LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 16, 2013 0 comments
The M2Tech battery-powered Vaughan DAC ($7,999) can handle up to 32/384kHz data and includes 1x USB, 1x I2S RJ45, 2x Coax S/PDIF (RCA), 2x Coax S/PDIF (BNC), 2x AES/EBU, 2x Toslink, 2x optical ST Fiber, and 1x external clock (BNC) inputs. Outputs include RCA and XLR pairs as well as a 6.35mm stereo jack for headphones.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 16, 2013 0 comments
French company 3D Lab. was new to me but they offer a complete line of electronics from multi-format players, to Network Players, to DACs, to preamps, amps, and integrated amps. On display and in use was the Nano UPnP [Network] Player (€1,700), Millennium Preamplifier/DAC (€6,000) that offers 2x Coax S/PDIF, 2x Toslink, AES/EBU, and USB inputs that can handle up to 24/192 data. There are also 5 analog RCA inputs and RCA and XLR output pairs. A pair of the M Millenium monoblock amplifiers (€3,200/each) drove a pair of the Jean Marie Reynaud Concorde Supreme speakers ($14,000/pair).
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 16, 2013 0 comments
If you're having a hard time seeing the Crystal Cable Arabesque speakers (€75,000/pair) I believe that's part of the point of their 3/4" glass enclosure. The Arabesque were driven by the three-piece Siltech Saga Amplification System ($37,500 per unit) which is light powered! and Crystal Cable's own Absolute Dream cables (€75,000 for the entire setup) tied everything together. And if you're having a hard time seeing the dCS Puccini ($18,000) with the dCS Puccini U-Clock ($5,000) its because they were sitting on the floor behind the Siltech gear. The sound in this room was relaxed yet finely detailed and its one of the rooms I could have easily camped out in.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 16, 2013 0 comments
the Constellation Audio Cygnus II Digital file player/DAC

Constellation Audio teamed up with TAD (which is never a bad idea) for an impressively authoritative system. Handling front end duties was the Cygnus II Digital file player/DAC ($29,000), next in line was the Virgo II preamplifier ($27,000), then the Centaur monoblock amplifiers ($27,000/each) which drove the mighty TAD Reference One speakers ($80,000/pair). Tying everything together was cabling from Shunyata while Phoneon room treatments ($1,300/each) kept the room at bay.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 15, 2013 0 comments
The Marantz NA-11S1 Network Audio Player and DAC ($3,499) is chock full O features and formats. This DSD-capable machine (via USB) can also handle up to 24/192 PCM files (WAV, WMA, MP3, MPEG-4 AAC, FLAC and ALAC) over your Ethernet Network, via its USB DAC, and lessor quality via AirPlay. There are user-selectable digital filters, an iOS or Android app, Coax S/PDIF and Toslink in/outputs, as well as single-ended and balanced outputs.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 15, 2013 2 comments
Great name! The Marantz Consolette ($1,199) offers Airplay, DLNA audio streaming via Ethernet, Wi-Fi, a USB input for connecting to USB storage, an iOS dock, and 150 total watts of digital amp power driving 2x 2.6" BMR tweeters and 2x 4.3" woofers. The Consolette, I enjoy hearing that word, supports MP3, WMA, AAC, LPCM, WAV, and FLAC file formats, has an iOS and Android control app, and a highly polished walnut backside.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 15, 2013 2 comments
The Focal XS Book active desktop speakers ($299/pair) were sitting pretty but silent in the Focal room. A 2-way bass-reflex active loudspeaker, the XS Book offer a pair of RCA inputs, 3.5mm input, and come in your choice of black or white. Frequency response is rated at 50Hz–22kHz (+or-3dB).
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 15, 2013 0 comments
Naim was showing their new UnitiQute 2 (£1,150) which I failed to photograph (of course) but the new UnitiQute 2 adds 32bit/192kHz streaming capability, DAB+ support, as well as improved components which, "...has a significant effect on the digital audio performance, which reflects in improved sound quality." Pictured above is the Naim NDS Reference Network Player ($11,000) sporting a see-through top.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 15, 2013 0 comments
Germany's AMI-HIFI was showing a number of music servers in the large Atrium 4 exhibition space. Pictured above is the Purist Musik-Server HDR 5D (starting at €7,995) which supports gapless playback, FLAC, WAV, WMA, MP3, ACC, AAC, and AIFF formats up to 24/192. There's a 64GB SSD, 2TB of hard disc storage, a Teac CD/DVD drive for ripping, Coax S/PDIF outputs, and a Purist control app for iOS devices. If you visit the AMI-HIFI website, you'll see there are many options including a model with an internal Burr Brown 1792A DAC (HDR 5DA €9,995), larger capacity Solid State Drives, a Blu-Ray drive, Wi-Fi, and much more.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 15, 2013 4 comments
I admit to being more than intrigued by the Astel & Kern 24/192-capable AK120 HD portable music player ($1,400). The AK120 follows on the heels of their very successful model 100 and offers a number of improvements including dual Wolfson 8740 DACs, 64GB of internal storage and 2 micro SD card slots for a total of 192GB of music storage, and overall better specs and sound according to iRiver CEO Il Hwan (Henry) Park. Henry reminded me that iRiver developed one of the first MP3 players way back in 1999 to which he added, "MP3 has no heart, no soul. It is our job to bring this back." Amen.

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