LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 15, 2014 0 comments
Do you care about what your hi-fi gear looks like? How about what it feels like? How its designed and built? I do. Which is one reason why I don't see eye to eye with blind testophiles—hi-fi is not just about sound. Nagra seems to get that and, for my tastes and proclivities, makes some lust-worthy gear. Their new HD DAC ($23,750) is no exception. Plays up to 24/384 and 2x DSD while offering a host of digital inputs, single ended and balanced outputs, as well as a volume control so you can go amp direct. But then you'd have to do without the Nagra preamp. Hmm.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 15, 2014 0 comments
In the On A Higher Note room, Philip O'Hanlon had a special treat in store (Philip always does). "I'm going to play you the quietest demo you've ever heard." Philip proudly stated. And he proceeded to do just that by playing lovely music at an absurdly low but completely lovely-sounding level through the Eclipse TD-M1 active wireless speakers ($1,300). The TD-M1s are single driver speakers with an integrated NOS DAC that can handle up to 24/192 data and includes AirPlay compatibility, an asynchronous USB input, 3.5mm analog Aux input, and a USB Type-A input. Philip was feeding the TD-M1s with music from an iPad and the sound was in a word completely captivating.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 15, 2014 2 comments
No trip to T.H.E. Show, or Vegas for that matter, would be complete without a trip to the NFS Audio room hosted by the ever jovial and hospitable Anton Dotson and Michael Alazard. Unfortunately I hit the NFS room too early in the day to sample their wares but I can still recall the kick their home made Limoncello packs. Cheers!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 15, 2014 0 comments
darTZeel introduced their new LHC-208 Integrated Streaming Amplifier ($13,000) that combines a 200wpc integrated amp with a network player. There are 4 analog and 6 digital inputs as well as a headphone amp and integrated TFT touch screen. The LHC-208 can handle up to 24/384 PCM and 2x DSD data.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 15, 2014 1 comments
I reported on the sophisticated products from Audionet at last year's T.H.E. Show (see report). One big change this year is Audionet is now being distributed in the USA by GTT Audio. Another change is they've been working on their DSP software which would take me more than a novella to fully explain. In brief, the Audionet software suite, Carma (Computer Aided Room Analyzer) and RCP (Audionet Remote Control Point), allow you to measure your room, correct the frequency response among other parameters, and save these custom settings to an Audionet device like the Digital Network Preamplifier ($20,000) pictured above. You can then re-measure, re-calibrate, and fine tune your EQ by playing through the Audionet device with your custom settings and again measure your in-room response, save the settings, and load them into your Audionet device so your music comes out exactly as you'd like it.
MBL
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
I always think "system" when I think of MBL which I view as a compliment. But for our particular interests, MBL was showing the new E31 DAC/CD Player ($TBD) from their forthcoming Noble Line. The E31 offers self-powered USB, S/PDIF, and AES/EBU inputs and can handle up to 24/192 data. A separate DSD DAC is in the works. I also had an opportunity to spend some time talking to Jürgen Reis, MBL's main designer, and this is one aspect of CES and other audio shows that I enjoy most. Talking to people who know as much as Jürgen who are also so readily willing to share is a real educational treat.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
Weiss Engineering had a number of new and updated products on display. Pictured above is the new flagship Medus Reference D/A Converter which can process PCM formats up to 24/192 as well as DSD. Inputs include USB, Toslink, AES/EBU, and Coax S/PDIF while outputs include RCA and XLR pairs. The front panel display shows the input source, sample rate, bit depth, DAC filter type, mute status, and absolute polarity. Also incorporates an analog volume control which you can control from the included remote.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
April Music was also showing the updated Aura Note v2 ($2,950) all-in-one "receiver". The Aura Note wraps a CD player, FM tuner, DAC (24/96 via USB and 24/192 via Toslink), headphone amp, and 125W/channel amp into one small sleek & shiny package. Trending...
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
April Music was showing their new DA100 MKII DAC ($1,500 shown up top) that offers PCM playback up to 24/384 and 2x DSD. Inputs include AES/EBU, 2x Coax S/PDIF, and Toslink while outputs include RCA and XLR pairs. The DAC fits in with the other components in the Stello lineup in order of appearance from top to bottom the HP100 MKII preamplifier ($1,300) and the 50wpc S100 MKII amplifier ($1,200). The Stello lineup owes its rugged good looks to designer Neil Fey.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
How about slapping one of these bad boys on your desktop! The McIntosh MXA70 Integrated Audio System ($6,500 for the MXA70 + $1,500 for the speakers) wraps up everything you need into one McIntosh'd package. 50 watt stereo amplifier, headphone amp, USB DAC, additional S/PDIF inputs, analog inputs (XLR and RCA), and preamp out for adding a sub.

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