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.
Triad decided to give their renowned Platinum line of speakers a new big brother. Though they weren’t being demonstrated at the show, their new flagship will be available later this year. Pictured here is the top of the line offering with massive drivers and a folded horn tweeter. I plan on taking a trip to their factory down the road in Portland early next year to get a listen when they’ve revamped their demo room with them. At $15,000 each they aren’t for everyone but they should be able to deliver massive sound to even the largest custom home theater room.
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.
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.
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.
DVDO debuted three new upcoming products at their press conference today. First up was the Air 3 ($199), their latest wireless HDMI solution that cuts the cord and gives you 10 meters of 60 GHz wireless connectivity between a device and display. The new box is smaller and lighter and now supports high resolution audio as well.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no one does video processing as good as Lumagen. Lumagen was showing off their latest 2041 and 2042 video processors that accept up to 1080p in but will scale to 4K for the latest displays. The 2042 offers legacy analog connections and four HDMI inputs and the 2041 offers strictly HDMI inputs. Lumagen also just added support for 729 color point calibration! So much for the 7 points top tier displays offer!! The new processors are also on sale during CEDIA so check out Lumagen.com to get in on 10% discounts on all their latest gear.