Re: CEDIA highlights
Well, a few more days and countless more foot miles of show and the new gear is plentiful!
For one, seemingly everyone has either a Blu-ray or HD DVD player in the works! TV’s seem to have evolved to the majority of LCD’s now doing 120Hz or some type of smooth motion to eliminate jumping. Front projectors have again ramped up to higher light output and better contrast ratios and screens are improving as well.
One of my favorite things from the show was the new Stuart StarGlas screen. They showed them last year, but they were in their infancy then. The current demo’s had them popping out of bed ends and in wall cut outs and floors in sizes to 120”!!! Imagine a system that could produce a 92” screen with only 46” of depth thought the back of the wall with NO sensitivity to ambient light!!! This one has me doing the math to see how big a hole I can cut into my living room wall for a new screen!
Transparent Audio cut an amazing demo of their wires and were showing newly made, networked RG-6 cable for whole home audio distribution which was truly impressive from what I heard, I missed Josh Clark’s demo but wished I hadn’t after hearing the hub bub. Many of us use Transparent’s cables in our reference rigs and for good reason. We know no wire better. These guys are a true class act and have the product to back it up.
Andrew Robinson and I got some time alone with these guys and they are just through and through great people with an exceptional product, I am truly glad people like this exist in the industry!
Bel Canto showed off a new CD player that was paired with their DACs, amps and Joseph Audio speakers and made for some of the best sound of the show all for a realistic price! I have had the joy of hearing this combo a couple of times and can truly say this could be one of the biggest giant killers out there today! Both these guys offer amazing sound for real world prices!
Integra has a new pre/pro coming out. The new $1,600 pre/pro offers seemingly every new HD format via it’s multitude of HDMI 1.3 ins and two independently controllable HDMI outs and offers balanced and single ended ins and outs…. This one could be the ‘buy it for now’ pre/pro of choice, as at this price it could be used for a few years and almost tossed if things change without too much regret. We are working on reviewing some of the new Integra gear so should have a fuller tale on these for you all soon!
Closer to my heart, Canton has released a newly updated version of the Vento speakers I love so, now offering bass extension down to 20 Hz with new rounded edges and grill mounts that really ramp up the already hot looks. A new midrange setup was designed to enhance the openness of the mids and the tweeter surrounds have been redone as well to improve dispersion. I hope to get the new version ASAP and will update the site of the changes once I’ve had some time with them.
Anchor Bay was pumping the VP50 Pro scaler and as usual, it looked FABULOUS! Offering improvements in smoothness and flexibility over the VP50 for a minor up charge. Every time I see these guys demo’s I am floored! I suspect you will see a full review soon of this piece and it will likely be making it’s way into several of our systems, hopefully mine!
Mark Levinson finally opened up about the new ML 53 amps that will be running digital amp with ML’s own proprietary linear power supplies. So far only the statement piece, the 53 has been announced @ something obscene like 400-500 wpc into eight Ohms, I suspect they will have more models soon but nothing is said yet.
Krell, truly one of the leaders in ultra high end audio, was showing their new iPod dock the Kid and the matching Pappa dock amp through their newly designed monitors and the sound was far superior to anything an iPod should be able to produce! The depth of bass and detail even on the show floor was to be awed at! They were also showing some new goodies like the Evo 400 monos, little (by Krell’s standards) monos with massive power supplies and reportedly better performance than even the 402!!! New additions to the surround processor line and future plans for keeping them current were also spoken of but no details yet. Hopefully we will have you a review of the new amps soon as they are so what I want and need for my system……
Well, I must go to bed, but as you can see from the above rant, the show had some amazing gear. Every year I attend I seem to want to buy everything I see, well, let’s just say much of what I see and hear, and this year was no different! If I can talk the wife into cutting out the wall in the living room for the Starglas, I might be able to finally have a screen over 70” without need for light control! I actually love the Meridian F80 so much I wish I had a place for one!!! I would buy it on the spot after hearing it. I suspect on my visit to Jerry Del Colliano’s house I will have one in my room, so will get some time with it soon!
Off to sleep now… I will try to add more later!
Ken Taraszka, MD