Seriously turbocharged version of the RP8 or a halfway step between that model and the elusive Naiad, the RP10 has a ceramic platter, upgraded bearing and inner hub plus a Rega DAC size power supply for £3,000. The RB2000 arm is completely new with all metal parts, the best bearings in a Rega yet and tungsten counterweight. The mat is white to reflect the platter, I want one.
Chord Electronics Hugo
John Franks at Chord is very happy with his first portable DAC Hugo. Not only is it compact, battery powered and cute it also has state of the art Xilinx DAC technology, runs at 32-bit and deal with DSD to boot. Hugo can drive three pairs of headphones thanks to the power delivered by its Li-Ion batteries and has five inputs including hi and lo res USB. Developed for the audiophile on the move it can also be used at home thanks to RCA outputs alongside regular and mini headphone jacks. Price is £1,250
Electrostatic speaker specialist MartinLogan is making a bid for the mainstream with Crescendo, a one box powered speaker with wireless connectivity. Designed to work with smartphones and tablets Crescendo is Bluetooth aptX and Airplay compatible and features a pair of Folded Motion tweeters flanking an oval 5x7inch mid/bass driver. Power is provided by a 100 watt class-D amplifier and processing by 24/48 DSP. Finish on the half moon cabinet can be gloss black or real walnut veneer, price stateside is going to be around $900 when it ships in the spring.
Vandersteen M7 HPA
The M7 HPA is a monoblock power amp designed specificually to be used with Vandersteen's semi-active loudspeakers, the M7 which has the same $52,000 price point as the amp being the perfect match. HPA stands for high pass amplifier which means that it works from 100Hz upwards, the theory being that by removing the need to drive the bass this 600 watt amplifer is better able to provide the perfect drive for mid and treble. It is also liquid cooled with "didactic fluid" and sits on an isolation system made by HRS. WIth theaforementioned speaker, Aesthetix electronics and a Brinkmann Balance turntable it delivered one of the fastest sounds at the show.
Esoteric seems to have taken a leaf out of dCS's styling book with its Grandioso range of source and amplification. The P1 at $44,000 is a no holds barred SACD transport that runs a VRDS Neo transport (VMK-3.5 20S) in a two chassis design that employs Esoteric's ESLink for DSD, a proprietary system using HDMI connectors. These hook up D1 monoblock DACs ($22,000 apiece) which also have USB input up to 32/384 and 2.8/5.6 DSD, in total it has eight inputs and seven input types, all bases covered! The matching M1 power amps are rated at 300 watts/8 Ohms right up to 1200 watts/2 Ohms in a 62kg chassis with matching styling to the source components. The final part of the system is the G-01 clock at $22,900 for maximum disc playing resolution.