CES 14 day 2

D'Agostino Momentum Integrated
Apparently integrated amplifiers are always compromised. That's why Dan D'Agostino decided to build one that isn't. The Momentum Integrated may not be as deep as the Momentum separates but it's just as substantial thanks the power supply underneath the main chassis. It retains the 'thermal engine' copper cooling system seen on the Momentum Stereo, in fact it features a scaled version of that amp but still gives 200 watts into 8 and 400 into 4 Ohms. It has the distinctive 'steam punk' dial volumne control and six XLR only inputs. Uncompromised is the word, $45,000 is the price.

 

 

Audio Research CD6
The CD6 is a solid state equivalent to the Reference CD player in Audio Research's catalogue. It has the same top loading mechanism and is described as a player/DAC thanks to extensive digital inputs including USB on its back panel. It runs an upsampling quad DACs, so is dual differential and fully balanced and offers alternate filter settings. As David Gordon at Audio Research put it when I asked why, "people are still buying CD players", can't argue with that. Price is $9,000 in the US.

 

 

TEAC 301
TEAC has built an even smaller separates series that makes its 501s seem chunky. There are two models, the AI-301 DA is an integrated amp with built in streamer, 40 watts of ICE digital amplification and a fully featured DAC that accepts Bluetooth apt-X and DSD alongside the usual inputs, it costs $499. The UD-301 is a DAC with USB input as well as SPDIF which can natively convert DSD and 2x DSD with a pair of BurrBrown 1795 converters, it is also $499 stateside.

 

 

Magico S3
Magico played its latest addition to the S range is the floorstanding, 3-way S3. This sits midway through the S range and takes it sMB30 beryllium tweeter and MB390 midrange from the S5, the two 8inch bass drivers have been newly developed for this model. The cabinet is described as the world's largest monocoque enclosure and at 16inches (406mm) in diameter it's not small, wall thickness is half an inch (12.7mm) so this is no lightweight. The midrange has its own internal subenclosure in polycarbonate in order to provide that driver with the perfect environment. Price over there is $22,600.
In the other part of the Magico suite I discovered their Ultimate horn speaker, now in its third generation but having its first outing to CES. It's a massive 8 foot tall aluminium sculpture whose size and elegance cannot be appreciated with the images I got. A five way with two octaves per driver it has machined horns for high and low midrange, and a cast horn for the mid/bass which has a 12inch Magico driver, low bass is provided by a 15inch Magico cone powered by a 2.4kW amplifier. It's 116dB sensitive and can take 100 watts RMS and thus could be employed as a PA speaker should the need arise. Price is $600,000 but the company will personally install it for that.

 

Magico The Ultimate, with Alon Wolff and Robert Harley for scale

 

 

Devore Gibbon X
John Devore always gives good music, his speakers are pretty good too but if you want to hear something interesting at CES the Devore room is the place to be. This time he had a clear vinyl pressing of Aix by Giuseppe Ielasi one of the many nom do son of Trevor Deupree. No me neither but I will be looking him up. I heard this on a Well Tempered Amadeus with a new variant on their tonearm with only half a golf ball and a lower pivot point, the same height as the vinyl in fact which must help. This held an EMT and John was using VTL amps to drive the latest incarnation of his Gibbon X floorstander. This has new mid and tweeter drivers and takes a lot of its parts from the bigger Silverback model. The Gibbon X comes in at $12,000 and is a lovely speaker in both looks and sound, but the latter is its strong point. The aforementioned vinyl delivering acres of reverb and sounding highly coherent despite the slightly abstract nature of the material.

 

 

Dartzeel LHC-208
Swiss colour coding electronics specialist Dartzeel has added a new entry level integrated amplifier/DAC/streamer in the stylish form of the LHC-208 at €10,000. This 200 watt design utilises heat pipe cooling from the PC world, a liquid cooled multi-finned heatsink dissipates heat with the aid of a slow running fan. It streams using a system called Renderer and has six digital inputs of all popular varieties plus ethernet, the converter can process up to 24/384 and 2x DSD. The TFT touch screen display can be augmented with an app and it has four analogue inputs alongside a front panel minijack and headphone out. Delivery is expected in the summer and US price looks like being $13,000.