Gear Nuts Page 2

Xtant's hexagonal X124 12-inch subwoofer ($359)

On the amplifier front, Blaupunkt raised a number of eyebrows with its PA series of power plants. Besides resembling the sleek styling of Apple iMacs, the five amps in the PA series ($290 to $630) incorporate TriPath, or Class T circuitry, which is said to let them run with higher efficiency at cooler temperatures and with less distortion. Meanwhile, PowerAcoustik tapped an outer-space vibe with the oval-shaped Area 51 series ($430 to $600), sporting fairly rad neon-lit covers. And Memphis was a hit with the Memphis Belle hybrid subwoofer amp ($1,100), which was indeed named after the famous World War II B-17 bomber and can handle configurations for both 1,000 watts mono and 75 watts each to four channels.

When it came to speakers, JL Audio previewed its long-awaited W7 subwoofers (starting around $1,000), which feature an OverRoll surround design that's said to allow for additional cone excursion without necessitating a reduction in cone area. Then there was MTX's imposing 15-inch RFL152 subwoofer ($1,000), an 80-pound beast sure to be a favorite with the ground-pounding crowd; it claims to be able to handle 4,000 watts maximum. Finally, Xtant's X series of hexagonal subs ($299 to $1,199) are shaped so you can join more of them together for ever-deeper bass.

And that's a wrap on CES, Ground Control. Since I need to start preparing for my return to earth, I'm going to sign off now.

One last thing, ORG-1.

What's that?

Don't bump into any of those navigation tracking satellites on the way down.

You guys in Ground Control really need to get out more, Steve. S&V

Mike Mettler, editor in chief of Car Stereo Review's Mobile Entertainment, has also seen triangular and square subwoofers, and he wonders who'll be the first to develop the sexagonal sub.