CES 2010

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 09, 2010 0 comments
The Sony SS-AR1 has been around since 2006 but we didn't notice it till this show. The three-way, four-driver floorstander features a chambered enclosure with a baffle of Hokkaido-grown maple and side panels of Finnish birch, both of which the designers prize for their "generous reverberation." Drivers include aluminum woofers, sliced-paper midrange, and a tweeter backed with six concentric neodymium magnets. Pricing in mid to high four figures. This is the kind of thing a big manufacturer will do just to prove it can. But don't scoff. We've reviewed other Sony SS-series speakers in the distant past and they were, in fact, superbly musical.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
This marriage of high-end speaker company and high-end media server is one of the most exciting things at the show. The speaker is thiel's SCS4D stand-mount, an IP-based speaker with 32-bit DSP, 200 watts of internal Class D power, and 6.5-inch coaxial driver array. Its tightly focused and well-balanced sound is a stunning example of the Jim Thiel legacy. The Olive media server can rip or burn via slot-load CD drive, has 2TB of storage, and in the back are both analog and USB inputs, so you can add more source components to this self-contained system. Server's wi-fi but speakers need an ethernet connection. Starter system with one zone is $7900, additional zones (basically more speakers) $5250 per zone.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 2 comments
The MPS-2510P active reference monitors from the rejuvenated MK Sound were sounding good, with their dual 5.25-inch woofers, trio of one-inch silk domes, and onboard dual 180-watt amps, one for the woofers and one for the tweeters. Price $2999. The MX-350 dual 12-inch sub ($2299) has improved 400-watt amps for each driver.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 1 comments
Job one at the CES Venetian audio exhibits is listening. This listener was doing his job in the NVS Sound room.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 1 comments
Isn't this a sweet looking 5.1-channel sat/sub system? Morel's SoundSpot Music Theater 2 has a coaxial driver array, black or white gloss finishes, and a price of $1499.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 Published: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
I heard TiVo was going to be big this year, but I didn't realize this is what they meant.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
Tiny projectors - like this one from Microvision - are big this year, although picture size and quality isn't necessarily so. I overheard one presenter say you could project an image up to 200 inches with one of these types of projectors. Technically, I suppose you could send a photon from one of these projectors to Mars, but that doesn't mean it's watchable at that size or distance.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2010 Published: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
3D is great for those of us with highly advanced photographic skills. This photo only makes sens if you put on your 3D glasses.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
Gefen's new ToolBox line includes wall-mounted "system integration devices" used for HDMI connectivity and distribution. The new models are designed to be installed on the wall near the gear rather than in a rack. Each unit comes with locking HDMI cables and are available in glossy cream or black. In addition to HDMI splitters and switchers (including matrix switchers), the line will include a wireless HDMI transmitter/receiver package that will extend HDMI signals at 1080p/60 full HD resolution up to 30 feet.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2010 Published: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
Monster Cables nedw Digital Express brings wireless HDMI video connections (up to 1080p) to your current television set. You'll need cables to connect the source to the transmitter, of course, and from the receiver to the set, but in between all is wireless RF. The transmitter and one receiver package is expected to sell for $1000 later in the year when the system ships to stores. Extra receivers will run $400. The Monster's gonna get yolu whether you're wired or wireless.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
Bring together any two people at CES and you'll inevitably hear the question, "What's the coolest thing you've seen so far?" At the moment, my answer is the plug-less Flipower USB Charger from Powertech. Plug-less? Yes. When you're ready to use the Plipower, you slide what looks like a credit-card-thin outlet cover away from the charger. This fits over a standard electrical outlet, and you use another electric device's plug to hold the Flipower in place - getting two-for-one usage from that outlet. Price and availability have yet to be determined, but let's hope it's soon because this thing is really cool.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
Here's a breakout of the PA-MC5500 amp. Some great parts and build quality here.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
The iPod's plot to dominate the audio industry is now complete with Peachtree Audio's musicBox, a stereo tube amp decked out with three-inch full-range speakers. The DAC is hardwired to the iPod dock, so this baby can take a true digital signal off an iPod and process it with virtually no jitter. Price, maybe, oh, a grand or so.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
CDT's great-sounding mini-sats can be configured in many ways. Our favorite is the 5.1-channel set featuring six sats (two for the center channel) and sub. Unfortunately there isn't an official price attached to it. Want height effects without height processing? CDT suggests you put two sats above the screen and link them to your system with an outboard crossover and attenuator. Yeah, the idea seems weird, but we heard it and it sounded great. Price $350. Two sats and sub go for $500. The new So-Na-Wall flat speakers cost $800/pair.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
Let's say you're playing Rock Band and pretending to be George Harrison. Wouldn't the fantasy be heightened by a speaker resembling a stage monitor at your feet? Polk knows how that feels and responds with the HitMaster, with dual horned tweeters, $100/each. Also shown was a new surround bar (we got our wrist gently slapped for saying sound bar) for $350. "Pro Logic like effects" are promised.

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