[Community of A/V Enthusiasts]
Swedish company PERFECT8 Technologies has shown glass loudspeakers before, this year the new $100,000+ MKll Evolution with a dipole design. DSP controlled 10” drivers flank each side. Combined with a ribbon tweeter, the glass-baffled speaker sounds clean, detailed and the bass is tight and controlled.
And now for something completely different, a speaker design caught my eye as I walked past an open door. Walking in I met Don Keele, designer of the CBT36K, which can be purchased as a kit and assembled at home. What impressed me was the design, a linear array that arced back towards the ceiling. The 18- 3 ½” “full range” drivers combined with the 72 ¾” tweeters use the space, and specifically the ceiling for an even room coverage. The system is only bi-amped and requires two stereo amplifiers. In this case a pair of Emotiva. Although I noticed subwoofers on each side, Don mentioned they only crossover at anything below 50 Hz. The kit is available from parts-express and can be had for $1,980. I can assure that it sounds impressive. It sure looks like a lot of fun to try.
A cut-away shows the construction, and be ready to paint, Don had his auto body shop neighbor paint this candy apple red.
John DeVore was playing his full-range floorstanding speaker called gibbon X. I marveled at the elegant, spatial and resolved sound. At an estimated $11,000 per pair, this has to be a serious contender.
Speakers truly do come in all shapes and sizes and the musical instrument analogy abounds. This 3.5 way design can truly be called the Cello. It boasts a pair of air motion ribbon tweeters and carbon fiber mid-range woofers. Mozart sounded fantastic. Expect to pay around $18,000 for these instruments.
New are these DSP in-wall speakers in two sizes, the DSP520 and DSP640. They are slim and fit within a 3 ½” stud wall construction. Not shown is the DSW600 in-wall subwoofer. Available this month, the 520 is $5,000 each and the 640 is $7,500 each.
A flagship is a flagship; the Model 7 at $48,000 is everything you’d expect from Richard Vandersteen, carbon fiber body referred to as Vandersteen Stealth rendering the enclosure inert. A 400 watt ultra-high-current amplifier with a seven band EQ. The contingent of speakers includes; a 1” tweeter on the front and ¾” on the rear, a 4.5” midrange, a 7” mid-woofer and a 12” subwoofer. How does it sound? Fantastic! Detailed, full, balanced, and natural. Had to peel myself off the couch..
Andrew Jones was on hand to demo the Evolution One. Using drivers developed from the Reference One, the mid-range and tweeter are coaxial or in-line. Just beautifully designed and without getting myself in trouble, one of the best sounding rooms.
Always creating a buzz at the show, Magico was playing their reasonably priced S1, at $12,600.
Magico added a center channel in their lineup with the $17,000 SCC meant to complement their large S5. A few amplifier rooms used the Magico’s as their reference speaker.
Turntables were everywhere in demo rooms. AVID was showing their new entry level INGENIUM that will range from about $2,200 with a tonearm.
Turntables are just beautiful!
The new flagship from YG is the Sonja available in four configurations, shown here is the full 1.3 with all the modules. Both drives and the cabinetry made of aircraft grade aluminum, it weighs 230 pounds and stands shy of 6 feet. Powered by D’agostino Momentum monoblocks, I’d sure consider this an elite sound.
LAMM INDUSTRIES, INC.
Speaking of elite, the Lamm room featuring Verity Audio Lohengrin ll S speakers ($120,000 per pair) and the system from Lamm included; At just under $74,500 for the pair used in bi-amping mode the ML2.2 single-ended amplifiers, the L2 reference preamplifier at $15,700/set and a phono preamp at $7,790. Tonally precise and exquisitely refined, I could have listened all day.
Harman Luxury Audio
This is a highly anticipated from Revel, the Performa3 with a complete line of 9 models from floorstandings, bookshelves, centers, surrounds and subwoofers.
At $10,500 JBL Synthesis SDP-45 surround processor/controller. Features 24bit/192kHz A/D and D/A converters. Eight HDMI inputs, the processor features 7.1 channels and both balanced and unbalanced analog outputs.
This show proved that the majority of manufacturers are suing files from their computers in all formats for demonstrations. Most are using flac files burned directly from CD’s while others are using higher resolution. Peachtree is perfectly positioned to play from computer sources. In their demonstration, one source was Spotify, which I use as well. Peachtree’s integrated amplifiers range from about $1,000 to their Grand integrated at 4,500 which pushes 650 watts into 4 ohm speakers. To prove it, a pair of Sonus Fabers sounded amazing using Amarra software through a Macbook.
The Peachtree Nova is an excellent alternative at $1,500 playing their own Design 5 monitors, this is an impressive system at around $2,200.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mark O’Brien and the products from Pennsylvania company Rogue Audio. Driving a pair of Eagleston Works speakers was this modest Hybrid amplifier. At $1,295, the Sphinx is a Hybrid design that includes both a headphone amplifier and a phono preamp.
Two new center channel speakers featuring electrostatic and folded tweeter technology are introduced in the $3,295 Stage X and the Motif X at $2,095.
New is the PBK room correction technology for their subwoofers. The first shipped with this technology is the Dynamo 1500X.
Also shown is the new Balanced Force 210 subwoofer with top mounted controls and sports dual 10” woofer drivers.
I can’t help but marvel at the CLX in mat walnut finish!
This gang is tireless, Sandy Gross and everyone at GoldenEar continues to rack up winners. The Triton 7 shifts away from towers with built-in powered subwoofers for a passive design.
A pair of 5 ¼’ drivers accompany the High Velocity Folded Ribbon Tweeter included in every speaker in the line and additionally, 2-8” bass radiators. At 40” high, the Triton 7 impressed me more and more with every track we heard. Available in the spring, at $699.99 each, expect to hear a lot about Lucky 7!
Highly anticipated (specifically by me as I will be reviewing) the new CS2.7. Trickle down engineering, it is a 3-way design employing similar drivers to the CS 3.7. at under $10,000 it sounded great, powered by Bryston amplifiers playing flac files from a laptop.
I’m always enamored by Totem, there is just a warm and natural sound to their speakers. A signature version of their Forest in a couple of exquisite wood veneers is available.
I wouldn’t say table top radios would necessarily raise an eyebrow, but this beautiful design called Woodbourne by Polk Audio is not only elegant in a beautiful wood finish with a classic cream colored fabric, but it featured 4 drivers with 180 watts, 70/20 per driver, per side. Both Bluetooth and Airplay capable, a digital input lets you make this a soundbar.
At $1,000 per pair, look for the new 3-way TSX 550T to bring back some classic speaker Polk styling.
Note the construction in the cutt-away.