Anything exciting at CES?

I wasn't able to go this year. What caught your ear (or eyes) at CES? Is there anything that you'd consider a breakthrough product? And why?
We (my wife and I) really enjoyed the Acapella Campanile speakers (along with the Capitole CD player and Capitole amplifiers, Nirvana cables) in the Audio Aero room at the Tuscany. Very impressive dynamic response and the solidity of the soundstage were both head-and-shoulders above anything else we heard there (or anywhere else for that matter). The speaker has an ion tweeter, horns, and conventional cone speakers for the bass.

Wish we had also listened to the Venture "Caractere Diamond" speakers Gendut3 heard - sounds like another great, 'unknown' speaker.
It was my first experience at CES, and I learned a great deal about the audio scene.

#1: All in all, the sound is quite bad. But great sound hits you like a ton of bricks in comparison.

#2: There are two types of people in the audio industry. Great, cordial types who are really excited about their product, and then there are those who only care about the product they are selling and couldn't give a hoot about their customers or what anybody else thinks about their systems (Linn comes to mind).

3#: I had never heard Pipedreams before the show, and I hope I never hear them again. To quote a friend of mine, "they sound like exactly what they are...a million drivers trying to make the same sound in unison." It's like the difference between a solo trumpet and a very, very in tune trumpet section. The trumpet section may be playing exactly the same pitch, but I'll be damned if they sound like a single trumpet.

I had the pleasure of tagging around with Albert Porter for the majority of the trip, and we are in ABSOLUTE agreeance about the best sounds of the trip. It was a shame the Sound Labs room didn't sound as good as it could (you could almost HEAR the potential that wasn't happening), but there was some magic to be found (Kirksaeter was, by far, the most outrageously impressive sound (for the money) at BOTH shows.

CES seems like it's on the outs, and I'll probably end up only going to T.H.E Show next year. MUCH, MUCH better sound, nicer people, all in all a better feeling event. Cheers!

Albert- Ken is something ain't he? I was fortunate enough to have diner with him-among others- one evening, he is IMO like an artist that designes home audio products. He is very particular about the way things get done on his amps, and very blunt about telling you! A very funny and clever fellow, I one day would really enjoy a pair of his monoblocks in my system!
I wish I could have been .... sounds liked lots of new friends and a chance to meet those behind the monikers on A'gon.

Heard those Capellas at a dealer up here in TO last week; I wasn't too impressed, although the speakers were smooth in presentation and startling in their size. Looked like Grande Utopias with Avante Garde Duos grafted on the side.

Wish I was at the show ...maybe in '03. --Lorne
Lorne, I'd say Dunlavy SC5 or SC6's with, as you say, an Avantgarde horn grafted on the side :-)

If I may, can I ask why you "weren't impressed?", as we are considering ordering a pair of these...

The phenominal dynamics can be explained by the 4 large cone drivers and the horn - the Avantgarde also has terrific dynamic capabilities.

But the extraordinary solidity of the soundstage *might* be attributed to the ion tweeter (perhaps it is able to communicate the minute reflections of a singers voice off her arms and body) *or* it could have been the Capitole amplifiers (they do seem to make outstanding products).

Can I ask what equipment was driving the speakers when you heard them?

And (this is a funny question to ask) do you like the pipedreams? Some people (like the person (Brian) above) do not like them - so I can only conclude that whereas some people rely heavily on positional cues from their music (we are of this ilk: the solidity of the instruments is enough such that the thinking part of the mind is relieved of the task of reminding itself that there was originally a stage upon which there was a physical person making the music being listened to); others rely more heavily on other, different audible cues to piece together a pleasing musical experience.