CES 2017 Show Report Day 3 Coverage
Emotiva was showcasing the amplifier modules for the XPA Gen 3. On display were the 300 watt mono module, the 600 watt balanced mono module, and a 150 watt stereo module which offers 75 watts per channel. Since the XPA Gen 3 supports the same chassis regardless of configuration, the modules offer the ability to configure the XPA Gen 3 to suit individual needs. Emotiva will custom build your XPA Gen 3 at the time of ordering.
Here is the display for the new 16-channel, fully balanced, Emotiva RMC-1 Reference Media Controller. The RMC-1 uses a fully modular architecture which allows for easier service and makes future upgrades a possibility. The RMC-1 will support HDMI 2.0B and HDCP 2.2. It will support Dolby Atmos up to 7.3.6 and DTS-X and of course 4K UHD video with HDR. Each of the 16 channels is fully balanced using a differential design with 32-bit 768 kHz AKM Verita DACs on all outputs. The RMC-1 will include Dirac Live running at 192 kHz on all channels. Emotiva will also be including a calibrated reference microphone with the RMC-1 for Dirac Live measurements. The RMC-1 is expected to retail for under $5K.
This is the HDS-B82AM HDMI module for the Emotiva RMC-1. It supports 4K UHD HDR video and HDMI 2.0B with HDCP 2.2. So what’s so cool about it? It is a great example of how Emotiva’s modular design can impact the upgradability of the Emotiva processors. This board will not only work in the new RMC-1, it will also be made available as an upgrade to the XMC-1 processor. The board can also be replaced to support newer versions of HDMI. Since HDMI 2.1 was just announced yesterday, that is a very good thing for Emotiva and their customers!
This is a closer look at the balanced outputs on the new Emotiva RMC-1. Each channel uses a balanced differential design with AKM AK4490EN Verita 32-bit 768 kHz D/A chips.
The digital signal processing inside the Emotiva RMC-1 will be handled by two state-of-the-art ADSP-SC573 SHARC DSP chips from Analog Devices. There are currently only 24 of these chips in existence and Emotiva has 14 of them!
I wanted to share another design innovation in the Emotiva RMC-1. This is a closeup of the back of the analog inputs on the RMC-1. In most products, the RCA inputs are very short compared to the depth of the balanced XLR jacks. This usually means the XLR jacks and RCA jacks are not kept on the same circuit board. Emotiva has cleverly extended the interior length of the RCA inputs which allows both types of jacks to co-exist on one circuit board. This is very cool and saves space inside the RMC-1 for other technology.
This is the new Paradigm PW Soundbar. The PW has 135 Watts (270 Watts peak) combined total output across nine internal amplifiers. It supports DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1processing. It comes with Anthem Room Correction and supports HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2. The PW also supports 4K/60P video pass-through and includes DTS Play-Fi. It will retail for $1,299
Off by itself in a corner of the CES 2017 Innovation Awards Showcase was the Paradigm Persona 9H speaker. The Persona 9H was named a CES 2017 Best of Innovation Awards Honoree.
Anthem was showing the new STR IA 80 Integrated Amplifier. The STR IA 80 has a high resolution preamp section as well as a moving magnet and moving coil phono stage. The onboard DAC will support S/PDIF, AES/EBU and asynchronous USB. It uses eight bipolar output devices on each channel and includes bass management for two subwoofers. It has a new industrial design featuring a large display with menus that borrow their look and feel from the Anthem MRX product line. The STR IA 80 will retail for $4,499.
Anthem was showcasing the availability of the DTS:X upgrade on their MRX 720 and 1120 A/V Receivers, as well as the AVM 60 pre-amp/processor.
I stopped into the GoldenEar Technology suite to find a room crowded with listeners. GoldenEar was debuting the new Triton Reference speakers. The Triton Reference is a beautiful speaker. While it shares the same overall look as the rest of the Triton series, my eye was immediately drawn to its commanding size and the beautiful piano black lacquered finish. The Triton Reference is a very large speaker at 58″ in height and each speaker weighs 110 pounds. They will retail for $4,250 each.
The Triton Reference is an amazing evolution of the technology that Sandy Gross and his team have developed into the Triton product lineup. The Triton Reference have two 6″ high definition bass/midrange drivers with multi-vaned phase plugs. The folded ribbon tweeter has been upgraded to a High-Gauss Neodymium High-Velocity Folded Ribbon (HFVR™) Tweeter for improved transient response and efficiency. The cabinetry has elaborate bracing and extensive internal damping using a mix of dacron and lamb’s wool. There are three 6″ x 10″ quadratic sub-bass drivers with massive focused-field magnet structures. There are also four inertially balanced 10.25″ x 9.5″ quadratic infrasonic radiators similar to those found in the SuperSub X. There is also an upgraded 1800 watt DSP controlled class D digital amp inside each tower. There are many more upgrades, but you can see how GoldenEar continually evolves their technology. The speaker has already won a CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award!
