Tom Hannaher introduced his new ZVOX 425 single cabinet speaker designed to compliment flat panel displays. More so, it's a simplified design, two-channel analog only with five 3.25" speakers, two of which are end-mounted subwoofers that dip down to 35 Hz. Available in mid-summer at a modest $599, check it out at a Big Box store near you.
DCM offered a very attractive full range speaker, the TFE200 at $1,000 per pair that belied their modest price.
A new name in speakers is Mark & Daniel of Tucson Arizona. The Maximus monitor is clad in compound marble and features a Dreams wideband ribbon driver and 5" woofer. Placed on top is the high frequency Omni-Harmonizer which is independent and an option. All together, about $4,000 per pair, I thought they sounded great.
Included in this room was equipment from Plinius – solid and simplistic beyond austere. Beautifully crafted, the 9200 integrated amplifier at $4,200 pushes 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms. Complimenting with the a CD player at $4,500, the CD-101 has no display – talk about purists.
One manufacturer that showed up in a few rooms was German designed and built Behold. Absolutely solidly built with ½" thick aluminum walls, the APU768 preamplifier is modular based with up to 14 plug-in modules. It requires removing the top and bottom thick aluminum plates and snapping in components that include digital inputs, CD-player, D/A converter, and a few more. Software ties the whole thing together via a permanent USB interface.
I also saw their immense amplifiers in a couple of rooms. They are quite distinctive with their glowing blue ring (photo below). The $38,000 BPA768 includes a power conditioner and weighs nearly 100 pounds as the unit contains independent mono blocks for stereo or bi-amping. Also in the photo are Ascendo M speakers at $45,000 per pair – beautifully engineered.
Considering the cost of some of the speakers at the show, KEF's flagship Reference speakers at $20,000 per pair were amazingly finished and crafted. The sound was second to none, and I found them to be one of my favorite demos.