CES 2008 Show Report Part 4

Dynaudio shows off their entry level line of loudspeakers called Audience. They are both affordable and attractive.

This Dynaudio loudspeaker called the Confidence C4 looks so marvelous it appears as a sculpture. The tweeters in this model are housed in a solid aluminum block housing.

This Dynaudio model named “Sapphire” looked absolutely superb. The satin- gloss finish revealed the wood’s grain structure as it rotated on its lighted display. $15,000 pair.

Bowers & Wilkin’s booth displayed a few different products. Here we see the XT 4 stereo speaker which features an one piece aluminum enclosure. The PV1 subwoofer seen on the floor features an aluminum enclosure and dual drivers. Like all of B&W products this system is highly stylized.

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the new Jaguar concept car that features a Bowers and Wilkins surround sound system as an available option. Now if only I could get a review sample.

Polk Audio showed off their line of DSW subwoofers that had built in room consideration software. There are four different sizes available here ranging from discrete to hefty. The spousal approval factor varies here as well.

Polk Audio showed off their new Surround Bar 360. This uses a proprietary receiver unit and the single bar speaker that mounts under the display. Very discrete and very cool. MSRP $1199.

Podspeaker, a line of speakers from Denmark manufacturer Scandyna, told me the story of how their “Minipod” speaker was a Bowers and Wilkins product first and then it was later adopted by Scandyna. It looks like they have built on the theme and developed a whole line of speaker products.

Here’s another example of the Podspeaker style. The “Megapod” creates a wide frequency range by combining the “Minipod” loudspeaker with the “Megapod” subwoofer. I was very curious to find out what these sounded like.

Many manufacturers showed off Ipod/MP3 player docking active speaker systems this year. Many of them are designed to give mp3 players a very rich and luxurious sound. Here’s a glimpse at some of Boston Acoustics models.

Boston Acoustics shows off their multimedia speakers here available in designer colors.

B&W was proud of their newest Ipod speaker named the “Zeppelin”. This is designed to be compact enough to carry under one’s arm.

These multimedia speakers were from Edifier.

Polk had an Ipod system to show off as well called the Isonic ES2. This one also features HD Radio and makes for a nice combination. MSRP $499.

Dynaudio also had an active speaker product available named the MC15. This demonstration sounded really good.

Here we see some of JBL’s lineup for multimedia speakers.

Earthquake and Guitammer were at the show this year and displaying some of their popular products. I’ve always been a fan of shaker devices. I got a firsthand demonstration of the power of Earthquake’s shaker named the “10.0 MK2”. I stood on the platform it was attached to for about thirty seconds. The amount of shake was truly impressive.

Guitammer showed off their new leather couch line called “Private Collection” which had the popular “Buttkicker” shaker built in. These include a remote control thats used to adjust the amount of vibration delivered. They were comfortable and added excitement to the “Transformers” movie demo being played.

It was time for everybody to get a much needed Oxygen break so they could get back to all the products on the show floor.

Meridian showed off the P series of In-wall speakers. These have a couple of installation options including surface and flush mounting. Metal-cone bass drivers and a wide-dispersion horn-loaded ribbon tweeter are used. Exquisite.

The veneer wood finishes on FocusAudio’s Signature and Classic series were very attractive. The cabinets are built with 1″ thick MDF on the FS7 series.

The sound coming from the Magico room drew me in to get a better listen to the V3 loudspeakers. Magico mounts their drivers directly to metal faceplates and uses layers of stiff birch plywood to create extra rigid enclosures. Needless to say these sounded very good.

Castle is one of few companies that manufactures both the cabinets and the drivers in house. This gives them the advantage of using drivers that work better with the enclosures thus allowing the crossover network to be simplified.

More craftmanship and deep wood tones shown here in the Castle Richmond series.

Anthony Gallo’s Reference 5LS sounded wide, open, and very transparent even given the acoustics of the Venetian hotel room. . All eight of the 4″ midbass drivers are housed in spherical enclosures and offset from the tweeter spheres. This was done to alleviate phase and dispersion problems. These measure 78″ tall. Wow.

Kef’s Muon loudspeaker is a spectacle. It was Designed by Ross Lovegrove and only one hundred pairs were put into production. That enclosure has a 6mm thick heavily damped aluminum shell.

LG is involved in many different markets and here we see their latest venture into Hi- Fidelity This entire home theater system is designed by Mark Levinson and should be available some time later this year. These prototype demo models sounded really good and I’m looking forward to when they are officially released.

Here is the HD-DVD player and processor that LG will release as part of a complete home theater package including the speakers.

Esoteric is a division of TEAC. Their MG10 loudspeaker won an CEA Innovations honors award. The drivers are manufactured with a Magnesium Alloy and coated with a ceramic material. Sound was superb in the hotel room!

Dali’s Helicon 400 Mk2 looked great and sounded great. These use a hybrid tweeter that consists of both a 1″ dome and a ribbon tweeter. The mid bass drivers are designed with lightweight wood fiber cones. This picture doesn’t quite do justice to the quality of their appearance.

Snell had their Reference B7s on hand. Designed by Joe D’Appolito Ph.D., the man famous for the D’Appolito array, the B7 has dual 4.5″ magnesium mid drivers, a 1″ silk dome tweeter sandwiched between them, and dual 8″ aluminum side-firing bass drivers. Snell can apply any custom wood stain that is desired. MSRP $10,000/pair.

Snell also had their IW D7 on display which is the in-wall version of the D7.

This inspiring loudspeaker named the “XRT2K” comes from McIntosh Labs. This features six 12″ Aluminum woofers, sixty-four 2″ Titanium midranges and forty 3/4″ Titanium tweeters. This goliath can handle up to 2000 watts of power. MSRP $80,000/pair

New for McIntosh Labs is the C500 preamp which replaces the popular C200 model. This is available in either a tube or solid state version. SRP $11,000.

Here’s a picture of the MC2301. This is a 300W fully balanced tube amplifier. Wow! No word on the official release date yet.

McIntosh’s massive 1,200 watt “Autoformer” features two complete and mirrored amplifier circuits. This unit sells for a suggested $11,000 and has output connections for two, four, and eight ohms.

The 275 McIntosh tube amplifier seen here is often praised highly by tube amplifier afficionados.

Dutch company PrimaLuna was on hand to display their high quality lineup.

On a last minute trip to the Hilton, we got a chance to see and hear a demo of Mark Levinson’s new no. 502 Media Console in action. MSRP $30,000

Here is Pioneer’s flagship receiver the SC-09TX. 7 channels at 200 Watts per channel, 1080p upscaling, HDMI 1.3, DTS-HD, and Dolby TrueHD.

Here’s a cutaway of the same Pioneer receiver.

Adcom’s GTP-870HD 7.1 processor can upconvert composite and S-video to component video and can scale analog video sources up to a max of 1080p. This is also upgradeable.

New for Denon is this separate component system. The processor is loaded with all the bells and whistles and the amplification runs 10 channels x 150 Watts or 300 x 5 in bridged mode. No doubt that many people will be eagerly anticipating this system.