TAVES 2011 - Toronto, Canada
- Written by Administrator Administrator
- Parent Category: TAVES 2011 TAVES 2011
- Created: 02 October 2011 02 October 2011
Companies featured in gallery below: Sutherland Engineering, Pass Labs, Tri-Art Audio, Reev Designs, Kudos
All prices in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated
Ron Sutherland of Sutherland Engineering was bubbling with enthusiasm as he showed us his new N1 preamplifier with phono stage.
"N1, get it?" he asked us.
"It's all in one," he then said, looking to see if we'd catch on. We finally did.
We didn't get the joke, but we can see what he's so excited about. The N1, which sells for $10,000 . . .
. . . is a unique dual-mono design. Each board contains each channel of the phono and preamp stages. Obviously, both boards have to be identical. Sutherland stressed that the phono stage is "serious and good" -- it takes up about two-thirds of the space on each board! The other nifty feature is the use of . . .
. . . nixie tubes for the display. You can think of these tubes as the precursor to digital displays. The tubes, which show glowing numbers on "layers" (as a result, 1 is slightly ahead of 2, 2 is ahead of 3, and so on . . . ), came to market in the '50s, but were so expensive at the time that they were basically used only for industrial and military applications. Now in 2011 we see them in a high-end preamp-phono stage.
Pass Labs' new $16,500 XP-30 preamp is also unique. The XP-30 has . . .
. . . three chassis. The top one houses the control circuitry as well as the power supply, which the company says is "big enough for a small power amplifier." That control center/power supply . . .
. . . connects to . . .
. . . separate boxes, one for the left channel and another for the right, that have room for a far-more-than-average number of single-ended and balanced inputs and outputs. Impressive!
Do you remember the Monty Python movie And Now for Something Completely Different? Enter the complete line of Tri-Art Audio electronics, which come from Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Their product line is wide and varied, consisting of stereo and mono amps, passive and active preamps, with some that are battery powered and others that aren't. Frankly, we had a really hard time keeping up with all they were saying. They even have an . . .
. . . iPod dock that they call Trans I POD. Tri-Art's components are actually reasonably priced, at least by high-end standards. The Trans I POD retails for $300-$350, depending on finish and construction, and their 25W stereo amp starts at $1995. Of course, the most interesting thing is . . .
. . . the way they're made. All their components come in "about eight wood finishes," and you can even get them made out of copper! And if you're wondering if that's solid concrete on the front, rest assured that it is. But it's not only on the front; it's on the . . .
. . . inside as well. The company uses these materials and unique construction techniques to minimize vibrations. Without a question, completely different.
Canada's Reev Designs is a new speaker company that used TAVES 2011 to make the big launch for their intriguing Aatma loudspeaker, which retails for $6950/pair. The Aatma is a two-way design that has a 2200Hz crossover point between the tweeter and the midrange-woofer. It's available in at least a couple of colors, including . . .
. . . white. We inquired about the "fins" (our word, not theirs) on the sides and were told they weren't for aesthetic purposes as we initially thought, but for resonance control of the cabinet.
Crown Mountain Imports used TAVES for the North American debut of the new Titan T88 loudspeaker from Kudos of England. The three-way Titan T88 sells for $27,000/pair and has some novel design features, including . . .
. . . an isobarik woofer configuration in a cabinet that's separate from the main cabinet, which houses the tweeter and midrange. The Titan T88 is made using a variety of materials such as . . .
. . . HDF and birch plywood, and it has a Nextel coating on the front baffle. SEAS of Norway makes the drivers. Kudos claims 91dB sensitivity (presumably 1W/1m), a 6-ohm nominal impedance, and that this speaker produces "the ultimate musical performance." If that's true, kudos to Kudos!
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