CES 2011

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Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 07, 2010  |  22 comments

I profiled this tube-based integrated amp with iPod dock <A href="http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/ultimate-gear/the_ultimate_ipod_accessory/..., but I got to hear it at the Venetian. The amp was driving Gershman Acoustics speakers, and the iPod was playing Ella Fitzgerald in uncompressed WAV files, which sounded fantastic.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 06, 2011  |  0 comments
As I type these words, I am staring through Flexon by Marchon eyeglass frames, so I was predisposed to find the company's 3DTV eyewear aesthetically pleasing. Marchon has a patent on technology for a side-to-side curve that allows the eye to move up to 30 degrees off center without geometric distortion, so these frames may be especially good for watching 3D on a big screen up close. Pricing starts at $40 and ranges up to $179 for the Lacoste version. There will also be Nike frames for $129-139. The pricier frames double as sunglasses that lighten or darken as needed.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 11, 2011  |  0 comments
Another potential best-of-show system has to include the Heritage Series Getz, a new model from Sweden's Marten loudspeakers. With their all ceramic drivers from Acuton (apart from a passive radiator, one of the large cones visible in the photo) they were very different in balance from the Sony speakers, above. Faster on their feet and even more sparklingly detailed, but less weighty and majestic sounding. And at $20,000, cheaper, though not exactly a blue-light special.
Mark Elson  |  Jan 07, 2011  |  0 comments
The Martin Logan C2 ($799/each) and FX2 ($649/each) are eyebrow raisingly affordable entries from this longtime champion of the electrostatic speaker. What raised our other eyebrow is that we liked the model playing better than the most costly ones we've heard in the past. Go figure.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 11, 2011  |  0 comments
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
The McIntosh MCLK12 clock puts the signature power meters to new use, displaying hours at left and minutes at right. It can mount in an equipment rack but why not give it a more prominent place on your wall?
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
Who can resist an app featuring the famous power meters, here displayed on an iPad (shown) sitting atop a McIntosh docking box (not shown). The app already has 30,000 admirers, judging from the number of people who have downloaded it.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  First Published: Jan 09, 2011  |  0 comments
From Alfred and Partners comes the Estelon, a uniquely shaped speaker with all Accuton ceramic drivers. All yours for just $43,000/pair.
Tom Norton  |  Jan 06, 2010  |  First Published: Jan 07, 2010  |  0 comments

Sharp's big announcement, apart from listing of their new models, was Quad Pixel Technology. Instead of the usual red, green, and blue sub-pixels that make up each pixel in the LCD image, Sharp adds a fourth, yellow-filtered sub-pixel. This is said to increase the number of colors up to 1 trillion. But who's counting?

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 06, 2011  |  First Published: Jan 07, 2011  |  0 comments
The products Meridian promised at CEDIA 2010 are realities. They include the Media Core 200 (shown) whose "more accessible" $4000 price point will probably make you want to fling a whole bunch of these 500GB babies around your well appointed home. It combines Sooloos media server software with iWhatever or computer input, and we're not being sarcastic when we say that's a winning combination. Also shown were the Media Core 200 stereo preamp ($3000) with the DSP3200 powered speakers. The former includes a stereo width control: key in how far apart your speakers are, and it'll make the distance seen even wider (in a good way). After all, real people don't always put their speakers where they should go.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 07, 2010  |  1 comments

Swedish speaker maker Perfect8 assembled a 2-channel rig in its Venetian suite that would set you back a cool $1,000,000! Aside from the speakers, which include a pair of Forces and three Cubes with powered subwoofers, the system includes electronics from Ypsilon, an Audio Stone Pythagoras turntable, and ZenSati cables. I heard a recording of cello and pipe organ, which was spectacular—a beautiful, open sound and great bass response. For more on the Perfect8 speakers, <A href="http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/ultimate-gear/eight_is_enough/">click here</A>.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
Updating a classic, MK Sound premiered the new version of the company’s popular S150 monitor. The new model, the S150 MKII THX Ultra2, features the same redesigned tweeter recently introduced in the 950 THX Select2 bookshelf. Also introduced were a new matching tripole surround for the S150 system, MK Sound’s first on-wall speakers, and a new in-wall and on-wall speaker.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 09, 2011  |  0 comments
The Xi3 Modular Computer is small, cube-like, completely modular, and less than 4 inches per side. It uses 64-bit x86 dual core processors running at 2.0 GHz and, since it uses less than 20 watts to operate, it is totally silent due to the lack of fans. The silent operation and solid state storage make it a great choice for a home theater PC or DVR. Pricing starts at $849 (with Linux operating system – add $149 for Windows 7). Additional storage memory and thin clients are available. The computer can be ordered in different colors and various configurations.