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T.H.E. Newport Beach 2014 – Electronics Part I

T.H.E. Newport Beach 2014 – Electronics Part I

Continuing our coverage of T.H.E. Show Newport Beach, we take a first look at the latest audio electronics to make the grade.

April Music was showing its latest iteration of the popular Aura Note all-in-one music center. This new Version 2 costs $2,995.

Audio Research always puts on a good show, thanks to a strong range of fine products, including the $13,000 Reference CD9 one-box CD transport DAC.

Audio Research also showed its top phono stage, the $30,000 Reference Phono 10. Like the matching line stage, this two box model draws on lessons learned from the Anniversary preamp.

AURALiC has developed a reputation for ultra high performance without ultra high prices, as the $5,000 Merak power amplifiers ably demonstrate

German musical muscle brand AVM shows it has brains as well as brawn, with its flagship $12,900 CD8T tube CD player

Ayon’s combination of elegance and intelligent audio design continues to wow, thanks to the $14,000 Stratos preamp/DAC, the popular $10,500 3SX, which combines CD player with DSD-supporting DAC and streamer, and the epic $68,900 Titan mono amps

 

Benchmark is perhaps best known for its range of studio-grade DACs, but the brand’s new AHB2 ‘High Resolution Amplifiers’ are claimed to offer lower distortion and greater dynamic range than most high-end amplifiers.

Belles Power Modules is a popular choice of amplifier in the UK. Hi-Fi+ in particular is fond of the VT-01 hybrid preamplifier (now in v2 guise at $5,495) and the SA-100 stereo power amplifier at $5,495, but we are also impressed by the little Soloist 1 integrated at $3,395.

Cocktail Audio’s clever $1,800 X-30 does everything music server/amplifier system will be the subject of a review in Hi-Fi+ later this year. Watch this space!

Coda is one of those brands that deserves more recognition. The company’s $6,500 Coda 07x preamp and $5,200 Continuum Ts power amp are stalwarts of the audio business.

Silver Audio showed Conrad Johnson’s current state of the art, with its GAT preamplifier coupled to a stereo ARTsa power amp

 

Dan D’Agostino Momentum integrated amplifier is fast becoming one of the must hear products at any show. It has a must see element to it too, of course

As ever, one of the stars of the show was dCS and its outstanding Vivaldi digital front-end in all its multi-box glory

DSPeaker Anti-mode 2.0 Dual Core is a revolutionary room correcting DSP DAC that can help overcome fundamental problems with any system’s room/speaker interaction, thereby limiting the requirements for hefty room acoustic treatment, all for $1099

 

LKV Research showed its $6,500 Veros One phono preamplifier (replacing the highly respected 2-SB) and the $3,500 Line One preamplfier

Lynx Studio Technology studio-grade $2,495 Hilo Reference A/D D/A Converter System is a fine partner for the popular Pure Music music software, and can even be used with Apple’s Thunderbolt connection

MBL is never much of a shrinking violet at a show, and the company’s full Reference Line system always wows the crowds. Newport Beach was no exception.

McIntosh showed what the most American system around (including turntable and powerhouse tube monoblock amps) can sound like through French speakers by Focal. No one dared mention Freedom Fries!

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