CES 2014

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
The new Cambridge Audio Azur 851D 24-bit/192kHz-capable DAC ($1,649) is Cambridge Audio's flagship DAC / digital preamplifier. Based on the Analog Devices AD1955 DACs in dual differential mode, inputs include asynchronous USB, Coax S/PDIF, Toslink, BNC S/PDIF, AES/EBU, and BT100 Bluetooth. Outputs are your standard balanced XLR and unbalanced RCAs as well as a 1/4" headphone jack (supports 600 ohm headphones, however 300 ohms max recommended). The 851D upsamples all incoming data to 24-bit/384kHz and includes a Linear Phase, Minimum phase or Steep filter mode. Volume control is handled in the digital domain.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
The Cambridge Audio Minx Xi Digital Music System ($999) is a 24/96-capable network player/integrated amplifier that delivers 40 watts per channel into 8 ohms. Besides its Ethernet input, there's 2x USB inputs, Toslink, Coax S/PDIF, BT100 Bluetooth receiver (A2DP plus aptX), 2x RCA analog inputs, and a 3.5mm analog input. Outputs include a headphone jack, speaker outputs, and a subwoofer output. The Minx Xi supports ALAC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, WMA, MP3, AAC, HE AAC, AAC+, OGG file formats and employs the Wolfson WM8728 DAC. Available in gloss white or gloss black.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
XS standing for eXtra Small? The Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS ($199) is a tiny aluminum enclosed USB DAC (a bit wider than a dragonfly but still small enough to easily fit into your backpack to take home from CES wink wink) that supports up to 24/192 play back and is outfitted with onboard physical volume controls ( + and -) as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. Minimum headphone impedance is rated at 12 Ohms according to Cambridge and "What's more a convenient LED shows current sample rate".
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
Not to be confused with the Musical Surroundings MYDAC, the Micromega MyDac ($399) can handle up to 24/192 data through its asynchronous USB input. The MyDac also includes Coax S/PDIF and Toslink inputs and a pair of RCA outputs. Available in Black or White.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
UK-based Cyrus Audio also makes a line of streamers (and matching CD players, preamp/DACs, integrated amplifiers, and amplifiers). There are four streamers to choose from—the Stream X2 ($1,999), Stream Xa ($2,100), Stream XP2QX ($2,400), and the Streamline 2 ($4,400). The Stream X2 is just a streamer, the Xa adds a DAC, the Stream XP2QX adds a preamplifier, and the Streamline 2 adds an integrated amplifier.

All of the Cyrus streamers support up to 24/192 playback and WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AAC, MP3, WMA, and AIFF file formats. Inputs and outputs vary according to the model but the Cyrus lineup has what you'd expect including Toslink, Coax S/PDIF, USB, and Ethernet. You can control playback via the included n-remote which houses a full color screen or use the Cadence app.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
The Cyrus Audio Lyric integrated amp/network player/DAC comes in two flavors—the Lyric 05 ($4,600) which houses an 80 watt per channel integrated amp and a 24-bit DAC, and the Lyric 09 ($6,200) that ups the power ante to 170 watts per channel and adds a 32-bit DAC.

Both players support up to 24/192 playback and UPnP/DLNA streaming so you can stream from the internet and/or your NAS. There's also and CD player and additional inputs including 2x Toslink, 2x Coax S/PDIF, 2x USB Type-A for USB storage, iPhone, iPod & iPad compatible, 1x USB DAC Type-B, aptX Bluetooth, and Stereo RCAs. Outputs include two pairs of speaker binding posts, 1x stereo RCA pair, 2x configurable line out, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Control is through the front black panel touch screen with fingerprint resistant glass or the free Cyrus Cadence iOS app. Throw in DAB radio, an FM tuner, and TuneIn Radio and you've got yourself one full function amp.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
The wall hang-able Bladelius Mimer (3,000 Euro) also incorporates a touch screen, Ethernet input for accessing NAS-based music as well as internet streaming services including WiMP and Spotify, 2x Toslink input, 2x Coax S/PDIF input, 1 RCA analog input, and 1 USB DAC input that support up to 32/284 data. There's also an optional CD player and a free iPad app coming soon.
 |  Jan 13, 2014
Speaking of touch screens, the Pathos Musicteca ($9,995) offers 1TB of internal storage, a built-in CD drive for ripping, a 24/192-capable DAC, Ethernet input for accessing web-based metadata, and a USB input. UPnP functionality is in the works according to the Pathos representative so you'll be able to add NAS-based music in the future. There are both single ended RCA and XLR outputs as well as AES/EBU and Coax S/PDIF output. The analog output stage incorporates a buffer stage with ECC88/6922 tubes.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
While everything remains the same inside, the Meridian Control 15 ($7,500) now comes in black. The Control 15 rolls up 500GB of internal storage (you can add NAS storage for larger libraries), a 24/192-capable DAC with a Coax S/PDIF output, and of course the slick Sooloos touchscreen app in one simple package.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
The PSB Alpha PS1 Powered Speakers that I so thoroughly enjoyed (see review) now come as a very attractively-priced package which includes the matching Alpha Sub Series 100 subwoofer for a total system price of $499!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
NAD has upgraded their Master Series lineup and was showing the attractive M12 Direct Digital Preamp/DAC ($3,499). The fully balanced M12 is a modular design allowing for additional functionality including a phono stage and possibly a network player. The M12's DAC is borrowed from the NAD M51 which supports up to 24/192 playback via AES/EBU, Optical and Coaxial inputs, as well as USB. Outputs include single ended RCAs and balanced XLRs. Trendspotters take note.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
Trickling in from the new Bluesound lineup, which we'll be taking a closer look at and listen to in the very near future, Lenbrook stable mate NAD was showing their C 390DD Direct Digital DAC/Amp ($2,599) with the optional BlueOS MDC module ($449) which turns the C 390 in a full fledged 24/192-capable network player. The C 390DD also offers up to 24/96 support via USB, 24/192 via Coax S/PDIF and Toslink, and 150 watts per channel.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
Constellation Audio was showing their new Argo 125WPC integrated amp ($20,000) which included the optional USB DAC and phono modules. Additional inputs include 2x XLR, 2x RCA, and there's also a headphone output for intimate listening.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
The fully differential PBN Audio Olympia DX DAC ($17,500) is based on a quad of the discontinued classic and increasingly pricey Burr Brown 1704 K-Grade DACs that support up to 24/192 data. There are a total of five digital inputs including AES/EBU, Coax and BNC S/PDIF, and 24/96-capable USB. The DX DAC includes an external power supply and provides both RCA and XLR filtered and buffered output as well as un-filtered and non-buffered RCA and XLR output (taken from output of I/V Converter).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
Simaudio was streaming tunes through their Moon MiND (Moon Intelligent Network Device) ($1,250). The MiND is a DLNA compatible UPnP Renderer so you can stream from a NAS or the internet and play back WAV, FLAC, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, ALAC, MP3, WMA-9, and OGG Vorbis file formats up to 24/192. Connectivity is provided through Ethernet and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) while outputs include AES/EBU, Coax S/PDIF, and Toslink. There's also a custom MiND remote app for iOS and Android devices that can control multiple MiND zones. I have a MiND (two actually) in-house so look for a full report in the not too distant future.

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