CES 2014

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
From Japanese turntable manufacturer TechDAS comes the D-7 Supreme DAC ($8,600) that supports up to 24/192 PCM and 2x DSD. Digital inputs include USB, Coax S/PDIF, and Toslink while digital output consists of a single Coax S/PDIF. Fixed analog outputs include balanced XLRs and single ended RCAs, and there's also a variable single ended RCA output controlled by the D-7s front mounted volume control. The chassis is made from aluminum and brass with an incorporated super duralumin and DLC insulation base and the whole affair sits on three brass spikes.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
cocktailAudio is another new company at least in my experience. On display in the Usher room was the cocktailAudio x30 ($TBD around 1,800) which is a network player, server, and a 50W integrated amplifier that arrives discless so you can outfit it with the 3.5” SATA hard disk, 2.5” SATA hard disk, or solid state drive (SSD) of your choice. There's also USB inputs to connect USB storage devices. Based on the Burr-Brown PCM1792a DAC, the x30 can handle up to 24/192 files and supports APE/CUE, WAV, FLAC, ALAC, PCM, MP3, WMA, M4A, AAC, AIFF, AIF, and Ogg Vorbis file formats as well as gapless playback. There's also a built-in FM tuner, two digital inputs (Toslink, Coax S/PDIF), two analogue inputs, three digital outputs (Toslink, Coax S/PDIF, AES/EBU), and two analogue outputs, as well as the obligatory speaker binding posts. And a 5" TFT LCD (800x480 pixel) front mounted display and a headphone amp. All.in.one.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
The Cary Audio DMS-500 ($4,995), which we saw in prototype form last year, is a DLNA/UPnP compliant network player that also supports aptX Bluetooth streaming as well as offering Coax S/PDIF and Toslink DAC inputs. Capable of handling up to 32/384 PCM and DSD data, the DMS-500 includes 3 USB inputs for connecting USB storage devices, an eSata input for connecting a HDD, Coax S/PDIF output if you'd like to bypass its internal DAC, and both RCA and balanced XLR outputs.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
The new Astel & Kern AK240 ($TBD but around $2500) can handle up to 24/192 PCM and 2x DSD data with its Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC and you can store up to a total of 320GB of music on 256GB of internal memory and 1 micro SD Card. The AK240 is based on an Android OS with an eye toward allowing downloads of HD music directly from the device [trending]. Should hit the stores by March 2014.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
The Millenia CT 2 sub/satellite system ($849) from Paradigm delivers aptX and Bluetooth streaming, decodes Dolby Digital, and offers a "Music" and "Movie" mode. The CT speakers are based on Paradigm’s Reference MilleniaOne's and the CT 2 package includes a controller box with a Toslink and 3.5mm analog input. Owners of older Millenia CT systems can upgrage to the CT 2 status for $149.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
Erstwhile French speaker manufacturer Cabasse was showing a trio of new streaming products. Let's start with the Stream Source ($549) which is a full fledged DLNA network player that also supports wi-fi, aptX Bluetooth, data rates up to 24/96 and WAV, FLAC, WMA, AIFF, AAC, ALAC, and MP3 file formats. Outputs include Analog RCA and optical S/PDIF. The Stream Source also includes a USB Type-A input which allows you to connect USB Storage and turn it into Network Attached Storage for sharing around your house among other Cabasse streamers.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
The iFi iDSD Mini DAC ($TBD but should come in under $1k) made an appearance in prototype form. Supporting up to 24/384 PCM and 2x DSD, the iFi iDSD Mini DAC offers an asynchronous USB input, Coax S/PDIF (BNC & RCA), AES/EBU, and Toslink inputs as well as aptX Bluetooth streaming and fully symmetrical balanced outputs. The included headphone amp pumps out 4Watts in Class A and incorporates "Tubestate Circuitry" as found in iFi's iCAN headphone amp.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
The Mainframe Music Processor ($4,495) uses "enterprise grade technology, error correcting RAM, liquid cooled enclosure, dual solid state drives, lithium ion battery power, and includes a 7" touchscreen remote." Darren Censullo from Avatar Acoustics explained that if you were to buy all of the parts that comprise the Mainframe Processor you'd end up spending more than its $4,495 asking price. According to a press release, the Mainframe can run 10-12 hours on its battery power, it can "play all formats", and handle up to 64/352 data.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
My notes for ReQuest Audio's The Beast ($44,000) say "see website" which I did and the Beast's product page is relatively brief and its not in English. Google translate to the rescue:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
The bamboo-clad Sprout DAC ($149.95) from Tri-Art Audio supports up to 32/384 playback according to their literature using the TI PCM5102A DAC and outputs 2Vrms into a 10kohm load. "The bamboo case is actually filled with unbleached, locally sourced sheep's wool for its acoustic qualities (dampening/insulating)".
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
While Light Harmonic's new Sire DAC was nowhere to be found, its always nice to sneak a peak at their more affordable Da Vinci DAC ($20,000).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
Japanese company Olasonic is another new one for me and the line is being distributed in the US by Axxis Audio. I unfortunately arrived in the Axiss room when it was unmanned and had to run before I could get any useful information (like prices). Pictured above is the Olasonic UA1 USB Stereo DAC Integrated Amplifier and from what I can gather online is capable of 24/192 playback using the Burr-Brown PCM1792 DAC while power is from the TI TPA3118 Class D amp.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
The BUC1 ($749) is Bryston's take on a USB to S/PDIF converter. The BUC1 supports files up to 24/192 and includes an asynchronous USB input, Coax S/PDIF (BNC & RCA) and AES/EBU (XLR) outputs. Available with silver or black faceplate.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
Aurender was showing their new Aurender X100 digital music player which comes in two flavors—the X100L ($3,499) with 6TB of internal storage, and the X100S ($2,999) with 1TB of internal storage. Both offer USB output to connect your DAC of choice and support DSD, WAV, FLAC, ALAC, APE, AIFF, M4A file formats. I have their recently updated S10 here for review which uses the same Aurender-developed app for control as the X100s and from the demo I got at CES, it looks to be a nimble beauty. Stay tuned...
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 14, 2014
miniDSP has a new digital room correction in-a-box product coming down the 'pike but it wasn't ready for prime time at CES. While the name and price are TBD, the miniDSP device will employ the Dirac Live Room Correction software (see review) and should be available by mid-February. Trending.

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