Absolare demonstrated its new phono stage, the Passion, to great effect with a pair of Rockport Avior loudspeakers. The Passion is a . .
. . . two-box affair with point-to-point wiring and an all-tube signal path. The Passion is equipped with single-ended and balanced outputs, and has five adjustments for cartridge loading (MM and MC). The price of the Passion is $33,000.
The Marten Coltrane 3 (€97,000/pr.) is the newest iteration of the company's most iconic product. The 3 features upgraded drive units -- the new Cell drivers from Accuton. The tweeter is diamond, the midrange driver is a 7" ceramic unit, and the woofers are 10" in diameter and feature aluminum-sandwich-cone diaphragms. The cabinet is made from a carbon-fiber laminate, while the front baffle, which is said to be 68mm thick, is made of wood and aluminum.
MSB Technology has a new flagship digital product, the Select DAC, shown here with the top cover removed. This unit is priced at $89,950. The Select features eight pairs of MSB's Hybrid DACs, which support PCM and DSD natively, and a volume control designed by MSB specifically for this product. The clock is a Galaxy Femto 77, which the company designed from the ground up. The output stage is said to be direct coupled. The . . .
. . . external Power Base (bottom) contains two separate supplies, one for the analog circuitry and one for the digital section. The Select DAC has a ten-year warranty and comes standard in Matte White or Matte Black finishes, though custom colors, such as the gold finish shown, are available.
EgglestonWorks displayed its new Camilla. This model is a two-way loudspeaker with an integrated stand. The tweeter is a 1" soft dome, while the woofer is a 9" unit made by Morel for EgglestonWorks. The Camilla's construction is impressive: four sheets of MDF are laminated for the sidewalls, coupled with extensive internal bracing. The Camilla weighs 125 pounds including the stand. The retail price is $14,000/pr.
TechDas has introduced its new Air Force III turntable. This model is equipped with a solid-aluminum frame and will accommodate up to four tonearms. The basic platter is made from aluminum as well, but the company states that optional materials will be available in the near future. The III is said to have the "core air control technologies of the Air Force One," the company's flagship model. The price is TBA.
CH Precision continues to fill out its product line with the introduction of the P1 phono stage. The P1 is a modular design that accommodates both MM and MC cartridges. The P1 is available with an optional add-on board containing EQ curves for EMI, Columbia, Decca, and Teldec recordings. This CH can also be used with the company's X1 external power supply. The P1 is priced at 21,000 Swiss Francs.
Focus Audio's Master 2 BE is the company's largest and most expensive loudspeaker -- $45,000/pr. The 2 BE is equipped with a pair of beryllium tweeters, along with two 5" Eton midrange drivers and two 11" Eton woofers, all arranged into a D'Appolito-type configuration. The tweeters are mounted on an aluminum faceplate, although the remainder of the 2 BE is made from MDF. Although the Master 2 BE might appear from the photos to be a modular, segmented design, the cabinet, we were assured, is one piece.
dCS introduced a pair of new products at High End: the Rossini streaming DAC (£15,000) and the Rossini network player (£18,000). The DAC, in addition to having a wide array of digital inputs (USB, AES/EBU, S/PDIF), is able to stream services such as Tidal, Spotify, and Deezer. The Rossini . . .
. . . network player will play CDs and can access iRadio, as well as standard digital and UPnP sources. The Rossini app is said to be easy to install and use, and allows the user to manage his or her music library. The Rossini line is said to use technology developed from the flagship, four-box Vivaldi line, which retails in the United States for well over $100,000.
Beyond Frontiers Audio (BFA) was playing its new hybrid mono amplifier, the Tulip (price is TBA). The power output is 600W into 8 ohms or 1000W into 4 ohms. The Tulip uses ECC83 and ECC88 input tubes and Toshiba bipolar output transistors in its hybrid circuitry. The BFA monster is said to be a fully balanced design and is made mostly in Serbia, though the chassis work is done in Canada.
The Stello Power 700 is a two-channel power amplifier based on B&O's ICEpower amp modules. Its claimed power output is high: 700Wpc into 8 ohms. The 700's casework is all milled aluminum for a modern, clean look. The price is estimated to be between $6000 and $7000 when it's released later in the year.
Densen's Dino DAC is the company's new half-size digital product, with a chassis extruded from a single piece of aluminum. The Dino is capable of decoding 24-bit/384kHz PCM signals, as well as DSD. The Dino also has an analog preamplifier stage with volume control for direct connection to a power amplifier. The price will be €2000 when it begins shipping in late 2015.
Piega's new Classic Series comprises three models: the 40.2 (€5000/pr.); the 60.2 (€10,000/pr.); and the largest model, the 80.2 (€15,000/pr., not shown). The models' woofer sizes are as follows: 26cm for the 80.2, 22cm for 60.2, and 18cm for the 40.2. The ribbon technology . . .
. . . for the higher frequencies is what defines the brand, however. The top two Classic Series models use a coaxial ribbon tweeter-midrange, which the company says is one of a kind. The drivers, and the rest of the Classic Series parts, are made in Zurich, Switzerland, at Piega's factory.
The Vantage is the new flagship loudspeaker from Audio Solutions, a Lithuanian-based company founded by Gediminas Gaidelis (shown), who is also the chief designer. This 3.5-way model features a 1" silk-dome tweeter, a 6" midrange with an Egyptian Papyrus cone that covers the frequency range between 200Hz and 10,000Hz (a very wide range), two 6.5" SPC woofers, and a . . .
. . . 10" downward-firing aluminum-cone subwoofer that plays below 50Hz. There is also . . .
. . . an adjustable control center on the rear panel for fine-tuning the output levels of the tweeter and midrange. This is said to ease integration in the owner's room. The Vantage is priced at €30,000/pr.
The Harbeth Monitor 40.2 is a three-way vented design with a 300mm bass unit, a 200mm Harbeth Radial2 midrange, and a 25mm soft-dome tweeter. The 40.2 has an improved crossover, increased power handling, increased sensitivity, and is more linear than the model it replaces. The price is €16,850/pr. in Cherry finish. The Monitor 40.2 is handmade in Sussex, England, and will begin shipping in July.