CES - Small Show report.

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John Chapman

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CES - Small Show report.
« on: 17 Jan 2004, 01:37 am »

I'd hoped to get this done earlier in the week but time just went by. I won't try and make it a show report - it's more of a report of stuff related to what we are up to with mention of a few cool things I spotted.

Highlight of the show was getting to see some people I know from other shows and some customers I had not met before.  I look forward to seeing everyone again at the next show!

FAL had a display and it was really good to see them again. Wonderful sound as it was last year! On Display was Mr. Furuyama's newest creation - Ai. It is a dipole with 3 Flat Drivers per side + a new Heil. Sounded very good but was a bit of a tight fit in the hotel room! There is a pic at the product page here:


Also on display was the 'Tall Boy". This is a small speaker with a single small flat driver per side and an optional tweeter module on top. It sounded very good even though placement was tricky with the very large Ai in the room with it. I think we have set for someone to make an article for a transmission line with 1 or 2 small drivers per side with a tweeter per side - that should be very interesting as it falls more in line with real world speaker budgets!

FAL also was using a new tube output non oversampling dac that sounded very good - I don't have much info yet but it was a very nice unit. I'll be getting a Heil tweeter in here to replace the ribbon in my FAL Twin Drive setup and will post results when it's done.

The other speaker that impressed me very much was a new small speaker from 3A. It's marketed by Divergent technologies (divertech.com) and it was sounding very nice in their display at the show. It's a small driver (5" or so from memory) run with no crossover and just a cap on the tweeter. It is not super sensitive at about 87db (again from memory...) but for 20 or 30 watts on up power would not be an issue. Retail was $1700. Sounded like a winner to me!

To carry on with speakers next was Danny from GR Research's new design. It's being sold by epiphany audio and like the Alpha's I have here that Danny designed it is a line source. Better drivers than the Alpha and it sounded better too! Maybe a bit crisp and clean for my taste but it was all solid state up front so that was likely where that came from. Really nicely done and he should be proud of them!

At the extreme high priced end of things there were the new vonschweikert speakers in a very large room at the San Remo. I have heard others say they did not like them but they were sounding very nice when I was in the room.

The "Oh My God There They are Again!" award has to go to Gilmore Audio. I think they had at least 5 display rooms and it seemed more like 15! Everywhere I went there they were!! Again I heard folks saying they sounded bad but I thought they were decent - but maybe not worth the asking prices of $14K for the small one and close to $20K for the larger model.  

Related to what we build here was a new line of awsome connectors from Vampire. Really nice stuff. A REALLY premium XLR (which has been hard to find) and soon RCA connectors. Later this year before we'll get chassis mount versions but when they do I am sure we'll offer them.

I am sure I'll think of more stuff and will add to this thread when I do. Until then Have Fun!

Many Thansk!

John Chapman