I don't know much about this turntable made in Germany, but it looked fantastic.
Woo Audio WA7 USB DAC headphone amplifier
Woo Audio's stunning new USB DAC/vacuum tube headphone amp, the WA7 ($777), with a solid-glass top piece was the best-looking product I saw at the show, regardless of price. It's still a few months away from production, but I can't wait for this one!
Magnepan's New MMG flat-panel speakers and flat woofer
Magnepan was demonstrating its new MMG speakers ($600 per pair), and a matching separate woofer. The three-piece system sounded luscious. If you don't live near a Magnepan dealer, you can buy the system from a dealer, and have Magnepan ship it directly to you for an in-home trial.
Sony MDR-1R headphones
Sony's Naotaka Tsunoda handed me a beautiful new headphone model, the MDR-1R ($299), that sounded remarkably clear and precise; he also had a neat little portable headphone amplifier. Seems like Sony's getting serious about making audiophile headphones!
Sonus Faber Venere 1.5 speakers
I've long admired Sonus Faber speakers for their sound and style. The made-in-Italy speakers boast Old World craftsmanship and stunning sound quality. The new Venere 1.5 speakers sounded fabulous.
I'm rarely impressed with speaker correction processors, but the DEQX-Mate is a special case. I've heard it work wonders with high-end speakers, but at the show the Mate radically transformed a cheap and awful speaker's sound into something semi-decent. If I hadn't heard it with my own ears, I wouldn't have believed such a thing was possible. The DEQX engineers must be doing something right!
These one-of-a-kind Audeze LCD 3 headphones were reworked by artist Special Technique.
Vivid Audio Giya G3 speaker
The Vivid Audio Giya G3 speaker's complex curves are a radical alternative to traditional box design and sound.
Music Hall Marimba speaker
Music Hall's rather plain-looking little monitor speaker, the Marimba ($349 a pair), sounded big and truly powerful. I have never heard that level of bass "slam" coming out of such a diminutive speaker; I can't wait to get it in for review.
Dynaudio Xeo wireless speakers
The Dynaudio Xeo wireless speakers are the real thing: true high-end speakers that just happen to be wireless. A phone or tablet loaded with tunes and a pair of bookshelf or tower Xeos is a complete hi-fi system. Dynaudio Xeo is, by far, the best-sounding wireless system I've heard.
Studio Electric Monitor
The Studio Electric Monitor may look retro, but the sound is definitely 21st century modern.
Ray Samuels A10 Thunderbolt II headphone amplifier
Ray Samuels Audio offers the widest range of portable and home headphone amplifiers in the business. Here's the company's seriously potent A10 Thunderbolt II ($6,500); I was also treated to the sounds of one of Ray's downright tiny integrated DAC/headphone amps, the Intruder. Prices start at $295.
SoundScape 8 speakers
The SoundScape 8 speaker looked gorgeous and sounded, as we audiophiles say, musical. The SoundScape 8 lets you forget the tech and enjoy the tunes.
Triangle Art Reference turntable
The Triangle Art Reference is the sort of turntable that'll stop you in your tracks. I didn't get to hear it, but it looked like a serious contender.
Thiel Audio CS2.7 speakers
This is a close-up of the new CS2.7 speaker's unique midrange/tweeter driver. Thiel has always excelled in making speakers that disappear as sound sources; the CS 2.7 was one of the more magical-sounding speakers at the show.
Todd the Vinyl Junkie headphone amplifier
That's Todd Green previewing his superskinny portable headphone amp; I'll be reviewing it soon.
Sanders Sound Systems electrostatic speakers
Roger Sanders built his first electrostatic speaker in 1972, and he's clearly learned a lot about sound over the past 30 years. For the ultimate in transparency, there's nothing better than 'stats.
Schiit Audio balanced headphone amp and digital converter
Schiit Audio makes some of my favorite desktop headphone amplifiers and digital-to-analog converters, and it has a radically new affordable product due in a few months.