One of my new favorite speakers at the show comes from the new kid on the block, Salagar Speakers. Their Symphony S210 monitors, at $7999, sounded so good, they're taking home the SonicFlare Superstar award for top Precise-type room.
Other than the funky shape, the Salagar S210s feature a bevy of technology. First of all, they're powered with double 200 watt ICEpower modules nestled inside the jellybean enclosures and mated directly to the drivers. Additionally, the speakers feature an "active digital crossover/controller" called X-ACT. X-ACT processes inbound signals at 24bits/96KHz and digitally splits the signal between the 1" tweeter and 10" woofer. X-ACT also features simple room correction controls for tweaking the bass.
The speaker construction and build quality is first rate. Color options are as wide as the rainbow and you can, if you dare, order the front baffles dressed up in leather, 24k gold or mother-of-pearl.
The rest of the system included only the E.A.R. Acute CD player ($5500) with integrated volume control. This system, with just a source and speakers, is as simple as they come and the sound was excellent in part because of the simplicity. Everything is made to work together harmoniously, and the sound was fast and powerful with all the Precise-type qualities but with a touch of warmth. Really great stuff.
Almost as interesting as the speakers is the company behind it. Salagar showed with a double room and I had a chance to speak to both the designers, the marketing man and a variety of other people in the company. Salagar isn't a mom-and-pop operation, but a strong company run by some very intelligent and savvy gents. Keep an eye out for these guys as they quickly expand their product line.