LATEST ADDITIONS

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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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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 15, 2013 0 comments
YBA had their Heritage Media Streamer ($1,999) on silent display which offers up to 24/192 playback of AIFF, WAV(LPCM), FLAC, MP3, WMA, AAC (local file), and MP3. D/A conversion is handled by the Wolfson WM8740 DAC and there's a 320 x 244mm TFT LCD display for showcasing your album cover art. Inputs include Ethernet, Toslink, and Coax S/PDIF, Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 b/g), and outputs are the standard RCA and XLR pairs.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 15, 2013 0 comments
Everything But The Box makes passive speakers that are not in a box and are all playful-looking for it. Pictured from left to right are the Terra II (€1,799/pair), Terra MK3 (€1,999/pair), Venus D (€999/pair), Pluto (€1,999/pair), and Luna (€999/pair) in red/orange and green. You can just see the top of the Subterranean powered subwoofer (€2,999 w/250W amp or €3,599 w/250W + 2x 100W amps) on the floor on the left.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 15, 2013 4 comments
New Zealand-based Plinius was showing their Toko Digital Audio Player (€5,000). The DLNA-compatible Toko can handle up to 24/192 data in FLAC (up to 24/192), LPCM (up to 24/192), AIFF, and MP3 formats and there's one 10/100 Ethernet input and pairs of RCA and XLR outputs. There's also an old-fashioned disc spinner for those CDs that are in a pre-ripped state. the Toko is designed to be used Plinius' iPad-based Arataki DLNA compatible mobile media controller.

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