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CES

CES And T.H.E. Show 2013

Show Report: Part 2

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Angel Sound 760 Speakers and Angel Sound A-1 Amplifier

Angel Sound 760 Speakers and Angel Sound A-1 Amplifier

FALSE START: Angel Sound at CES

A Las Vegas offering, the Angel Sound system, showing a complete brand system save for the CEC player fronting it, was a head-scratcher. The Avant Garde 760 Speakers driven by the P-1 Preamplifier ($40K) and A-1 Amplifier ($60K/pair) seemed vastly overpriced for the sound they were making. I found the system very tipped up and very bass shy. This was a system I would like to revisit with a different source and cabling to see whether the difficulties could be overcome with some major adjustments.

VAC Statement Line Preamplifier’s stunning construction

VAC Statement Line Preamplifier’s stunning construction

VAC system with Esoteric K-01 CD/SACD Player/DAC and Magico S5 Speakers

VAC system with Esoteric K-01 CD/SACD Player/DAC and Magico S5 Speakers

FURIOUS: Valve Amplification Company, or VAC at CES

If there is any manufacturer of HiFi which epitomizes the phrase “eye candy for the ears,” it is VAC. The new Statement Line Preamplifier sat top off, gloriously naked before the world and resplendent in its beauty! VAC gear isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but its sound as well as its bling factor are nearly unassailable. The VAC/Magico combination was a favorite of mine between both shows. Hearing the Focal Maestro Utopia as well as the Magico S5 with the VAC Statement system I have to give the nod to Magico for taking the realism and involvement of playback to an extreme level making it among my most favored at either show. The setup in the VAC room was as follows: Statement Phono Preamplifier ($50K), Statement Line Preamplifier ($46K), Statement 450 iQ Monoblock ($116K/pr), Magico S5 Speakers ($28,600/pr).

Constellation Audio room

Constellation Audio room

Constellation Audio Centaur Amplifier

Constellation Audio Centaur Amplifier

FURIOUS: Constellation at CES

Magico scored another win with the Constellation Audio room, in which the Q7 ($165K/pr) played with the Constellation Cygnus 2 Digital File Player ($24K), Virgo 2 Preamplifier ($24K), and three Centaur amps – one stereo and two mono, either priced at $38K. MIT Oracle Max cabling was employed, as well as a Shunyata Hydra Reference Power Distributor.

This was one of those aggravating demos where no personal selections were allowed; for that reason I withhold my potential nomination as best of show; it’s impossible to make a definitive assessment of a rig when the music is controlled by the manufacturer. Magnepan also does this and it is an irritant to me, as it allows for cherry picking the music to play to the system strengths. Nevertheless, the experience was superb, and with that caveat I name it as one of the top five sounds at C.E.S.

4 Responses to CES And T.H.E. Show 2013


  1. Hank says:

    Who manufactures the complimentary electronics driving the Kingsound KS-10? Were the 120W capable of pushing them up to reasonable listening levels?

  2. Ant Slappy says:

    They were driven by Kingsound amps & a KS preamp. I don’t remember the CDP. Yes 120 watts was enough!!!!!

  3. Hank,

    God’s Joy to you,

    Ant Slappy is correct; the Kingsound KS-10 was driven by the P-100 Amp, but they were using the Consonance D-Linear7 High Definition Digital Interface and the Consonance D-Linear8 24/192 Decoder, I believe, as front end.

    Blessings,
    Douglas Schroeder

  4. R D SOLHEIM says:

    I HAVE GOT TEN AUDIO POWER LABS THE LARGEST COLLECTION IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!

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