How many of you made it to CES 05??

I just got back from CES 05 and I was shocked at how many good rooms there were this year. There usually are only a few outstanding rooms due to either the small rooms or poor equipment choices/setups or just poor musical selections...not so this year. Over the next few days, I will write about many of the systems I heard and enjoyed. How many of you also were there and what were your impressions? Jallen
I was planning on going the the 2005 CES show but was rained out. My original plan was to leave S. Calif saturday morning but the constant rain all day Sat and Sun made it a no go.

Did anybody have a chance to see the new Convergent audio (CAT) 15K preamp? It is the first new design from Ken Stevens in 15 years and would be interested to see any pictures or addational info.


I had to cancel my reservations Wednesday because work was too heavy. I'm hoping to hear some reports of the shows.
I was there. The highlight for me was seeing and hearing Little Richard at the Orleans last night. Wow!!!!!!

I made it for Saturday and Sunday. Great traffic at Alexis Park, but CES seemed to be boycotting THE Show. There were lots of good displays @ THE Show that people missed because the CES literature did not contain information about the show right next door at the San Tropez. The light drizzle certainly didn't dampen the show for me.

I had a chance to talk to Rick from Virtual Dynamics about his design and philosophy. It was great to hear someone put an explanation behind cable design. We discussed his snake-oil formula, but I agreed not to reveal his recipe! Seriously, he was very informative, and in an age of patents and industrial secrets, Rick was very open about what he is building. I can't help but respect that.

I spent a lot of money buying LPs and even a few CDs from the ballroom(?) at Alexis Park.

Best sound? These were my three favorites, not in a specific order, but if I had to rate a number one from what I heard it would be the first one.

1) VTL with Wilson speakers. I have never been a fan, or detractor of VTL, but I had to stop and sit for a while because it sounded soo good!

2) Star Sound Technologies, in spite of the fact that they used a midpriced monitor! They used dcs front end and pre-amp, with their own mono-blocks. A lot of the quality had to be attributed to the cones and stands that they make. TWL auditioned the system for me. Thanks for letting me waste your time Tom.

3) Purist Audio Design. They were using Eben speakers with a Nagra pre-amp and a Swedish company I never heard of for amp and CDP. All of it was cabled with Venustus, as opposed to Dominus which most people will admit is phenominal. The system still sounded great, but with a supposedly lesser quality cable (3rd from the top in the line) used throughout.

I also got to meet some interesting people. I tried to catch up with Albert, but he was either still in bed, napping, or already gone to bed. At least that's the story I got. I saw Stehno's equipment racks!!! I've never seen a more beautiful series of racks. If they sound as good as they look (which he claims they do) they will cause some changes in this industry. He was a very personable guy, though obviously not as handsome as I!

I had a pleasant, brief discussion with Arnie. He seems like a very good person to have in his position, and a good understanding of what's really taking place on AudiogoN! Sound like a suck-up don't I??? I really like this site though.

People who are content to buy chinese knock-offs of Cary and many others would be happy to see the direct ripoffs at a lower price. Not having to do R&D must save them a lot of money!

I had fun!
Sounds like you had a great time Nrchy and saw some neat stuff!

I think you heard Albert's cover story. His wife doesn't know that he spends most of his time at the AVN Expo, Olympic Gardens, Crazy Horse 2 and Cheetahs.

Wait 'til he posts THOSE pics!
You wouldn't expect CES to advertise their competition would you Nrchy?
Made it!

I'm still recovering from the drive home to Three major highway closures on our way back from accidents, mudslides and flooding made our 4.5 hr trip well over 10 hrs! Rain like I've never seen.

My quick pics were easy.

1. The Ascendo M-S's driven by Ken's amp's (CAT) and preamp with a Ken modded Audio-Note dac using Ric's cables (Virtual Dynamics) were as good as I have ever heard reproduced music sound. In-the-room real and my absolute favorite sound this year.

2a. The Star Sound caravell speakers were outstandingly Musically "absent". Vanished! For a $3500 speaker these sounded fantastic. They sold the amps driving them before the end of the show. A Harmonic Precision 100w Mono-pair.
This was definetly one of the very best sounds from a tubeless system!

2b,c,d. The Overkill "Encore" speaker was really something special. A nearly perfect design from my point of view. Actively crossed-over using a digital x-ovr from DEQX and being driven by a Belles amp designed as an OEM product for Overkill. An awesomely real sound again without tubes.

c. The Loricraft Audio room. Playing one of the prettiest turntables I've ever seen. Wood sides with a Rolls Royce color "sunset" painted on the top. Gorgeous! Just like the sound. The speakers were Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Sig Monitors. I could have stayed there all day.

d. Not the last word in musicallity, the EDGE electronics room had an effortlessness and purity that was startling. For a large system without tubes this system had a realism I preferred to the other "big" systems like the laughably huge Von Shweikert 11's or the Genesis ones or the Soundlabs. Although the genesis One's were very captivating and powerful they still had a bit of "boom/sizzle to me. Probably because they were using an SACD player when playing regular cd's.

My eyes are slamming shut so I'll sign off for the moment. All in all I had a fantastic time and added to the list of my favorite people in this industry. I'll share more soon.