CES 2017

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Jana Dagdagan  |  Jan 24, 2017  |  8 comments
On the final day of the show, our special guest, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro and our very own Jason Victor Serinus came together to form the most unlikely of duos. We originally attempted to film this while in a moving gondola but were sternly prohibited from doing so by the gondola ride manager.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Jan 17, 2017  |  31 comments
"What are your thoughts on this year's CES?": A multi-dimensional question that means many different things to the many different people who share the high-end audio realm. For my first attendance at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, I had a mission: to compile answers to this complex question and fit my findings on a visual medium, a time capsule of sorts. Is this the last year of CES? Was the low attendance in the high-end audio segment at the Venetian just a temporary lull? Or could it be a turning point for the high-end audio industry? Whatever might happen, 2017 struck me as a pivotal year for CES, and a show that begged to be captured.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 13, 2017  |  2 comments
Since I focus on digital product introductions at CES, Crystal Cable wasn't on my radar until John Atkinson suggested checking them out last year when bringing Graham Nash to the show. Boy am I glad I did! Not only did Graham love his visit there in 2016 (and JA subsequently reviewed their speakers), Jake ended his CES 2017 tour on a high note in the room with an encore performance that brought tears to more than one visitor's eye.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 13, 2017  |  18 comments
Photo: John Atkinson

How to sum up the smallest high-end showing ever at a 21st Century CES? While it seems likely that CES trade-show attendance in general was down just a bit this year from the 2016 high of 177,393, the official estimate of "more than 175,000 industry professionals, including 55,000 from outside the US" stands in sharp contrast to the scene on the upper floors of the Venetian Tower, where some hallways that had formerly been packed with what CES calls "high performance" exhibits and industry people were now dominated by tech-company exhibits and visitors.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 13, 2017  |  0 comments
Besides the TIA's thick copper top deck (and copper remote handset), the 280R features full point-to-point-wired, dual-mono construction with one GZ34 rectifier tube per channel…
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 13, 2017  |  1 comments
Sometimes it's love at first sight. I know appearances can be deceiving, but I couldn't stop looking at Rogers High Fidelity's 114Wpc EHF-200 MK 2 amplifier ($15,900). The beautiful KT150 tubes, the glossy red front panel, and the thick plexiglass tube cover were eye candy.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  0 comments
While the New York Times recently focused on the introduction of the company's SL-1200G coreless-motor direct-drive turntable ($4,000), my interest focused on Technics' 188-lb, $17,000 SE-R1 digital amplifier, which I heard powering their SB-R1 3.5-way floorstanding speakers.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  3 comments
Emotiva looked so direct-sales, street-wise smart—and everybody was talkin’ about how musical Emotiva’s stuff sounds: “It sounds good—and they're givin’ it away!” I couldn’t wait to try one of their products.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  3 comments
What goes up, must go down. So we headed back to the stairs and then down five flights to the 30th floor where John DeVore was set up. We were now in the smallest size room you'll find at the Venetian, but still big enough to fit us all in, like a cozy, plush living room. John keeps his space dark and relaxing too, the emphasis clearly on our sense of hearing. So no flash, and I've tried to keep the brightness in the photos realistic to reflect how this room felt.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  3 comments
Naim hit CES running with four new Uniti digital products, starting with the Nova (pictured below) at $6,995 and available in June. The Nova is the top dog of the three new all-in-one player/integrated amps and features a full slate of digital inputs (including SD card and USB on the front), a quartet of analog inputs (two sets RCA and two 5-pin DIN), and networking either via ethernet or WiFi. Streaming options include AirPlay, Tidal, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth AptXHD, and internet radio.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  4 comments
Look at that photo, with the beautiful wood-plinthed KT88 amp. What do you notice? That's not a dCS digital stack lying on the table bottom-right: It's an iPad. A fancy red cable, whose name I forgot to get, is connecting a portable music source to the line-level input of a $1850 single-ended stereo integrated headphone amplifier called the Mogwai.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  0 comments
The company's new Omega-F driver technology, utilized herein, claims to eliminate eddy-current distortion caused by iron-based-magnet motor systems. Instead, it uses a patented cluster of neodymium magnets, which creates a static magnetic field that needs no focusing by iron. As a result, the company claims "better transients, less coloration and more refined complex sound structures."
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  2 comments
Today, in Vegas, DeVore's super-sensitive Orangutan O/96 loudspeakers ($12,000/pair) were powered by Sugden's Masterclass LA-4 line preamplifier ($3750) and Sapphire FBA800 40Wpc class-A amplifier ($7500). The system was playing Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (on Daptone Records) with super cool but hot-running LP joy.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  0 comments
Both sides of the Atlantic are making tube products that (again) sound at least a little like actual vacuum tubes and less like high-strung solid-state racing cars. Both cultures now want genuine tube sound but demand 21st century tube longevity and reliability—and, of course, a discrete headphone amplifier.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  2 comments
Though the variations can get confusing, I love all of these compact music networking and streaming devices spawned by the original Sonos products over ten years ago. The rPlay is intended for those who want to add one or more points of audio around their lair, streamed from subscribed services such as Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Pandora, or Amazon Prime, or a NAS on the network.