CES: Highlights from Venetian Floor 30 – Electronics, Source Components, and Servers/Streamers

Solid-state power amplifiers,
Tubed power amplifiers,
Solid-state preamplifiers,
Tubed preamplifiers,
Integrated amplifiers,
Disc players,
Multi-format disc players,
Digital-to-analog converters,
Music servers and computer audio,

Moon by Simaudio
The Canadian firm Moon by Simaudio introduced a new, cost-reduced Neo series DAC called the Neo 280D ($2,200). The full-featured 280D sport seven digital inputs (one AES/EBU, two S/PDIF, two Toslink, one asynchronous USB, and on aptX Bluetooth input), and can decode PCM files at up to 32-bit/384kHz rates, or DSD files at up to DSD256 rates. The analogue section of the 280D features a fully balanced differential circuit.

One other desirable option is to add an eighth digital input in the form of Moon’s MIND network player module for an additional $800. Think of the 280D as the ‘Son of 380D’, but at a significantly more accessible price point.

As many of our readers know, NuForce has been sold to and is now under the management of the projector maker Optoma, but interestingly NuForce founder Jason Lim managed to acquire rights to the purist, high-end audio section of NuForce and has now re-cast the company under a new name: NuPrime.

Accordingly, NuPrime was showing three key new products. First was DAC-10H/DAC-10, which is—depending on configuration—either a powerful DAC/preamp or a DAC/preamp that can serve double-duty as a headphone amplifier ($1,495 - $1,795).

Next is the very impressive IDA-16 integrated amplifier/high-res DAC ($2,350), which puts out 200 Wpc and provides a DAC capable of handling up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM files and DSD files sampled a 2.8MH, 5.56MHz, and 11.2MHz).

Last but not least is the compact ST-10 stereo power amp ($1,595), which puts out a healthy 2 x 150 Wpc and is considered part of NuPrime’s Reference LE or (near-reference) line.

Peachtree Audio
Stepping forth in a (somewhat) new direction, Peachtree announced a family of new electronics separates collectively known as the Sona components.

At the front end of the system is an elegant and surprisingly compact sonaDAC ($1,500), which more accurately is a combination DAC/preamp.

Then, completing the package is the sonaAMP ($1,000), which is a sleek and also compact next generation Class D ICEpower power amplifier.

Primare showed two of its most ambition products to date (called the 60 series) in the form of its A60 power amplifier ($10,000) and PRE60 media preamplifier (that is, preamp/DAC), also priced at $10,000.

According to the US imported VANA Ltd., the traditionally modest styling of these Scandinavian Primare components gives little visual indication of the serious sonic prowess that lies within. Based on a too brief listening session, we’re inclined to take the man at his word on that point.

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