Audio Note at T.H.E. Show (CES) 2011. Â A new $152,000.00 DAC that was very fast and a little tooÂ aggressiveÂ for our ears with the decay. Â In the back corner there is a new version of the TT2 turntable. Â You will be able to get it in a finish matching the speakers, except piano gloss. Â $3,000.00. Â It sounded very nice.
A top the new TT2 turntable is an Audio Note designed tone arm. Â AN didn’t much like the new Rega that would have been paired with this table so they made their own. Â Made in Austria it is machined from a solid piece of aluminum. Â $2,000.00 price tag. Â The whole new table and arm is very sexy and modern without being cheesy andÂ gimmickyÂ looking. Â (I’ll try to get a better photo of the two later.)
The Dominance – $40,000.00 – A well tamed beast that is just waiting to explode. Â At least that is the impression I got. Â Not as linear as some audiophiles would like. Â We noticed we could talk easily with the volume at a reasonable level. Â But when the time came to turn it up and hear the 15inch woofers roar – it was thunderous. Â I’d love to hear these with better backing electronics. Â This is a new step for Zu. Â TheÂ resolutionÂ of the Dominance is well above anything they have. Â Of course so is the price. Â On a live blues number we listened to (I actually spend about 45min in the room auditioning) I was very surprised at how well it placed the musicians in the stage. Â Not just left to right, but back and forth as well. Â The depth these gave to the soundstage is fantastic. Â Small movements closer and away from the mics where crystal clear. Â On modern electronica – well the things nearly shook the room apart.
Studio Electric. Â I’ve never heard of these (this guy) before. Â But the Studio Electric Monitor was fantastic. Â 6.5inch paper cone woofer in a sealed box. Â Down to 44Hz +/-4db. Â It took a massive 275W at peak power mosfet hybrid amplifier to drive these properly. Â It was outstandingly linear and I was stunned at the dynamic range from a sealed box design. Â Plus they look great and only cost $2,550.00. Â I want. Â The silver standers T3 next to it use the same tweeter and woofer but have a sub as well. Â Cross over design is a bit more relaxed. Easy to listen to at high volumes for long periods of time. Â And it is a booty shaker.
Usher audio was demoing their floorstanders. Â Very good sound at a reasonable price. Â The monitors are what I have my eyes/ears on – but I’ve yet to hear them. Â Hopefully later in the show.
YG – and it sounds like YG. Â … Actually it sounds much better than at RMAF. Â At least to me.