For consumer electronics in general, 2017 should be a very interesting year, taking into account the overall impression created by the CES, both in relation to the exhibits as well as the attendance size. And, although the audio/video and the home entertainment systems market sector appears to be more in a consolidation phase, there surely were many interesting things to see and to listen to at Las Vegas!
Lab 12's Gordian appears to be a quite smart and easy to use device, which, in addition to the power line noise suppression and the surge protection it provides, offers some good, objective data about the home mains quality.
The first product of this new manufacturer from Greece is an interesting and ambitious attempt to enter into one of the most active market segments in a quite sensitive price level. But if the value of a venture lies -at least to some extent- in the size of the challenge faced, this could be a giant first step, since Ideon Audio seems to have made the right decisions, skillfully balancing between some difficult choices and offering their Ayazi USB DAC the chance to emerge amid some competition which is much more than significant.
The numbers rarely lie and in this case are in agreement with the overall feel: The organizers have every reason to be satisfied with this year's IFA, which appeared to be greater in volume terms and more complete in market coverage than ever, although its significance for the audiovisual systems sector, in particular, could raise some serious debate… In any case, take a look at the photos they are quite interesting.
News & Industry Update
The Prime Signature is the next step up from the Prime, an apparently big success for VPI, two years after its initial release. It features an upgraded JMW 10-3D Reference arm in a metallic black gloss finish with Nordost Reference wire and some other improvements over the basic model.
Playback Designs has announced their new Dream Series, incorporating the latest Ultra High Performance technology, the culmination of more than 30 years of experience in audio design. The Dream Series consists of the MPD-8 standalone DAC and MPT-8 transport with CD/SACD drive and an optional, built-in, music server.
Denon has launched a new Audyssey MultEQ Editor app, allowing home theater enthusiasts to refine and customize the set-up of their Denon AVR-based systems for better surround sound.
The company is launching a new entry level design, the DS 002, drawing on innovations from the Master 1 while offering a more affordable way in to optical cartridge technology.
Argon7LS floorstanding loudspeaker. The newcomer replaces the Argon7L model, incorporating the passive radiator design which is already present in Argon3S and Argon3LS.
Based upon the experience LAB12 gained from the design process of their quite successful Gordian, but clearly more simple and at a more affordable price range, Noyra is a good first step one can take to upgrade the quality of the power fed in his system.
Bryston has announced the introduction of the BDP-3 digital music player, a reference quality entertainment hub capable of reading virtually all digital file formats and resolutions, featuring a lightning fast processor, increased RAM and two independent USB 3.0 buses.
The slim and elegant Classé Sigma SSP, has been upgraded with the addition of new audio DSP and HDMI hardware. The eight-channel Sigma SSP MkII supports Dolby and DTS 3D audio formats when configured as a 5.1.2 channel system and passes 4K UHD video at 60 Hz with HDCP 2.2.
SCM19, ATC's entry level "Hi-Fi" series top stand-mount model, proved to be one of the best compact loudspeakers you can buy in this price range, especially if what you are looking for is some real high fidelity behavior. How did they manage this? Read the review to find out…
Based on a very interesting set of ideas, with a long history but few examples of a practical application, the Benchmark AHB2 could serve as a convincing example of what the future of power amplifiers can be. Combine it with a renowned D/A Converter like the DAC2 HGC, and what you have is a top quality system from which only the loudspeakers are missing!