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 ethernet.

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 well.

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 silver.

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.