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Vegas - Signals Super-Fi and Eighth Nerve

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by Josh Ray on January 19 '06

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How can you not visit a room boasting the most expensive turntable in the world? Importer Signals Super-Fi brought out the big guns with their $90-120k Continuum Caliburn turntable and $35k Peak Consult Zoltan speakers. As you can see, the Zoltans aren't very large at all, appealing to people who want statement speakers without the statement size. Japanese Wavac provided the juice from their $69k 150 watt SET monos. Sadly, I didn't get much of a chance to hear the system - the room was packed and people were more interested in talking than listening.

A number of people raved about the sound, as one would expect, though most of the gossip swirled around the justifiability of such expensive components. If you're not aware, Stereophile gave the cover to Continuum for their January issue, causing all kinds of debate in the online forums and halls of CES. If one thing can be said about CES, it's that everyone has an opinion. I think I was one of the few people who didn't have a concrete view about anything other than "I can't afford that. Or that. Or that."

Interestingly, for a room on the extreme end of the price spectrum, room acoustic treatment was provided by a new company bringing low priced, easily configurable gear to market. Eighth Nerve's products start at $100 for a set of four triangular corners or wall seams (shown next page - yes, they come in other colors). The young and hip Nathan Loyer of Eighth Nerve told me about his special speaker placement method where speakers are positioned within a millimeter on axis of the listening position. The details of how it works is more complicated (obviously) but the science behind it sounds logical and people who have tried it say the results are anything but subtle. Check him out.

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