Companies featured in gallery below: Mark Levinson, Revel, Audionet, Kharma, Burmester, Magico, Constellation Audio, Scansonic, Aavik, Philharmonia, GoldenEar Technology, Quad, Simaudio
All prices in US dollars unless otherwise indicated.
Mark Levinson introduced the brand’s first turntable, the No.515, which the company designed and manufactured entirely in the US in collaboration with respected turntable manufacturer VPI. The No.515 is said to compliment the high-quality phono stages in the company’s No.523 and No.526 preamplifiers. It features a gimbal-mounted 3D-printed tonearm with integral headshell. The motor is independently suspended in its own mechanically isolated enclosure. The No.515 will be available in summer 2017 starting at $10,000 (without cartridge).
Revel has expanded its Performa3 series of loudspeakers with two additional models dubbed Performa3 Be. The Be stands for beryllium. All of the existing Performa3 models will remain in the line, but the new floorstanding F208Be and bookshelf M106Be are expected to be available in the summer of 2017 at a price of under $10,000 and $5000 per pair, respectively, and will offer the choice of additional premium finishes. The cones in the midrange and woofers feature Deep Ceramic Composite (DCC) technology, which binds a ceramic surface to the aluminum cones. These new models will have improved crossovers and driver motor structures for higher power handling, as well as . . .
. . . a beryllium tweeter inspired by the one in the company’s top-of-the-line Ultima2 series. The new tweeter features a new cast-aluminum waveguide, for improved dispersion. Think of the F208Be and M106Be as being like the F208 and M106 on steroids.
Germany's Audionet played its flagship electronics at CES, including the Heisenberg mono power amplifier ($105,000/pr.). This model is rated to output 530W into 8 ohms, 1050W into 4 ohms, or 2100W into 2 ohms. The 70kg beast uses two 1200W toroidal transformers and has 200,000 microfarads of capacitance.
The matching Audionet Stern preamplifier ($45,000) accepts only analog inputs (no DAC option is available). It’s available in either horizontal (shown) or vertical configuration, the latter of which more closely resembles the Heisenberg mono amplifier.
Kharma showed the giant Enigma Veyron 2 loudspeaker ($437,000/pr.), a model that houses two of the company’s 11" Omega F-11 woofers, two 7" Omega F-7 midranges, and three pure-diamond tweeters -- one 1" and two 2". The Veyron 2 will reportedly play up to 120dB, which would make it suitable for even the largest listening spaces.
Germany's Burmester showed its new compact floorstander, the three-driver B18. The price is expected to be between $12,000 and $14,000/pr. when it becomes available later this year. This 2.5-way design features a . . .
. . . ring-radiator tweeter and 7" midrange-bass drivers. There is a bass-boost switch on the rear to better integrate the speaker into the owner’s room.
The Magico S3 Mk.II is the newest speaker in the company’s S series. This model features a nanographene midrange and a diamond-coated beryllium tweeter, like the other S speaker models, but is the first in the series to incorporate nanographene bass drivers, which also have massive 5" voice coils. The cabinet has a new four-point outrigger base, for increased stability, while the machined top plate is convex in order to avoid internal standing waves. The price for the S3 Mk.II is $28,000/pr. in the M-Cast finish shown.
Constellation Audio debuted two new products at CES 2017, the first of which was the Performance Centaur II 500W stereo amplifier, which is rated to output -- you guessed it -- 500Wpc into 8 ohms or 1000W into 4 ohms. We learned that the Centaur II 500W uses a transformer taken directly from their massive Hercules II stereo amplifier. The price is $55,000. The second new product . . .
. . . from Constellation Audio is the Revelation Andromeda phono stage, priced at $18,000. This is now the least-expensive phono stage in the Constellation line. The Andromeda features a separate power supply for lower noise and distortion.
The Scansonic MB-5 loudspeaker is a 2.5-way design with four 4.5" carbon fiber midrange-bass drivers and a sealed ribbon tweeter. The cabinet is braced MDF, but the adjustable feet are said to be aluminum, while the top has a carbon fiber insert. Finish options are Black Silk and White Silk. The price for the MB-5 is $7000/pr.
The Aavik C-300 preamplifier ($36,000, top) and P-300 stereo power amplifier ($48,000) are the newest additions to the company’s line of electronics. The P-300 is rated to output 150Wpc and uses a topology that the company calls “efficient class A.” The C-300 comes equipped with a built-in DAC and phono stage. The DAC section is said to incorporate separate convertors for DSD and PCM.
The French-made Philharmonia loudspeaker is a fully active, two-way design with two 700W class-D amplifiers per channel -- one for the 28mm soft-dome tweeter and the other for the 230mm midrange-bass driver. The amplifiers are housed in the bottom cabinet, which also acts as the main monitor’s stand. The crossover is implemented in the digital domain using 64-bit processing. The price for the Philharmonia starts at $45,000/pr.
The GoldenEar Technology Triton Reference is the company’s largest and most ambitious speaker yet. The driver complement includes two 6" midranges, one High-Velocity Folded Ribbon tweeter, and three 6" x 10" long-throw quadratic bass drivers that are augmented by . . .
. . . four 10.25" x 9.5" passive radiators. While the drivers look similar to other GoldenEar speaker models, they’ve been developed specifically for this new model. The woofers are powered by an 1800W ForceField amplifier. The Reference’s frequency response is rated from an ultralow 12Hz to an extremely high 35kHz -- we can’t imagine that you’ll need a subwoofer. The price for the Triton Reference is $8500/pr.
The Quad VA-One is a 15Wpc integrated amplifier with four EL84 output tubes -- it’s rated at 15Wpc into 6 ohms or 12Wpc into 4 or 8 ohms. Although it may be tube-based, it’s modern in the sense that it has a built-in DAC that can accept digital signals with resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz through its coaxial, optical, and USB inputs. It’s even Bluetooth enabled. There’s also a stereo RCA input and a built-in headphone amp. The VA-One is priced at $1595.
The Simaudio Moon 888 mono amplifier ($118,888/pr.) is the company’s largest, most ambitious amplifier to date -- power output is said to be up to 888W into 8 ohms or 1776W into 4 ohms. This 300-pound monster has . . .
. . . 350,000 microfarads of capacitance mated to an “8kW-capacity output section” that’s mounted on a cast-aluminum heatsink. The main circuitry is concealed when the primary top cover is removed, but . . .
. . . when that second cover is removed, the internals are revealed -- and there’s a lot in there! Make sure you have a big rack for this amp, since the 888 is 22"W x 14"H x 27"D. Don’t forget that you need two of them!