January 8 Product Coverage
All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise specified.
The Netherlands' Crystal Cable is continuing on the success they have enjoyed with their Arabesque loudspeaker with their newest concept, the Pentatone. Although not a production model at this time, the Pentatone bookshelf loudspeaker looks poised for the buyer who's drawn to the look and sound of the Arabesque, but needs a smaller package (in terms of size and price). The Pentatone has a single ribbon tweeter and four midrange-woofer drivers. No price has been set. [www.crystalcable.com]
And it seems that concept loudspeakers just run in the family (Crystal Cable and Siltech are run by Gabi and Edwin van der Kley). Here is Siltech's newest drawing-board creation, which features 16 woofers, four midranges, and four ribbon tweeters per cabinet. I have a feeling this speaker's sound belies its size! [www.siltechcables.com]
Denmark's Vitus Audio released what is likely one of the most ambitious phono stages on the market today: the MP-P201, which comes complete with a separate power supply located in a second full-sized chassis. We're told that eventually there will be other components added to the Masterpiece line including a CD player and a line-stage preamp. [www.vitusaudio.com]
The Wadia S7i CD player features USB input (which is compatible with FLAC and WMA files, we're told) and a digital volume control. The S7i ($13,950) also features the company's proprietary DigiMaster 2.5 upsampling circuitry. [www.wadia.com]
The lowest-priced Shunyata Research power cord is the forthcoming Venom3. This model will be priced at an estimated $119 and, according to company president Caelin Gabriel, is their most important product to date due to the large improvements it can make in a system for a very reasonable asking price. [www.shunyata.com]
The Nagra MSA stereo amplifier is a 60Wpc unit that is based on MOSFET output devices. The MSA is bridgeable if more power is needed, in which case it is rated to output 120Wpc. We thought this was a huge improvement aesthetically over the previous PSA models. [www.nagraaudio.com]
EgglestonWorks is following up on the successful launch of the Dianne, Andra III, and Ivy Signature loudspeaker models with the introduction of the Savoy Signature. This 375-pound speaker uses 6" carbon-fiber midrange and midbass drivers along with compound-loaded 12" woofers, all mated to a 1" soft-dome tweeter. The retail price is $55,000 per pair.
Monitor Audio released a large bookshelf loudspeaker, the RX2, at CES 2010. This speaker is composed of a 1" C-CAM tweeter and an 8" woofer-midrange. In the gloss finish seen in the photo, the price is $1000 per pair ($850 per pair in matte finish). There are a whopping seven models in the RX lineup, for a size and configuration to suit almost any application.
Despite the passing of founder Jim Thiel, the company has released a lovely looking floorstanding version of their SCS4 monitor loudspeaker -- the new SCS4T. Built to offer all the benefits of a monitor, but with added bass, the SCS4T uses Thiel’s aluminum 6.5" coaxial driver and is priced at a reasonable $3000 per pair. To go along with the new SCS4T floorstanding loudspeaker, Thiel has also revised its SmartSub range with the new USS SS1 (right). It uses a 10" driver, an internal 500W amplifier, and drops to a floor-rattling 10Hz. The USS SS1 also includes something Thiel calls Thermal Compression Compensation to reportedly cut distortion to very low levels. The price is $1990 each.
Dynaudio was proud to show off their new, smallish DM 2/6 monitor loudspeaker featuring a 5.5" woofer and 1" soft-dome tweeter. Apparently built with the quality we've come to expect from the Danish company, it's available in either ash black or a very attractive rosewood finish, but priced at a highly affordable $800 per pair.
Germany's Octave was showing off their new V 40 SE integrated amplifier. Rated at 40Wpc, the V 40 SE uses either EL 34 (standard) or optional 6550 or KT 88 power tubes in a push/pull pentode design. It offers a reported frequency response of 20Hz to 70KHz. The preamp section uses one ECC 83 and one 6922 for a full tube complement input to output. There are four inputs and two outputs. It's available now in either black or silver and priced at $4900.