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



St. Tropez
(Part B)

CES 2008
T.H.E. Show
Las Vegas

January 2008

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Previously, on this high-end audio CES 2008 Par-tay, it is Wednesday evening and dark out, the third day of this four day show. We just finished the Alexis Park, and we are now moseying over to the St. Tropez and hopefully get most of it finished.

Which we do.

More or less. [we missed a couple of rooms, and a few were locked for demos of done for the day].

During this time, we have gone trough about 75 - 80% of the high-end audio rooms. The sense is that this year there are fewer bad rooms, people are playing their music at more reasonable volumes, Dianna Krall and Patricia Barber were only heard once, but Heavy Metal, Techno, New Age, and Rap were just as rare - and even classic rock & roll (I heard DSOTM once and Dire Straits once) was as rare as a public area without slot machines. People were mostly playing unfamiliar [to me] audiophile-approved music.

Many rooms weren't playing their systems in general louder than background music. It was very much a "Please ask and we'll turn it up / put something on for you" kind of show this year, I thought.

Onward... this page and the next, St. Tropez Part 'C', finishes off the St. Tropez and T.H.E. Show.





JAS speakers, Raysonic electronics.
The Raysonic equipment always looks well-made and attractive. The Jacuzzi pegs the last remodel of the St. Tropez at what, about 1975? '80 maybe?
Kind of the same picture as the last one, but trying to capture the glow of the tubes.
One of the Raysonic monobloks.




The second Granite Audio room, with JAS loudspeakers and Bravo amplifiers, and Granite preamplifier and cables.





Stillpoints equipment rack, David Berning amplifiers, Exempler Audio electronics, TW-Acustics turntable, and German Physics loudspeakers.
System #2 in the adjoining room. Exemplar Audio CD player, and the rest is Belles electronics. Oh, and Stillpoints rack and Adept Response power conditioner.




The Sound Application room featured Venture loudspeakers and Silicon Arts amplifiers, with Concert Fidelity electronics and a Weiss digital front end. Power management done by Sound Applications, of course.

The Venture speakers, one of the most beautiful speakers made, are a little too laid back even for my taste [Neli and I now like both laid back and forward presentations, though we have traditionally preferred laid back, soundstage-behind-the-speakers presentations].

The Weiss 'Jason' transport
The Weiss 'MEDEA' DAC.
Silicon Arts Design amplifier
There were several Sound Application line conditioners in the room. I know, it says RLS-1 Reference LineStage, but it is really a line conditioner. Trust me. And if you don't trust me, trust the sign there.
Trying to figure this out... are PCs still made with Firewire connectors on the back? I am pretty sure MACs are, but PCs? My PC is hard to get around to the back of... but I'll have to look. Everybody else is going with USB DACs, I believe, but considering my USB cables spontaneously lose a solid connection very 3 to 6 months, and need to be unplugged and plugged back in, maybe Firewire is the right way to go. Or maybe my USB cabled devices are just having a problem with Windows. Nahhhhh, can't be th-aaaaat.





Edge Electronics with Avalon loudspeakers. The had these new monitor loudspeakers from Avalon this year, as well as the larger ones which I did not get to hear :-(

The small ones sounded pretty darn good though -and I liked them better than the Avalon Ascendants that were in this position last year - the sound being musical, dynamic, harmonically rich - all areas in which I thought the Ascendants were kind of minimalist about.

The Avalon Acoustics new monitor speakers.
EDGE G6 amplifier
The view from the top.
Another photo of the EDGE linestage.
The larger system in the Edge room.
EDGE signature linestage, CD player, something with a not all that clear of a top, and probably a NL12.1 SE amplifier. And what looks like Avalon's Eidolon Diamond. Yeah, I wish I'd got to hear THIS system, but you try and photograph the entire show, you kind of take what you can get.





Ypsilon Electronics makes everything here except maybe the cables. The speakers are their new prototype design.

There was a Dire Straits song playing so I got to hear this system with a song with which I am intimately familiar. From what I could tell, the electronics was quite decent but that there were problems in the crossover between the midrange and the bass driver and frequencies there were either missing or out of phase or both. This made it hard for me to evaluate the sound in more detail - and I hope to hear this system again next year when the speakers are out of the prototype stage.

The shot from the listening chair.





Reference Audio Mods likes to use wood in their modifications, an easy identifiable trademark. More Emerald Physics loudspeakers - almost ubiquitous this show.
PS Audio amplifiers, DCX2496 Ultradrive Pro equalizer.





Teresonic amplifier and speakers. We liked this room last year [or the year before] but this year it seems like people were gathering to go out to supper and then they started talking to me about different pictures people could put on the side of the speakers [see last photo of Ray Charles on a speaker]. I forget what they were suggesting, but it wasn't really appealing to me [maybe something like your favorite football team's logo or something] and, it was mixed company and all, so I said 'somebody could put a picture of their wife on the speaker'.... then I hurriedly looked at the guy and said 'well, if they like their wife...'. With all the divorces, you never know, right? But he seemed to not be offended - and it would increase the WAF factor by some amount I bet.

Oh, so, during all this, I did not get to hear the system - but it was not like people were playing their systems in general louder than background music. It was very much a "Please ask and we'll turn it up / put something on for you" kind of show this year, I thought.

Teresonic amplifier.
See? Ray Charles.





Speakers with Feastrix drivers, electronics by Red Rock Audio, and Marantz CD player. PranaWire* cables.

I really didn't get a feel for what this system sounds like - to the point where I remember hearing it and not knowing what to think. It is time for the T...E...S...T... CD. Heck, even my gym is playing Radiohead these days - so my test CD will be Radiohead, and hopefully everyone will play it [even Vladimir and Elina :-)] - it is exceedingly well recorded and exceedingly complex [without appearing to be], and it will tell me a lot more about these systems than the beddy bye music that I hear in a lot of rooms. Not that they were playing that here, of course. But whatever it was, it gave me too little information about the system's performance. Same problem in the Acoustic Zen* rooms coming right up [though there I actually sat and listened to several songs before I gave up].

Loudspeakers with the Feastrix driver people are all atwitter about.
Red Rock Audio linestage.
Red Rock Audio amplifier.

OK. So I finally learned how to take photos that are more or less in focus AND show the glow of the tubes. So I am showing off a little bit. I'll probably get over how much fun this is in, oh, two or three more years [my Camera is three years old and has 25000 photos on it at this point. So, in three years, I'll probably have calmed down a little bit... Or not.].

And the piece de resistance... Not.





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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