Rotel’s primary new product for CEDIA was its new RSP-1572 Preamp/Processor, which replaces the older 1570 model, yet maintains the same retail price: $2199. The RSP-1572 offers 6 HDMI inputs plus 2 HDMI outputs, a front panel-mounted USB input, and provides 10-band parametric EQ with adjustable “Q”. Availability: End of September, 2011.
Lee Adams of Soundmatters what showing his firm’s upcoming Foxl 2 Platinum portable stereo loudspeaker system—a pocket-sized, self-powered, 2-channel speaker system that is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, yet that offers surprisingly good sound quality when heard at close range (as on a desktop or when worn on a lanyard draped around the user’s neck). The Foxl 2 incorporates Bluetooth technology and speakerphone capabilities.
The Platinum model includes two upgrades over the original Foxl speaker; first, it comes with an AudioQuest Evergreen connection cable, and it also has a new APTX Bluetooth CODEC said to deliver “CD-quality sound from Bluetooth.”
Price: $229. Availability, Fall 2011.
Most audiophiles associate the name TAD with designer Andrew Jones’ brilliant, beryllium-driver-equipped loudspeakers, which have been favorably reviewed by The Absolute Sound. At CEDIA, though, I got a chance to catch up with Jones for guided tour of a new less significant segment of the TAD product line: namely, the firm’s incredibly beautiful, exotic, and expensive “Statement-class” electronics and source components. The concept, plainly, is for TAD to be able to supply not just speakers but an entire “source-to-sound” audio chain, where all the components on offer are expected to live up to the standard established by TAD’s speakers—which, as those who have heard TAD speakers in action can attest, is saying quite a mouthful
On display in the Pioneer booth (Pioneer is TAD’s parent company), TAD showed a mixed collection of three of its new ultra high-end components, including the absolutely massive D600 SACD/CD player (~$30,000), the C2000 DAC/preamplifier, and the M4300 4-channel (stereo biamping-ready) power amplifier (~$23000).
Conceptually, TAD’s electronics and source component range will be loosely divided into an out-and-out “Reference” range consisting of the D600 Reference SACD/CD player, the C600 Reference linestage preamp~ $35,000-$36,000), and the M600 Reference monoblock power amplifier (~$31,000/each, and weighing in at a whopping 198.4 lbs./each!). Directly below those Reference models (but not very far “below” at all) will come three more “Compact” models: the C2000 preamp/DAC (~$23,000-$24,000), the M4300 4-channel amp (~$22,000-$23,000), and the very similar M2500 stereo power amplifier (~$ 20,000). Interestingly, the M4300 and M2500 will both use highly advanced class D circuit topologies.
Jones emphasized that the three “Compact” TAD components are in no way to be construed as sonic “second-class citizens;” on the contrary, they are built to exactly the same construction standards as the big Reference models. The factors that differentiate the Compact models from the Reference units, however, are their somewhat smaller dimensions (where “smaller” is a relative term), their greater simplified set-up requirements (because fewer chassis are involved), and especially the computer audio-friendly configuration of the C2000 DAC/preamp.