Canada's Paradigm introduced their $6698/pair Tribute floorstanding loudspeaker, which is armed with . . .
. . . a 1” beryllium tweeter, 7” midrange driver, and three 7” bass drivers. Paradigm also showed the Inspiration bookshelf speaker, which features an identical 1” beryllium tweeter and a 7” midbass unit. Both speakers are built entirely in Paradigm's factory in Canada and are limited-edition designs -- 200 pairs of the Tribute and 300 pairs of the Inspiration will be produced. A collector's item?
Paradigm also demonstrated their new Aera. The $599 product, available in October, is a wireless AirPlay speaker system that houses a stereo and 30Wpc class-D amplifier, and comes with one-touch connectivity to a local network.
Italian loudspeaker manufacturer Casta debuted several horn-type speakers at TAVES, with the $28,000/pair flagship Model C featuring a horn-loaded tweeter and midrange, as well as a 15” woofer featuring an alinco magnet and cellulose-fiber diaphragm. They also showed the smaller $14,000 Model B floorstander, which has a horn-loaded tweeter and midrange and an 8” woofer, while the $7000 Model A, which is a two-way bookshelf-type design, also has a horn-loaded tweeter.
Canada's Bryston played their impressive new Model T loudspeaker, a three-way design featuring two tweeters, two midranges, and a trio of 8” woofers with . . .
. . . extremely large surrounds. Three versions are available, with the fully passive Model T priced at $6495/pair in standard finishes and the Model T Signature, which includes a pair of external PX1 passive crossovers, priced at $7495 in standard finishes. The price for the flagship Model T, which features an active DSP crossover and is the topmost model in the line, has not been determined.
Bryston will be further fleshing out the speaker line with the $2550 Model T mini “bookshelf” speaker, Model T subwoofer (an active version available for $4195, passive for $2195), and Model T center-channel speaker (not shown).
Bryston also showed their $2395 BDA-2 digital-to-analog converter, which now supports resolutions up to 24/192 via USB, and $2995 BDP-2 digital player, which is said to feature several significant improvements over their popular BDP-1 model.
France's Elipson was demonstrating the $2000/pair Planet-LW wireless speaker system. The speaker features a coaxial driver with a 1” tweeter and 6” woofer, and built-in wireless connectivity that communicates to a computer-based source with an included wireless dongle.
Bel Canto introduced three new USB converters at TAVES. The new $1495 REFLink (right) has an asynchronous 24/192 USB connection, an ST optical digital input, AES/EBU input, a galvanically isolated power supply, and an Ultra Low Phase Noise Clock (ULPNC). Bel Canto also revealed the bus-powered $675 uLink (front left), which also features an ST optical digital input and ULPNC, and the $375 entry-level mLink, which has a low-noise clock and a BNC-based coaxial input (back left).
The USA's Cary Audio showed their $1595 HH1 headphone amplifier, which features a MOSFET output stage and dual-6922 vacuum-tube input stage. The hybrid design features a large toroidal transformer and "controlled voltage" throughout the circuit.
A prototype CS2 integrated amplifier was on display in Blue Circle’s room. With a 50Wpc version available for $2000 and an 80Wpc version with balanced inputs priced at $2600, the designs look to offer excellent value, as the CS2 can be ordered with an upgraded power supply, onboard digital-to-analog converter, and/or headphone amplifier.
ELAC of Germany was playing the intriguing FS 507 VX-JET loudspeaker. Employing a . . .
. . . coaxial driver that can be . . .
. . . adjusted 8mm forward or backward via a built-in dial on the rear, the $18,000/pair design relies on a pair of 7” drivers for midrange and bass reproduction. We listened to the FS 507 VX-JETs for some time and they sounded very, very good.
Naim of England was showing off the new UnitiLite, their $3200 all-in-one design. Comprising not only a 50Wpc amplifier and CD player, but also a 32-bit/192kHz DAC-streamer that allows for Internet Radio and FM radio, the unit looks to offer loads of features, and in turn, solid value. The UnitiLite will be available at the end of October. It's obvious from Naim's current lineup that they are banking on streaming and integration to continue their growth in the future.
Canada's Planet of Sound is now distributing Japan's Air Tight products across the country, and was duly demonstrating the $10,299 Air Tight ATM-1S stereo amplifier, which was helping to produce quite stunning sound through a pair of Harbeth 7ES-3 loudspeakers. The hand-wired amplifier forgoes printed circuit boards while using EL34 vacuum tubes to produce 36W of power per channel.
PrimaLuna showed off several new products, including their $4799 Premium CD player with USB digital input. The design uses a pair of Burr-Brown PCM1792 DACs, 12AX7 and AU7 tubes, and an M2Tech 24/192 USB input.
PrimaLuna also introduced the DiaLogue Premium Integrated, offering 36WPC in ultralinear mode or 18WPC in triode mode. It uses EL34 and 12AU7 vacuum tubes, and offers five RCA inputs, as well as 4- and 8-ohm speaker taps. The DiaLogue Premium Integrated is priced at $3995.
Bose introduced their unique . . .
. . . 6”-thick VideoWave II TV-entertainment systems with iPod connectivity. Priced at $6499 for the 55" version and $5499 for the 46” version, the systems feature 16 drivers, including a dedicated six-driver bass section, using Bose's waveguide and patented PhaseGuide technology. According to Bose, these systems are the product of ten years of research, and the listeners at TAVES seemed to be impressed with their surround-sound-like qualities, with one person even asking, "Where are the speakers?" Obviously, that's what Bose was going for.