STEREOMOJO SPECIAL DUAL REPORT

CES 2014

T.H.E SHOW 2014

 

Part 2

NOLA

 

 

Over the years, Carl Marchisotto at Nola has provided one of the most consistently good if not great sounds at every show.

This year was no exception. This is his new Concert Grand Reference Gold.

Golden price though, $197,000 per pair. Easy contender for Best Sound.

 

UNISON RESEARCH

 

 

Colleen Cardas is the importer for Unison and she knows what she's doing.

Beautiful little integrated amp from Italy. At only $3,495 it does 22 wpc in triode mode or switch to pentode mode for 45 wpc.

 

 

 

Here's the same amp driving these large Opera Quinta SE floorstanders, but they are very sensitive and easily driven by the 22 watts at $6,995/pr. The black baffle is either leather or leather textured. Nice.

 

Bottom of the rack is the Unico CDE CD player at $4,495. It has tubes, too.

 

A very impressive system for under $15,000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot of changes at Peachtree, but this new Nova 220 SE amplifier/DAC does a whopping 220 wpc at only $1,999. Ships in March. The DAC does

a balanced 24/192 via asynchronous USB and coaxial S/PDIF inputs. There's also a tube buffer, switchable in and out on the remote for a bit of that tube goodness. Does not do DSD,but does have an analog input for turntables. One of the best bargains we saw.

 

 

 

 

 

New from Moon, the 220i integrated amp is their entry level integrated at only $1,850.

It's class A/AB with toal output of 40 wpc.

Other features:

A power supply using a custom toroidal transformer design
· 6 line-level inputs including a front-mounted 1/8" mini-jack for personal media players
· Headphone output on 1/4" TRS jack located on the front panel
· Proprietary MOON Bipolar output transistors with unprecedented gain linearity resulting
in improved bass response and even more accurate sonic reproduction
· "Class A" output to 5 watts for greater efficiency
· Heat-sink free design incorporating an aluminum chassis for evenly distributed heat dissipation
· RS-232 port for (i) full unsolicited bidirectional feedback and (ii) firmware updates
· IR input for external control
· SimLink™ controller port for 2-way communications with other compatible MOON components
· Rigid chassis construction to minimize the effects of external vibrations
· Optimized selection of very high quality electronic components
· Low operating temperature for an ultra-long life expectancy
· Includes CRM-2 remote control.

 

 

Inside Moon's $8,000 760A Power AMP, dual mono 130 wpc

 

 

 

 

BMC, famous for their amps, surprised with a new speaker

called the Pure Vox ($6,500/pair). It's a bipolar design where both the forward and rear-facing drivers are carbon-fibre mid-bass driver and a Heil tweeter. The top driver is aimed upward which is said to enhance ambience without smearing imaging. The crossover is housed in an isolated chamber to reduce exposure to vibration, a feature sometimes found on much more expensive speakers.

 

 

 

 

Magnapan introduced a new speaker at the show that looks like an ordinary set of curtains.

They sounded magnificent however with a stated frequency response of 5 to 100,000k!

The size can be adjusted, like a curtain, for different rooms.

 

No, that's not true. Haha. Wendell Diller was trying something new and charitible by having listeners GUESS the price of the UNKNOWN speaker hidden behind the curtains. He would then give the speakers (or their value in dollars) to a person or family who has found themselves in need. Unique idea.

We are currently reviewing the new Super MMG at about $1,200.

They have a new version of their 3.7 called the 3.7i. Maybe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

This looks small, but it's mighty. Korg's new DS-DAC-100 ($600) consists of Korg's new AudioGate 3 software that is said to transform lower sample rate files (think mp3) to much higher quality. It's more than just upsampling, though it does upsample to DSD heights. The audio passes through without the hardware filtering or modulation, apprently staying in the 1-bit realm, eliminating potential noise and distortion.

 

 

The AudioGate software has video output so it becomes a full media player, though there's no storage inside it. Users can play back their audio files including DSD 2.8 MHz and 5.6 MHz. It includes both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR outputs. Users can play back their existing audio from CDs, downloads or other sources, as high-quality DSD audio on their computer or laptop. There is also a 1/4" stereo headphone output.

 

$600 - Stereo for Cheap Bastards territory!

 

 

SVS, whose UltraTower speaker we just reviewed (a world's first)  at $2,000 that compared favorably with the reviewer's $55,000 Wilsons

unveiled a line of subwoofers.

 

SVS showed two new subwoofers, both based on a newly-developed 12" driver that features dual ferrite magnets, a reinforced Nomex spider, a long-throw rubber surround and tinsel leads integrated into the cone to eliminate tinsel slap and improve reliability. Each is also powered by a amplifier, the Sledge STA-500, rated at 500W continuous and it incorporates a DSP engine with an array of filters, controls for volume, gain and phase as well as a frequency-dependent limiter/compressor to control driver behavior. Both driver and amp come in a compact sealed design, the SB-2000 ($699, right above) with a FR of 19-240Hz and in a larger, more powerful ported design, the PB-2000 ($799, left above). During a brief audition, even the smaller SB-2000 seemed more than capable of filling the demo room with powerful, tight bass.

 

Cool so far!

Go to Part 3

 

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