The sound of the Triton Reference is breathtaking. The sound is natural with a wonderful intimate feel that moves effortlessly through the room transporting the listener into the music. Sandy was playing some organ music during the listening session and while I expected exceptional bass, I was amazed at how seamless the transitions were from deep bass into the mid-range. It is hard to imagine how Sandy and the team at Golden Ear can continue to evolve their product lineup with such exceptional results. We also know that the creation of the Triton Reference will mean that these new technologies will find their way into future GoldenEar products over time.
I stopped by the CES 2017 Innovation Awards Showcase. The GoldenEar Technology Triton Reference tower speaker was on display. The Triton Reference tower was named a CES 2017 Best of Innovation Awards Honoree.
Here’s a look at Carlo modeling the M4U 8 wireless headphones from PSB Speakers. The M4U 8 feature both active and passive noise cancellation and have been thoughtfully designed and engineered to support a wired connection from either side of the headphones.
The flagship Shangri-La electrostatic headphones and amplifier from HIFIMAN retail for $50,000.
HIFIMAN CEO and founder Dr. Fang Bian received a CES 2017 innovation award for the Edition X V2 headphones. Dr. Bian explained that the Edition X V2 headphones have been redesigned to be lighter and more comfortable, with improved sound and enhanced fit and finish.
While ELAC makes some wonderfully affordable speakers, they also have a premium side for the audiophile where cost is no object. This is the ELAC Concentro demo room at the Venetian. The total system costs over $211,000! The ELAC Concentro speakers are $70,000/pair. The system was powered by a pair of Constellation Audio Centaur II mono amplifiers at $80,000/pair. The Constellation Audio Virgo III line stage was $30,000 and the Berkley Audio Design Alpha DAC was $19,500.
KEF was showing the LS50 Wireless speakers. They share the same acoustic features as the LS50 passive speakers. The LS50 Wireless speakers have a 5.25″ Uni-Q driver and 24-bit/192 kHz DACs (two per channel) for a total of four in the system. The system offers 230 watts/channel in a bi-amp dual mono configuration. The LS50 Wireless connectivity options include 10/100 RJ45 Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, asynchronous USB, and TOSLINK optical. They retail for $2,199/pair, come in a variety of colors, and have a dedicated LS50 control app for iOS and Android. The demo sounded great and made use of Alexa services to select and play the musical selections.
Arcam was demonstrating Dolby Atmos using their AVR850 receiver and a KEF speaker system. Each demo track was played once with Dirac room correction disabled and then once again with Dirac room correction enabled. The difference was impressive. When Dirac was enabled, the KEF R50 Dolby-Atmos enabled height speakers created a cohesive and immersive listening experience. This was an excellent demo and it highlighted the value of Dirac room correction and Dolby Atmos. The AVR850 retails for $6,000.
Emotiva’s Dan Laufman continued to walk us through the updated XPA Gen 3 amplifier line, XMC-1 processor update and some new speakers.
We stopped by Emotiva today where they were excited to announce details of their new RMC-1 reference surround processor.
Dan Laufman walks us through Emotiva’s BasX line of products.
More on Emotiva’s BasX line part 2.
Emotiva BasX Part 3.
Got vinyl? Mark Levinson No 515
SL1 Loudspeaker with Soundsteer Technology
Dynaudio sounds pretty dynamic
This should be a major consideration for anyone looking for a headphone amp. The new RH-5 Tube Headphone amplifier. XLR headphone outputs, two 1/4″ headphone jacks, gain setting in the faceplate and an optional phono board, $2,495.
I’m a big fan of this Pennsylvania company and their hand assembled components. Using a pair of Joseph Audio Pulsar monitor speakers, their RP-7 Tube Preamp with two sets of balanced inputs and outputs and home theater bypass and through their Stereo 100 Tube Amplifier – sounded like an amazing system.
Since JVC was showing their new native 4K Reference DLA-RS4500 THX certified in the Venetian amongst the predominantly audio rooms, I had to take a peek. Stunning images that I couldn’t quite capture. Take my word for it, stunning! Chris Eberle will give you much more information in the days to come but if you have $35,000 and love home theater, well…
Since changing ownership THIEL has revamped more than just their new logo and surprisingly found on the main convention center floor, which I stumbled upon. I was struck by the beauty of the flagship, 40th anniversary 40.3 tower speaker.
This turntable from Spiral Groove SG 1.2 should be Secrets reference just for the red and black color. Spinning Mofi albums played on TAD Evolution monitors made for some pleasant listening.
Size-wise, power-wise, the biggest monoblocks I’ve ever seen. The MOON 888 (888 watts).