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2010 CES: Coverage 3

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In this final installment on a highlight on turntables at the CES, we are including exhibits from Richard Beers’ T.H.E. Show at The Flamingo Hotel.

The only other component in an audio system that can impart a visual statement as striking as a pair of loudspeaker is the turntable. Everything else are just boxes, whether you have an artistically designed facia on a CD player or an artistically scultured façade on a microwave-sized amplifier, it is still a box, and sometimes with horrific-looking, outreaching fins. Turntables, on the other hand, give the manufacturer the unique opportunity to make a visual statement as shockingly alien or classicaly beautiful as he can. This highly visual aspect of the medium, in my opinion, contributes considerably to its longevity . There are only two other non-turntable products designed with such vision, I feel, that stand out from the rest and are just as beautiful to look at as they are peerless to listen to: the 47 Lab PiTracer CD transport and the Oracle CD-2500 CD transport. I did not come across any exhibit using the PiTracer at this CES, but Oracle was using their CD-2500. So, I shall make an exception and include a picture of the CD-2500 in this turntable report.

Oracle CD-2500, lid removed to show disc chamber. See Dagogo Review.

Audio Note UK AN-TT One turntable with Arm Three ($1,375), IQ3 phono cartridge ($1,200) (T.H.E. Show)

Audio Note UK TT-Three Reference ($57,500 without arm), AN-1s/SOGON tonearm ($11,750), IO Gold cartridge ($7,225) (T.H.E. Show)

Bergmann Sleipner Airbearing turntable/Aibearing tonearm ($54,000) (CES Venetian)

Kondo Ginka turntable (T.H.E. Show)

Musical Life Jazz Reference MKIII turntable ($5,799), with Fortissimo Makassar 9” tonearm ($3,500) and ZYX Omega-X cartridge ($7,500) (Sibatech, T.H.E. Show)

VPI HRX turntable, Schroder SQ Reference tonearm (top in picture, $10k or $7k depending on option) with Soundsmith Strain Gauge SG-200 preamp system with cartridge ($5,499), VPI JMW 12.6 tonearm (right in picture) with Soundsmith Sussurro moving-iron cartridge (Soundsmith exhibit, T.H.E. Show)

VPI (Tyler Acoustics, T.H.E. Show)

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