A Swiss company, relatively new, but that has become quite famous quite quickly for its "money is no object" audio solutions with "soul" obviously!
6moons, Hifi News and other experts rave about these electronics, including the recently released 540, a combination of SACD player and HiRes DAC, that will set you back around 35K$
I didn't get a chance to listen to these digital jewels, so I would be quite happy with a 1k$ OPPO player and/or a Metrum DAC in the same price range.
Sooloos by Meridian
I have always had a sweet spot for Meridian products, and their CD players in particular. Their intrusion into "virtual music" by the acquisition of Sooloos add another dimension to their commitment to reproducing digital files.
Martial Hernandez, DJ extraordinaire, was keeping the audience riveted - to their seats - by his intimate knowledge of any of the 4000 CDs ripped on his 2To Sooloos system. He was helped in this exercise by the beautiful Vienna Acoustics speakers. Certainly one of the most knowledgeable and entertaining demos at the Show!
Sonus Faber has a long tradition of good speaker design in fabulously finished cabinets.
Here, the new Guarneri Memento are driven by the PrimaLuna 35W tube amps, a fine combination indeed, which retained a lot of visitors for more than the average time - I certainly was one of them!
It is always difficult to assess the performance of a speaker at a trade show, but some of them - and the Guarneri Memento is one of them - just make you stop and notice the difference.
What does it for me is the sheer balance, dynamic range and accuracy of this splendidly designed and manufactured pair of speakers, and the pleasure it gives me listening to most music you throw at it - even if they cost 15k$!
I would recommend you reading a proper review by Michael Stremer in Stereophile: http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/807sonus
An innovative music server, and multiroom system, the Maestro proposed by Soledge, one of these new breed of French manufacturers who embrace new technologies, but still respect the main "raison d'etre" of hifi equipment, which is reproducing music.
They had "borrowed' a pair of KEF speakers for their demos, which were driven by their Tenor "remote" amplifiers, the signal being transported via the power lines in a 200 Mhz PLC "envelope", quite an impressive feat!
We are far away from the X-10 PLC systems, used in early home automation systems!
You may remember these nice youngsters who introduced their "CUBE" speaker at the show last year, a steel enclosure with a Fostex full range driver, separate woofer, active filtering and integrated class D amps - one of my favourite products then, and still now...
This year, Eden de Vismes and his partner Laure Kasparian are introducing a series of beautiful control and connector panels, building blocks for designing an elegant multiroom system or connecting local sources to an existing system.
Also new, a range of "invisible" speakers fitted into light fittings, the result of a joint venture with Kreon, a famous Belgian lighting company. I was invited to their common showroom Place des Victoires after the show to experience these great sounding wonders. I am not sure the photos will help you figure out where the sound might come from, but it does sound exceptional good, considering that these speakers use primarily 2in drivers (5cm)
A great "coup" for such a young and amiable team!
Vienna acoustics was once more one of the best sounding speakers around. The new KISS model - shown left - was amazingly demonstrated by DJ "extraordinaire" Martial Hernandez, who has spent the last couple of years transferring all his collection of CDs to a Sooloos system, now part of Meridian.
Martial not only has one of the most extensive libraries of
“dematerialised” music, as well as physical records and CDs, but also knows every track in details, down to where the musicians fit in the studio or live venue. He is like a living encyclopaedia of live jazz recordings and the like and his enthusiasm is infectious: it was funny to watch people ready to move to the next stand, and actually staying for hours on hand because Martial promised them to be blown away by the NEXT piece of music he was about to play – and I fell into his trap as well for my own delight! They are distributed in Australia by Audio Active.
These acoustic panels, distributed in France by Axente and very recently in Australia by Radiance, are actually made in Portugal.
Originally a professional product used extensively in recording studios and movie theaters and other similar venues, they are now becoming popular in Home Theater applications due to their performance obviously, but mainly because of their very high WAF index. architects and Interior Designers alike have no problem specifying them as they are 'invisible" enough, but highly effective in taming these reflexions, resonances and other "nasties' which can kill the performance of the best speakers.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.