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CES

2011 CES Show Report I

Profundo, Avatar Acoustics, Constellation Audio, King Sound, Magnepan/Audio Research, Marten, Rives Audio

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Immersing myself in the CES/T.H.E. show environment again this year, I was like a fish swimming in water – right at home! At the end of three days of running the halls of the two hotels I felt as if I could do another three days. That’s how much I love exploring audio equipment and the systems created from it. Here is a pastiche of rooms I stopped by, some of which I held a demonstration period, and some I observed and collected pics and data. I apologize for the quality of some of the pictures; I used a smaller, higher pixel-rated camera for the first time at a show, and was thoroughly disgusted with the results. Please look past the imperfection to the fine quality of the components on display.

Here is the weekend through my eyes…

Profundo (U.S. Importer)

Profundo at CES 2011

Profundo at CES 2011

I will group two rooms shown by Profundo (U.S. Importer), the first a smaller system with Heed Audio front-end; Heed Audio Obelisk DT Digital Transport ($1,900) and Obelisk DA 5 Input DAC ($1,900). The speakers were the Trenner and Friedl Art ($4,250), but utilizing the Brilliant Supertweeter with Swarovsky crystal dispersion. In their larger rig the $175,000 flagship Duke speaker system was shown with the new Jeff Rowland Corus Preamplifier ($12,800 ), Aeris DAC ($9,800) and Model 625 Stereo Amplifiers passively biamping the speakers ($6,000@). I have previously reviewed the Rowland Capri Preamplifier and 501 Monoblock Amplifier. The Trenner and Friedl/Rowland combo was ultra-smooth and effortless. The Duke was clearly shoehorned into the room; the bass was prominent but not flabby. Cables were by Cardas Audio.

Profundo at CES 2011

Avatar Acoustics (U.S. Importer)

Avatar Acoustics at CES 2011

AMR CD-77.1 CD Player at CES 2011

U.S. Importer Avatar Acoustics had some intriguing products, including the Dr. Feickert Analogue Blackbird Turntable ($7,495) and Analogue DFA Tonearm ($1,000 with table), AMI-HIFI HDR 6DA Hard Drive Music Player ($19,995) and Rosso Fiorentino Sienna Loudspeakers ($24,995). This was a very competent rig, and the impression of its quality even after hearing many other rigs stayed with me the entire three days. I appreciated the delicacy of the Sienna’s top-end and the output and transients of the 9” bass drivers was commendable. I was previously not exposed to the AMR (Abbindgdon Music Research) AM-77.1 Integrated Amp (9,995) but it seemed to be driving the Sienna satisfactorily.

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