Updating a classic, MK Sound premiered the new version of the company’s popular S150 monitor. The new model, the S150 MKII THX Ultra2, features the same redesigned tweeter recently introduced in the 950 THX Select2 bookshelf. Also introduced were a new matching tripole surround for the S150 system, MK Sound’s first on-wall speakers, and a new in-wall and on-wall speaker.
Cambridge Audio’s newest 3D compatible BD player, the Azur 751BD, features an upgraded audio section, a custom transport, dual configurable HDMI outputs, and both 7.1 analog and dedicated stereo analog outputs. Coming in March, the 751BD will sell for $1,199.
Sonawall’s Spodak UW-200 system is an add-on to any surround system that’s designed to move the focal point of the sound up to where the TV image is. The system includes a pair of tiny on-wall pod speakers and a special crossover that lets you fine tune the blend of the pod speakers with the rest of your system. MSRP is $350 for the system. The company also makes a 5.1-channel system ($800) and a 2.1-channel desktop system ($500) using the same pod speakers and a subwoofer.
For its new gallery on-walls, Klipsch borrowed technology from other product lines, including the distortion-killing "linear travel suspension" tweeter from the new Reference line and the woofer from the bestselling Quintet sat/sub set. There will be four passive models, including the big placement-friendly G42 LCR, with its 90 x 90 degree Tractrix horn, available in summer. Prices range from $199-699. There are also three active models, which are Apple AirPlay certified, priced at $400-800. The picture shows some of the passive models and does not do them justice. They looked really good.
Anthony Gallo Acoustics is doing its first wood veneer speakers, but that doesn't mean the Classico Collection is like everyone else's speakers. The S2, shown, uses the same tweeter as other Gallo products. Inside the enclosure is the same polyfill bag dampening that expands or contracts according to driver movement. Though the speaker shown is a prototype, the final version is expected to ship in 90 days for $695/pair. Other members of the same family will include another stand-mount, two floorstanders, center, and sub.
And here's what it does, according to the carton. Note that the iPod streaming includes component and composite video, the former using a proprietary jack and dongle that physically resembles S-video with more pins.
Arcam is one of those legendary "low end of the high end" amp makers that traditionally "punches above its weight," if you'll forgive the use of two audio-reviewing cliches in one sentence. Now it's in the iThing docking system business with the rCube ($800), shipping now.
Why shouldn't your multiroom preamp recognize each member of the family and his/her favorite source components? The Audio Design Associates Suite 32 does just that, "redefining multiroom" with its Profiler software. If your daughter uses just an iPod and satellite dish, that's all she'll see on the keypad. The hardware looks kind of like two Suite 16s bolted together in a single chassis. Pricing starts at $10,000 for the preamp. Add another zero for keypads, amps, and such. ADA also talked up its TEQ Trinnov room EQ system, not for the first time, but it's shipping soon. TEQ is more sophisticated than the version of Trinnov built into Sherwood receivers -- for instance, whatever mic you use will have its own calibration file which will be fed into the system before it starts making decisions about what room correction your space needs.
With the cute musicBox desktop amp and iDAC on display, both featuring pure digital iPod docks and selling for about a grand, Peachtree Audio's David Solomon has a lot to talk about. But the theme he is most passionate about is Apple TV. Videophiles see it as a 720p-limited video streamer. But to Solomon, it's a $99 audio streamer that "could save our industry." He says that if the audio industry doesn't get on board with the way music lovers choose to listen today, it will slowly evaporate, as those listeners gravitate to audio products sold at computer hardware stores.
The McIntosh MCLK12 clock puts the signature power meters to new use, displaying hours at left and minutes at right. It can mount in an equipment rack but why not give it a more prominent place on your wall?
Who can resist an app featuring the famous power meters, here displayed on an iPad (shown) sitting atop a McIntosh docking box (not shown). The app already has 30,000 admirers, judging from the number of people who have downloaded it.
The EPIC2 and two other models are the first Epos speakers to use soft dome tweeters along with, in this case, a seven-inch polypropylene woofer. For a front treatment, choose a screwless baffle plate, or a grille. The dealer can switch between them by sticking a metal rod into the back of the speaker and pushing off whichever one you don't want. Price is $799/pair for the EPIC2, $599/pair for the slightly smaller EPIC1, and $1399/pair for the EPIC5 tower.
The Intrepid II, in lower right corner, is Theta Digital's first Class D amp, at 7 times 150 watts. It is expected to go into production in four months. Class D amplification, in general, is more energy efficient though some audiophiles question whether it is ready for primetime. Theta's implementation will boast load-agnostic frequency response regardless of speaker impedance. At upper left is the Theta III HD pre-pro, at $19,995 for version with Xtreme DACs and a mere $14,999 for version with Premium DACs. Upgrade your old Casablanca III for $4995 and your old Casablanca I or II for $5000. Apologies for awful pic.
We're pleased to announce that the AudioQuest exhibit has won the Home Theater 2011 CES Blog's Award for Distinguished Achievement in Promotional Artwork Evoking a Nightmare for this image of the giant red wolves that savaged us in our dreams. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, but we woke up in our hotel bed missing a leg.
While waiting to be briefed on Monitor Audio's GX Series, we couldn't help being fascinated by the incredible woofer excursion of the GX50 ($1795/pair, left) -- not to mention how little influence it seemed to have on the tweeter output. Turns out the GX Series is a re-do of the old Gold Series. All drivers are made of C-CAM, a ceramic powder coated aluminum magnesium. The high-res ribbon tweeter is crossed over at 2700Hz, indicating a healthy appetite for power. The 15-ply red bubinga woodgrain covering the one-inch MDF on the speaker was unusual, subtle, and lovely and the cabinet did well in the knuckle-rap test. Other GX models include another stand-mount, two towers, two centers, and sub.