Steinway Lyngdorf chose CEDIA as its venue of choice for rolling out its very exotic new LS Concert speaker system (total stereo system price: ~$228,000/pair). Actually, calling the LS Concert package a “speaker” is somewhat misleading, since what Steinway Lyngdorf really offers could more accurately be called end-to-end music (and movie) playback systems, where Steinway Lyngdorf offers each of the building blocks from which the systems are comprised. Typical building blocks include: speaker modules, stereo and/or multichannel processor modules, all-digital stereo amplifier modules, and the firm’s signature RoomPerfect room EQ system.
The LS Concert, though, is a very special speaker module and one on which company founder Peter Lyngdorf has been working for a long time. It is a large, tall, slender, floorstanding dipole line source (hence the name “LS”) array comprised of 8 Heil-type AMT tweeter drivers and 15 5.25-inch mid-bass drivers. In typical systems, the LS Concert would be combined with available Steinway Lyngdorf bass modules to complete a full-range system.
For CEDIA, Steinway Lyngdorf showed the new LS Concert as part of a full-on Lyndorf surround sound system whose total price came in at (gulp!) a cool $480,000! Ah, but what a sound it produced. The LS Concert system sounded remarkably clean, precise, and well controlled, with pinpoint-precise imaging and downright shocking dynamics (actually, the most impressive I’ve yet heard from any speaker system, horn-loaded systems included). The LS Concert system was great fun to hear on action film movie clips, but really came into its own on a well-recorded high-res classical music demo, where it became easier to hear and appreciate the system’s terrific delicacy and finesse.
Sunfire took CEDIA 2102 as an opportunity to roll out of the smallest and most cool-looking subwoofers I’ve ever seen: the pint-sized Sunfire ATMOS subwoofer ($2000). OK, I exaggerated; the ATMOS is bigger that a pint container, but not by a whole lot since its enclosure measures only a little over eight inches per side. How much bass could such a small device produce? According to Sunfire, “the tiny ATMOS delivers performance superior to many 10” and 12” woofers.”
In concept, the ATMOS uses two very long-throw (up to a whopping 1.8-inch throw/driver) 6.5-inch bass drivers plus a huge amount of power (1400 watts) to accomplish what size alone cannot; namely, meaningful output (up to 106 dB) with low frequency extension down to 30Hz. But what’s with the name ATMOS? The name reflects the fact that internal pressures in the woofer’s tiny enclosure can be extremely high (up to 24.4 PSI or nearly two atmospheres of pressure). Not surprisingly, the pressures led Sunfire to create a beefy, solid aluminum enclosure for this little “pocket battleship” of a sub.
T + A Elektroakustik
The German firm T + A (yes, the company name seems a little, um, odd to English speakers, but it stands for “Theory and Application in the field of audio technology,” OK?) brought a very cool though somewhat unorthodox new home theater product to CEDIA: namely, a 3.1-channel Blu-ray player/receiver called the K2 Blu ($5750). The concept behind the K2 Blu is to provide a very high quality, versatile, all-in-one player/receiver system that’s suitable for high quality music or movie playback and specifically geared for applications where owners want high quality front (L/C/R + Sub) channels, but don’t have the space (or desire) to set up dedicated surround channels. (This is a fairly common requirement in Europe, but I suspect it’s an idea that could easily catch on here in the States, too).