CEDIA EXPO 2013 Show Coverage


Robert Kozel - CEDIA 2013 Wrap-up

Here's a better look at the SSP 7 and the SSP 16-3D processors from Storm Audio.

The SSP 16-3D is on the bottom and supports 16 channels of output.

Here's a better look at the SSP 7 and the SSP 16-3D processors from Storm Audio.

Devialet was showing their stereo integrated amplifier line-up. The Devialet 110 (2x110 watts) retails for $6,495 and the Devialet 170 (2x170 watts) retails for $9,495. The Devialet 500 (2x500 watts) retails for $29,995.

The Devialet 240 (2x240 watts) retails for $17,495. It was shown with a small controller for volume, phase inversion and source selection.

Monitor Audio was showing the Airstream A100 wireless integrated amplifier. It makes use of a Class A/B amplifier and provides 50 watts per channel. It retails for $500.

Here's the Airstream WS100 wireless multimedia system from Monitor Audio. The cube speakers include built-in amps and a wireless receiver. A small USB transmitter is used to send music from your computer to the WS100 system.

ATI was showing their AT6000 multi-channel amplifier. This amplifier is designed by Morris Kessler and is part of the ATI signature series. The AT6000 is a fully balanced design which makes use of only a single input stage with dual-differential output stages. It uses current feedback for increased amplifier speed and makes use of Thermaltrak output transistors for real-time bias optimization. It retails for $3,995 for a two-channel version and up to $7,995 for a seven-channel model.

Theta Digital was showing the Casablanca IV preamp/processor. The latest version of the Casablanca includes Dirac Live 96K digital room correction and a Theta proprietary technology called Jitter Jail II.

The upgrade in functionality from the Casablanca III to the model IV is made possible by the PR-3 post processing card. Theta Digital continues its upgrade tradition and offers existing Casablanca III owners the option to upgrade to the Casablanca IV for $3,995. New units of the Casablanca IV start at $16,245.

Theta Digital was also showing their new Prometheus digital amplifier. It is Theta Digital's first Class-D amplifier and provides 250/500/1000 watts @0.01% THD into 8/4/2 ohms. It will be priced at $6K and will be available by the end of the year.

Cambridge Audio was showing the new Azur 851W Class-XD power amplifier and the Azur 851E pre-amplifier. The 851W retails for $2,799 and the 851E retails for $1,999.

Cambridge Audio was also showing the new Azur 851D upsampling DAC / digital preamp. It retails for $1,649.

Here are the new Aero 6 speakers from Cambridge Audio. A pair retails for $1,099.

Cambridge Audio was also showing the Minx Xi digital music system. It plays music from your home network and supports streaming music services, internet radio and playback of high resolution audio up to 24-bit/96 kHz. It retails for $999 and sounded great in their demo.

While 4K televisions may not be in everyone's home yet, Onkyo refreshed their entire receiver line-up to include HDMI 4K video pass-through.

DVDO was showing the latest version of their Air3 wireless 60GHz HD adapter. In their demo, the 1080P HDMI video from the gaming system is being wirelessly transmitted across the show floor to a receiver by each of the televisions. This eliminates cables running across the floor of the game room. The system supports HDMI video and MHL-enabled sources such as smart phones.

DVDO was also showing matrix switching of 4K Ultra HD video with their Matrix6 matrix video switcher.

Boulder Amplifiers had their products on display. This is the massive Boulder 3060 stereo power amplifier.

Here are the Boulder 1021 disc player and the Boulder 2008 phono preamplifier.

JL Audio was showing the E-sub E112 subwoofer. It has a 12-inch driver and a 1500 watt amplifier. It retails for $1,900. It is also available in a 10-inch model.

Integra introduced the DHC-60.5 preamp processor. It has Audyssey XT32 room correction, 8 HDMI inputs, 4K upscaling and 4K pass-through, and an HDBaseT port for multimedia distribution. It retails for $2,000.

The Integra DTR-60.5 has the same feature set as the DHC-60.5 and offers 135 watts/channel. The DTR-60.5 is a THX Select2 Plus certified receiver.

To demonstrate the HDBaseT distribution capabilities on the DTR- and DHC-60.5, Integra showed two movies playing simultaneously while connected to a DTR-60.5. Zone 1 played an Indiana Jones movie while content from Zone 2 was transmitted across the show floor along a 100 meter shielded Cat6 cable. The cable was wrapped in white LEDs just so you wouldn't miss it.

