With all the ultra-high-end gear displayed at CES 2009, it’s easy to lose sight of some of the great bargains that were also showcased. Following are the TAS Editors' and Reviewers' picks for the “Biggest Bargain” at CES 2009.
For full audio coverage of CES 2009, see the new issue of The Absolute Sound.
ROBERT HARLEY: Vincent has upgraded the outstanding SV-236 hybrid integrated amp with higher-quality parts and an increase in power from 100Wpc to 150Wpc—and kept the price at $1999.
JONATHAN VALIN: Ole Lund Christensen’s $19.9k Amphion Krypton 2, which is said to use Gradient-like technology to take the room out of the equation and seemed to do just that. Remarkable.
NEIL GADER: The all leather-clad Toy Series from Sonus Faber brings the Italian maker’s classic sonics to a small home theater or the desktop. Live like a Medici for a few macaroni.
ALAN TAFFEL: Though not a new product, the Definitive Technologies Mythos STS speaker ($3000/pr.) continues to amaze in its ability to capture the ease and space of a modern-day Quad.
CHRIS MARTENS: George Kaye’s magnificent Moscode 402Au power amp ($6500), which takes you about as close as you can get to the sound of the great “unobtanium-class” amplifiers, for a pennies-on-the-dollar price.
DICK OLSHER: LA Audio Electronics M-1 integrated amp at $260. A dynamite multimedia amplifier.
STEVEN STONE: Joseph Audio Pulsar speakers. Sure, $7000 a pair isn’t cheap, but in terms of sonic value the Pulsars keep up with far more expensive competition. They will also fit in a real-world-sized room while performing at their maximum potential.
JIM HANNON: Direct-to-disc recordings from DirectGrace records and IsoMike DSD recordings not only sound amazing, but all proceeds go to great social causes (rescuing children, helping music students).