Our concluding pass at the electronics round-up of T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2014 shows that although there is a lot of very expensive audio in the world today, there’s still a lot at slightly more breathable atmospheric levels, many of such devices sound really, really good too. It’s easy for us all to get carried away at the yacht-sized prices, but for those of us without a gas pipeline to fund our audio habits, there’s still good things to find.
Hegel showed three very nice amplifiers in the fully Scandiwegian Antuz and Raidho room. Hegel’s $2,650 CDP2A CD player was fed into the $2,900 P20 preamp, and then to the company’s entry-level 200W H20 stereo power amplifier at $4,750.
Melody Audio was one of the first all-Chinese brands to break the mainstream. It’s easy to see why with products like the $13,599 per pair MN845 monos, that are capable of 150W in Class A
It’s one of the UK’s best-loved preamps – the Music First Audio passive magnetic Baby Reference is available for $7,790 in its standard guise, and remarkably can even come with a remote for $8,590. That’s quite a feat for a passive preamplifier.
A firm favourite on the UK audio scene, Naim Audio’s range of electronics needs no introduction, but sometimes some explanation. This black box collection included NDS streamer at the top and its 555PS power supply at the bottom of the stack, with a SuperNait 2 integrated amplifier, with its half-sized HiCap power supply, a half-sized Superline phono stage (for the Well-Tempered Amadeus GT) and its own separate half-sized HiCap power supply, and somewhere else in the room a half-sized 2TB UnitiServe hard disk server. Phew!