CES: dCS Vivaldi stackdCS is certainly no stranger to the world of high performance digital. Their latest stack, the Vivaldi series, is dCS's best effort in all things digital yet. And what a Herculean effort it is. Weighing in at around the $100k mark if you get the entire setup, you'll get DSD and Double-DSD via USB, as well as dCS's best transport, etc. Is it all worth it? Who knows, alas, the sound is great and between you, me and the wall post, what's a $100k on a digital setup these days, when Ferrari's least expensive toy will set you back a measly $170k. Cheers to dCS!
CES: Playback Designs IMSPlayback Designs killed it yet again at CES 2013. Launching their often rumored "super integrated" amplifier, the IMS - Integrated Music System - Andreas Koch and Jonathan Tinn once again showed how its done. Like in years past, Andreas Koch showed his genius (he is the man behind today's DSD resurgence and efforts to standardize the industry behind it) by offering up an all-in-one integrated amplifier / DAC solution that has no equal. All you need is a pair of loudspeakers and you are set, quite literally. $11k screams affordability considering you get a world class integrated amplifier with 3 analog inputs and a built in USB DSD / Double-DSD DAC that will make your music shine. Wow. That's right!
Soulution of Swiss fame and fortune (that's referring to the fortune you'll need to buy their products…) was on display with JMLab Grande Utopia's, showing off their capabilities in full force. Large scale dynamic rock or symphonic sounds presented no problem whatsoever for this combo, then again, at the price point, it shouldn't! The electronics alone, ie. amps, pre-, and disc player came in at a cool $200k...