SIDE 2
CES (Consumer Electronics Show)
T.H.E. Show

Las Vegas
January 6th, 2006

Track 3

The MBL room

The BAT, Wilson room

The Venture room

The Cain & Cain room

The Hanson room

The Zanden room (camera battery died)

and more...

* Denotes a product carried by Audio Federation

 

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All pictures in this report are freely copyable and distributable.

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Ginko Audio's Tubulous speaker, platforms, racks and platforms. Modwright Instruments.

 

 

 

Topsound builds speakers for manufacturers

 

 

 

IsoTek builds power distribution and filtering / conditioning equipment. The Nordost 'Thor' power distributor was manufactured by these folks.

 

 

 

The innards of an IsoTek box.

 

 

 

The MBL room. All MBL. All the time.

This room sounded OK, if you keep in mind the goals of systems like this and the resulting limitations in terms of lack of transparency, microdynamics (there ain't none), frequency response tilted up in the bass, and really a total lack of interest in reproducing the actual music itself.

There are a number of systems in this category, including those built around the big JM Lab, B&W and Wilson speakers. The MBL system sounds 'better' than these other in a number of ways - it is really up to an individual's taste.

Most people who are not audiophiles just want an "Impressive" system (see Official Report for more). This system qualifies. It also is "Enjoyable" to listen to and communicates some levels of "Emotion" (but not all) which the JM Lab & B&W do not. However, music on these speakers does not, and perhaps never will, sound "Real".

If we can get more people outside the hobby to buy systems like this, an impressive system that actually sounds good, then maybe their friends will start becoming interested as well - and maybe this hobby will actually grow for a change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DH Labs / PrimaLuna / Audio Concepts, Inc. / Upscale Audio

 

 

 

DH Labs / PrimaLuna / Audio Concepts, Inc. / Upscale Audio

 

 

 

DH Labs / PrimaLuna / Audio Concepts, Inc. / Upscale Audio

 

 

 

Sonus Faber Amati speakers, PrimaLuna amplifiers $2300 - $2700, DH Labs power cords

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Music room

 

 

 

Eggleston Works 'Rose' speakers, Rogue Audio electronics

 

 

 

Consonance 'Droplet' CD player

 

 

 

Consonance 'Droplet' CD player

 

 

 

Balanced Audio Technology (BAT) / Running Springs Audio / Cardas Audio Ltd. / Dedicated Audio with Wilson Maxx II speakers, Avid turntable and Harmonic Resolution Systems* (HRS) equipment rack.

Typical BAT sound - compressed, dull sounding, no micro-dynamics, no separation; a wall-of-sound. The fact that all systems powered with BAT electronics sound this way is a testament to their consistency. Great if you have bright gear like, say, Wadia digital source components that you want to wrap in a blanket. Not so great if you want to hear what is actually on that CD or LP you are playing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BAT electronics, AVID turntable on a HRS* equipment rack. Cardas Audio cabling.

 

 

 

The Wilson Maxx II speaker

 

 

 

The big BAT amps.

 

 

 

Sound Applications power distributors: The 'Reference Line Stage' (uh, is this a confusing name?) and NE 240.

 

 

 

Another system with the Venture speakers, this one using GNSC's Statement Level Esoteric Ux-1 universal player, Weiss Medea DAC, and what looks like a EFose preamplifier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GNSC's Statement Level Esoteric Ux-1 universal player, Weiss Medea DAC, and what looks like a EFose preamplifier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sound Applications' power distributors

 

 

 

GrandEast - manufacturers of speakers for other manufacturers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jadis Symphonia room. The sound was very luscious; overly so for my taste, but enjoyable non-the-less.

 

 

 

The Jadis 'Orchestra' integrated and Evolution CD player.

 

 

 

Top of Jadis amplifier and bottom view of guts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jadis JD1 MKII CD player on top of a Jadis power supply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tri (Triode Corporation of Japan)'s room

 

 

 

Final Sound, LLC.

 

 

 

Poster for Final Sound

 

 

 

Zu speakers, Audiopax amplifiers

 

 

 

About every 5 to 10 minutes we get a sample of what real bass sounds like.

 

 

 

Cain & Cainspeakers, Wavelength amplifiers, PS Audio power conditioning

 

 

 

Wavelength amplifiers, PS Audio power conditioning

 

 

 

Cain & Cain subwoofer

 

 

 

Cain & Cain subwoofer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hansen speakers, VAC amplifier

 

 

 

Redpoint turntable, dCS CD player, Ginko platform, Magnum Dynalab MD 109 tuner, VAC preamplifier, Redpoint power supply, Transparent Power Isolator 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hansen speaker

 

 

 

Redpoint turntable (in black)

 

 

 

Magnum Dynalab MD 109 tuner

 

 

 

Hansen subwoofer

 

 

 

Hansen speaker

 

 

 

Hansen speaker side view

 

 

 

Avantgarde 'Duo' speakers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Zanden room with Peak Consult 'Empress' speakers.

This room sounded very nice, very musical with both CDs and LPs. Again, the speakers seemed to be a limiting factor, reducing transparency and performance.

The Zanden team gave demos of their phonostage, which allows for I believe 3 different RIAA settings, ore for each of the 3 major labels - which we did not hear, however. Others said the demo was very convincing. We did not need convincing, however, as we have auditioned the FM Acoustics phono stage which allows for continuous changes to the RIAA curve and noticed the improvements in sound provided by using the correct RIAA curve for the particular LP.

 

 

 

The Peak Consult 'Empress' speaker

 

 

 

The Zanden amplifier

 

 

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All pictures in this report are freely copyable and distributable.

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