How good is the Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core? Let’s put it this way: TAS’ Dr. Robert E. Greene has already seen fit to give the product a coveted 2012 TAS Golden Ear Award (in Issue 225) and is, I believe, working on a full-review now. To grasp the draw of the product, it helps to know that DSPeaker claims the Anti Mode 2.0 Dual-Core provides “automatic room correction” and can “fix ANY stereo system in 5 minutes.”
Though many picture CEDIA as a “home theater”-centric show, Krell saw the event as a great venue for rolling out two powerful new 2-channel components: the Phantom III stereo preamp ($5500) and the S-550i stereo integrated amplifier ($5000).
The Phantom III is intended as a very high quality, minimalist preamp/headphone amplifier, where the headphone amp section of the component is driven directly from the main preamp circuitry. To broaden the Phantom III’s appeal, Krell plans to offer an optional 192/24-capable digital audio input module.
The S-550i, in turn, is intended as a conceptual “big brother” to the firm’s current 150 Wpc S-300i integrated. Accordingly, the S-550i will put out a stout 2 x 275-watts @ 8 Ohms or 2 x 550-watts @ 4 Ohms. For added versatility, the S-550i will feature a performance-oriented iPod dock as well as a Theater Throughput input.
For CEDIA Marantz showed not one but two ambitious Reference-series 2-channel products: the SA-11S3 SACD/CD player and DAC ($2999), and the companion PM-11S3 integrated amplifier ($4999).
The beautiful SA-11S3 appears to be massively overbuilt (see photos), provides both single-ended and balanced outputs; incorporates coax, optical and USB digital audio inputs, and sports Marantz’ beefy SACDM-2 disc drive mechanism and copper clad chassis panels (for low noise).
The similarly constructed PM-11S3 delivers 100 Wpc at 8 Ohms or 220 Wpc at 4 Ohms, provides a bevy of single-ended inputs plus one set of balanced inputs, incorporates an MM/MC phono stage with “DC servo equalization”, uses Marantz’ signature HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) technology and features no less than 40—count ’em—of the firm’s HDAM S3 modules.