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Christmas Gift Guide

High-end audio at CES 2014

Audio Artistry CBT36

Audio Artistry CBT36

Arcam FMJ A49

Music Hall's new turntable

Creek/Epos/Music Hall system

She's sung, it's all over

Like a boss

D'Agostino/Vienna Acoustics

Genesis

Meridian DSP-7200 SE

Winamp shows its face at CES 2014

Old-school CD players

Eclipse desktop speakers

Eclipse desktop speakers

Eclipse TD712zMK2

AMG turntable and cartridge

As part of CES 2014, high-end hi-fi manufacturers took up the top floors of The Venetian to display their wares. From $200 Bluetooth receivers to speakers that require a mortgage on the house the full breadth of the hi-fi hobby was on show.

It wouldn't be a hi-fi show without something truly unusual and this is it: Parts Express' $2,000 line-array kit speaker, the Audio Artistry CBT36. Inventor Don Keele was on hand and he explained that the speaker was derived from military research on underwater speakers. See those silver things along the edge? They're tweeters...72 of them!

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The speakers come unfinished as part of a DIY kit, but the example on show was professionally powder-coated in an auto workshop. You can opt to receive the speakers assembled or assembled and finished for an extra charge.
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Here the CBT36 speaker is paired with a subwoofer.

Keele said the speaker was also used in professional applications -- such as in a house of worship -- where its wide dispersion and consistent coverage regardless of distance were particularly effective.
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There are several unusual things about British company Arcam's new $5,000 amplifier, the FMJ A49. Firstly it's made in the US, and secondly, though it looks like the company's AV receivers, it's analog stereo only. The company says the new irDAC ($699) is well up to the task of converting digital sources, or you could step up to the big-daddy D33 DAC ($3,200).
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Not everything at the show cost tens of thousands of dollars. The MiniBlink from Arcam is an Aptx Bluetooth streaming dongle that will set you back a comparatively reasonable $199.
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While most Music Hall turntables are named a mixture of numbers and letters, the company has taken the naming tack of its Marimba speakers with its latest table. The $1,195 Ikura turntable features an eye-catching gloss-white plinth and platter.
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One of the more affordable options on show at the Venetian hotel was this combo of the Music Hall Ikura turntable, Creek's Evolution CD/DAC ($1,495) and amplifier ($1,195), and Epos K2 speakers ($1,750).
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The Brodmann Festival Shelf speakers feature side-firing woofers and here are powered by a Thrax system. As in most demo rooms at CES 2014, the source was a Macintosh (or PC) running audio software.
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With hints of the Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus speaker, this is the Morel Fat Lady at a cool $34,000 per pair.
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The ELAC FS407 "Boss Edition" for $7,000.
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Vienna Acoustics' The Music speakers running off a pair of the new D'Agostino Momentum mono amplifiers ($55,000 a pair).
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The special-edition Meridian is available in a variety of finishes (including gold) for $35,000.
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In a prescient move given its reprieve today by Radionomy, this combination of PrimaLuna electronics and Sonus Faber speakers was driven by a copy of Winamp.
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Across town at the Gibson stand, and in keeping with the "Back to the Future" theme, the company was displaying some old-school hi-fi components that included this CD deck. The Onkyo Integra C-1E CD player was made between 1992 and 1994 and cost around $1,700 US at the time. Not even Rega makes them like this anymore.
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Though they've been available in Europe and Japan for many years, the Eclipse line of speakers is finally coming to the US.
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The first Eclipse speaker available in the US will be the wireless TD-M1 for $1,300.
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The top-of-the-line Eclipse TD712zMK2.
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Another view of the Eclipse TD712zMK2.
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The Teatro titanium body cartridge ($2,000) was AMG's newest exhibit at the show, shown here on the company's gorgeous V12 turntable ($15,000).
Caption by / Photo by Ty Pendlebury/CNET
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