AVRev's CES 2012 Post-Show Wrap Up 
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Written by Andre Marc   
Thursday, 19 January 2012

Las Vegas was yet again host to CES, where hundreds of industry folks, journalists, and just plain revelers converged to see the latest trends in technology, communications, entertainment, and lifestyle products.  Every major manufacturer and media company was exhibiting, and there were wonders to behold. Aside from the massive Las Vegas convention center, the show was spread across half a dozen hotels as well. Trying to cover it all is an exercise in futility. I focused my attention on high end audio, and even then I fell short of seeing every exhibit.

Dan D'Agostino amp.I spent most of my time in the Venetian, where the bulk of high performance audio products were displayed. There was everything from budget minded micro systems to state of the art, over the top, large scale rigs. There were many new products in the digital source component category, along with lots of new speakers.  I can’t think of too many major companies in the industry that did not attend. There was a number  of legends from the world of audio including Bill Conrad of Conrad Johnson, Ray Kimber, Tim de Paravacini of E.A.R, Vladamir Lamm, Alon Wolf of Magico, Mike Creek, Andrew Jones of TAD, Lars Hansen, Dieter Burmester, Luke Manley of VTL, John Atkinson, MIchael Fremer, and Kalman Rubinson of Stereophile, and too many more to possibly mention!


Stereophile's Michael Fremer with scotch and USB stick in hand.Stereophile's Michael Fremer with scotch and USB stick in hand.

 Hey look, it's Stereophile's Michael Fremer with scotch in one hand and a USB stick in the other!

Hottest Trend:

B&O Mini SystemThe biggest trend at CES 2012 in high end audio was the “digital hub”. These took the form one box solutions that allow for file playback via direct connection of various storage devices,  IPods, as well as networked streaming, all with the ability to control via iPad or iPhone/iPod Touch.  There were new DAC models everywhere as well as advanced wireless set ups. Desktop systems, active speakers, and headphone/portable audio products were also very much in display.

McIntosh system. Audio jewelry.Of course, cost no object systems, the stuff that dreams are made of, were also on display. Set ups from MBL, YG Acoustics, Magico, dCS, Lamm, Wilson, Focal, Audio Research, Conrad Johnson, Meridian, and many others were impressive statements. There many affordable, excellent sounding exhibits as well.  There has never been a better time to be an audiophile as the sheer variety of superb products at all price points is amazing.

Overall, this was a well attended CES with a record amount of square footage of exhibit space.  It will take a while for my feet to recover, but it was a thrill to be part of the biggest trade show around. To see more CES equipment and audio rooms, check out our CES 2012 gallery for a bit of audio porn; we have over 60 full resolution CES photos hosted on the AVRev Facebook Page.


Top 10 Sounding Rooms (in no particular order):

E.A.R. and Marten room
Unison Research and Opera loudspeakers room
Lamm and Wilson room
Lamm and Verity room
Magico room featuring the new Q7
VTL room
Rogue Audio room
Vivid Audio and Luxman room
Musical Hall room
King Sound room

Peach Tree Audio Room

Notable New Products:

50th Anniversary edition of the McIntosh 275 tube amp.Cambridge Audio DAC 100
Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus
Paradigm Shift active monitors
Paradigm Shift ear buds
Pro-Ject Streambox
Thiel CS1.7 speaker
Pangea P-100 power supply
Focal Bird
Magico S5
McIntosh 50th Anniversary MC275

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