No stone has remained unturned in our search for the ultimate outdoor speaker. Niles is showing off some of their new rock "finishes" along with a new planter speaker. Klipsch is also finally getting into the rock business with its first single-speaker stereo model for $299.
Pioneer Elite has an AVR coming that aims to wipe clean all that came before it. Don't believe me? I'm going to need to post two pictures to even try to do this thing justice. This is an all-out assault on the state-of-the-art, and in reality is more like conjoined separates than an AVR. Lemme 'splain.
Tell me about it. I have a Pioneer Elite BDP-94HD back at home, and a review ready for a fact-check. Hell, the virtual ink isn't even dry and I don't think a full month has passed since I got the thing, and here's its replacement, The $999 Pioneer Elite BDP-95HD.
Is it possible to get all the goodness of the Canton exhibit into one photo? We'll die trying. At left is the revamped Vento, with a rounder gloss enclosure, new midrange and tweeter and crossover, and smoother mids and highs (we're told). Available in a month or so. At right is the Karat, revised from 3-way to 3.5-way to eliminate lobing. A 5.1-channel set will go for $4500. Not pictured: the new Chrono line, positioned between the GLE and Ergo lines, about $5000 for a 5.1 set, and the rather stylish looking DSS 303 iPod docking system, also with USB for non-Apple players, for $499, available in a few months and so new it hasn't even been announced till now.
DynAudio's 30th-anniversary move is the Sapphire, at $16,500/pair. It use high-caste drivers from the Evidence in a bird's-eye maple cabinet whose four hues are illustrated on the pedestal below the speaker. Far more staid, but more likely to get reviewed, are the super-chunky stand-mounts 2/10 ($1350/pair) and 2/8 ($975/pair) with their subwoofer-size voice coils. There's no horizontal center and that's the way it should be. DynAudio also showed the IC17 in-ceiling speaker, due at year end for $750/pair.
In addition to showing the Nanosat Prestige, which uses Mirage's familiar spoon-shaped device to emphasize reflected sound, the brand also showed three new subs including the Prestige S8. The strategy is less acoustic output for the surround and more for the shiny eight-inch woven-fiberglass cone. There's a wet-sanded high-gloss lacquer enclosure outside and 400 watts inside. Look for it in late November.
Among Monitor's 18 new products are three in-wall/ceiling models. From left to right they are the C380FX ($500/each), W380LCR ($600/each), and C380LCR ($600/each). The latter two feature coaxial driver arrays with an unusual twist: the woofer is convex, not concave, so it follows the shape of the dome tweeter. And the whole driver assembly swivels, so it has a better chance of hitting the right seating position.
The new speaker lines from Mordaunt-Short include the Alumni, shown, with compact satellites, a fairly big center, and sub for $1000. Also new is the larger Mezzo, a step down from the Reference Series, with tweeter top-mounted in separate subenclosure.
Revel's new in-ceiling line includes two 6.5-inch models, the round IC-65 and rectangular IW-65 (both $600). There's also a round eight-incher, IC-80 ($800). Advanced waveguides grace all three. The rectangular guy also has boundary compensation to tailor its response to the room. In addition, Revel has its own version of a flat-diaphragm speaker that also appears in other Harman International lines.
The Tannoy Ellipse is part of the Studio Monitor range. Long available in versions with eight- or ten-inch woofers for $4000-8000, this egg-like speaker's dual concentric drivers and top-mount super-tweeters are common fixtures in recording studios, we're told. It's been available for years but is new to us, and we like to make every CEDIA a voyage of discovery. What is in fact new is the i30 iPod docking system, not pictured, because we're perverse that way. It has two 4-inch drivers and will be out in October for $499. Worth it? We'd like to find out.
Five new sound-bar products from Yamaha include the YSP-4000 ($1800), with 5.1 channels in one convenient box. It does XM, FM, and iPod with optional dock. And it offers a greater range of surround adjustments from the remote than previous products. Whizzing race cars illustrated how well it works.
The Clark Synthesis Stringless Quartet actually had sound coming out of a stringless violin, viola, cello, and bass. There were voice coils in back making the instruments resonate like magnificent speaker drivers. Unfortunately it was an attention-getting tactic for a more prosaic seat-activating product.
Planar, the biggest company you’ve never heard of, has really hit the ground running at CEDIA this year. Fresh off their purchase of the fabled Runco brand, Planar showed off several new 1080p projectors.
Mitsubishi announced the HC6000, an update of the HC5000. They seem to have addressed all the issues we had with the 5000, such as the slow iris, and tiny menu size, but kept the things we liked, like the HQV processing and the low price. In fact, that got a bit lower, the HC6000 is “under $4000” and should be available in the middle of October.