Accuphase is made in Japan and is a really big deal here -- it was amazing to see how many rooms were outfitted with their gear. As a result, it seems fitting to begin this gallery with one of their product introductions: the 30Wpc, class-A E-600 integrated amplifier, a beautifully built component that sells in Japan for ¥680,000.
Accuphase also released the MDSD DP-720 SACD/CD player, which sells for ¥1,100,000 in Japan. In Accuphase lingo, MDSD means Multiple Double Speed SACD. The DP-720 features coaxial, USB, and optical inputs. It can support resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz through coaxial and USB connections, and up to 24-bit/96kHz through the optical connection.
The MDSD DP-720's build quality is exceptionally good.
Accuphase also released the DG-58 Digital Voicing Equalizer, which incorporates room-correction and equalizer functions and can be controlled through its front panel with a pen-type pointer. The DG-58 will sell for ¥800,000 when it's released in December.
Luxman is another Japan-based audiophile brand with a large presence at TIAS 2013. The company released the PD-171AL belt-drive turntable, which sells for ¥395,000 without tonearm.
Luxman also released the LX-32u stereo integrated amplifier, which is an all-tube design rated at 60Wpc. The LX-32u's retail price is ¥280,000.
We were particularly taken aback by the Luxman LX-32u's attractive retro styling and convenient feature set -- definitely old-school, but very useful in many systems.
TAD, which stands for Technical Audio Devices, released two new products at TIAS 2013. On the left is the D-1000 CD/SACD player, which sells for ¥1,500,000 and plays discs, obviously, but also has coaxial, optical, and USB digital inputs so it can operate like a DAC. The coax and optical inputs support sampling frequencies up to 192kHz and 96kHz, respectively, while the USB input supports up to 384kHz. The ¥1,200,000 DA-100 is purely a DAC and supports the same sampling frequencies through the same number of digital inputs. Both components have balanced and single-ended outputs, as well as proprietary clock crystals that TAD reps say are a few times larger than typical ones.
The Einstein company is based in Germany, but they used Japan's TIAS 2013 to launch their The Tune integrated amplifier, which is a solid-state design that is rated to deliver 80Wpc into 8 ohms. The Tune comes stock with an MM/MC (high output) phono stage for ¥700,000, but an optional 24/192 internal DAC is also available for an extra ¥100,000.
B.M.C. Audio is another German audio company. At TIAS 2013 they launched the PureDAC, supporting PCM resolutions up to 32-bit/384 kHz, as well as DSD64 and DSD128. The PureDAC also has a volume control that operates in analog mode at normal and higher listening levels, and digitally at low volumes. It also has a balanced, front-mounted headphone jack to satisfy serious listeners. The PureDAC's retail price in Japan is ¥220,000.
German products are obviously big in Japan. Lansche Audio, a German-based company known for their use of plasma tweeters, introduced the 3.1, which sells in Japan for ¥3,500,000. We had a tough time believing that the 3.1 is a 2.5-way design until . . .
. . . it was flipped over and we could see the 9" woofer on the bottom.
United States-based manufacturer YG Acoustics launched the Hailey loudspeaker at TIAS 2013 (Hailey is the name of one of designer Yoav Geva's children). The Hailey is a three-way, passive design with the same ForgeCore tweeter that's used in their pricier Sonja model, as well as a 10.25" woofer and a newly developed 7.25" midrange driver, which both use the company's BilletCore cones. The Hailey sells in the United States for $42,800 per pair.
Vivid Audio, which is based in South Africa, launched the Giya G4 at this is event. The G4 is based on the same design principles as the three other Giya models, but is smaller. New for the G4 are a 100mm lower-midrange driver and a 125mm pair of woofers. The price for the G4 hasn't been set yet, but it's expected to be less than $35,000 per pair in the United States when it's released in March 2014.
The TechDAS company gave everyone sticker shock when they initially released their Air Force One turntable, which sells in Japan for ¥6,500,000 (no tonearm). To relieve some of that shock they've now introduced the Air Force Two, which sells for ¥2,500,000. The Air Force Two is designed using the same principles that were used for the One, but with lower-cost parts.
Esoteric, another well-known Japanese brand, debuted the new Grandiose D1 monoblock digital-to-analog converter (left) and Grandiose P1 SACD/CD transport (right), which sell for ¥1,250,000/each (you'll need two for stereo) and ¥2,500,000, respectively. The D1 can support PCM resolutions up to 32-bit/384kHz through its USB input, as well as DSD64 and DSD128. The D1 was presumably designed as a monoblock for the utmost in channel separation.
Esoteric also showed the matching M1 mono amplifier, which retails for ¥1,400,000 and is said to deliver 300W into 8 ohms and up to 2400W into 1 ohm. In other words, it's extremely powerful. The Grandiose P1, D1, and M1 are all part of Esoteric's MasterSound Works series and are beautifully made.
Even the Grandiose M1's rear panel is impressive.
Ayre Acoustics, which is based in the United States, announced the KX-R Twenty preamplifier, which celebrates the company's 20th anniversary and replaces the existing KX-R. In comparison to the existing KX-R, the Twenty, which will sell in Japan for ¥3,900,000 when it's released early next year, features Ayre's new Diamond output stage, improved parts, and a new current mirror that is said to keep the rail voltage 10,000 times more stable.
The Aura Note V2 features an integrated amplifier, CD player, headphone amplifier, digital iPod dock, 24/192 DAC, and FM tuner. It can also play music files from memory stick via its USB port (up to 16/44.1 WAV and 24/96 FLAC, as well as MP3, etc.). Power output is said to be 125Wpc into 8 ohms, which is plenty for most systems and is courtesy of B&O's ICEpower amplifier technology. The price for the Aura Note V2 in Japan is ¥320,000.
We shot this extra picture of the Aura Note V2 (top of middle rack) driving Elac stand-mounted speakers to better illustrate how much space can be saved with all-in-one components versus an army of separates.