CES 2011 – EAR, Marten, Jorma Design

[We are going through the rooms in the order that I saw them. There were just a few rooms that I went to first, before starting the more regimented room to room search. Neli and I went to these few rooms together, which was the first time we have done this in several years].

EAR electronics on Marten ‘Bird’ speakers.

There were a number of sources here: reel-to-reel, CD and computer. A number of tracks on the computer were recorded from the reel-to-reel. Dan tried to convince me that tracks recorded this way from tape and played back on the laptop sounded better than the CD of the same track. It was certainly less compressed, but I am not certain that there wasn’t some bad stuff inserted by the laptop in there as well. In this very limited demonstration, in fact, I didn’t like the sound much on either the CD nor the laptop. The EAR-modded R-to-R sounded great though 🙂

EAR electronics on Marten ‘Duke’ speakers

New Jorma Design cables to replace their ‘No. 1’ speaker cables. The cable is slightly rounder and smaller than the No. 1. Bybees are no longer used but the wooden ornamentation remains. The sound is much closer to the Jorma Design ‘Orego’ cables (which appear immediately above the No. 1 in their line of cables).

CES 2011 flyby #1

Just a few photos to give a taste…

YG Acoustics speakers driven by Tenor amps. Bass issues in room did not hide the fact that te mid and uppers were very nice.

Marten’s new Coltrane 2 speakers and amplifiers. Bass issues in room did not hide the fact that there was an ease and authority to these speakers that the Coltrane 1’s did not have. Lots to do with the 1″ tweeter as much or more than the increased size of the cabinet and woofers

Soundlab’s new inwall speakers. Demo of the inwall speakers is tonight or tomorrow night (sorry, I am too old to remember nothing)

Kimber / IsoMike / EmmLabs / Sony room. Best by far I’ve heard these Sony’s sound.

Dynamic Contrast was exhibiting some innovative vibration-controlling equipment racks. The test I conducted was inconclusive – need a better test track [mostly, I just feel how much the chassis of the equipment is vibrating – and listen too, of course]

Marten Coltrane 2

Marten has announced the new ‘Coltrane 2’ loudspeaker which will be debuted at CES 2011 this next January in Las Vegas. We’ve only known about this a few days… and are we ever anxious to hear them!

The most visible change is the two 11 inch woofers replacing the two 9 inch woofers on the previous Coltrane (which we have enjoyed very much and displayed in the Audio Federation room at RMAF 2010)

A closeup of the announcement. The price is expected to be around $85K a pair (the previous Coltrane was $70K).

[The demo pair of cherrywood Coltrane speakers we played in our room at RMAF 2010 to such wonderful effect are still available at a decent discount *hint* *hint* :-)]

The Coltrane 1 is one of the best loudspeakers, if not THE best, at its size in the fricking world [and we are ALWAYS looking for other speakers that can do what these speakers do – i.e. get completely out of the way of the music].

These changes will obviously give the Coltrane 2 more bass and a somewhat larger scale with respect to their overall presentation.

Marten has also announced a hefty 600 watt amplifier. It will be about $45K a pair.

We’ve been talking a lot here about the dearth of high-quality solid-state amplifiers – i..e those able to reproduce micro-dynamics at scale. It will be interesting to see what these sound like 🙂