Across the Integra booth in Zone 2, Terminator was playing. Very cool! Integra was also showing that their implementation was standards compliant by showcasing a wide variety of HDBaseT adapters from multiple companies.

Here's a look inside the new DTR-60.5.

Bryston was showcasing their speaker line at the show.

Scandinavian company Opalum was showing their Flow.4810, Breeze.1010 and Flow.1010 speakers.

Definitive Technology was showing the completely redesigned Mythos STL speakers.

The Sony XBR-84X900 4K Ultra HDTV was simply stunning.

Yamaha introduced the YAS-152BL soundbar. It retails for $349.95 and is designed for 55" and larger televisions. The YAS-152BL is the soundbar on the top shelf in this photo.

The YAS-152BL has two built-in subwoofers which are visible underneath the soundbar.

Yamaha also introduced the YSP-1400BL digital sound projector. The YSP-1400BL is on the bottom shelf in this photo.

This powered 5.1 channel soundbar has 8 drivers and dual built-in subwoofers located in the left and right base. It is priced at $449.95.

Yamaha was also introducing the new Aventage CX-A5000 preamp processor. It retails for $2,999.95 and includes YPAO R.S.C room correction which offers multipoint and angle measurement.

To go along with the new processor, Yamaha introduced the MX-A5000BL 11-channel power amp. It retails for $2,999.95 and provides 150W x 11 channels.

Yamaha was showing some gorgeous two channel gear. Here is the A-S3000BL integrated amplifier. It retails for $7,999.95 and is available now. The speaker binding posts are really heavy duty.

Here is the Yamaha CD-S3000BL SACD player. It retails for $6,999.95 and is available now.

Over in the high end audio rooms, Wisdom was demonstrating their technology and the benefits of line source speakers. Line source speakers disperse sound more effectively in large spaces. It was easily the best demo that I heard at the show - amazing audio with both music and movies with incredible bass. Here's what Wisdom was using in their very large demo room.

The McIntosh MT5 turntable was shipping.

Here is the new McIntosh MA8000 integrated amplifier. The tone control has been expanded to eight bands and it has a built-in 32/192 kHz DAC to support its five digital inputs - one of which is USB.

This is the new McIntosh MCD550 SACD/CD player.

Here's a better look at the Lyngdorf TDAI 2170 integrated amplifier and the CD-2 CD player.

That huge blue bear kept looking in the window.

Sony was showing the HAP-Z1ES Hi-res HDD music player. It retails for $1,999 and supports all Hi-res music formats. It also has a DSD re-mastering engine and a 1 TB internal hard drive.

Sony introduced the HAP-S1 500GB Hi-res HDD music player. It has a 2-channel Class AB amplifier providing 40W x 2 and supports all high resolution audio formats including DSD up to 24-bit/192 kHz. It also has an Android and iOS control app.

Sony also introduced the UDA-1 USB DAC system. It has a 2-channel Class AB amplifier providing 23W x 2 and supports all high resolution audio formats including DSD up to 24-bit/192 kHz.

The biggest news on the audio front from Sony is that they have partnered with Warner and Universal to bring to the market a re-mastered collection of music in the DSD (Direct Stream Digital) format. This is awesome news for high-resolution music lovers.

KEF was showing off the V720W digital soundbar system. It comes with a wireless subwoofer. Retail price is $999.99. The V720W is the soundbar at the top of the photo and the sub is on the bottom right. The other two soundbars in the photo are the HTF8003 ($899.99) and the HTF7003 ($549.99).

This is the KEF Blade speaker. A pair retails for $30K.

TruAudio was showing their take on the perfect subwoofer for your backyard sound system. It is called the SubTerrain. The yellow color is also very appropriate.

White was a popular color from some of the speaker companies. Here it is on the Reference Jubilee speaker to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Canton. Only 100 numbered pairs are available.

B&O PLAY, a division of Bang and Olufsen, was showing off their personal audio products.

The B&O H3 in-ear headphones retail for $249.

The BEOLIT 12 wireless and portable music system retails for $799 and has a battery so you can take the system on the road.

The B&O FORM 2 headphones retail for $119.

