CES 2010

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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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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 2 comments
The BLX 200 is not only Anthem's first Blu-ray player but its first source component. Price $799. Also new were two LCOS projectors, the LTX 500V ($8499) and LTX 300V ($5799). The difference between them is that the step-up model has 120Hz refresh and ISF certification. Sister brand Paradigm is now shipping the products we saw four months ago at CEDIA.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 Published: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
The TV Hat people say it's "the next revolution in video viewing". That's quite a statement for a modified baseball hat that includes a pouch for most sizes of portable video players and a built-in magnifying glass to make the picture seem larger. Some important warnings:
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2010 Published: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
Panasonic has two samples of its 152" (diagonal) plasma at the show. This one is showing 4K source material in 2D on the 4096 x 2160 pixel screen (that's 17:9, slightly wider than standard widescreen). The set is made from a full; Panasonic plasma mother glass, in its latest generation. This 2D picture was stunning. No price was announced, but if you have to ask...
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 3 comments
TAD, already one of our favorite speaker manufacturers, now offers both a mono-block amp and a SACD player cum DAC, both priced at $26,500. Stereo amp and preamp are on the drawing board. The final version of the Compact Reference speaker is now shipping for $37,000/pair. A demo with female vocal and piano was startling in its directness, marred only slightly by the sight of the chandelier gently swinging, apparently as a result of a subwoofer on the floor above.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2010 Published: Jan 08, 2010 2 comments
This Tokai Challenger, using Sharp solar cells, won the 2009 Global Green Challenge, an 1864 mile race across Australia. The weather was clear and sunny throughout, which was probably why they chose to race in the Australian Outback instead of from Juno to Seattle. The single seat, three wheeled car comes in any color as long as the underside is white and the top is plastered with 2176 black solar cells.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2010 1 comments
It's an age old problem. You have a pair of ears. You have a pair of earbuds. Unfortunately, they aren't the same size - and even when the size is about right, the flippin' earbuds are darn uncomfortable to wear for anything longer than a few minutes. You could pay big bucks to have special custom-fit earbud covers made for you personally. Or you could spend $20 (plus shipping) for a set of yurbuds from yurtopia. The company makes 12 sizes of earbud adapters out of surgical silicone. The yurbuds slip over your existing earbuds and channel the sound directly to your ear canal. They're soft and flexible, so they're quite comfortable.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
Hannspree brought several of their unusual TVs to one of the giant press soirees that are filled with cheery PR people, good food, open bars, and every now and then an interesting product. I feel safe predicting that this set won't become the official TV of the Colbert Nation. I didn't see the remote control, but someone please tell me that it's not shaped like a baby seal...
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
Onkyo's first foray into separates includes the PR-SC5503 surround preamp-processor ($2699), with the up-to-date feature set you'd expect in an Onkyo receiver, and the PA-MC5500 multi-channel power amp. The amp's got nine channels of 150-watt AB amplification, enough to accommodate both height and width channels, and can connect to the pre-pro via XLR. Both about to ship; pre-pro price may be around $2699. Onkyo also showed the BD-SP807 Blu-ray player which boasts Anchor Bay video processing. (And the company plans to introduce its first -- perhaps anyone's first -- HDMI 1.4 receivers this spring, reports TWICE.)
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 2 comments
Achromatic is the name of a new line from the venerable (and underrated) Anglo-Chinese brand Wharfedale. In addition to the $399 sat/sub set, the line also includes towers, monitors, and subs. The existing Evo2 ($600-1900, shown) and Opus2 ($1700-5000) lines have been beefed up with aluminum-coated copper wire for better heat dispersion. They continue to have kevlar woofers and soft dome tweeters.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
Epsilon is a French company founded in 1938. While these globular objects can serve as passive speakers, the active version is more interesting. It's got 100 watts of ICEpower amplification and connects wirelessly. Look for it in the third quarter for whatever the U.S. equivalent of 1200 euros will be then (currently a bit north of $1700).
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
I always like going to the NXT suite during CES to see what new things they've cooked up. The three-room suite is filled with a variety of current, brand new, and concept products utilizing NXT's slim and flat transducer technologies. One of the most interesting items was a 2.1 flat-panel TV add-on speaker system from Q Acoustics. The Q-TV2 attaches to the rear of the TV chassis and can be used whether the set is on a stand or wall-mounted. The subwoofer is around an inch thick, and the slender side speakers are mounted on arms that can be adjusted to match the width of the TV. The system accepts analog or digital audio from the TV and has boundary compensation circuitry for use when the system is up against a wall.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
NewKinetix Re (the e is supposed to have a line over it, but I don't know how to generate that character - basically because I'm alphabetically challenged) is a plug-in accessory for an iPhone or iPod touch that turns either device into an IR remote control. Other such IR-enabling products already exist, but as far as I can tell the NewKintetix unit is the first one that does not require a separate box to generate the IR signal. One can be yours soon for $49.95.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2010 1 comments
It may not look like much, -- and our limited photographic skills don't help -- but we'll bet a lot of penurious audiophiles will go nuts for Dynaudio's new DM-6, a two-way monitor with 5.5-inch woofer and 1.5-inch fabric tweeter, in black or rosewood vinyl. Other models are now available in attractive black or white gloss finishes.

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