Las Vegas 2013: Accustic Arts, AVM and more

My friend Paul introduced me to Accustic Arts about 5 years ago, and I’ve been a fan of the brushed steel beasts ever since. But I haven’t really run across them … well … ever. Until CES!

The first thing that caught my eye was the big ass amp they brought to T.H.E. Show, the Amp II Mk II ($11k). Did I mention that the Amp II is astoundingly big? Well, it is. It’s really, really big.

  • Gain: 31dB
  • Input impedance: 20k ohms single ended/100k ohms balanced
  • Output: 260wpc into 8ohms, 425 into 4, and 650 into 2
  • SNR: 103dB
  • THD+N: .0012%
  • Weight: 121lbs

Shown here with a trio of Accustic Arts Reference components, a Tube-Preamp II ($6,500), a Tube DAC II Mk 2 ($8,550), and a Drive II ($7,500) — and a $5,500 Streamer ES. The Streamer, perhaps despite its name, is actually a DAC and features a nifty, if tiny, color LCD panel that shows cover art. More:

  • Supports HD audio files in WAV and FLAC up to 24 bit/192 kHz
  • Simple and intuitive to use UPnP media player with internet radio
  • 2 USB ports to connect USB flash drives and certain hard disks
  • Network connection by wired (Ethernet) or wireless network (Wi-Fi)
  • Gapless function for interruption-free music playback
  • Audiophile D/A converter section in 24 bit/192 kHz technology
  • Digital input (coaxial): turns the STREAMER ES into a high quality D/A converter for external sources such as CD drive, SAT receiver, etc.; receives HD audio files up to 24 bit/192 kHz
  • Digital output (coaxial): for connection of a separate D/A converter or for recording purposes; for HD audio files up to 24 bit/192 kHz

A pair of YG Carmel loudspeakers made the Deutsch components sing. The sound? Liquid and dynamic.

On the other end of the room in a static display (the other end was playing music), AVM Audio was setup with a pair of YG Anat loudspeakers, and showing their new PA5.2 analog tube preamp ($6,600) that sports an ECC83 on output and is modularly upgradeable to include a phono and DAC section, and their new MA 3.2 monoblocks ($5,500/pair), Class D amplifiers that are rated at 420wpc. A CD 5.2 ($5,500), a full-fledged DAC with asynchronous USB inputs with support up to 24/192 and paired with an ECC83 tube on the output, would have provided the tunes.

In the middle, Ayon Audio gear sat ready to light up the big Lumenwhite loudspeakers. Busy room, this.