2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value
AT A GLANCE Plus
Outstanding blacks and shadow detail
Nearly flawless off-center viewing
Attractive price (for OLED)
Yes, LG’s OLED UHDTVs do have shortcomings, including their inability to get as bright as the best LCD sets. But OLED’s significant advantages more than compensate and have made these TVs, including the superb OLED65E6P, the new golden goose in the Ultra HD landscape.
I vividly remember plasma displays, and I mourned their passing. But even before 4K came along, LCD TVs—with their brighter images, lighter weight, lower energy consumption, and, toward the end, cheaper prices—were putting a full-court press on plasma technology.
Now that I have your attention…CES 2017 is in the history books. While I haven't yet heard the final attendance, I'm certain that somewhere north of 150,000 people were jockeying for position when I visited the Las Vegas Convention Center, the heart of the event. It's also supplemented by several other venues, including the Venetian Hotel, traditionally the site of the specialty (i.e., high-end) audio exhibits.
The video high point of the big show for me was Sony's CLETIS (Crystal LED Integrated System)...
Snuggled into a corner of a THX hospitality suite was this jumbo subwoofer, soon to be available as Outlaw Audio's flagship. The ported design employs a newly developed 13-inch driver and is said to extend to below 20Hz and meet all THX specifications. With a shipping weight of around 130 lbs, it's projected to sell for around $1,500, give or take.
If your taste runs to vinyl but even budget audiophile-grade turntables are priced beyond your means, Victrola has your number. For $200 this model can be yours. It's also available in other styles, but this one does the best visual imitation of a $1,000 audiophile design.
Pro-ject is a big name in turntables, particularly turntables that are relatively affordable (as high-end turntables go). The VT-E BT ($499), however, just might be more of a conversation piece than a statement product. The photo here isn't misleading; the record actually sits vertically, with a clamp in place...
Classé introduced its new two-channel Delta preamp ($9,000), Delta stereo amplifier ($10,000), and Delta monoblock amp ($9,000 each). The amps are rated at 250wpc/8 ohms for the stereo version and 300wpc/8 ohms for the monoblocks and said to remain in class A up to 25W. The preamp includes both analog and digital capabilities, together with available parametric equalization and tone/tilt controls.
On the home theater front, the new Rotel RAP-1580...
Thiel Audio normally displays at the Venetian Hotel, the venue for specialty audio. But this year they elected to have a booth on the main floor of the Convention center. It was obviously not a spot for an effective, active demo, but the new, 4-way Thiel 40.3, at $35,000/pair, is a big step up in price for the company...