Canada's Bryston displayed the BDP-1 digital music player (top) that's priced at $2150. The BDP-1 can decode any FLAC, WAV, or AIFF file with resolutions up to 24/192 and pass that digital signal along bit-perfect to a DAC such as Bryston's own BDA-1 (below). Bryston has stated that consumers should think of the BDP-1 as a 21st-century CD player. We'd rather think of it as the current successor to the CD player. [www.bryston.com]
The Jones Audio PA-M300 mono power amplifier ($24,000 per pair) sports some classy styling and a nice finish. The specs are impressive, too: 300W into 8 ohms and 560W into 4. Weighing 80 pounds, this amp now has a perfect partner, the . . .
. . . prototype Jones Audio preamplifier, which was finished just before the show (price TBA).
The Lamm ML2.2 mono power amplifier is the successor to the now-discontinued ML2.1. Priced at $37,190 per pair, the ML2.2 outputs 18Wpc into 8 ohms and uses 6C33C tubes in the output stage and power supply. Upgrades over the older ML2.1 include new transformers and an increased number of filter chokes.
The NuForce Reference 18 mono power amplifier is the company's most ambitious amplification component to date. This slim-line, aluminum powerhouse is rated at 175W into 8 ohms (continuous), 335W into 4 ohms (continuous), and 1300W into 2 ohms (peak).
Disc-based playback might be on its way out, but Parasound showed one of the most innovative CD players we've seen in some time. It was developed in conjunction with Holm Audio of Denmark. The CD 1 uses an onboard Linux-based computer for advanced error correction and buffering, and has been designed specifically to provide the ultimate in bit-perfect Red Book playback. According to company president Richard Schram, "the CD 1 has been designed for someone who dreams of owning something from dCS but can't afford it. The CD 1 won't disappoint them." The retail price hasn't been finalized, but the company is hoping to offer the CD 1 for under $4000.
Germany's Tidal Audio proudly displayed the Sunray loudspeaker, a $150,000-per-pair assault on the state of the art. Although the Sunray is not brand new, it reportedly now incorporates some even more ambitious Mundorf crossover components than in earlier iterations. This is one impressive loudspeaker!
The speaker is not brand new, but the finish is! Although a new finish would not normally qualify a product for our show coverage, the bright-red paint on the Usher Dancer Mini-One Diamond is striking and something worth commenting on. The Dancer Mini-One retails for $3999 per pair.
YG Acoustics launched a number of updates to their loudspeaker line, but none more impressive than their new in-house-machined aluminum driver cones. Termed by the company as BilletCore, these cones reportedly weigh under 1 ounce each and are only .008" thick. As to what models they come in . . .
. . . you'll find them in the Anat series as well as the Kipod models (left and center), but not the Carmel (right).
The 833TNT mono amplifier is made by Audio Power Labs of Columbus, Ohio, USA. Each 833TNT uses two 833C, two 6550, and two 12BH7 tubes and is said to deliver 200W into 8 ohms with less than 1% THD. The 833TNT uses liquid cooling for the tubes and is microprocessor controlled. The . . .
. . . 833C tubes are large like the chassis and the price: $100,000 per pair.
The Magico Q3 (47"H x 14.7"D x 10.5"W, 250 pounds each)was the expected CES release by the California-based company. This 90dB-sensitive floorstanding three-way features three of the company's new 7" Nano-Tec woofers along with a 6" midrange and a 1" beryllium-dome tweeter. This speaker retails for $34,000 per pair.
Magico surprised the CES crowd with the release of not one, but two Q-series loudspeakers. There was the Q3, which we'll get to, and the Q1. Replacing Magico's long-running Mini platform, the Q1 is a bookshelf-sized two-way design with an included bolt-on/off stand. It features a 7" Nano-Tec midrange-woofer and their 1" MBe-1 tweeter. Price is TBA. Availability is second quarter of 2011
Who says big solid-state amplifiers can't be nuanced? Well, we don't know if they sound nuanced, but there is quite a bit to see in the Dan D'Agostino Momentum mono amplifiers if you look closely at their appearance. The power meter was reportedly inspired by classic watch faces and the lack of visible fasteners taken from Apple's products. We like the look . . .
. . . which extends to the copper heatsinks, as well as the compact dimensions (4.3"H x 12.5"H x 18.5"D). The Momentum retails for $42,000 per pair and is rated to output 300W into 8 ohms, 600W into 4 ohms, and a massive 1200W into 2 ohms. Each amplifier weighs 90 pounds.