Show Report

CES 2004


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Eggleston Fontaine II - By far one of my favorite rooms at the Alexis Park was the small Eggleston home theater setup.  Consisting of five gorgeous Fontaine II's ($6000/pr) in Bugatti blue and the new dual 12" Andra sub ($8000, available April), the sound was excellent with an impressively even soundstage from top to bottom.  This system just begged you to spend more time with it, but alas my duties to see more pulled me away.
Arcam AVR300 - Arcam was showing their new AVR300 receiver ($1999), which looks very competitive at its price point.  It is completely up to date on its surround processing and is said to borrow considerably from Arcam's highly touted AV8 preamp.


Audio Analogue Cinecitta - The Cinecitta amp and processor, both $7000, looked very nice, but unfortunately were only on static display.
Epos M5 and M8 - Music Hall had some new Epos speakers on display, with the M5 ($650/pr) and M8 center ($600) truly catching my attention.  The M5 was a very musical speaker for the price, with a nice midrange.  There wasn't much bass, but at $650 for the pair, the M5 looks like a good buy.

Integra DTR-10.5 - Integra had their very cool new card based super receiver on display.  It features optional cards for iLink and DVI switching.  Prices start at $3500 and go up from there depending on which cards you select.  A fully loaded model should top out at around $4700.
Joseph Audio Cinergy - Joseph Audio introduced a subwoofer this year.  The Cinergy ($3299) uses a 12" aluminum cone and a 1000W amp and features an auto calibration feature.
Joseph Audio Home Theater - Using the new Casablanca III, RM 25 mk2 towers ($3500) and the Cinergy sub Joseph Audio put together a great sounding home theater. 
Martin Logan Fresco - The Fresco ($1000/ea) uses two planar drivers to produce great sound in a slim package.

McIntosh Surround System - McIntosh had an all out demo room featuring their XRT 30 speaker system triamped with their 1200W MC1201 monoblocs.  The dynamics of the system were limitless and even though I know they are superfluous, I love the big blue power meters.

MSB Super Audio DVD - MSB had their universal Super Audio DVD Player ($8000) at the show.  The unit sports an internal preamp and MSB's proprietary DAC's.

Panasonic XR-70 - Available this summer, the Panasonic XR-70 ($399) can accept a high-res DVD-A signal from the matching DVD-S97 DVD player.  The receiver has all of the latest surround modes and six channels of digital amplification.
PSB  Image - PSB was showing their updated Image line of speakers that will be introduced in April. 
Spendor S3e - I really liked the sound of the little Spendor S3e ($1400/pr).  It is exactly what you would expect of a high quality monitor, great imaging and focus, and lots of detail.
Tag McLaren AV192R - While Tag wasn't really demoing the audio of the AV192R in their room (the DTS demo room more than made up for this), they were showcasing their VSM 2048 scaler, which looked excellent.  I saw the scaler again later on a V-Inc plasma and it was equally impressive there.
TAD Model 1 - TAD had awesome sound from their $45,000 Model 1s.  The Model 1 has a matching center ($10,000) and monitor speaker ($14,000/pr).
Vandersteen Quatro - Based on the 3A signature, the Quatro ($6500/pr) adds powered subwoofers to strengthen the bottom end.
Verity Tamino - The Verity Tamino theater consists of the X2 mains and surrounds ($5000/pr), center ($3000), and the Rocco subwoofer ($9000).  The system looked and sounded very good.
Von Schweikert VR-4Jr - The VR-4Jr ($3995) is a new speaker for Von Schweikert.  The bass it produced from such a small enclosure was nothing short of amazing.

Triangle Galaxy - The Galaxy 5.1 system ($1599) sounded great for a system based on such compact speakers.  The aluminum cabinets are much more substantial than their size would suggest.

Avantgarde demoed its Duo Classic speakers ($17,970/pair) in its showroom. These speakers produced wonderful sound effortlessly.


For those of you who haven't known yet, Cary has ventured into the home theater world. The picture shows Cary's top of the line Cinema 8 surround processor/controller (7.1 capability) and the Cinema 3 amplifier (3 x 200W into 8 ohm). Cary also introduced its new Cinema 6 surround processor (not in the picture), which should be available shortly at an attractive price of $2500.


Dell introduced its new 33" LCD TV/monitor, which boasts 400:1 contrast ratio and WXGA resolution. This TV/monitor can sit on an adjustable stand or be hung on the wall. The system includes a pair of slim detachable speakers and a remote control. MSRP is $2999.


Florence Audio Technology demoed its Pololena speakers ($7000-$9000/pair depending on finish), which were claimed to have useful frequency response down to 20 Hz.


The new Signature S2 speakers were on display in the Paradigm showroom.




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