Companies featured in gallery below: Thiel Audio, Aurender, T+A, Dynaudio, Bel Canto Design, Furutech, Aavik, Wharfedale, NuPrime
All prices in US dollars unless otherwise indicated
Thiel Audio was playing its new line of loudspeakers at CES 2015. The two models are the new TT1 floorstander ($5798/pr.) and TM3 bookshelf model ($3498/pr.), which was shown as a prototype at previous shows. The TT1 uses a 1" titanium-dome tweeter, a 4" fiberglass midrange, and two 6.5" aluminum-cone woofers. The TT3 has the same tweeter and one 6.5" aluminum-cone midrange-woofer.
The Aurender N10 is a network-streaming device that incorporates a 240GB solid-state drive and a linear power supply. The price is TBA. The . . .
. . . Aurender N100 is a caching network music player that features a 120GB solid-state drive and is housed in an aluminum case. The price of the N100 is $2499. The . . .
. . . Aurender Flow is a headphone amplifier-DAC that can hold up to 1TB of music. The DAC will accept resolutions of up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD128. The price for the Flow is $1295.
The Aurender Cast-Fi 7 is an HDMI docking station with a 1024x600 7" screen. The unit comes with a Google Chromecast for streaming video directly to the unit. The housing is all aluminum for a solid stance on a tabletop. The price is $399, and we were mighty impressed by its convenience, quality, and style.
The T+A Speaker Hex [Carbon] speaker cables ($1600 per 3m pair) represent a new product line for the German company. A special anti-static treatment is applied to the jacket of the cable in order to isolate it from environmental factors. Matching interconnects are also available.
The Dynaudio Focus 600 HD ($13,500/pr.) is a fully powered speaker with a coaxial digital input that will accept 24-bit/192kHz signals. An analog input is also available. This three-way, four-driver speaker has four internal 150W amplifiers -- one for each driver. The Focus 600 HD can also connect wirelessly through Dynaudio's own peer-to-peer protocol. Also available is a smaller floorstander, the 400 HD ($11,000/pr.), and a bookshelf model, the 200 HD ($7000/pr.).
Dynaudio also released two new models in its Contour line: the S 1.4 LE two-driver bookshelf model ($4250/pr.) and the three-driver S 3.4 LE floorstander ($7850/pr.). These speakers feature several material upgrades over the original Contour models, such as a new tweeter, a new crossover, new internal wiring, and new finishes.
Bel Canto Design introduced the e.One REFStream asynchronous network renderer. This unit takes an Ethernet input and converts the signal to S/PDIF for output. Once the signal is converted, it is reclocked via ultra-low-phase-noise clocks. On the rear panel are . . .
. . . the Ethernet input and the AES/EBU, BNC, and ST Fiber outputs. The price is $2495.
The Furutech FI-12L series of connectors is now available, with angled housings with prices varying depending on the type of connector. Furutech also showed . . .
. . . a new FI-68 noise-filtering IEC connector that utilizes an inline coil and capacitor to reduce noise. It also has a compound consisting of a damping resin along with nano-sized ceramic particles and powdered carbon inside the shell to provide mechanical and electrical damping. The type G connector is priced at $169, and the type R is priced at $199.
The Aavik U-300 Unity Amplifier integrated amplifier-DAC comes with five digital inputs and three line-level inputs, as well as a phono stage. The U-300 is a class-D amplifier capable of 300Wpc into 8 ohms. The chassis . . .
. . . is machined, anodized aluminum, with some very fine metalwork. The price for the U-300 is $30,000.
As a vertically integrated company that is part of the IAG group, which is associated with brands such as Mission, Quad, Castle, and Audiolab, Wharfedale has the resources to design and produce high-value products. Such is the case with its new Diamond 200 loudspeaker series, which is said to offer significant improvements over the previous Diamond 100 series. Ranging in price from $299 to $1599, the line offers . . .
. . . multiple bookshelf, floorstanding, and center-channel models. All models feature . . .
. . . a 1" soft-dome tweeter that actually looks larger than it is (the concave ring around the tweeter looks like it's part of the driver, but it's not -- it's said to act as a waveguide for the tweeter). All of the speakers also have ribbed, woven Kevlar bass and midrange drivers, as well as slot-loaded front bass ports, which allow for placement close to walls. Only the Black Ash finish was on display, but the Diamond 200s are also available in White Sandex, Walnut Pearl, and Rosewood finishes.
The high-end division of NuForce has spun off to become NuPrime, which was showing its ST-10 stereo power amplifier. Rated at 150Wpc into 8 ohms, the ST-10 features a fourth-generation version of the class-D amplifier module previously used in NuForce's high-end models. The new module has shorter pathways and a lower noise floor, and it's said to provide near reference-class performance. The ST-10 is available now for $1595.
NuPrime was also showing its new DAC-10/DAC-10H. Both units operate as preamplifier-DACs, but the DAC-10H (pictured) adds a balanced headphone amplifier section. Utilizing the ESS Sabre32 Reference ES9018 DAC chip . . .
. . . both models have USB, coaxial, optical, and analog inputs. Sampling rates up to 384kHz are supported over USB, while rates up to 192kHz are supported for the remaining inputs. The USB input on each will also accept native DSD up to 11.2MHz (DSD256). The DAC-10 is priced at $1495 and the DAC-10H at $1795, and both are available now.