Also new from Paradigm are the in-wall PCS80SQ and in-ceiling PCS ADR, $299/each. I didn't get a chance to hear them but it's encouraging that Paradigm designed rack-mount amps especially for them, including the 300-watt X300 and 850-watt X850. My colleagues have already covered the 3000-watt Signature Sub 25, with its three-inch woofer excursion, but I thought I'd throw in a rear shot. Note the USB input which facilitates mic measurement, because if there's one component in your system you really need to dial in right away, it's the sub!
Oops, Paradigm has done it again. The original Reference Series Studio 20 was a simple rectangular solid. In version 4 it acquired a curved tweeter-on-top portion. And at CEDIA, Paradigm showed yet another new version with side curves. The former vinyl wrap has also given way to wood veneers. As a user of two generations of Studio 20s, including the now-outgoing one, I'm more than interested in this. How amazing that it should happen in the same show where Rotel updated my reference receiver. The new Studio 20 ships in January, pricing to be determined.
As beautiful looking subwoofers go, here's another one. The 15" driver has a 3" peak-to-peak excursion that necessitates a special grill (not shown). 3,000 watts (7,500 watts dynamic) of class D power. $2,500.
Parasound showcased their first audio/video receiver since 1982 with the HDR 77. The receiver features Faroudja video processing, 5 HDMI inputs and 1 output, full HD audio support and a room correction system by Cirrus.
The receiver boasts 140 watts per channel x 7 plus a second stereo zone with 35 watts per channel. The receiver will ship in January and retail somewhere under $3000.
The Halo C3 is the newest flagship A/V processor from Parasound and will be replacing the previous C2 in January. It features Faroudja video processing, automatic room correction from Cirrus, iPod control and full HD Audio processing.
The Thiel SCS4D is an the IP addressable version of their SCS4 debuted at the last CES. The SCSrD is powered by 250 watts of class-D amplification. The Cat5e cable in the back and the power chord are the only indications that we're not in Kansas anymore.
Want to make your sub disappear? Pinnacle's SCI M Sub ($600) is compact enough to fit behind a sofa. It can also work on-wall. Look for it in 2009 for $550. The external amp is $450. Pinnacle is also adding a new S-FIT line to supplement the existing Black Diamond line. In lieu of the latter's gloss enclosures, it has a simple woodgrain-like vinyl wrap with some nice build-quality details like metal grille pins. Models include floorstanding for $998/pair, monitor for $315/pair, LCR for $190/each, satellite for $115/each, and center for $265/each.
The fruitful collaboration between Pioneer and speaker designer extraordinaire Andrew Jones continues with the EX Series Reference Class Architectural Loudspeakers. Demoed without sub, they produced tight, fast, strong bass with the kind of silky midrange Pioneer EX speaker fans have come to love. In fact, they are in the running for best sound of show. Murderously brilliant in-walls. Go figure. Drivers borrowed from Pioneer's more conventional EX speaker models include ceramic graphic tweeters, magnesium mids, and aramid/carbon composite woofers. Pioneer also added two receivers to the line. The more noteworthy one is the SC-07 ($2200) which uses the same digital amplification found in the top-line monster SC-09. If you'd prefer THX to digital amps, try the VSX-03TXH ($1000) which is Select2-certified. Both include HDMI jitter-reduction circuits and are shipping now.
Pioneer showed its new, high-end BDP-09FD Blu-ray player ($2200, November). It's full Profile 2.0, performs all the latest audio wrinkles, and also incorporates some of the highest-end audio components to be found in any Blu-ray player.
Pioneer debuted another high-end Blu-ray player at the show, shown here in a cool 3D "exploded view" that highlights the player's isolated circuit boards. It's BD-Live with a whopping 4GB of onboard memory and two HDMI outputs. A Pioneer-developed video chip processes 8-bit video with 16-bit resolution, and a Marvell Qdeo handles the scaling. The BDP-09FD should be available in December for $2000. Also at the show were the Elite BDP-05FD ($800, shipping now) and the Pioneer-brand BDP-51FD ($600, shipping now), both Profile 1.1 with the same Pioneer processor (12-bit instead of 16). Power-up and load times are said to be much faster than previous generations.