Harmon delivered one of the best demonstrations on the floor with their latest JBL Synthesis setup. Their room delivered the most natural voices of all the rooms and lacked the brightness I noticed at most of the demos. Their turnkey solution uses pro audio like speakers and subs that are tailored and EQ’ed to the room.
Magico’s new QSub subwoofer features dual 18” custom drivers and a 4,000 watt digital amp. At the remarkably low price of $36,000 I was considering buying a pair on the spot, but the wife shot me down. While these will displace a large portion of your bank account they’ll also displace a massive amount of air in your room with their deep extension.
James Loudspeakers got the memo on bringing the big subs. Their pro audio speakers are complimented by these massive 18" drivers. Their demo room seemed to lack real low end power though. This seemed to be an issue in a lot of rooms at CEDIA this year. Big subs with lackluster bass performance in their demos. I bet with the right setup and room, these would play nice though.
Cambridge Audio showed their Azur 752BD Blu-ray player that garnished our Top Pick earlier this year. Recently Cambridge Audio released a firmware update that enables full DSD file playback from an attached hard drive, memory stick or NAS. The firmware update is available from their website for the amazing price of free.
Wisdom Audio delivered my favorite presentation of the show with their massive screen and even bigger sound. By all accounts a no compromise, price no object system but it delivered in every way. They also picked some of the best clips of the show to really demonstrate their finesse and might. Their planar speakers stood a good 10’ tall and their subwoofers were the size of couches but they did a great job of delivering a sound that was both massive and refined.
Blu-ray players seem to have vanished from the face of the CEDIA floor this year but that didn’t stop Oppo Digital from debuting their latest revision to our Top Pick BDP-103 with the BDP-103D. Everything remains the same but Oppo has integrated the Darbee processing we reviewing in the Darblet processor last year. The player will be shipping in October at $599. This is a hardware revision so no upgrade options for existing owners. This fuses two of our top pick models into one exciting product so it should be another home run for Oppo.
Darbee Vision won our Top Pick last year with their ugly duckling, the Darblet. While the processor didn’t have any outer beauty, its processing turned your video into a swan. Darbee evidently got the message and was showing a prototype version with a very clean aesthetic that included a gorgeous touchscreen and chassis. No word on when this may ship but one can only hope.
If there is one reoccurring theme at the show it’s that your subs are nowhere near big enough. California Audio Technology seems to have gotten the message with their in-wall 18” drivers. These were actually some of the smaller subs I saw around the floor.
Looking for a Blu-ray media solution to playback your whole library from hard drives? Don’t want to pay Kaleidescape prices?? Dune may just have what you’re looking for. Their media machines can playback MKV and ISO rips of your Blu-ray library from an attached hard drive or NAS drive. They also have full support for 3D now with their TV-30 3D mini box or their full rack size HD Base 3D. At a starting price of $199 for the TV-30 3D, Dune makes server based Blu-ray playback affordable for anyone. Now if only I had the time to rip my 700+ title Blu-ray library!
Ever lusted over those Fathom and Gotham subs JL Audio has to offer but couldn’t quite come up with the scratch? JL Audio hears you and has delivered two new subs under the E-Line banister. Both feature the same digital amplifier delivering either 1500 watts to their 12” E-112 model or 1200 watts to the 10” E-110 model. Sure some of the primo features from the upper line including room correction and balanced connections are gone, but you still get some tight clean bass and gorgeous cabinetry. The E-112 will set you back $1900 in satin black and $2100 in gloss black and the E-110 is $400 less in the same clothes.