Publisher Profile

2011 CES Show Report III

Naim Audio, Dan D'Agostino System, Boulder, Peak Consult, Soulsonic, Solos Audio, Chapman Audio Systems, EARO High Definition Audio, Ayon Audio/Legacy Audio

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Naim Audio

Naim Audio at CES 2011

Naim Audio at CES 2011

Naim Audio had an intriguing new speaker, the Ovator S-400 ($6,250) with a flat “Balanced Mode Radiator” for mid and high frequencies. While I would have preferred to hear the larger Ovator S-600 ($12,250 in standard finish), I found the smaller tower interesting. The flat tweeter/midrange sounds as a combination of point source and panel. The top end was very forgiving and spacious, akin to a ring radiator without a trace of edginess. I found the bass a bit light but not distractingly so. The 28Hz low end of the Ovator S-600 strikes me as a credible option for a truly full range floor standing speaker under $13K.

Dan D’Agostino System

Dan D'Agostino System at CES 2011

In discussion with personnel manning the D’Agostino room, this is Dan’s personal stereo in a display of the new Momentum Amplifier ($42,000/pr). My cursory examination detected the dCS Puccini player with dCS U-Clock, Almarra software running on the laptop, and the Wilson Audio Sasha WP and Transparent Opus series, perhaps the Reference MM2, speaker cables. I enjoyed the richness and tonal texture of this setup of Wilson speakers more than the Alexandria X-2 system with Lamm amplification. These amps are far more beautiful in person than pictured. My first involvement with these amps was positive.

Dan D'Agostino System at CES 2011


Boulder 850 monoblocks at CES 2011

Boulder Amplifiers took a decidedly daring approach – displaying a 400 lb., 1,500 Watt behemoth named the 3050 Mono Amplifier (anticipated MSRP between $180-190K) while playing their smallest, 850 Mono ($5,750) Amplifiers to emphasize their confidence in the sound quality of their entire lineup! Also playing were the 1021 Network Disc Player ($24,000) streaming hi-res, 2010 Isolated Balanced Preamplifier ($46,000), Power Isolator 8 conditioning and interconnects from Transparent Cable, and Westlake Audio’s Tower 12 Loudspeakers with Westlake speaker cabling (speakers $55,000/pr). I was pushed for time and did not conduct a proper listening demo, so I will reserve definitive comment. Suffice to say that hearing the 3050 Mono performing will be on my “must hear” list for the next show!

Boulder 3050 monoblocks at CES 2011


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