Report

 

Venetian:   2 A B    29 A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 C3   30 A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2   34  35  

  Alexis Park A B   St. Tropez A B C

 

 

Venetian Floor 30
(Wing B Part 1)

CES 2008
T.H.E. Show
Las Vegas

January 2008

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Copyright Audio Federation, Inc.. All rights reserved.
All pictures in this report are freely copyable and distributable
if attribution is given but may not be included in multi-room show reports without written permission.

 

 

 

 

Previously, on the candy store catalog that is the  CES 2008 Show Report, it is early Wednesday afternoon, the third day of this four day show. and we had finished the 'B' Wing on floor 29, climbed the stairs and said hello to the security guards [cut down, but not completely, the smoking in the stairwells], and are just now starting on the second Wing, of three, of the exhibitions found on floor 30.

Somewhere along here, I ran into Dave Clark, of Positive Feedback, and Al? [not Albert Porter] of Audiogon - and we were all having fun going from room to room, taking photos, in nearly consecutive rooms, like some kind of audiogeek ballet. But it didn't last long, as someone would stop to chat, or take a few extra pictures, we lost touch with each other.

I. at least, feel some kind of camaraderie with my fellow show reporters, even though, after hours, we lead quite different lives.

We hear the hype about 'hard disk transports' being 'almost as good' as a traditional transport - but we are in the business where 'almosts' are really, really important. Well, they are to us, anyway.

We also hear the hype that hard disk transports are better than traditional transports - and the people who say this, their rooms sound like poop.

So where does the truth lie? Well, the future lies with hard disk transports [or memory sticks]. But we'll jump ship after they start sounding like we want them to sound. Anyone remember 1983 and CDs?

Seeing how this is going, maybe everyone will drive their systems with iPods next year. Seem to be headed that way. And all the rooms will point and blame everything on the iPod and we will report that they all sounded like crap.

 

 

 

 

 
       
Wisdom is apparently going for the high-end home theater market.
 
 
 
Looks like a single-channel amp, with a relatively small transformer, and lots of room in a rather large chassis.
 
 
 
Small Wisdom speakers.

 

 

 

STYLE
Impressive Sweet   Enjoyable Emotional Sophisticated   Natural Workhorse Real/Truth  Magical/Spiritual
SOUND
This system sound appeared to meet the goals of this style of system. See text.
 
This was fun. We like the Zanden gear. Usually just a hair the sweet side of neutral, the have an easy tendency to make music sound like music. But usually their rooms have speakers like Peak Consult, something that is really kind of hard to drive for ordinary tube amplifiers.

So along comes these speakers, from Cessaro. Big and open, and pretty well integrated between horn, tweeter and bass driver - and it sounded very, very good - at least to the limit of my ability to listen around room issues with unfamiliar music. This was one of the few rooms where I wish I had my test CD [yes, still is Radiohead's Amnesiac] with me.

 
 
     
 
 
The Grand  Prix turntable.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Between the mirror effect off the top of the Zanden, and the see through effect of the equipment rack, this is one confusing photo.
 
 
 
Kinf of nice looking equipment, don't ya think? I like using plastic or whatever for the body of the remote - pure metal remotes get so cold in Winter, at least here in the Mountains it does - so cold it  makes them uncomfortable to use sometimes.
 
 
 
The big mouth of the horn on the speaker. Looks fairly non-resonant to me, but I didn't bang on it [and I don't take an accelerometer around with me at shows :-)]
 
Familiar ball-horn tweeter.
 
Not sure what kind of tweeter it is - but it worked very well.
 

Amazingly large woofer there. But we are not here to talk about technology - other sites do that. The sound was intriguing, and I hope we get to hear the speakers again - and hopefully with something of the Zanden caliber, of which there is not much. [Yes, English IS my first language]

 

 

 

 
One of Neosonik's three rooms, all with the same sign. Confusing and I did end up going backwards / retracing my steps a few times [there are no 'markers' in the hallways per se, and I resorted to the asking myself the question 'was I going AWAY from the elevators or TOWARDS them?' to figure out which way I was going. OK, yes, it was a long show.
 
        
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Let's see, we got monitor speakers using a Manger driver, the Metronome turntable, a Delta Sigma amp....
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nice looking design - obviously a step above much of what we have been seeing the last few days.
 
White boxes, blue boxes, green boxes and silver boxes... somebody really doesn't want us peeking at what they are really using on this circuit board, do they?

 

 

 

 

 

 
Another Neosonik room.
 
     
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
And the last Neosonik room.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Both this and the other Lyngdorf room had people in suits telling people why they are technically superior to systems that sound good.
 
    
These are actually two different photos that just look at lot alike - but I did not know which to throw away - of quite attractive, people friendly speakers.
 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
I don't know if either of the two headless guys talking were the principals of the company - and so I did not show their faces, since we, you know, try not to show anyone's face at all in the report, if at all possible.
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
A couple of systems that feature Audio Space equipment and Zentara cables. Yeah, there seem to be a lot of new cable companies this year to me, too. Given the wild growth in our hobby, I can easily understand the influx of new tube amps, speakers and cables into the industry. Not.
 
 
This amp has plastic protectors on it, and I do not think it is even on.
 
 
 
 
 
A super tweeter, though not sure whose.
 
Von Schweikert speakers and Audio Space amplification. Since I like the other system like this a several dozen rooms ago I should like this one, right? It would be such a great way to confirm, one way or another, the veracity of the system design, right? All I had to do was pay attention for a few short minutes, right? You get where this is going right?

So, no, I don't remember a thing. Usually, I make a mental note, and write down notes at the end of the day as I go through the photos - but did I do that here? Nooooooooo.

 
This amp also has plastic protectors on it, for shipping, but it most definitely turned on.
 
 
 
 
 
The helicopter view.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Oracle electronics on Usher speakers.
 
 
I am trying a few different techniques on these photos to try and convey some of the awesome appearance and characteristics of these futuristic looking pieces.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
This year it was Ok with Alon Wolf for me to take some photos in the Magico room. We'll see what happens next year.

These are the latest speakers from Magico, that cost a hair less than their Mini, which is a monitor. I sat and listened for awhile on the right side of the 3 seater couch, next to the equipment rack. From that position I could not tell anything, as I could only hear one speaker, and the bass was largely uncontrolled and interfering with the rest of the music. I then went up to the balcony area and leaned over the couch up there, in the sweet spot, getting my ears a foot or so above the tweeter.

Again, the experience was unsatisfactory. There seemed to be a lack of control and separation to the sound - and I definitely preferred the more expensive speakers they had here last year (duh) and the Magico Mini with the much less expensive Pathos electronics here this year.

With a prototype music server plus a digital processor sitting in the signal chain - this was but one of a number of rooms showing off speakers, but not driving them with a source that is non-optimal.

Anyway, it is surprising to see a top-flight speaker manufacturer using this kind of front end to demonstrate their speakers. .

 
 
 
 
  
 
   
 
 
Magico's 'media distributor', or whatever you want to call them.
 
Boulder preamplifier.
 
A digital processor in the signal chain doing lots of fancy things.
 
 
 
A large Boulder amplifeir.
 
   
These photos are of a prototype speaker yet to be released.
 
  
 
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright Audio Federation, Inc.. All rights reserved.
All pictures in this report are freely copyable and distributable
if attribution is given but may not be included in multi-room show reports without written permission.

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