Absolute Sounds, the UK importer and distributor of hi-fi and home cinema equipment, will be showcasing new products at this year’s International CES. Retailers fortunate enough to be attending the show in Las Vegas will find a host of new creations, from impressive analogue technology to cutting edge digital, all displayed and demonstrated by prestigious audio and video brands.
New product highlights include:
Show location: Venetian Tower – floor 35, room 305
The American luminaries of valve-based audio technology unveil their latest entry-level CD player, the CD6, which also serves as an outboard DAC. This will be demonstrated alongside the SP20 preamp and Reference 75 power amp, with speakers provided by the Italian maestros at Sonus faber (the Olympica III).
Show location: Venetian Tower – floor 30, room 326
This recently formed audio electronics brand boasts contributions from distinguished high-end designers like John Curl, Bascom King, Peter Madnick and Demian Martin, and assembled by two of the founders of Continuum, a company widely acknowledged to manufacture the finest vinyl record players in the world. The Argo (below), Constellation’s first integrated amplifier, will be showcased at CES, together with the Cygnus media player.
Show location: Venetian Tower – floor 29, room 331
Dutch company Crystal Cable, maker high-end audio cables and speakers, celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2014. CES sees a special preview of forthcoming Crystal Cable products, including the Minissimo standmount speaker and The Cube – a compact integrated amp featuring the unique Light Drive system developed by sister company Siltech. Cables on show include the Absolute Dream, the world’s first 100 per cent monocrystal cable range.
Show location: Venetian Tower – floor 29, room 223
First came the Momentum Mono and Stereo power amplifiers, then the Monentum Preamplifier. Now, the founder of Krell is preparing to launch the first integrated amp under his own name: the Momentum Integrated, complete with D’Agsotino’s signature front-mounted meter and inspired by the styling of fine Swiss watches with precision sonics to match.
Show location: Flamingo Hotel, room 4040
The only audio manufacturer permitted to use the prestigious ‘Swiss Made’ mark that is critical to the watch industry, darTZeel engineers hi-fi components that said to be as uncompromising as the world’s finest timepieces. CES sees the world-premier of the LHC-208, described as a ‘danalogue’ integrated amplifier.
Show location: Venetian Tower – floor 29, room 327
In the wake of fresh investment by French entrepreneurs including Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, Parisian innovator Devialet has unveiled three new components: the Devialet 110,170 and 240. These wall-mountable ‘audio hubs’ combine a super-advanced DAC, preamp and unique ADH® (Analogue Digital Hybrid) power amp within a single, sleek chassis. New at CES 2014 is the flagship Devialet 500, combining two Devialet 240s in an intelligent dual-mono or bi-amp configuration, coupled together with proprietary software to deliver unparalleled performance.
Show location: Venetian Tower – floor 29, room 332
American high-end brand Krell is remaining secretive about the new products it’s set to unveil at CES, but it is assumed that their renowned power amplification is involved, delivering all the detail, depth, power and control for which Krell is famed.
Show location: Venetian Tower – floor 34, room 309
The latest member of the Magico family of speakers is the S3, a midsize floorstander that slots between the entry-level S1 and S5. As expected of Magico, the S3 is the result of exemplary science and engineering, sporting a constructed aluminium enclosure and carbon nanotube driver technology, with automotive-class paint options for aesthetic tailoring. Magico speakers are being utilised by a host of audio electronics manufacturers to demonstrate their creations at CES 2014, including Aurender, Constellation Audio, Hegel, MIT, Soulution and Zanden.
Show location: Venetian Tower – floor 29, room 140
Best known in the UK for its hybrid electrostatic speakers, Kansas-based MartinLogan continues to expand its range with a tabletop speaker called Crescendo, which supports both Apple AirPlay and Bluetooth wireless streaming. Elsewhere, the company’s Motion Series of dynamic speakers continues to expand with the addition of the Motion 60 – the largest floorstander in the range, complete with MartinLogan’s Folded Motion Tweeter.
Show location: Venetian Tower – floor 35, room 305-310
Handcrafted in the historic town of Vicenza, Italy, Sonus faber’s new Olympica range is a marriage of form and function, each speaker encased in beautifully finished wood veneers with detailing in leather and other fine materials. The full Olympica range is on show at CES 2014, alongside Sonus faber’s other speaker lines, while the new Homage Vox centre speaker takes part in a home cinema demo alongside the Amati Futura and Guarneri Evolution loudspeakers.
Show location: Venetian Tower – floor 35, rooms 110 and 111
Designed and built in Japan, the TechDAS Air Force One turntable has made its mark on the high-end audio world. The platter floats on an air bearing for ultra-stable, friction-free rotation, while adjustable air suspension ensures a complete absence of interference from air- and floor-borne vibration. A silent outboard vacuum pump clamps records perfectly flat against the platter, and there’s the facility to mount two different tonearms to give the end-user ultimate flexibility.
Show location: Venetian Tower – floor 29, room 212
A company at the very forefront of high-performance home cinema design, US-based Theta Digital is showing off the latest Casablanca IV Music and Cinema Controller – a multichannel preamp/processor. A host of advanced features include a new 192kHz post processing board, Dirac Live 96K digital room correction and Theta’s proprietary Jitter Jail II anti-jitter technology. Visitors will experience the Casablanca IV in tandem with Theta’s Prometheus monoblock amplifiers, in a 7.2-channel system configuration. (Note: Theta Digital is owned by ATI, maker of amplifiers installed in many cinemas around the world, including the one used by Dolby to introduce Dolby Atmos to the movie industry.)
Show location: Mirage Hotel, room TBC (also Venetian Tower – floor 35, room 111)
Having been part of high-end loudspeaker design for the past 40 years, Utah’s Wilson Audio is demonstrating the forthcoming Sasha Series 2 – the latest descendant of the WATT/Puppy, deemed one of the most important high-performance speakers ever devised – in its suite at the Mirage Hotel. Among the other delightful transducers on show are the new Mezzo CS, a low-profile design that’s ideal as a centre channel partner for the Sasha Series 2 in a home cinema context, together with the Duette Series 2 standmount speaker.
2014 International CES – Show Locations at a Glance
• Audio Research Venetian Tower – Suite 35-305
• Constellation Audio Venetian Tower – Suite 30-326
• Crystal Cable Venetian Tower – Suite 29-331
• Dan D’Agostino Venetian Tower – Suite 29-223
• darTZeel Flamingo Hotel – Suite 4040
• Devialet Venetian Tower – Suite 29-327
• Krell Industries Venetian Tower – Suite 29-332
• Magico Venetian Tower – Suite 34-309
• MartinLogan Venetian Tower – Suite 29-140
• PrimaLuna Venetian Tower – Suite 29-315 & 316
• Sonus faber Venetian Tower – Suite 35-305 to 310
• TechDAS Venetian Tower – Suite 35-110 & 111
• Theta Digital Venetian Tower – Suite 29-212
• Transparent Audio Mirage Hotel – Suite TBC
• Wilson Audio Venetian Tower – Suite 35-111; Mirage Hotel – Suite TBC