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Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 10, 2011  |  5 comments
The Japanese know a thing or two about tube-based amplifiers, as demonstrated by Zanden Audio Systems, which recently released its new flagship monoblock, the 9600. This beauty joins a stable of phono and linestage preamps, a DAC, several other power amps, and a CD transport, offering everything you need for 2-channel bliss except for the speakers and cables—and a turntable if you're into vinyl.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 09, 2011  |  1 comments
Last week, I profiled the first power amp from Marten, which was introduced at CES in January. This Swedish maker is otherwise known for its high-end speakers, including the new Coltrane 2 that was also unveiled this year in Vegas.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 08, 2011  |  0 comments
In a joint venture between US-based Seymour AV and UK-based Screen Excellence, the aptly named Seymour-Screen Excellence (SSE) recently announced its new Reference Fixed Frame (RF) acoustically transparent projection screens. Initially available are two materials—Enlightor 2 and Enlightor 4K.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 07, 2011  |  6 comments
When you think about home-theater gear, what usually comes to mind are things like displays, source devices, processors, amplifiers, and speakers. But these are nothing more than very expensive boat anchors without AC power—and that power had better be clean if they are going to perform at their best. This is where PS Audio comes in with its new PerfectWave Power Plant 5 and 10 AC Power Regenerators.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 03, 2011  |  0 comments
Swedish Marten is well known for high-end speakers—I profiled the incredible Coltrane Supreme last June. But the company introduced something different at CES 2011—its first power amplifier, the M-Amp monoblock.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 01, 2011  |  3 comments
Based in Berkeley, California, Magico made a splash at CES with its new Q3 speaker, which is a slightly scaled-down version of the well-established—and more expensive—Q5. But what makes the Q5 so special?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 31, 2011  |  0 comments
Bowers & Wilkins is well known for its superb high-end speakers, so it's really no surprise that this British company would enter the headphone market. However, I'm a bit surprised that its first offering in this arena—dubbed the P5—is a set of portable headphones intended for the iPod and other MP3 players.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 27, 2011  |  3 comments
MBL has its fingers in just about every audiophile pie there is, from CD players and DACs to preamps and integrated amps to power amps and speakers to cables, racks, and speaker stands. In terms of source devices, the company's ne plus ultra is the 1621A CD transport and 1611F digital-to-analog converter (DAC).
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 25, 2011  |  7 comments
If bigger is better, Boulder's new 3050 monoblock power amp is clearly among the best. This behemoth was unveiled at CES before being completely finished—the company is waiting for the transformers to arrive—but the specs are enough to make any audiophile drool.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 24, 2011  |  1 comments
One of the biggest audio sensations at CES wasn't a megabucks speaker—it was the Triton Two tower from GoldenEar Technology. The company was recently started by Sandy Gross and Don Givogue, who had been partners at Definitive Technology (Gross also co-founded Polk), to raise the bar on speaker performance and value. They seem to have hit a home run with the Triton Two, which is available in a stereo pair or as part of the TritonCinema multichannel system for a price that will surprise you.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 21, 2011  |  0 comments
Among the standout gems at CES this year was the D-Premier integrated amp/DAC from French newcomer Devialet. Distributed in the US by Audio Plus Services, the D-Premier serves as the stylish hub of a high-performance 2-channel audio system.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 20, 2011  |  2 comments
As always, there was no shortage of ultra-high-end speakers at CES this year. Among the most impressive was the magnificent Duke from Austrian speaker maker Trenner & Friedl.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Dec 30, 2010  |  3 comments
LG will have some big announcements at CES next week—literally. Perhaps the biggest is the 72-inch LZ9700, which the company claims is the world's largest LED-backlit 3D LCD TV.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Dec 27, 2010  |  0 comments
It seems that many high-end optical-disc players these days also serve as processors for digital-audio files from a computer via USB—for example, the recently profiled Ayre DX-5. Another new entrant in this emerging product category is the S7i from American digital-audio stalwart Wadia.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Dec 23, 2010  |  0 comments
With a dream team of audio engineers and designers, the newly formed Constellation Audio is bound to make some serious waves. Along with the Hercules monoblock power amp, which I profiled a few weeks ago here, the company's first offerings include the Altair 2-channel preamp, which sports one of the coolest-looking industrial designs I've ever seen.