CES & T.H.E SHOW 2008

Part 4




This is the Speaker Currently Known as "The Prince". No Purple Rain, but at $39,000 it costs as much as a Little Red Corvette. This Prince by Hansen is also a bit short at 42", but its sound is large, very dynamic and very full range. One of the better sounds at the show.



Can you guess who makes this? They say it is cut to look like a jewel. Perhaps that's why named it the Sapphire.

It's by Dynaudio and the pic does not do it justice. One of the most stunningly gorgeous speakers and the price is also surprising at $16,000. It looks like a lot more.

Too bad it wasn't hooked up.




Look closely at the two glass canisters atop these monoblocks by Von Gaylord. Notice anything peculiar about them? In person, they look rather scary.

In fact, they look like cylindrical aquariums. Her;s another hint: They are named the "Sea Urchin". That's because they are filled with water!  According to designer Ray Leung, these are the first water cooled tube amps ever made. As a financial advisor, my first thought when I saw them was "LIABILITY!"  Water and high current mixed together in people's homes. Scary. "I just made them to show what I can do, what can be done", said Ray."I don't sell them". Hmmm. They are

listed on the price schedule he gave me for $59,000 per pair.

The speakers are a combo of the vG One & vG One plus - monitors sitting on bass cabinets. Enclosures are not wood but a metal alloy and composite.

91 dB efficient and go from 28 - 25,000 Hz. $13,800 for all.


His Nirvana mk III mono's looked more conventional. They use four 6550's each side to produce a claimed 110 watts. Price is $7,500/pair. We asked about a review. Maybe. Stay tuned. They look interesting.







This is Valentina Ross. She's Italian. Her father makes some of the most beautiful tube amps we've seen. The brand is Nightenigale, another pretty name. We reviewed the Armonia (on the table) here: Armonia review

For their newer, more expensive Platinum line they've gone to a more metallic, less retro look for the Gayla pictured below. GALA is a power tube amplifier no compromise, which is made in two units, one power supply and one power amplifier. Both of them are entirely with tubes.

The power supply includes:

One stabilized circuit high voltage 360V 300mA
Four stabilized circuits low voltage: two 5V 2A, one 12V 1A, one 80V 50mA.
The power amplifier includes both channels, left and right. Each of them is a push-pull of triodes 300B working in class A over the whole power and frequency range.

The separation in two units allows:

to reduce the electric noise
to maintain quite low operation temperature of the audio stages
to eliminate the coupling of the transformers fluxes.

GALA has the following additional characteristics:

No negative feedback
Stand by function
Automatic adjustment of BIAS: an electronic device maintain the BIAS within 1% of the nominal value.

20 Class A wpc each.

Price in the US (from Italy) is $16,350 per pair




Nightingale's parent company Simetel also makes speakers under the Concentus name .These are a 3-way open baffle design that go down to 40Hz and are 88 dB efficient. The sound from the Nightingale Gala's and the Cetra model speakers ($6,220) was amazing. The music just floated in the air from no apparent source, presenting a soundstage that was alive and transparent. Huge! Plenty of dynamics and air between instruments and voices. An extremely clean and musical sound.









Keep it coming! Take me to Part 5 of our report.


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