CEDIA 2010

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 25, 2010 0 comments
We can think of a few other manufacturers who have showed impressive-sounding new speakers behind an acoustically porous curtain and then whipped the curtain aside to reveal a compact satellite/subwoofer set. The latest is Cambridge Audio's Minx, with its three-inch cube available in single (Min-10) or dual (Min-20) versions with three tough little subs. The smallest 5.1 configuration would cost a reasonable $550/set with additional cubes at $80/each. If you are considering adding, say, DPLIIz height or DSX width speakers to your system with minimal fuss, this modular easy-mount approach may be just the thing. The full-range drivers had a pleasingly warm sound that did well with male vocals and had no nasty ringing. Bass was strong if a little tubby (but we were sitting against the rear wall). Minx got our attention and we hope to follow up with a review.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 25, 2010 1 comments
No, it didn’t fly while I was there, but a life-size (?) version of the flying robot from the famous THX movie trailer stood mute witness in the Integra booth that Integra has oodles of THX-approved gear. (Oodles – yeah, that’s a technical term. Now that I think of it, Oodles would be a good name for the robot itself. I may name my next kid, Oodles, I like it so much – the name, not the kid…)
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 25, 2010 1 comments
At $50,000/pair, the Adrenalin monoblock from Pathos is a serious investment. But for all that bread, you get 180W of pure class-A power with a tube input stage and MOSFET output stage. And it looks wicked cool, too!
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 25, 2010 0 comments
Have you been playing dirty, dirty records? Sumiko hates that. At its booth were the Okki Nokki record cleaning machines. Judging from the bottle and brush sitting on top of each one, this must be a wet-system cleaner. The product is available in black or much hipper white for $499 without dustcover or $549 with dustcover, because it's worth another fifty bucks not to let your record cleaning machine get dirty, right? Also on display were a full panoply of compact and affordable phono preamps including something we hadn't seen before: a tube model.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 25, 2010 0 comments
As I was listening to the Trinnov demo in RBH's booth, I was told about the company's brand new subwoofer amp, the SA-500, which provides 500W of class-D power. It's so new that only three exist, which were powering the company's 1010-SXN/R sub and the bass portions of two 8300-SX/Rs at the front left and right, and as I said in the Trinnov post, the sound was excellent with no hint of bloat. The rep didn't have pricing or availability.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 25, 2010 0 comments
Digital Projection offers so many models it's hard to keep them straight. They range in price from around $5000 to the sky's the limit, and include 3D designs, LED-lit models, and much more. The only common thread is that they are all DLPs, both single-chip and 3-chip. Most important, however, is the high quality we've consistently seen from them on the screen, both at shows such as this one and in our own in-house evaluations.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 25, 2010 0 comments
No Cell-chip based 3DTVs, previously shown at CEDS, were in evidence at this year's Toshiba booth.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 25, 2010 0 comments
The 2D LG AF115 projector was not on demo, but at $2300 when it becomes available in November, it's the lowest price LCOS model we know of.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 25, 2010 0 comments
There are, at present, two ways to view 2.35 movies on a 1920 x 1080 HD projector. First, you can tolerate the black bars on a 16:9 screen (or use a 2.35:1 screen and zoom the image out to let the black bars spill off the top and bottom). Second, you can use an anamorphic lens, together with video processing, on that same 2.35:1 screen. Engineers at Projectiondesign have a third way. Working with Texas Instruments, they have incorporated a 2538 x 1600 0.9"DLP chip into their new Avielo Optix SuperWide 235, a single-chip, 2-lamp, 2D digital projector. Using a 2538 x 1080 central area of this chip, they can project a 2.35:1 image onto the screen with 1080 pixels of vertical resolution.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 25, 2010 0 comments
SpeakerCrafts’s latest outdoor subwoofer aims to go low – really low, as in subterranean. In fact, this woofer goes so low all you can see is a small, hooded port that’s exposed above the surface of the ground. The rest of the “BoomTomb” is buried underground for a near-total stealth look. Inside the BoomTomb is a 10-inch long-throw woofer, and a hood covers the top of the port to protect the stuff inside from the elements and curious critters. A dedicated 250-watt amp gets to stay inside next to the rest of your electronics where it is (hopefully) warm and dry. No word yet on pricing.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 25, 2010 1 comments
FOSI wants you to see stars in your home theater – and not just on your big screen. The company’s star ceiling panels – like this 8-foot x 12 foot version – contain thousands of individual fiber optic cables that take light from three central light sources (either halogen or LED-based lamps) and create astronomically correct reproductions of the night sky on your theater (or other) room’s ceiling. Panels can be ordered in flat black or cloud-sky painted models. This particular setup included over 5,000 fiber optic runs to create a September night sky that included a comet, several shooting stars, and the ability to erupt into a brilliant fireworks display. Without the fireworks lighting, the DIY version – in which you get the fiber optic cables and a complete, full-size template for where to drill the holes for the cables in your own panel – starts at around $2,000. As far as a professionally installed, fully tricked out version with fireworks and a night sky that’s exactly the way you want it from a certain date in history (your wedding night or the evening the Normans invaded England, for example, either of which could be considered the start of epic battles) can cost, well, the sky’s the limit.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 25, 2010 2 comments
Focal is growing its Utopia line with the Viva, which comes in two varieties—a vertically oriented LCR that is also used for the surrounds and a horizontal center-channel that is otherwise essentially identical. Both incorporate the company's IAL2 beryllium tweeter and third-generation W-cone midranges and woofers for a frequency response from 39Hz to 50kHz (±3dB) and a sensitivity of 92dB/W/m.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 25, 2010 0 comments
Coaxial driver arrays lay beneath the Granite-52 outdoor rock speakers from Earthquake Sound. They go for $450/pair plus another $799 for the Granite-10D subwoofer. A spokesperson said reliability in the tough outdoor environment is one reason to go with Earthquake. The company also showed the SWAT 2.4 wireless transmitter/receiver combo, $349/pair, which can be powered by USB or wall wart. Maybe just the thing to make the leap from your main rack to the sub or surrounds when conventional speaker cabling is inconvenient.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 24, 2010 0 comments
The Viva Utopia is the latest entry in Focal's Utopia range. Its flanking woofers and a mid-tweeter array can be used horizontally or vertically, serving as perhaps the world's priciest LCR. Used vertically, the top and bottom woofers can be tilted (as shown) at various angles to optimize the arrival times at the main listening position. When used as a horizontal center, however, the woofer modules are locked in a straight-ahead orientation, with the mid-tweeter array is rotated 90-degrees. Both of these adjustments must be performed at the factory; if this arrangement is needed the unit must be specifically ordered as a horizontal center. $12,500 each.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 24, 2010 0 comments
Atlantic Technology uses cabinet-related techniques developed in collaboration with designer Phil Clements to achieve truly scary deep bass response from small cabinets and 5.25-inch woofers. This H-PAS technology was a highlight of the last CEDIA. At this year's show the floorstanding Model AT-1 ($2500/pair, shipping now) has been joined by the stand-mount Model AT-2 ($1500/pair, shipping February). The demo seemingly defied the laws of physics, achieving the kind of bass you'd expect from a decent midpriced subwoofer, except without the sub. Without even a floorstanding enclosure. We wouldn't have believed it if we hadn't heard it.

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