What were two standout rooms at CES?

 Although I had only two and a half days at the Consumer Electronics Show, several rooms were quite notable. I visited the Zanden suite at opening time on day two. The system had been on only briefly. As I sat there, I could hear the system improving. After about one half hour, I had to leave, but I already knew I was impressed and would have to return. I did about three hours later and was truly shocked by what I heard.

 Recently, I had reviewed another amp (The H-Cat X-10 Mk III) that clearly had left to right clear resolution of orchestra from extreme left to extreme right. This system is clearly more expensive but it did the same thing. All of the symphonic instruments had just vivid presence and each of the respective timbres was captured, including reeds on wind instruments. I returned many times to hear this system.

 This system would cost over $200,000, but wow. One of the keys to its performance was it affording a selection of equalization settings. Five different curves were provided (RIAA, TELDEC, EMI, COLUMBIA, and DECCA). I experienced the sound degradation when the wrong equalization. It is not subtle.

 With it Verity speakers, this system was far and away the best of the CES. The digital, however, was unable to compete with the vinyl.

 The second room was the MSB Technology very nice presentation of their three dac levels at the time. These include the original Analog DAC at $6995. I had heard many good things about this dac. Next was the Signature DAC V at $19,995 and uses the Diamond DAC Vs. Adding the Signature Power Base costs $4995. I managed to hear a comparison of this versus the final MSB Diamond DAC V starting at $29,995.

 When many selected cuts were played that ironically included three of those I use, I was in awe! Again I heard the definition at the left and right that lent realism to the sound stage. I heard no vinyl in this room. I asked for review samples of the Analog DAC and the Signature DAC V.

 I should also mention that since CES, I have learned of a new Select DAC costing a mere $89,950.

 One of my primary concerns is whether or not I hear the H-Cat further improving the music over another amplifier. This is a new concern as on my returned to listening after nearly an eighteen days without hearing my system, I heard major improvement attributable only to the potting materials as the system was not on.


Showing 1 response by tonykay

$89,950...Hmmm, this must be the origin of the term "diminishing returns."
When some iconic DACs are available used for $10K, or less (sometimes much less), how would I justify a $89K+ DAC. I wouldn't even try! Just my opinion.