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Positive Feedback ISSUE 17
january/february 2005


CES 2005 - Part 1
by Dave and Carol Clark


Another CES under our belt, making it 11 and counting. The problem is, with having attended that many they all pretty much start to become rather ho-hum. But what makes them fun is seeing old friends and having good dinners and social gatherings—like the PFO Happy Hour we hosted in our room (David will have many images documenting the 30 some in attendance in his show report appearing next month). This was one of the better in terms of the number of exhibitors in attendance (while we saw many an old friend, it was nice to see some newer faces as well) and the the overall quality of music being played was rather impressive as well. While it is a show, we found most rooms to sound quite good. On the other hand, the problem we have faced for a number of years is not so friendly exhibitors, or at least those who have little clue as to how to work the public. (see and to see what we mean here. This is not about ego, it is simply about the community being a community. If you knew anything about Carol and I, being worshipped or fawned over is that last thing on our minds. We just want to have fun.). Add to that, that some people simply do not get it (that this should be fun and the music and sense of community s what it is all about). It was our hope that this year people would be more open and approachable. So here we go from the beginning.


Thorens showed the TD2030 turntable ($3299) along with Vincent and Audia electronics and ELAC speakers. Nice stuff, not so friendly people. They pretty much ignored us the whole time we were in there. Oh, well... perhaps things will get better.


Vincent tube AM/FM tuner ST-U2  ($1095), SA-T1 preamplifier ($1495), SP-T100 amp mono class A ($2495 a pair).


Close up of the SA-T1 preamplifier. See the tubes a glo!


Thorens TD850 ($2299), Audia CD One ($6995), Audia Flight One integrated ($7995),  and the ELAC FS607 speakers ($5795 pair).


Acoustic Sound had their own room and spun music with Avalon Eidolon Vision speakers, Halcro dm58 mono amplifiers, EMM CDSD and DCC2 SACD players, and a VPI TNT-HRX turntable. Now here was some nice friendly people. And they played good music too!


Ron Sutherland with the Director preamplifier ($3000). A really nice guy with a new product that I would just love to review. Hey, if it is as good as the PhD phono-stage I own, it has to be a killer preamplifier! Ron gets it.


The Director preamplifier up close. Really cool! No batteries though. :((


Triangle Magellan Concerto speakers ($20,000), Audio Analogue Maestro CD player, preamplifier and mono-block amplifiers, in the Audios Anaolgue, Triangle room. Nice sound, friendly too.


The Virtual Dynamics room showed Luminance Threshold CD player and amplifiers, Virtual Dynamics cables, and Ascendo System E speakers ($12,500) from Germany.


Ascendo System E speakers up close. Very nice, and Ric and his wife were nice too! They get it.


Virtual Dynamics cables snaking up to the electronics.


Rick Schultz, Virtual Dynamics—then man in all his best.


The Gingko room offered their new prototype speakers called the Tubulous with Music Hall Maven receiver (later switched for an Ayre integrated) and Maverick SACD player. Really sounded quite good and well, they were nice as all get out. Good people = good sound.


Vinh Vu with the Tubulous. Rather affordable and quite ingenious in their simplicity.


Norm Ginsburg explaining "how and why" the Cloud 10 platforms do what they do with real science. I own one and yes, they do work as advertised. The Gingko room hosted a rather nice happy hour with excellent wine and conversation with the people from Dedicated Audio who were showing the cool Cable Tower.


Dennis Had of Cary with the new 303-300 CD player ($4000). It switches between solid state and tube output, and up-samples Redbook all the way up to 768Khz via the remote control. Dennis also showed the new SLP-05 fully balanced preamplifier ($8000).


Cary Silver Oak speakers Model 3 ($4500 pair) with a bevy of Cary amplification. Always musical, always fun. Dennis and company simply get it!


The new Cary CD306 SACD player ($6000) up-samples redbook to 768kHz, is very similar to the 306/200, only WAY better. Promised one for review this month! Dennis.... how about the SLP-05 preamplifier too?


The 306 has a viewing window directly above the drive mechanism showing the bubble level for insuring proper leveling. Now that is cool!


Manley Labs with Coincident Speaker Technology. Really good sound, really good people. Manley gets it.


The Prawn line preamplifier (with a gaggle of other things) in semi-darkness. Groovy.


EveAnna Manley from Manley Labs clowning it up. Yeah, tubes rule.


Carol, Bryan Gladstone, and EveAnna sharing a good laugh. EveAnna gets it. Actually, EveAnna defines it!


The Ayon room with the KR Audio Kronzilla SD power amp ($12,000) and Triangle speakers. Big and bold.


Artemis Labs DL-1 phono preamplifier ($2350) and LA-1 tube line amplifier ($2750).


Inside the Artemis Labs DL-1 phono preamplifier and LA-1 tube line amplifier. Clean and simple.


KR Audio VA340 integrated amp ($6800). Very industrial and perhaps a bit stealthy militaristic in appearance. Still cool in that dark-side way. Oh, and nice people too.


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