CES and T.H.E. Show Report
Laufer Teknik (T.H.E. Show)
Laufer Teknik is the US distributor for
several high-end brands including Ascendo,
Behold, Halcyonics, and Podium. Laufer Teknik
is also a dealer for other brands. Many of
which were in service in their suite at The
St. Tropez. Pictured here are the Podium Sound
Model .5 and a Behold BPA768 amplifier sitting
on a Halcyonics (The Silencer) active
isolation platform. Prototype Bybee Wire
speaker cables and power cords were used. Not
pictured is a Behold APU768 preamplifier.
In appearance Podium Sound loudspeakers may
resemble ribbon or electrostatic speakers.
They are neither. Podium Sound loudspeakers
use transverse waves induced by a tapered
line-array to propagate sound through a
floating panel. The revised Model .5 has 95dB
efficiency and no crossover making it easy to
drive with either tube or solid-state
One of the
sources for the Podium Sound room was the Nova
Physics Memory Player sporting a new look and
a new owner. Laufer Teknik recently purchased
Nova Physics Group (now Nova Physics
Corporation) and is rapidly expanding
production to reduce the backlog of orders.
The original partners remain with the
corporation so we can expect the Memory Player
to continue on the leading edge of
performance. Clement's full review of the Nova
Physics Memory Player can be read
here while my follow-up commentary
Emerald Physics and Reference Audio Mods
Emerald Physics CS2 loudspeakers ($2995
including crossover) are an open-baffle dipole
design with a 100dB efficiency. The crossover
is DSP based (Behringer Ultradrive Pro DCX
2496). The active digital crossover provides
for some degree of room tuning but requires
bi-amplification. This very musical and highly
affordable loudspeaker is making big noise on
some audio forums.
The Emerald Physics loudspeakers were also
popular at CES and T.H.E. Show in 2008. I
heard them in three rooms. My favorite was the
Reference Audio Mods room. But then of course
I would choose the most expensive system.
Picture here is an Esoteric X-01 with the RAM
“unlimited” full battery powered mod package
($12,000 mod only). The batteries are housed
in attractive oak cabinets and the top of the
X-01 is replaced with a matching wood panel.
The preamplifier is an Audio Consulting Silver
Rock TVC with a battery powered buffer stage.
The amplifiers are modified PS Audio Trio
A-100s ($1500 each-includes amplifier and mods).
The Behringer Ultradrive Pro DCX 2496 digital
crossover is also modified ($1000 mod only).
Analysis Audio and Technical Brain Company
Analysis Audio reminds me so much of my
beloved Apogees both visually and sonically.
One of my favorite rooms was the 66” tall
Analysis Audio Omega loudspeakers ($18,000)
paired with Technical Brain Company TBP-Zero
monaural amplifiers (400Wpc @ 4-ohms) and a
TBC-Zero preamplifier. Analysis Audio speakers
have a planar magnetic woofer and a
direct-coupled midrange/tweeter ribbon. Their
impedance is 5-ohms and the sensitivity is
Technical Brain Company products must be
particularly ribbon friendly. Last year one of
my favorite rooms was the Technical Brain
Company electronics paired with an Apogee
Duetta (model not known). Technical Brain
products are not currently available in the US
but distribution plans are progressing.
Anthony Gallo Acoustics (CES)
The Reference 5LS loudspeaker ($17,995) is a
line array employing seven CDT II tweeters and
eight 4-inch carbon fiber (5” spherical
enclosures) midrange drivers both designed for
broad off-axis response. The tweeters and
midrange drivers are stacked in a vertical
alternating sequence to minimize phase and
dispersion issues that may occur with offset
driver designs. Twelve 4-inch, rear-firing,
aluminum subwoofer drivers are employed to
provide bass response that is claimed to be
faster and more transparent than possible with
a single large driver.
The 5LS loudspeakers can be driven by one,
two, or three amplifiers and can likewise be
bi- or tri-wired. The only crossover in the
speakers is for the woofers. That crossover
can be bypassed to use the LFE output of a
processor or the optional Anthony Gallo
Reference 3 S.A. amplifier ($990) which offers
volume, phase, and crossover adjustments.
The system at CES used the 5LS loudspeakers
with a McIntosh MCD201 SACD/CD player,
Reference 3 S.A. amplifier, and Spectron
Musician III Signature Edition amplifier. A
full review of the Spectron amplifier will
appear in The Stereo Times soon.