Sound by Singer
Sound by Singer pulled out some of the big guns of computer audio to provide visitors with guided demos. Rob Robinson of Channel D manned Room 1 and Andreas Koch of Playback Designs handled Room 2. Unfortunately I was not able to sit in on these mini seminars but based on our shared seminar experience I can imagine attendees were at once delighted and educated.
The system in Room 1 consisted of a Mac Mini running Pure Music controlled remotely by Rob Robinson with a MacBook Pro using Apple's "Screen Sharing" feature, the Playback Designs MPS-3 ($8,500) which can handle up to 24/384kHz PCM and native 6.1MHz DSD playback via USB, DaRTzeel CTH-8550 integrated amplifier ($20,300), driving a pair of Kudos Cardea C-30 speakers ($11,000 to $12,995 depending on finish).
Room 2 moved up the Playback Designs line with the MPS-5 ($17,000) which can also handle handle up to 24/384kHz PCM and native 6.1MHz DSD playback via USB, VAC Signature Mk IIa Tube Preamp ($19,000), VAC Statement 450s Stereo Amp ($39,000), and the Verity Audio Amadis Speakers ($30,000/pair).
One of the wonderful things about a consumer hi-fi show is access in some cases to the people who design the stuff we buy and enjoy. The Sound by Singer rooms also housed Kevin Hayes of VAC and Julien Pelchat of Verity who were on hand to answer questions from attendees. I'm sorry I missed the photo op to prove my point which was Kevin Hayes sitting on the floor next to his amplifier describing its design in detail to an eager observer.