January 16, 2015
CES 2015 was an undeniable success this year, with over 160,000 attendees according to the taxi driver who drove me to the airport Friday. There were many cool products launched at the show and many of them will be available at The Sound Room.
At the Harman booth, Revel were showing the new Concerta series of speakers. Those white towers in the theatre shot are meant to retail for $2000 Canadian a pair! They sounded excellent and the fit and finish was impressive. One Sub, one bookshelf, a centre speaker and two towers all featuring aluminium drivers and computer modelled cabinet designs. The other image shows them in gloss black.
Mark Levinson showed this behemoth monaural power amplifier offering 400 watts into an 8Ω load or a mighty 800 watts into a 4Ω load. A modest size considering its output.
"The № 536 employs discrete class AB amplifier topology with no integrated circuits in the signal path, along with Class A voltage gain and driver stages, a configuration that delivers exceptional sonic purity"
I'm trying to get the local rep to get me a couple of samples to play with. Stay tuned.
They were also were showing the new integrated amp/dac called the 585. Employing 200W class AB fully differential power amps, offering massive flexibility, the latest ESS 32Bit DACS with proprietary jitter elimination circuitry plus the new Clari-Fi low rez data recovery algorithm. Very nice piece.
These new AKG N90Q headphones won't be out until summer 2015 but I must say I was mighty impressed. Great bass, silky smooth mids. They also had a wide variety of features including a mini USB so you can connect a computer directly. The headphones will drive themselves using the power on the USB and decode the audio data asynchronously. i.e they have DAC's on board. Plus they have a wide variety of EQ's and soundstage adjustments and offer the latest noise cancellation. This is likely to be one of the top performing headphones this year.
These Harman Kardon Bluetooth speakers, on the right, looked and sounded good too!
Krell showed, amongst other things, the Vanguard integrated amplifier with a new digital section offering USB, SPDIF and optical inputs plus HDMI switching (how smart is that!) and Bluetooth and Ethernet streaming, featuring the Krell application below. This new addition to this exceptional amp will probably add around $1500 to the already reasonable $5200 Canadian price tag. Looking forward to adding this board to the Vanguard in our showroom!
Sony were showing new Hi-Res players, headphones DAC's and headphone amps. Sorry the picture is so fuzzy but I can assure you the sound from these cans, was not. Stay tuned, as some of this fine product will be arriving at The Sound Room in 2015.
ADL and Furutech showed some cool products, including this excellent sounding closed back on ear headphone for $299 and the GT40a headphone amp, 24/192 asynchronous USB DAC, MM/MC phono stage and pre amp for $599. Amazing build quality and feature set at this price, not to mention a clean and open sound normally associated with way more expensive headphone amps.
Peachtree Audio were showing some of their highly acclaimed DAC integrated amplifiers. Below is the cherry finished Nova 65SE offering
- amplification with 65WPC @ 8Ω.
- USB, 2opt., coax and analog aux inputs.
- 24/192 ESS Sabre DAC with asynchronous USB.
- New class A output stage from Grand Series
- tube buffer and high performance headphone amp.
- 5V Tap for optional BT1 Bluetooth Receiver.
- Plug and play USB mode
- Aluminum faceplate and real wood veneers and piano black.
and the Nova 125SE amplifier DAC with similar features and design but with a seriously heathly 125WPC power output
Peachtree Audio also showed this gem of a digital preamp and a baby power amp sporting 150 watts per channel. Plus they showed off their low cost high quality baby DAC's. Some of this will definitely be offered at The Sound Room