Want to use AirPlay to connect your Denon XX11-series a/v receiver to your iTunes library? There's an app for that, and while it's a $49 value, you can get it as a free upgrade for awhile starting in November. Denon also has a separate receiver-control app for iThings.
Look carefully at the HSi-430 in-ceiling speaker at the Boston Acoustics booth and you'll see the slot-shaped vent holes just outside the surround. This one has a round grille but there are also square-grille and subwoofer versions, all selling for $250/each. Boston has added a skinny tower to its Reflection line, the RS326, $1000/each. And its TVee Model 30 bar earns its $600 pricetag with separate EQ modes for both music and TV/video soundtracks. It has built-in Dolby Digital (but not DTS 5.1) decoding, which should at least suit ATSC broadcasts which use DD.
The McIntosh MX150 pre-pro ($12,000) can reassign its XLR and RCA ins, a boon to those into triamplification. Its Room Perfect room correction uses 121 test tones to massage your room with 112 octaves of wonderfulness. While the USB input cannot accept 122 source components at once, it can recognize that many one by one. Let us gloss over the MVP 881BR, an $8000 Blu-ray player with non-3D-savvy HDMI 1.3. That brings us to the binding posts that made our eyes pop out of their sockets. They were on the back of an MC302 power amp. The top hex piece unscrews as you'd expect, while the bottom round piece floats. Details? You want more details? It uses electricity.
The front of the Classé CT0M600 mono-block amp does double duty as faceplate and ventilation panel, with heat vented around the dove grey center papel. The 600-watt amp costs $6500 -- multiply that by five, seven, or whatever. To go with it you may want the SSP-800 pre-pro which is HDMI 1.4 compliant and goes for $9500. The company also showed the CP-800 stereo preamp with iPod-savvy USB input, jitter reduction, and bass management, the latter unusual and welcome in a two-channel piece. Price TBA.
The Rotel RKB-1508 delivers eight channels of 65-watt Class D. That enables it to be small, run cool, and shave your power bill. Just the thing if you need to jam an eight-channel amp into a tight spot. Price $1199.
The DreamVision Starlight2 ($9,495) was being demonstrated on a 120" wide, flat white, Perfect View screen, with a fixed Schneider anamorphic lens. Scenes from both Avatar and Dark Knight looked terrific, which did not surprise me given my experience with the DreamVision Starlight1 and the same lens (Home Theater, October 2010).
Wisdom Audio makesd highly specialized and very expensive in-wall audio systems. The utilize line-array full-range speakers with the midrange and high end covered by long planar drivers, the lower end by several mid-sized bass units per channel, and, now, humongous subwoofers consisting of two 15" PRO drivers in cabinets estimated at over 12 cubic feet. Wisdom's brochure assures us that these 17.75" wide, 36" deep, and (I'd guess) five feet high monsters are "space efficient!" But they are designed to be hidden away.
Pioneer speaker guru Andrew Jones, designer of Pioneer's Elite line of speakers and even more up-market (very upmarket) TAD designs, has been busy at the other end of the market. The very other end. The new Pioneer Audio Artistry by Andrew Jones line of speakers starts below $80/pair for the C-1 center channel and tops out at $199/pair for the biggest bookshelf model, the BS-41!
The Chorus 826W ($3475/pair) is the latest entry in Focal's mid-priced Chorus lineup. In fact it is the only Chorus model to incorporate the "W" sandwich cone construction previously available only in the more upscale Electra and Utopia series (the other Chorus models use a less sophisticated cone design). Unfortunately, there is as yet no matching center channel or surrounds, and the availability of such models has not been announced.
The Viva Utopia is the latest entry in Focal's Utopia range. Its flanking woofers and a mid-tweeter array can be used horizontally or vertically, serving as perhaps the world's priciest LCR. Used vertically, the top and bottom woofers can be tilted (as shown) at various angles to optimize the arrival times at the main listening position. When used as a horizontal center, however, the woofer modules are locked in a straight-ahead orientation, with the mid-tweeter array is rotated 90-degrees. Both of these adjustments must be performed at the factory; if this arrangement is needed the unit must be specifically ordered as a horizontal center. $12,500 each.
Sandy Gross is well known in the industry as the founder or co-founded both Polk Audio and Definitive Technology. Now he is on his third launch, GoldenEar Technology. The first product range is spearheaded by the Triton Two Tower, consisting of a built-in, DSP-controlled digital amp, two bass drivers and two passive radiators, and two 4.5" bass/midrange drivers flanking a centrally-located High Velocity Folded Ribbon tweeter. The latter is based on the classic Oscar Heil tweeter first employed in the 1970s.
SIM2 Multimedia teamed up with Krell Industries for an elaborate AV demo featuring 3D via SIM 2's Grand Cinema C3X LUMIS 3D projector. Or should I say projectors. This setup uses two Grand Cinema C3X Lumis 2D projectors, each of them 3-chip DLPs, one for each eye image, linked together electronically for synchronization and mounted together on a rigid mount for proper physical registration (as shown in the photo, $79,995 for the projector pair and mounting). This 2-projector is said to help compensate for the loss of effective brightness inherent in 3D. Current owners of a C3X Lumis can send it in to be converted to the 3D version, at a price to cover the cost of the second projector and the needed modifications.
If you don't know the drill, you will soon. That 3DTV from brand A will only work with the glasses from brand A, not from brand B, C, or D. But Monster Cable has an answer. The new Monstervision Max 3D glasses are said to work on any 3DTV.