September 13, 2009: Part 1
All prices in US dollars unless otherwise noted.
Focal's Electra 1000 Be 2 line is said to use the same beryllium-dome tweeter that's in
their statement-level Utopia III line. The original Electra 1000 line used a
beryllium-dome tweeter, but it wasn't the Utopia model. From left to right are the 1028 Be
($8495 per pair), 1038 Be ($12,495 per pair), and $1008 Be ($4495 per pair).
There are new finishes for the Chorus 826V (center) and
807V (right) speakers, but the real star of this lineup is on the far left, dressed in
red. The Chorus 826W is a limited-edition speaker that was created to celebrate Focal's
30th anniversary. The W in the name refers to its use of the company's W-cone
driver technology, which is used in the company's more expensive Electra and Utopia
lines. The Chorus 826W is $3495 per pair and will be available until December 31.
Yamaha showed the neoHD media controller, an interesting
product aimed to simplify systems that have numerous video and audio sources. You simply
run all the sources into the
neoHD controller and one HDMI signal comes out. A
small, lightweight, simple-to-use remote control allows you to select sources via an
onscreen menu. There are two neoHD models: the YMC-700 ($799.95) that's equipped with WiFi
and ethernet, and the YMC-500 ($599.95), which has the same features but not WiFi and
We usually see network-attached storage (NAS) devices from
computer companies such as Dell and HP, but this one comes from LG, which is best known
for video displays. But they make much more than that, including the N2R1 that is priced
from $299 to $399 (depending on whether you get the 1TB or 2TB configuration) that has
integrated 802.11g WiFi capability. LG claims to be the largest optical-disc manufacturer
in the world, so it's no surprise to see the N2R1 equipped with a re-writable DVD drive as
Audioquest unveiled their Wild analog interconnects that
use trickle-down technology from the more expensive William E. Low Signature series.
Notably, each leg of the cable uses three solid-core pure-silver conductors and they have
an electrically charged dieltric that is powered by six small batteries that are contained
in the small black cases. Audioquest is justifiably proud of their RCA
connectors that are machined from a solid copper block and then plated with pure
The same attention to detail goes into the balanced version
of the Wild interconnect. The singled-ended and balanced Wild interconnects both sell for
$4200 per 1m pair.