CES 2016

The Venetian Hotel and Casino

Happy new year to everyone, this year’s CES was a big success with the show breaking attendance for the whole CES show with an attendance of over 170,0000 attendees.

CES this year was very organized. In regards to the High End Audio at the Venetian the manufactures seemed to be more realistic to the needs of Audiophiles & there needs, being more value concerned.  Overall, I saw many promising opportunities and lots of PROFOUND tweaks, improved cables, sound treatments and newer and improved products.

This year’s CES was a wonderful showing from many of the top Audio Companies, important reviewers and designers were present and in great sprits. I found many manufactures looking to better values in their products and many creative better solutions to making it easier to make the best sound imaginable.

My favorite rooms were Synergistic Research & Bryston’s. Synergistic showed some insanely powerful tweaks and Bryston showed the new long awaited Bryston 28BSST 3 “CUBED”.

B&W claims that the new 800 speakers are a serious “Game Changers” and the biggest improvement since  the Nautilus Speaker’s debut 21 years ago are all true. After listening, we agree the B&W speakers continues to be the best reasonable line of loudspeakers to be found anywhere and to set new industry standards of what is possible regardless of price. Sales are brisk and B&W is already back ordered on all of the new 800 speakers.

Shown above is the Synergistic Research Back Box front center (a passive bass treatment) & new Atmosphere XL sound treatment pictured in the back middle. Please note: the Atmosphere XL offers 4 times the the power of the standard original Atmosphere still expected top be a best seller at $2,495.

Combined with their new UEF-treated Black Fuses a ($119.95-$129.95) and the Black Box ($1995) acoustic product, and of course the Atmosphere UEF cables and super new power cords, the Synergistic Research Room was clearly the most remarkable room I visited at CES.

A demo of their prototype “UEF Panels,” which are oriented towards recording studios, was fascinating. These panels incorporate the super-material graphene, which is finding applications in many of their recent designs. In prototype basically the panel itself was a simple foam core-type material with the graphene nanotubes “painted” onto one side, and then the whole thing overpainted in matte black  The UEF Panels should not be high priced – probably $100 a panel and sold in sets of 5 pieces or 10 pieces and likely under $1000 to treat a recording studio or a very large listening room?

Shown left to right: Atmosphere Mini, standard and Atmosphere XL

Synergistic Research showed three Atmosphere Towers (two new ones). Let me make this clear, it is my opinion that the Atmosphere and HFT Dots are the GREATEST Sound Treatment, I’ve every heard regardless or cost and a MUST in every serious audio room “if one can afford them”.

Synergistic Research was also showing off both a taller “XL” version of their Atmosphere room acoustic controller/tuning device, 53″ tall and $3495 including the Atmosphere Tuning Module, which is optional for the other models, and a shorter “Atmosphere Mini” (14.5″ tall and $1495). The size of the device and the transmitting parts  in the Atmosphere dictates the power of the device, so taller with more space and money for stronger parts is better. During the display there wasn’t time to A/B and compare with the standard Atmosphere ($2495 without optional ATM module), but were told that the aprox  50% taller XL version was 3x or 4x more powerful.

One of the exciting things Synergistic Research showed was the new Atmosphere Digital Cables using Carbon conductors that are said to be a new standard and a deep forward in what is possible.  They offer Atmosphere Level One 1 meter $595 RCA & $695 AES/EBU Balanced  Level2 $995 RCA & $1,995 AES/EBU Balanced and Level 3 $1,495 RCA or $1,795 AES/EBU Balanced

David Weinhart & Peter Hanson, VP Synergistic Research displaying the new improved Atmosphere Power Cords. The new Power cords also feature Carbon elements and are a new best especially for the reasonable prices for the best performance I know of for the money.
Sam from Precision Sound and David Weinhart
David Weinhart & Geoffrey Marks in the REL room Showing off SIX REL G-2 subs stacked three on each side. The sound was truly first class.
REL Powered the sound in their room with a all PS Audio Stack, Direct Stream DAC & Perfect Wave Transport, New Reference Mono block amplifiers, P-10 power conditioner.

The big new here was BRYSTON UPDATES SST AMPLIFIER SERIES is now improved and the SST3 “Cubed”:

The SST2 was a favorite here at Weinhart Design and from what Bryston shared about the new Cubed series, it is all but guaranteed to set a new standard to “What Is Possible” !!!

At CES 2016, Bryston Ltd. unveiled the updated versions of its venerable SST series of power amplifiers. Replacing the current SST2 (Squared) series, the new SST3 (Cubed) series features new low-noise input buffer and power-supply circuitry, as well as a  redesigned milled aluminum front panel.

Unfortunately, there will likely not be an upgrade

As the company explains, the engineering changes include a patented super-linear, low-noise input buffer jointly developed by Bryston and the late Ph.D. engineer Dr. Ioan Alexandru Salomie. The Cubed Series also has a more robust RF and audio-frequency noise-filtering circuit before the power supplies to prevent unwanted anomalies on the power line from interfering even minutely with the audio signal.

Standing Left to Right: Craig Bell, David Weinhart, Brian Russell & Gary Dayton

In a prepared statement, CEO Chris Russell said Bryson plans to use the new input buffer circuitry on future models. “Some of the audible improvements we have noted during our initial testing consist of expanded spaciousness and depth of focus, better overall dimensionality, improved mid-bass clarity, and more air and openness in the high-frequencies,” he elaborated.

The new series will be rolled out in phases, with the 2.5B SST3, 3B SST3, 4BSST3, 7BSST3 and 14BSST3 being first to market. The flagship 28B SST3 is in the final design stages and why it was not on display at CES. The new amplifiers are covered by Bryston’s 20-year warranty.

This is Bryston’s first new series of amplifiers in over 8 years and our new circuitry has received a patent. Also we were delighted to find out that Bryston is going to have a free upgrade on the BDP-2 and they are going to use Roon Labs as the Music Server interface.  For those of you that may not know this, Roon Labs is from the same wonderful people that brought us Sooloos and after many years this is the best interface we have experienced.

Clear Audio Room

The new improved Clear Audio both sides clean at the same time and one side Record Cleaners
A gorgeous display of the wonderful German crafted Clear Audio Tables

The Project Room:

Every year Project comes up with new innovated designs and offers value one can not question with sound quality way beyond the reasonable prices

New RPM 10 Carbon Project Table with matching Carbon Fiber Isolation base and Carbon Fiber Arm only $3,599 with arm!
The showing of the large variety of Project tables