Paradigm's new brand, Paradigm Shift, got off to a blazing start with the introduction of the A2, a powered two-way bookshelf loudspeaker. The drivers include a 5.5" aluminum midrange-woofer and 1" aluminum-dome tweeter. The $499-per-pair A2 is powered by a . . .
. . . 110W amplifier. One cool feature is that you can plug in an Apple Airport Express directly into the back of the cabinet. [www.paradigm.com]
The smallest loudspeaker in Amphion's Helium range is the 410, which is priced at $995 per pair. The Helium 410, though tiny and inexpensive for a hand-crafted Finnish loudspeaker, still uses some of the same technology found in more expensive Amphion speakers, such as their trademark waveguide tweeter-loading technology. If you like the 410 but want a larger Amphion . . .
. . . choose the Amphion Argon1 priced at $1890 per pair in painted finishes ($1990 per pair in wood veneer). The Argon1 features a 5.25" midrange-woofer and a 25mm titanium tweeter crossed over at 1600Hz. [www.amphion.fi]
Audio Research introduced their new PH8 phono stage at CES. Slotted above the venerable PH6 and below the Reference Phono 2, the PH8 ($6995) features six steps of variable loading, which can be preset to chosen values at the factory. Using the ubiquitous 6H30 tubes, the PH8 employs the same type of capacitors found in the company's Reference 5 preamp. [www.audioresearch.com]
The new Ayre VX-R stereo amplifier retails for $14,950 and will start shipping on March 1. Rated at 200Wpc into 8 ohms and 400Wpc into 4 ohms, the VX-R is a two-channel complement to the company's MX-R mono amplifier. True dual mono and fully balanced, the VX-R is built into a one-piece, machined-aluminum chassis that results in the slim but wide amplifier weighing in at a stout 78 pounds. [www.ayre.com]
Like the MX-R mono amp and KX-R preamplifer, the VX-R’s chassis is milled from a solid block of aluminum. The entire team agreed that it looks cool as all get out! [www.ayre.com]
Polk Audio introduced several loudspeakers into its new LSiM-series line including the three-way bookshelf M703 seen here ($1500 per pair). It features a 1" ring-radiator tweeter and a 3.25" midrange to form what Polk calls its Dynamic Sonic Engine, which is found on all the new models. If you want a larger LSiM, have a look at . . .
. . . the largest floorstander in the series priced at $4000 per pair. The M707 is a true four-way design, and from the cutaway you can see the extensive internal bracing that includes a separate chamber for each of its five drivers. The oval-shaped woofers are 6" x 9" and are designed to fit the narrow baffle profile while increasing radiating area.
Here is an array of PSB Imagine Minis ($700 per pair), which can be thought of as a small-form-factor version of the company's Imagine B. It is available in five finishes including a distinctive gloss white. Can this little guy do bass? Yes, thanks to . . .
. . . the rear port that vents the 4" woofer. The tweeter is a 1" aluminum dome. The Imagine Mini can be wall-mounted with an optional metal bracket. [www.psbspeakers.com]
. . . that the Air includes some features found on their high-end loudspeakers such as the FlowPort dimpled vent design. [www.bwspeakers.com]