Although it looks like a conventional integrated amplifier, the NAD C 390DD is anything but. The DD stands for Direct Digital, meaning that the C 390DD is a digital amplifier in the same vein as the company's more expensive Master Series M2. And in case you're wondering . . .
. . . yes, the C 390DD has a USB input, along with HDMI. The C 390DD is rated to deliver 150Wpc into 8 ohms and is priced at 2500€. As can be seen in the picture, it will be available in August. [www.nadelectronics.com]
No, not a new Vandersteen speaker per se -- this is still the Model Seven (45,000€ per pair) we all know and love. But we were so taken with the Royal Ivory finish -- we were told it comes from Morgan Motor Company -- that we just had to photograph it. According to Richard Vandersteen, who was at the show, this is the first Seven to be painted this color. [www.vandersteen.com]
Our collective pulse quickened when we were introduced to the newest Siltech cables. The new Explorer Series cables are the first copper models from the company, and the prices are most exciting. The 90i RCA interconnects are 299€ for a .75m pair, the 180ix XLR cable is 399€ for a .75m pair, while the 90L speaker cables are 599€ for a 1.75m pair. Other models in the series are available and shipping now. [www.siltechcables.com]
Although in prototype form, the new NuForce iDO is an iPod DAC and more -- it takes the digital output direct from the iPod and will then output an analog signal via RCA connections and a digital signal using a coaxial connection. The iDO also has a headphone jack on a 3.5mm plug. It retails for 249€. [www.nuforce.com]
The NuForce P-18 preamplifier (4999€) is the company's new top-of-the-line preamp and a perfect partner to the company's Reference 18 mono amplifiers. The P-18 will feature a revised readout when launched later this summer. [www.nuforce.com]
As if the Ascendo System M-S loudspeaker wasn't ambitous enough, the upgraded System M-S S.E. (for Special Edition) is surely an all-out product. Features such as an external crossover, special decoupling components between modules, upgraded binding posts and something quite unexpected . . .
. . . a rear-firing tweeter that is housed in a separate enclosure so that placement in the room can be optimized. The price of the System M-S S.E. is 70,000€ per pair.
Shipping now: the VTL TL-7.5 Series III line-level preamplifier. The original TL-7.5 was introduced over eight years ago, and this latest version is said to offer a major step up in performance compared with its predecessor. New capacitors, a new gain stage, a revised power supply, and more go into the design. The price is 23,750€.
German Physiks introduced a speaker model that's relatively inexpensive . . . for them: the Unlimited MKII. This speaker marries their carbon-fiber DDD driver with a downward-firing 8" woofer in a two-way configuration. The price is 9999€ per pair. The only way we could get a shot of the woofer was to . . .
. . . ask the company's Robert Kelly to hoist the speaker up in the air and hold it there while we took the photo, which he happily did. Well, sort of happily.
Statement speakers abound: The SurrounTec Masterpiece costs a whopping 250,000€ per pair and is comprised of a large 50mm diamond tweeter, two 8" midranges, and two 11" woofers, all powered by built-in class-A amplifiers. The rear of the Masterpiece shows . . .
. . . the massive heatsinks and tuning ports that are said to be machined by the same company that supplies parts for Bugatti sports cars.
The Vienna Acoustics Bach Grand sports a 7" woofer and a unique port configuration: if you look closely, you'll notice that the port actually terminates behind the tweeter! That seems like a novel approach to say the least. The price is 2000€ per pair.
The Vienna Acoustics Hadyn Grand Symphony Edition (SE) has a 6" woofer and also locates its port opening behind the tweeter. The real-wood finish on these speakers was striking, particularly for 1500€ per pair.
The Audio Resolution Wave loudspeaker is a two-way system featuring a pair of 6.9" mid-woofers and a ring-radiator-type tweeter mounted within a waveguide. What we almost missed was . . .
. . . the amplifiers on the back. Yes, the Wave is a fully active speaker. The price is 12,000€ per pair.
Ultrasone's Edition 10 is a beautifully finished headphone design that is now available in a balanced version for 2050€. The standard Edition 10 is 1999€.
Germany's Zellaton says that they have been in business for 75 years. That's quite the run, and to celebrate they've launched their Classic speaker model, which can be purchased as a standard version for 31,700€ per pair or in Classic S guise that has a switchable midrange crossover (taking that crossover out of the circuit) and upgraded drivers for 35,500€ per pair.
TW-Acustic launched a new turntable at High End 2011: Here you see the Raven LTD, of which there will only be 50 units made. The price is 16,000€ and that does include a TW-Acustic tonearm.
Daniel Weiss is seen holding the MAN202 network audio player. The MAN202 can be purchased in two configurations: with built-in DAC for 9600€ and without for 6400€.
YG Acoustics has been busy upgrading their speaker models. The newest launch is the Kipod II Signature, which features a high-pass crossover for the midrange-tweeter module that allows for higher output and lower distortion. The price is 52,000€ per pair.