dCS introduced their new T8e CD/SACD transport with built-in DSD upsampling for RedBook playback. The dual-laser pickup mechanism is coupled to a precision VCXO clock generator, with the word clock i/o ports via BNC and the DSD interface on 2 x IEEE1394s. The PCM digital outputs are on AES3 and S/PDIF. Pricing is 5,500 British pounds, US pricing should be ascertained via importer Audiophile Systems.

DeVore Fidelity showed their new all-wood versions of the Gibbon 3 and Super 8 and teamed up the Silverback Reference with Simaudio's latest which includes a new fully balanced CD player and equally balanced integrated amplifier.

Vinh Vu's latest Gingko Audio venture is the Dana Swing platform which uses tension-adjustable suspension via Nylon fishing line and can be used in conjunction with his existing Cloud platforms.

Gutwire from Canada meanwhile showed the $4,000 Maxon Xtreme AC line conditioner milled from aircraft-grade aluminum and containing, among other ingredients, natural minerals like SiO2, Tourmaline, Peridot and microcrystalline quartz. Their effect is similar to Shakti's invention and, undisclosed, has been used for years in another very popular line of powerline filters. Gutwire also showed a massive locking strain relief that bolts atop a power wall outlet to grip the power cord and prevent weight-induced torque as well as accidental power loss from disconnects [lower right].

HeadRoom's Tyll Hertsen walked the Hilton's highways and byways with his newest portable rig, using an iRiver's digital Toslink output to drive his own DAC and headphone amp. His guerilla marketing blitz paid off huge dividends. He'd simply capture the ears of unsuspecting walker-bys with his Sennheiser HD650. Invariably, initial effrontery was quickly replaced by huge smiles and, in many instances, uttered surprise over how friggin' fenomenal a superior $1,000 total headphone rig can sound (especially if you just exited an overly loud obnoxious home theater dem). Tyll's line-up at his Bozeman/ Montana digs has been completely overhauled as has his corporate identity, company logo and website (new one to go up by May 16th). Tyll gets it. Audio is fun and needn't be expensive to be way good if you subtract the room and sweet spot from the equation. Way to go, cool dude. No more "obsessive headphone geeks" though - HeadRoom's new slogan is "right between the ears". Sounds like a bull's eye hit to me.

Seemingly compelled to continue perpetration of the commercial foe from the East archetype, Hyperion Sound introduced their new $2,800/pr HT88 Class A tube monoblocks with 18 watts of twin KT88 power driven by 12AX7 and 12AT7 small-signal valves. The BP200 is a balanced isolation transformer power cord with potted tranny and 15dB of claimed line noise reduction. Asked how they keep their families from revolting over minuscule pay checks, Albert Wu explained that Hyperion's real business is in the custom install in-wall speaker field. That's what subsidizes their HighEnd division and allows them to charge far less than would otherwise be mandatory to stay afloat. Sun Tzu indeed.

Innersound played master tapes to excellent effect and showed off their bank-vault electronics and latest electrostats.

Preempting room boom from having to orient their smaller system on the short wall, a Rives Audio analog equalizer notch-filtered the three most offending room modes.