Audio Research has a new CD player, the Reference CD9, which is said to offer similar performance to their Reference DAC. It uses the same tube complement as the CD8, which is being phased out, and adds USB, AES/EBU, S/PDIF, and optical digital inputs, as well as S/PDIF and AES/EBU digital outputs. The CD9 has adjustable filter slopes and upsampling to 24-bit/192kHz resolution. The CD9 will be available by the end of January at a price of $13,000.
Sonus Faber has added the 2.0 (left) and 3.0 to their fabulous-looking and well-priced Venere line of loudspeakers. The 3.0 is a 3.5-way floorstander that features a 1.1” fabric-dome tweeter, 6” Curv-cone midrange, and two 7” Curv-cone bass drivers. It will be available in mid-February for $3498 per pair in standard finishes (the wood finish shown will cost more). A two-way 2.0 will also be available at the same time for $1698 per pair in standard finishes.
The Habitat1 from REL is a wireless onwall subwoofer that is said to provide performance similar to their conventional R-series subwoofers. The wireless transmitter is provided, but a stand for floor placement is optional. The Habitat1 . . .
. . . has a 200W class-D amplifier, two 6.75” front-firing drivers, and a 10” rear-firing passive radiator. The price is yet to be determined, and it should be available in mid-2013.
Magico brings their renowned build quality and high performance to a new lower price point with the two-way, $12,600-per-pair S1 loudspeaker. The . . .
. . . S1 utilizes the same beryllium tweeter as the larger S5 and has a 7” bass-midrange driver with a cone made of their proprietary Nano-Tec material.
Magico's new SCC center-channel, which complements the S1 and S5 models, has two 7” bass drivers, a 6” midrange driver, and a 1" beryllium tweeter. The SCC comes with an integral stand and will retail for just under $17,000.
Constellation Audio has upgraded their Virgo preamplifier -- it's now called, appropriately, Virgo II. It features a new outboard power supply that has separate left and right power supplies, which is in contrast to the original Virgo’s single supply. There is also a DC power-filtering box that goes between the Virgo II main chassis and the new power supply. The Virgo II is priced at $24,000 and is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2013.
The new Simaudio 610LP, which retails for $7000, is a fully balanced MC/MM phono preamplifier. The 610LP is situated below their top-of-the-line 810LP, which retails for $12,000 and was awarded a SoundStage! Network 2012 Product of the Year award. The 610LP features the same substantial casework and similar circuitry as its more expensive sibling, but it lacks the five-point gel-based suspension and has less-sophisticated power-supply voltage regulation. The 610LP will become available in the first quarter of 2013.
MartinLogan announced the replacement to the popular Depth i and Descent i subwoofers. The new BalancedForce 210 has dual horizontally opposed 10” aluminum-cone drivers and an 800W amplifier. It features a software-based crossover that can tailor its response to any MartinLogan loudspeaker and is . . .
. . . compatible with Anthem’s PBK room-correction system. It will be available in multiple finishes late this summer along with the larger BalancedForce 212, which will have two 12” drivers. Prices have not yet been determined for either sub.
The Hegel P20 preamplifier features similar circuitry to the preamplifier section of the SoundStage! Network Product of the Year-award-winning H300. It is a fully balanced design that Hegel claims comes “scarily close” to the performance of their P30 reference preamplifier. It will sell for $2500 and is expected to begin shipping immediately after CES.
Canada’s Torus Power showed the AVR 15 Plus ($4195) power conditioner, which is designed to provide maximum current from a standard 15A wall outlet. This 77-pound unit is available with rack-mount faceplate or without, in either silver or black finishes.
Luxman distributor On a Higher Note showed the new DA-06 (top) DSD-compatible 32-bit/352kHz DAC with selectable PCM and DSD filters. It has XLR, coaxial, optical, and USB digital inputs, and optical and coaxial digital outputs. The DA-06 is priced at $6000 and will be available in May.
The Definitive Technology Sound Cylinder is a very cool product that also has some slick packaging. It is a Bluetooth-enabled speaker system that contains both a set of stereo speakers and an integral subwoofer. It is very solidly built with aluminum grilles and a “kickstand” made of an injected-molded magnesium alloy, which allows it to act as a stand for an Apple iPad or similarly sized tablet computer. The built-in rechargeable battery is said to provide ten hours of operation. The Sound Cylinder will be available later this month for $199.
Neodio from France introduced the Origine CD player, which is priced at a whopping $38,000, making it one of the most expensive CD players on the market today. It features asynchronous USB and S/PDIF digital inputs, but few other technical details were available. The manufacturer stated that the Origine is designed to have an “analog” sound. It looks interesting, but we just could not figure out the very high price -- baffling.
Bryston’s Model T loudspeaker is now in full production. This floorstander starts at $6945/pr. (depending on finish and crossover) and features 25Hz bass extension (-3dB), as well as sensitivity rated at 91dB. The 108-pound tower is available in Black Ash, Boston Cherry, and Natural Cherry real-wood finishes. The Model T Signature features . . .
. . . a higher-quality outboard passive crossover, as opposed to the internal passive crossover on the standard version, and it retails for $7495/pr.
Musical Fidelity’s Bluetooth-capable M1SDAC is priced at $1499 and includes a 32-bit DAC chip. It features a 24/192 asynchronous USB input as well as . . .
. . . TosLink, RCA-based coax, and balanced AES/EBU digital connections. It also has two analog inputs (there is an internal A-to-D converter), in turn making it a full-function preamplifier. Oh, it also has a headphone amp -- talk about features!