CES 2014

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
The Michael Yee designed Musical Surroundings MYDAC II ($1,200) utilizes the TI PCM1798 DAC and an FPGA for the "digital reconstruction technology". The USB input can handle up to 16/48kHz data while the Toslink input ups that to 24/96 and the Coax S/PDIF maxes out at 24/192. Output consist of a single pair of RCAs and the MYDAC II comes in black and silver.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
Primare was showing a number of network-ready products including the handsome Pre 60 ($10,000) which will be available by March. The Pre 60, as its name suggests, is a preamplifier with added networking and DAC capability including support for WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, and ALAC file formats with resolutions up to 24/192. Analog inputs include of 2x XLR and 3x RCA, 1x RCA HT bypass, while digital inputs include Ethernet, 2x Coax S/PDIF, 3x Toslink, and 2x asynchronous USB input. Control is through a Primare iOS remote app and the Pre60 supports gapless playback.
 |  Jan 13, 2014
The Ypsilon DAC 100 ($29,000) hailing from Athens, Greece, is a non-oversampling DAC with no digital filters offering up to 24/192 playback. The DAC 100 offers a single Coax S/PDIF input and a 5-pin connector for use with the Ypsilon CDT-100 CD transport. Outputs include RCA unbalanced and XLR unbalanced pairs. The analog output stage employs "...single-ended class A transformer coupled triodes with valve rectification and choke regulation."
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
The Audioengine A2+ powered desktop speakers ($249/pair) pictured inside the larger A5+'s add a TI/Burr Brown PCM2704C 16/48-capable DAC to the company's popular A2 active speakers. Measuring just 6” high, the diminutive A2+s deliver a claimed 65Hz-22kHz (±2.0dB) frequency response from the 2.75-inch Kevlar woofer and 0.75-inch silk dome tweeter per side. Inputs include a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, RCA, and USB. Jason Victor Serinus has a pair which he'll be reporting on in these pages.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
The T+A CM Active two-way bass-reflex speakers ($2,000/pair) are some handsome lads with aluminum top and bottom plates sandwiching a black mesh grille cloth which covers a 150mm mid-bass driver and a 25mm fabric dome tweeter. The CM Active speakers include a pair of amplifiers, one for each driver, delivering a total of 70W with a claimed frequency response of 45 - 30,000 Hz. Input is handled by a single cinch/RCA connector per side.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
The Dali Kubik Free is available as a single unit ($1,295/each) or stereo pair with the addition of a Kubik Extra ($695/each). The Kubik Free is the active side while the Extra is passive getting its power from the the Free's 100W Class D amplifier. Inputs include aptX Bluetooth, USB, Toslink, and a pair of analog line level inputs. There's also a matching sub available ($595) and the entire package comes wrapped in a replaceable colored grille.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 13, 2014
The HRT Stage Speaker System ($1,200) includes a separate Control Center which houses a 70W Class A/B amplifier, a 24/96 DAC with an asynchronous USB input as well as a pair of analog inputs. The Control is a modular design allowing for easy future upgrades and a Wi-Fi module is in the works. The speakers proper include three 70mm mid-bass drivers and a 28mm soft dome tweeter per side stacking up to one impressive desktop package. The Control Center also includes a volume control and source selection and an included remote mirrors these functions. Look for the Stage system to be available in the US by March.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 12, 2014
While you can't see it (or hear it), there's DSD streaming over the air to the system on the left

From Auralic:

ARIES acts as a bridge between NAS and DACs
It will endow your existing high-end DACs with streaming function
With DSD, double-rate DSD and DXD
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 10, 2014
ADL had their new GT40 MII DAC/ADC/headphone amp/full function preamp ($TBD but should come in around $800) on display. The GT40 MII can handle up to 24/192 and DSD playback through its USB input while also offering a "built-in low noise MM/MC phono preamp!"! (I added that second !). There's also a USB output that lets you rip your records to digits.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 09, 2014
Calyx, who brought us the Femto DAC (see review), had their new "M" digital audio player ($995) on active display which appears to take direct aim at Astel & Kern. The M can handle up to 24/384 and 2x DSD playback and supports FLAC, WAV, DFF/DSF(64DSD and128DSD-DoP), DXD, AAC, MP3, MP4, M4A, and OGG file formats. The M houses 64GB of internal memory and you can add another 128GB via SD card. That 4.65inch OLED display is also a touch screen and the M can double as a USB DAC in addition to driving your 'phones since it houses a micro USB input on its bottom. Battery life is reported at about 10 hours. Trendspotters take note.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 09, 2014
I've been favorably impressed with all of the SOtM gear that I've reviewed including their sDP-1000 DAC and Pre-Amplifier (see review). Pictured above is the prototype sMS-2000 network player (price TBD but should come in around $5,000) which supports DLNA, Apple's Airplay, and Squeezelite running the Linux-based MPD music player. The sMS-2000 can handle up to 24/192 and DSD playback and offers both digital and analog outputs. Up front there's a DVD slot drive, a USB input for connecting USB storage, and an SD card slot.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 09, 2014
Viola paired their Crescendo Preamp/DAC ($22,500) with the Sony HAP-Z1ES HDD Audio Player ($1,999) which debuted at RMAF 2013 (see report). The Viola Crescendo's USB input can handle up to 24/192 data while offering 3 XLR Balanced inputs, 3 RCA Unbalanced inputs, and XLR and RCA output pairs.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 09, 2014
The Rega DAC ($1,095 pictured in the middle) supports up to 24/192 data and utilizes a pair of Wolfson DACa, includes 5 user selectable digital filters, 2x Coax S/PDIF inputs, 2x Toslink inputs and USB. The Rega DAC was shown with the matching Brio-R Integrated amp ($895) and the Apollo-R CD-DAC Player ($1,095).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 08, 2014
If you know anything about Korg, you'll already have figured that their USB-only DS-DAC-100 ($599) handles up to 2x DSD (5.6MHz) and PCM resolutions to 24/192. The DAC inside is the Cirrus Logic CS4398 and outputs include single ended RCAs and balanced XLRs. The other big news from Korg is Audiogate 3, the latest version of what was their conversion software but now expands to take on the role of full blown media player. One feature of Audiogate 3 is the ability to convert all of your PCM to double DSD on the fly, even MP3s! At present there's no remote app which may have rained on an otherwise interesting parade. Audiogate 3 comes free with the DS-DAC-100 and the smaller portable DS-DAC-100m ($349) and there's also a "Lite" version available for free from the Korg website but it doesn't do DSD, "DSD playback via the lite version will be converted to 44.1kHz or 48kHz PCM for playback". That's going the wrong way woudn't you say? The DS-DAC-100 and DS-DAC-100m will be available by March/April 2014.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 08, 2014
New from Peachtree, the Nova 220SE integrated amp/DAC ($2,000) pumps out 220 Watts into 8 ohms and doubles down into 4 ohms while accepting up to 24/192 data through its USB and Coax S/PDIF inputs (Toslink maxes out at 24/96). There's also an analog input for that turntable you either have or want to get. For those theme-oriented readers, Peachtree was an early adopter in the merging of power and DAC capabilities and the earlier version of the Nova took home Stereophile's Budget Product of the Year honors way back in 2009. Well they've been refining and improving the basic Nova recipe, at least according to the guys at Peachtree and I've learned to trust what they say, and the 220SE is the fruit of their labor. Coming Spring 2014.

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