The ported cabinet on Leon Speakers’ new A3 Subwoofer is only 4” deep even though it holds an 8” woofer. It can be used as an in-wall, on-wall, or in-room subwoofer and is a great match for the company’s new Horizon 212 single-cabinet LCR that’s only 2” deep. As with all Leon Speakers speakers, the cabinets can be totally customized when it comes to size, finish, color, and etc. The base price of the A3 is $1,195. The Horizon 212 starts at around $1,500.
Industry legend Mark Levinson stopped by the LG Electronics press conference Sunday morning to bask in the glow of the PowerPoint presentation. Levisnon has partenered with LG to lend his audio expertise and improve the performance of upcoming TV and HTiB products. Partnerships with the ISF and THX were also announced, part of an aggressive new plan to step up the video quality of their displays.
LG is one of several display manufacturers showing some type of wireless HD transmission system. The new LG71 Series includes 47- and 52-inch 1080p LCDs with built-in wireless capability. All of the video connections reside in a set-top box, seen here in the lower right corner of the photo. Connect your sources to the box, and it will transmit the signals wirelessly over a closed 802.11n network to the receiver embedded in the TV, reportedly from a distance of up to 65 feet. Not to show favorites, LG also offers this technology in their new PG70 plasma line.
As of the CES Unveiled official event this evening, Logitech is finally allowing us to write about their Harmony One Advanced Universal remote that they showed in New York late last year. I think about how much time I spend alone, just me and my remote, often in the dark, and I begin to appreciate just how much all of their nitpicking really benefits this traditional yet innovative design, from the shape and thickness of the buttons to the layout of the most frequently used keys and right down the sleek black design and matching recharging station.
The big news for Squeezebox fans is that the Squeezebox Duet moves functionality from the box to the remote. Isn't it pretty? Look for it in late January or early February. Hand model: Pamela McCracken.
Magnepan introduced a new center channel speaker with ribbon tweeter, quasi-ribbon mid-range, and planar magnetic woofer. The CCR costs $2700 and blends perfectly with existing left and right Maggies. The demo I heard was a 5 channel choral SACD using 3.6s for left and right front and rear and was probably the most transparent and inspiring sound I heard at the show. Of course, that’s only one kind of music, but it did show the perfect blending of the new center channel and the incredible sound and value of a full Magnepan 5 channel setup.
Marantz has been the industry's #4 hitter in delivering high-end, single-box AVRs that sound great for some time. In Q2 of 2008 Marantz gets outside that single-box with the AV8003 preamp/processor (pictured above) and MM8003 multichannel amplifier.
Marantz is joining the Blu crew in 2008 as well, with a high-end Blu-ray Disc player, the BD8002. And actually, high-end doesn't even cut it. Marantz is calling this player "ultimate quality" with built-in Silicon Optix processing for superb DVD upconversion, and the press materials indicate internal decoding of both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
The No. 502 is Mark Levinson's latest surround preamp-processor. The single-chassis design replaces the dual-chassis No. 40. It's HDMI 1.1 compliant, and doesn't handle the new lossless codecs (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio), but that may not be a concern if your BD or HD DVD player passes a high-bit PCM signal. Pointed questions about the upgrade path went unanswered. The bleeding-edge Gennum 9351 video processors mustered a squeaky clean picture, with proprietary deinterlacing and edge correction and 1.6 gigaflops of processing power. Yes, 1080p and 24p are provided for. Along for the demo ride were the No. 433 three-channel amp, the No. 432 two-channel amp, and fabulous Revel Ultima2 speakers. Two years in development, the 502 will ship in the second quarter. Price: a mere 30 grand.
Luke Rawls of Meridian was showing their new MVP6080 processor in this side-by-side comparison. The MVP6080 works as a scaler but also has some truly advanced motion compensation. The result is a complete elimination of the judder inherent in film based source material. Some of the slow pans taken from movies looked so jerky on the unprocessed side compared to the totally smooth look of the processed side that I wondered how I was ever able to ignore it so well before. The MVP6080 inputs HDMI 480i and 1080i and outputs at the display device’s native resolution but at 48 hz (compatible with most projectors) or 72 hz (compatible with only a few products—CRT projectors and Pioneer plasmas in particular). Perfectly smooth motion is possible because it calculates and makes new frames to fill the gaps as 24 fps (film) is converted to 72. The product is available in April at a cost of $27,000. And you thought Faroudja’s used to be expensive!
At a press open house this morning, McIntosh showed off a number of new products, including monoblock and integrated amps, an SACD/CD player, and the $9,000 MT10 turntable. I may never be able to afford McIntosh gear, but I love taking pictures of it. It's purty.