Marantz showed a new version of its BD7004 Blu-ray player, the UD7005 ($900). The BD7004 was very highly rated in my Blu-ray player evaluation blogs for ultimateavmag.com, so naturally the company decided to change it! The new player includes a 32-bit audio DAC with high quality multichannel outputs, on-line video streaming, SACD and DVD-Audio playback, and full 3D capability out of the gate.
With a name like Okki Nokki, it has to be good! This German company has come up with what it calls "the VIP of record-cleaning machines." You spread the included cleaning fluid on a vinyl record and attach the aluminum vacuum arm, which sucks up the fluid and, presumably, any dirt or dust on the surface. The RCM also comes with a goat-hair brush for $500 ($50 more for the clear dust cover). Michael Fremer should definitely hear about this!
One of Wolf Cinema's big introductions at CEDIA is the DCC-100FD single-chip DLP projector that uses a conventional lamp and color wheel. What's the big deal about that? It costs only $10,000 (including the company's outboard processor and Variscope lens memories for 2.35:1 and 16:9 content at constant height), which is a real bargain coming from Wolf.
The demo unit was a prototype; production units should be shipping by early next year. We saw a clip from Avatar on a Screen Innovations Black Diamond II (0.8 gain, 16:9, 96 inches wide), which looked great. I saw no hint of the dreaded rainbow artifact, but we'll have to see what Tom Norton says about that, since he's much more sensitive to it that I am.
The DCL-200FD LED-illuminated DLP projector from Wolf Cinema isn't new at the show, but I saw it in action for the first time here, pictured above with a fixed anamorphic lens. Said to produce 850 ANSI lumens after calibration, it was demonstrated on a Screen Innovations Black Diamond II screen (0.8 gain, 16:9, 96 inches wide) playing the Pixar short Jack-Jack Attack, and it looked gorgeous. It's shipping now for $25,000.
Schneider is one of the most respected names in anamorphic lenses for 2.35:1 projection. The newest edition to its extensive line is the Cine-Digitar Anamorphic CDA 1.33x EL, designed for small to medium sized projectors. When it becomes available later this year there will be a promotional price on a package combining this lens with a Kino-Torsion motorized deployment system (a motorized "sled," though Schneider's Kino-Torsion model operates more like a swinging door to move the lens in and out of the way as needed). The rep on hand stated the promotional price at $4500; I was not sure at first if this meant dealer cost (CEDIA is of course, a trade show) or MSRP to the consumer. He hesitantly said it's to the consumer, so we can all hope. For those in the know, this is not a high price for a first class anamorphic lens and motorized mechanism.
PSB's Paul Barton insists that his new CS100 Universal Speaker can go anywhere inside or outside, though at $499/pr we'd at least be inclined to put it under an outside eave or something to protect it from a severe drenching. And don't try to use it under water; it's not a below water pool speaker. Apart from such abuse, however, it could well be just the ticket for singing in the rain.
The Smyth Realizer is a system designed to produce full surround sound through headphones. It has been shown at previous shows over the past four years or so, but has only recently become available at $3360, which includes a pair of entry-level Stax phones. To explain, how it works would be far beyond the space limits of a blog, but we hope to have a closer listen at one very soon. All I will say here is that it does work, and the result is an uncanny simulation of a full surround system with loudspeakers.
Mitsubishi's Diamond 3D prototype was being shown on an 107-inch wide, 2.1 gain Draper screen. Without the 3D glasses in place, the image was very bright. With them on, it was unacceptably dim. More work is still underway on this design (including the 3D glasses; Panasonic glasses were used in the demo). Photo courtesy of Scot Wilkinson of www.ultimateavmag.com.
NuVision was demonstrating its P2, LED-illuminated, 2D single-chip DLP projector on an 87" wide, Stewart Studiotek 130 screen. Using 0.95-inch DLP chip, or DMD, it was more than satisfyingly bright and punchy, though I did note what appeared to be a slightly too vivid color balance and (perhaps) minor gamma issues. $17,000. The anamorphic lens shown in the photo is an extra cost option, and was not used in the demo.
With a flourish that says Scandinavia, Runco has introduced Copenhagen Design, a new Danish-flavored style to be incorporated into a number of its new products. But as always, the important story for us was the tech, not the look, and Runco has obviously been busy in the lab this year.
Looking like a scene from CSI, Velodyne's booth is emphasizing the goal to "kill the competition" with its new Digital Drive Plus subwoofers, which come with drivers measuring 10 ($3000), 12 ($3500), 15 ($5000), and 18 inches ($6000). These models feature 4.5 to 7dB more output depending on model, new rohacell driver material, redesigned cabinet, and much easier setup with 8-band EQ. Retained from the previous Digital Drive models is the same high-gain servo technology that reduces distortion to a mere 0.5% at 20Hz.
Last week, I wrote about the DreamVision Starlight3 LCoS projector ($9500), which is available in several finishes, such as the faux carbon-fiber pictured here. Today, I popped in to see a demo of the Starlight2, and it was mighty impressive on a Perfect Vu unity-gain screen (2.35:1, 140 inches diagonal) using a Schneider anamorphic lens ($8000)great blacks and colors on clips from Avatar and Up.
Focal is growing its Utopia line with the Viva, which comes in two varietiesa vertically oriented LCR that is also used for the surrounds and a horizontal center-channel that is otherwise essentially identical. Both incorporate the company's IAL2 beryllium tweeter and third-generation W-cone midranges and woofers for a frequency response from 39Hz to 50kHz (±3dB) and a sensitivity of 92dB/W/m.
At $50,000/pair, the Adrenalin monoblock from Pathos is a serious investment. But for all that bread, you get 180W of pure class-A power with a tube input stage and MOSFET output stage. And it looks wicked cool, too!