With home theater demos thin on the ground, I'll devote the next batch of blogs to some of the more interesting two channel demos I heard at the show.
Joseph Audio had a dual demonstration. Pride of place went to the RM33LE speakers ($10,500/pair), a three-way design that's less than half the price of the company's flagship Pearl, but uses very similar drivers, including the same tweeter. It's shown above with Jeff Joseph himself. It sounded punchy, dynamic, and open—one of the best sounds I heard at the show. The electronics were all from Bel Canto, including the Bel Canto 3000 CD player ($3000), two outboard Bel Canto DACs ($2500 each—the 3000 has its own DACS but Bel Canto elected to go the extra mile for the setup), and a pair of Ref 1000 Bel Canto monoblocks (500Wpc into 8 ohms).
As of now there is no compatible center channel speaker for the system from Joseph Audio. Jeff said that the company is looking into producing the top half of the speaker (the small woofer-midrange together with the tweeter) as a separate design—a design that just might make a good center channel for the type of display most likely to be paired with such a pricey speaker—a separate projector and screen.