The Nova Audio speaker lineup from second largest to smallest -- Rendition, Applause, Bravo and Ovation. The Applause ($4990 per pair) were in use next door in an all-Conrad-Johnson system. SoundStage! reviewed the Renditions after last year's CES; look for reviews of the other three models in the upcoming months.
Shown for the first time at HI-FI '98, Birdland's Odéon Mk2 24-bit/96kHz DAC ($3500) with multiple inputs and outputs. It can be used as a passive linestage for non-digital sources.
The Christian Ltd. Axis speaker ($4000 per pair) with Bass Cube ($2400 per pair) are part of a five-piece system along with the company's LA2C active crossover ($1700). The system has a claimed 91dB efficiency.
Audio Aero's Capitole CD player ($6650) has its circuit board and transport mechanism suspended on a wooden subchassis and features a tube output stage with volume control. The internal Trichord Clock 3 circuit is said to virtually eliminate jitter.
Sold direct with 30-day return privileges, the Placette Audio Dual Mono Active Line-Stage preamplifier (bottom, $3000-$4000 depending on options) features 126-step attenuators and a headphone output that, according to designer Guy Hammel, is "very, very good." The small Placette passive Remote Volume Control (on top shelf, $1000) seems perfect for a one-source system.
The 95dB-efficient Rosinante Gabriel loudspeaker ($14,000 per pair) sounded very fine driven by an Art Audio Diavolo amplifier. The RoomLens (right) by Argent Cable is a room-acoustic device whose base is made out of the DarkMatter material developed for the Rosinante loudspeaker.
G & D Transform's new UCD-2 CD player ($2395) features a faceplate made of a composite material and specially optimized clock with less than 5ps of jitter.
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