship of the Swiss company's line of aluminum-cabinet speakers. The Reference is a four-way design that includes a whopping four 12" woofers (two are on the front and two more are mounted on the rear), two 6" midranges, a soft-dome tweeter, and a ribbon supertweeter. The price for the Reference is $225,000 per pair, which includes an external crossover.
European Audio Team's (E.A.T.) CEO, Jozefina Lichtenegger, showed her new C-Sharp turntable ($4000), which can be purchased with an Ortofon Quintet Black cartridge (as shown) for a total price of $4500. The E.A.T. turntable features a carbon-fiber subchassis inset into an MDF-based main chassis. The metalwork, which is striking looking, is exceptionally precise . . .
. . . as you can see in this close-up shot.
The two-chassis E.A.T. E-Glo tube phono stage features a separate power supply. The design is based on three . . .
. . . 12AX7 tubes per channel. The E-Glo's retail price is $8500.
The IsoTek Mosaic Genesis power regenerator is seen here with the company's founder and managing director, Keith Martin. This five-outlet "sine-wave generator" (it converts the wall power to DC and then back to AC) is designed to provide power for your entire audio system. Three of the five outlets are designed specifically for source components, while the remaining two are appropriately rated for power amplifiers or other components that draw more power. The front panel . . .
. . . displays all sorts of useful information, such as the incoming voltage and distortion levels of the AC both before and after regeneration. The Mosaic Genesis's retail price is $11,995.
Shunyata Research's new Sigma-series power cords are part of its distributed power conditioning systems approach, where power-line noise is conditioned in several components, not just in the traditional power conditioner. As such, the Sigma power cables feature an Etron noise-reduction filter, high-quality CopperCONN connectors, and a VTX wire geometry to minimize skin effect. The Sigma Digital and Analog versions are available for $2500 each in 1.75m lengths, and the High Current version, which features 6AWG conductors instead of the 8AWG in the Digital and Analog, is priced at $3500. The new . . .
. . . DF-SS (Dark Field Suspension System) improves upon Shunyata's previous Dark Field Cable Elevator. The new DF-SS features a polymer strap that acts as an energy-absorbing suspension bridge for cables, a filling made of a granular vibration diffraction compound, and special vibration-absorbing feet for hard surfaces. The DF-SS is priced at $195 for three.
Naim Audio was showing its Super Lumina interconnects and speaker cables, which are designed to provide the maximum performance from the company's Statement components as well as its less expensive products, or even products from other manufacturers. The speaker cables can be terminated with 4mm pins or spades, and the interconnect can be terminated with XLR, DIN, or RCA connectors. The most unique feature of the Super Lumina cables is the Air-PLUG on the DIN and XLR connectors, which is a decoupling device designed to minimize the transmission of airborne and mechanical vibrations. The rears of the connectors are made up of multiple aluminum rings that articulate and flex to inhibit the passage of unwanted energy. The pins in the DIN connectors also float in their sockets to provide further decoupling. The unique cable geometry utilizes conductors of differing diameters to minimize skin effect, and . . .
. . . electrical components housed inside small boxes attached to the cables provide different resistive values to optimize the performance of the cables. Each Super Lumina cable is hand assembled by Naim personnel in England to the customer's specifications. Statement amplification systems already ship with Super Lumina interconnects, and the rest of the product range is scheduled to begin production in February. Prices are TBA.