LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 17, 2012
Dragonfly Concept Drawing from AudioQuest

No Show would be complete without an AudioQuest demo to get those skeptics juices flowing (or blood boiling depending on your level of commitment to the cause). But this one was different in that we didn't focus on cables. Instead we focused on the new AudioQuest Dragonfly Asynchronous USB DAC. The diminutive DAC, about the size of a thumb drive, plugs into your computer's USB port and you connect a mini 3.5mm RCA to RCA cable to the other end (available from among others AudioQuest) and you're off to the races playing up to 24-bit/96kHz files. There's also an internal volume control that is controlled through your media player's volume control (a neat software trick). The other neat visual trick is that dragonfly changes color depending on the bit/sample rate being played.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 16, 2012
Audioengine exhibited in the Sodom and Gomorrah Convention Center but seeing as I have the D1 DAC ($169) and the D2 Wireless DAC ($599) here, I'll reserve any and all comments for my reviews.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 16, 2012
No trip to T.H.E. Show is complete without a pit stop in the Not For Sale Audio room to recharge all that's weary. I will let them tell their story:
We are a couple of Las Vegas audiophiles who love good music and wine. This will be our sixth year at T.H.E. Show. We hope to provide a fun and relaxing listening experience for show exhibitors and patrons alike. We'll have plenty of music and libations. Every year we bring an excitingly different stereo system with interesting visual effects. Come visit!...we'll pour you a glass...

CHEERS!!!

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 16, 2012
Live

VMPS, Wyred4Sound, Ampzilla 2000 and Wywires teamed up for the now annual "Live vs. Recording" showdown. The premise is fairly straight forward—a band plays, its recorded doing so and then the recording is played back. While I admire and respect the intent, I'll let the images tell the story and point you to my general feelings on this subject in my Stereophile As We See It titled "Why Music Matters Most".


Recording
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 16, 2012
Antelope Audio was showing their Zodiac Gold 384kHz DAC ($4,200) in the Noir finish which means, you know, black. This package includes the Voltikus external power supply ($1,000 when sold separately). The Zodiac Gold DAC can also function as a preamplifier and offers 8 auto-detecting inputs including balanced Analog Inputs, unbalanced Analog RCA Inputs, AES/EBU Digital Inputs, 2x S/PDIF Coaxial Inputs, 2x Optical TOSLINK Inputs, USB, and Word Clock Input on BNC. As its name states, the Zodiac Gold 384kHz DAC can handle up to 32-bit/384kHz input.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 16, 2012
I always enjoy a stop in Jonathan Tinn's room largely because he seems to try to play music that a) I do not know and b) he thinks I'll enjoy. So far he's batting 1000 and this time the treat was Blood Sweat and Tears' magisterial "Blues Part II" from their self-titled 1968 LP. On active display was the Playback Designs MPS-3 ($8,500) which can handle resolutions all the way up to pure unadulterated 6.1MHz DSD (via USB). There's also PCM AES/EBU, S/PDIF and USB that can pass 24-bit/192kHz.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 16, 2012
I strolled over to T.H.E. Show on Friday afternoon and the first booth you run into (by necessity) is CEntrance. They had a few displays featuring their USB bus-powered DACmini CX ($795) and a DACmini PX ($1,475) both connected to an iPad via the Apple Camera Connection Kit. The CX version is a DAC/headphone amp and features Coax and Toslink inputs capable of 24-bit/196kHz, and USB up to 24-bit/96kHz. The PX adds a 50W/ch integrated amp in the same small package.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 16, 2012
I took the Las Vegas Monorail to the Las Vegas Convention Center on Thursday afternoon to see what I would see. I hit two Halls, South and Central, and pretty much just strolled around to take in the sites and sounds of consumerism run amok.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 16, 2012
I went to the big Onkyo room in the Venetian Level 2 and saw and snapped (blurry I know) the Onkyo TX-NR609 THX® Select2 Plus™ Certified A/V receiver ($599). Connectivity includes...a picture's worth a thousand words (in this case more)....
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 16, 2012
"Machined chassis milled from a solid block of aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum", the Jeff Rowland Aeris DAC ($9,800) is a wavy wonder to look at. Accepts up to 24-bit/96kHz via USB and 24-bit/192kHz via Toslink and (2) Coax. Includes balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA outputs as well as an integrated volume control for direct-connecting to an amplifier.

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