Denver, Colorado – September 3-9
Here you will find a running commentary from the show floor, uploaded by Secrets staff during the show days.
Report 1 from Ross Jones
Flat screen manufacturers love to show off their enormous displays at trade shows. Here’s Panasonic’s 103″ 1080p plasma. No price listed (if you have to ask . . .).
Panasonic’s newest 1080p front projector, the PT-AE3000, is slated to start shipping in October. It claims a 60,000:1 contrast ratio, along with special motion display settings for fast moving images. Suggested retail price is $3,495.
Paradigm is replacing its Signature Servo subwoofer with the new Sub 25. This beast has a 15″ driver with a class D amp rated at 3000 watts RMS. It is supposed to be 5 dB louder than the Signature Servo. Paradigm’s demo room had two of the Sub 25’s; they were very impressive-sounding. Price is $3,999.
Anthem is coming out with a new two-channel integrated amp, the 225. It is rated at 225 channels x 2, and includes a phono stage. Price is $1,499. Anthem is also making the long-awaited update to its popular D2 pre-pro. Tenatively called the D2.v2, it is HDMI 1.3a, with eight HDMI inputs and two outputs.
Report from Piero Gabucci
The family of D&M Holdings was in full contingent with new products from Marantz, Denon, Escient, McIntosh, Snell and Boston Acoustics.
McIntosh is showing their new SACD player, the MCD500 boasting four DACs per channel. Balanced and unbalanced inputs/outputs with digital inputs allow connectivity to other Mac products removing the need for an outboard pre-amp. At $6,500 this will be a hot product for McIntosh; yes people still listen to SACD.
160 pounds later, the new MC303 is McIntosh’s first multi-channel amplifier, with 3-channels.
Also new the MPC1500 power controller for the McIntosh user to integrate spike protection, AC isolation and line “noise” all for $4,500.
And to celebrate the 60 year anniversary, McIntosh has developed a table top CD player, with tuner, satellite speakers with 4 ½” drivers.
The smaller brother to the XRT1K array speaker, McIntosh demonstrated the potential of this “under $20,000″ per pair speaker. A compliment of tweeters and 3-8” woofers created a fully dynamic range.
Escient has developed the Vision Series of music and movie servers with capabilities to store and manage 100, 200, and 600 movies. Along with movies, music and photo storage and display is safe with redundant hard drives.Combined with an excellent GUI and Rhapsody, the online music service, the Vision Series will serve multi-rooms.
More coming from D&M….
Report 1 from Sumit Chawla
Auralex is offering custom printed fabric to cover their acoustic panels. One can either choose a print from their online library or upload a custom image.
Shown here is the Denali HTPC from Niveus. It features passive cooling and is priced at $13.5k. Niveus is also introducing Movie Library, Niveus’s version of MyMovies, and a 16-bay storage server based on Windows Home Server. 4/8/16 TB configuration options are available.
Moneual was showing their line of HTPCs. Shown here are the 972 and I*magine units. Purchasing just the enclosure is an option. Both HTPCs feature touchscreen LCDs which can be used to navigate around Media Center. The I*magine will cost $2k.
JL Audio always puts on an impressive demo. Shown this time were their new line of active loudspeakers and in-wall subwoofers. The active loudspeakers could be heard, but not seen last year – they were behind the screen. They are expected to ship sometime in 2009 and expected to retail for $10k each.
Report 2 from Ross Jones
Scandinavian manufacturer Avielo showed off itshigh-end projector line, including their $65,000 three-chip DLP projector.
In the “mine is bigger” category, Sharp displayed its 108 inch LCD. Yes, it’s $150,000, but the bad news is that there is a three-month waiting list.
Sonance, in connection with an Italian designer, put together speakers disguised as high-end lighting fixtures, named Zemi and Omni. Handmade in Italy from ceramic cabinets. Price not available.
Epson displayed its newest projector, the 7500UB, which will replace the 1080UB. It uses the latest generation D7 optical engine, Epson’s “UltraBlack” technology with a claimed contrast ration of 75,000:1, Silocon Optix’s HQV Reon-VX processor, and anamorphic scaling. Expected to ship in December-January, pricing is not finalized, but should be less than $5,000.
Directv was showing off its new HD DVR’s, capable of downloading on-demand 1080p/24fps content.
Velodyne introduced several new product lines at CEDIA, including the Optimum series subwoofers, which are just below the DD series. The Optimum series range from $1,299, $1,699 to $1,899.
Velodyne also introduced the DEQ series (digital EQ), with Class D amplifiers, ranging from $599 to $1,099.
Auralex, maker of acoustic panels, now allows you to cover their panels with your own digital photos, or stock photos including film posters licensed by Auralex from the studios. Called Sonic Print, they come in various sizes from 1′ x 1′ to 2×4′ panels ($199).
3D is the next big thing; Digital Projection had an amazing 3D demo, driving by several of its Titan Reference projectors plus several racks worth of associated equipment.
Sanyo will be introducing its newest 1080p projector, the PLV-Z700 around the end of the year. No literature yet, but it appears to be a slightly tweaked version of the popular Z200, with one major difference: expected MSRP is $1,995, less a $200 manufacturer’s rebate.
Report 2 from Sumit Chawla
Sooloos is adding video playback and picture browsing to their system. Details on these new offerings will be available in the near future. I played around with their music system and I really liked the user interface.
Sony has introduced two new SXRD projectors: HW10 and VW70. The former projector is a replacement for the VW40 and it is priced at $3500 with a specified contrast ratio of 30,000:1. The VW70 is priced at 8k and its specified contrast ratio is 60,000:1. The contrast numbers just keep going up! Unlike the VW40, the VW60 remains in the lineup.
Mitsubishi was showing their HC7000 in a semi-light controlled room. This LCD projector features the Silicon Optix Reon VX chipset. The stated contrast ratio is 72,000:1 and it is priced at $3995.
Report from Sandy Bird
Well it seems that the high end SSP manufactures have finally all caught up to the mass market receiver companies this year. Almost ever classic high end SSP manufacture we visited had a unit capable of 1080p scaling, the latest surround formats like TrueHD and DTS-MA and most but not all had some form of room EQ built in.
Some of the processors are licensing know chipsets for their video processing and some are building their own (or at least aren’t willing to tell us which ones they are using). On the audio side everyone seems to be doing their own room correction as I didn’t see any Audyssey logos on any of the following gear.
Starting at the high end we have Halcro Logic with their 3rd generation SSP the SSP220. It has an MSRP very close to $12000 which isn’t cheap.
Some of the key specs are:
- Multi-channel Linear PCM
- 7.1 channel balanced inputs and outputs with analog bypass and volume control
- 7.1 channel unbalanced inputs with selectable unbalanced and balanced outputs
- 4 special, programmable output channels. Auxiliary Manager for managing additional
- Channels (channels 9 & 10 for stereo subwoofers, ceiling speakers, etc.)
- Auto calibration of speaker levels and distances with calibration microphone
- 1080P 24
- 4 HDMI inputs
- 1 HDMI output
- Analogue video conversion
That doesn’t mean they have forgotten their amp customers, take a look at this custom paint job on the DM38
Classe which belongs to the B&W Group responded to the market demand of rack mounting their gear. The gear could be rack mounted before, but certainly not as easy as other vendors in the space due to the beautiful curved cases. The new line up (CT Series) of the SSPs and amps have a new case and design which not only enables easier rack mounting, but also serves as an air cooling system that pulls air through the front of the chassis via a temperature controlled fan to keep everything cool. The CT-SSP shares the same specs as the SSP-800 but the amps have a new topology design.