The B&O A8 sound system retails for $1,149.

The CS1.7 speakers from THIEL were being demonstrated with Dan D'Agostino amplifiers.

Premium soundbars were everywhere at the show. Here is the Horizon OTO from Leon Speaker. The cabinet is less than 2" deep and it is custom crafted in five days to match any TV.

Here's another amazing speaker from Leon Speaker.

Rotel was introducing the RMB-1585. It is a Class AB amp that delivers 200W x 5 channels. It retails for $2,999.

The CM10 from B&W is the new flagship speaker in the CM line. It has a top-mounted tweeter like the 800-series models.

As I was leaving the show floor, I couldn't miss the gorgeous LCD video wall system at the Planar booth.

The Planar 4K display was simply amazing and rivaled the images at the Sony booth.


CEDIA 2013 – Wrap Up and Final Thoughts

After spending two very busy days on the show floor, CEDIA 2013 looked to be a huge success.  The crowds were consistent throughout both days, and while the show floor may have been a bit smaller than in past years, the floor was well organized and didn’t have large unused sections of floor space like CEDIA 2012.  Most booths were crowded and there seemed to be a lot of dealers and distributors discussing products with manufacturers.  Perhaps it was just the return to Denver, but the crowd had a good energy and a general enthusiasm that made the show very enjoyable.

Connectivity and distributed audio and video continued to be a major theme at the show.  While there were plenty of updated control devices from all the major players, the thing that impressed me the most was the inclusion of HDBaseT technology into consumer Audio Video Receivers.  The Integra DHC-/DTR-60.5 and the Pioneer SC-79 include support for HDBaseT.  This offers the consumer and the installer community an excellent way to distribute HDMI audio and video in homes and it finally allows us to say goodbye to analog video in a two-zone implementation.  It was also great to see major manufacturers supporting the HDBaseT technology.

At CEDIA 2013, there was no way to escape the push toward 4K Ultra HD.  Sony and Planar were showing gorgeous 4K Ultra HD displays.  Sony showed their amazing 4K Ultra HD projector which can be had for $15K.  DVDO was showing 4K Ultra HD matrix video switching.   Integra, Onkyo and Anthem all had 4K Ultra HD video pass-through and 4K upscaling.  Kordz was showing their NEO-S3 4K Ultra HD video transmission technology.  While all of this made it look like 4K was coming along nicely, it still seems a long way off since there is still the problem of available native content.  Sony has a solution with their 4K media server, but it still costs hundreds of dollars in addition to an expensive 4K television.   Like it or not, the industry is moving to 4K and the messaging at CEDIA was certainly aimed at pushing 4K to the custom installers and their customers.

On the audio side of things, there were no new surround formats being introduced at the show.  Theta Digital was finally launching Dirac Live 96K which offers some amazing room correction technology to those lucky enough to afford the Casablanca IV.  I couldn’t help notice that the new Yamaha MX-A5000BL amplifier supports eleven channels.   This allows you to power the presence channels that Yamaha supports assuming you can find room for all those speakers in your room.  At least for now, there was no discussion of Dolby Atmos making its way into consumer AVRs just yet.  I asked Onkyo and Integra about the popularity of the extra height and width channels and was told that while many people don’t use them, that it is becoming more common for custom installers to include height channels during a new theater installation.  The height channels are processed by Dolby PLIIz which is included on all the latest AVRs.

The big news on the audio side of things was that Sony is partnering with Warner and Universal to offer high-resolution music in a variety of formats including Direct Stream Digital (DSD).   The partnership opens up a huge catalog of music that can be offered as high-resolution downloads.  This is good news for music lovers and it will hopefully introduce more consumers to the enjoyment of high-end audio.   Sony also introduced several high resolution audio products aimed at helping the consumer enjoy all those great DSD downloads.  Sony already has lots of potential customers for the DSD format since the latest Oppo Digital players already support DSD media-file playback.

Finally, it was great to see Yamaha offering separates again with the Aventage CX-A5000 processor and the MX-A5000BL amplifier.  Despite the move toward digital media, Yamaha and McIntosh both introduced brand new SACD players at the show.   Yamaha told me that those shiny silver discs are still very popular in Europe.

That’s it for my official show coverage for CEDIA 2013.  Thanks for reading.