The lyrics from R. Kelly’s Fiesta were stuck in my head Sunday morning as I ran around CES because my friends lip-synched (with much body gyration, and soulful facial expressions) at maximum SPLs in front of me after several rounds of whiskey had been consumed Saturday night.
“After the show it’s the after party, then,
After the party it’s the hotel lobby, then
After the Belve then it’s probably Cris,
And after the original it’s probably this…”
Sunday was the last day of my first CES experience, and I tried to use it to hit as many hi-fi rooms as possible, all the while mouthing “After the show it’s the after party, then, after the party it’s the hotel lobby...”
Along the way a few videos were made (which I’ll expose to the webs in the coming days), and a lot of hands shaken, and hugs given out. In the last couple of years that I’ve been covering audio shows I’ve come to find the last day is a bittersweet one. You’re sad to say goodbye to friends in the industry, but happy in the knowledge that you’ll be home soon. So it was that these thoughts were on my mind as I stepped into the MBL room, and soaked in the Radialstrahler 101E MKII vibes.
These particular MBL transducers are also known as Daleks by some of us because of their visual similarity to the alien mutants/robots made famous in the original UK Doctor Who television series in the ’70s. While the Radialstrahlers may look like different things to different people, most will agree it doesn’t matter what they look like, it’s the sound that matters. I find their sonic signature to be incredibly detailed, and very powerful, with the ability to seamlessly disappear into their surroundings thanks to a neat trick of evenly pressurizing a room.
Pro-Ject had a massive display wall of turntables in one of their rooms, but it was the clean lines of their Classic model that drew me to it like a siren’s song. They also had a slew of their pre-amps, (Phono Box, Pre Box), and DACs/streamers (CD Box, Stream Box) on display sporting what looked like new finishes. I’ve always been interested in Pro-Ject gear but for some reason they’ve been flying under my radar. No more, I need to check out their offerings more closely. You hear me Pro-Ject?
Avantgarde Acoustic had their North American Debut of the Zero TA XD. A beautiful (to me) semi-active 104 dB horn with a DSP-equipped amplified woofer. The design features a 16-inch spherical mid-range horn with five-inch driver, a one-inch tweeter, and the aforementioned 12-inch DSP-controlled woofer with a 500w amplifier. Retail is set to be $15,600 USD.
Moon by Simaudio was showing their new (and massive) 888 monoblock amplifier in Vegas. The statement piece is rated at (wait…) 888 watts into eight ohms, and 1,776 watts into four ohms. At 300 lbs no one is moving this behemoth by themselves. Frequency response is rated at 10Hz ~ 200kHz +/- 3 dB. I was told the all-aluminum chassis features a mix of cast, and machined components that offers “exceptional heat dissipation.” Suggested MSRP is $118,888 USD.
I’ll have plenty more coverage coming in the days to come. See you then.