Publisher Profile

2012 CES, Part II

Conrad Johnson, Bully Sound, Sony, Merrill-Williams, Sutherland Engineering, DaVinciAudio, Scaena

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Lew Johnson’s room was producing some nice sounds with Conrad Johnson’s all-new Art Stereo amplifier along with the top-of-the-line GAT preamplifier and their all-new USB DAC, HD3. Completing the system were the British NEAT Ultimatum XL 10 speakers which are equipped with EMIT ribbon super tweeters.

Brett D’Agostino debuted his new Class A monoblock amplifier design. The Bully Sound BSC-100M boasts a power rating of 100 watts continuous into 8 ohms, and up to 800 watts continuous into 1 ohm. The apple certainly does not fall far from the tree! These powerhouses were feeding the superb Pioneer TAD Reference One speakers via Zensati cabling.

Pictured: Brett D’Agostino (left), Ray Seda (right)

Sony once again had a superb sounding system going with Pass amplification. The speakers however were not the superlative SS-AR1 but the new, SS-AR2.

The new model sounds quite similar and looks quite similar but indeed it is a bit smaller when standing next to the SS-AR1. Hopefully, they will make their way to my home for review.

Merrill-Williams was showing the fabulous R.E.A.L. 101 turntable sporting a vintage Dynavector tonearm (George Merrill’s personal favorite) and the new cartridge recently debuted by Ortofon, the “MC Anna”. I am told there are only a handful of these in the country at the moment. You will be reading more about Ortofon’s latest creations on these pages as I will soon be exploring the “Xpression”.

Ron Sutherland of Sutherland Engineering was teamed up with Merrill-Williams this year as his seven(!) chassis of equipment performed preamplification duties in the room. Mr. Sutherland graciously demonstrated and described his newest creations, a dual mono linestage that sports a nixie tube display (3 chassis), and his new 4-chassis monoblock phono preamp, the “Phonoblocks”.

The DaVinciAudio room once again was producing great sounds with streamed audio in the fantastic Light Harmonic Davinci USB DAC, Pass Labs amplification, and the Wilson Sophia’s.

Scaena has their system going with the smallest model they have produced to date, featuring twelve midranges, seven ribbon drivers and four woofers. The 3.4 were driven by the superb Conrad Johnson GAT monoblock amplifiers.

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