Caelin Gabriel of Shunyata Research introduced his new Orion speaker cable which employs an even lower aggregate gauge of their patented double-helix weave than his previous best effort. In collaboration with Hubbell, Shunyata also offers an in-wall power duplex that's been gussied up with larger contact patches and their own Venom metallurgy to increase performance.

Because my wife is ethnic despite her Brooklyn upbringing, we found ourselves commenting on the lack of non-Anglo manufacturers at the CES. One shining example of black rather than white hipness occurred in the TBI Sound room where miniature monitors plus Jan Plummer's famous Magellan subwoofers did the hippety-hop and Funk to perfection. It caused Ivette to request my Daraa J South-African HipHop/Salsa/Rap track from their Boomerang release at boogilicious levels. The TBI gents grooved to the tune with get-down dance moves and hadn't we been pressed for time, we'd probably set up camp here for a lot longer. This was one of those cheap and cheerful systems like Gallo's which are all too rare at these events.

Karl of Ultimate Monitor fame had contacted 6moons prior to the CES with a review request of his very expensive d' Appolito 1st-order series two-way. None of our writers in attendance felt comfortable to embrace this prospective assignment without bias, hence we'll let another publication handle this product. To do properly, it requires a writer who can accept the underlying design goal and associated pricing without flinching.

Wadia claimed to have finally weathered its protracted relaunch and showed three digital engines starting with the 302 Series 3 based on a Philips VAE-1250 transport, DigiMaster 3.1 up-sampling 24-bit resolution and digital remote volume in one-hundred 0.5dB steps.

Fred Law of Walker Audio and Lloyd Walker had tweaked their Proscenium Gold Reference turntable to tango smoothly with Talon Audio's new NightHawk speakers.

Gordon Rankin of Wavelength Audio collaborated with Cain & Cain and showed his new Napoleon V3 mono blocks and the new Ultimate Series preamp based on a 100% silver output transformer and the WE437A valve, this unit replete with digital processing (USB, Caffeine 2.0 SPDIF with BNC & Toslink; below with external power supply).

Yoshi Segoshi of Sakura Systems debuted his Hotei speaker system [$12,000/pr] that employs a resistively-loaded white 9" polymer cone as filter-less fullrange transducer. That's mated at 20kHz to a 2.5" ribbon with a 6dB slope. 92dB sensitivity, 5-ohm nominal impedance and dimensions of 44" H x 15" W x 14.5" D complete the specs.

Meanwhile Yamada-San of Zanden Audio confided that he's fixed what's wrong with SACD (presumably the HF phase errors due to the aggressive noise shaping required in this format) and plans to launch his own SACD player. A CD mat is also in the works that he promises has silly-obvious effects on RedBook playback.

With Primedia's Ultimate AV Magazine migrating exclusively to the Internet (the January issue was the last installment in print), I was surprised to see Marja & Henk hand me a copy of Holland's newest audio print magazine ViFi. I was even more surprised to discover that they had attended CES under the banner of six different publications (all of which they write for). If I felt blessed to have them on staff before, I now feel doubly blessed that we benefit from their extensive activities in the industry. This includes a forthcoming interview with Charles Van Oostrum of Kharma and his newest statement project which reportedly includes growing his own diamond tweeters in a petri dish.

In Jacob George's Rethm room, I also was fortunate to meet Danko Suvar, technical editor for HiFiMedia. HiFiMedia is an audio print mag based out of Croatia. This discovery demonstrated nicely how the audiophile virus is alive and well and spreading all over the globe.

When Jacob suggested that he might know an Indian reviewer who could be interested to contribute to the moons, I was ecstatic. After all, ours is an international community. I'd love to see us expand yet further to incorporate audio commentary even from truly remote locales of our planet.

This now concludes my little coverage - but not before I introduce you to the coolest new affordable performance tweak compliments of Isoclean Power from Hong Kong: Audio-grade 24K gold-plated fuses that will replace the junk that's currently in your electronics. 5 x 20mm sizing is available in 1A, 1.6A, 2A, 2.5A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6.3A, 8A and 10A values; 6 x 31.8mm fuses are available in 1A, 1.6A, 2A, 2.5A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A, 8A, 10A, 12A and 15A values. Don't believe fuses which carry high electrical currents make a difference? I know designers who, stuck with what was available prior to Isoclean, listened to tons of fuses and even determined which direction to put them in. Though I wasn't able to get pricing on these replacement fuses, it couldn't possibly amount to much. It thus just might be the cheapest tweak spotted this year.

To augment all the rooms, makers and equipment I missed, you should also follow the show coverage of the SoundStage! network, Positive Feedback, AudiogoN, Audio Asylum, Ultimate AV, Stereophile and The Absolute Sound. Jim Saxon who enjoyed a loose association with 6moons has found a new home with Onhifi.Com which was recently vacated by Wes Phillips. Look for his contributions there in the near future. And that's it for Sin City 2005 in these pages. If you want some reading material that will really equalize your priorities in a hurry, google for Yellowstone Super Volcano. Read up on animals fleeing the area, ground temperatures rising viciously and subterranean pressure building up from beneath. If this super volcano explodes during our life times, its forecast impact radius of 600 miles will send ash and sulfuric oxide into the atmosphere to render certain areas without sunshine for years. With Santa Fe at the edge of the predicted impact zone, 6moons might get wiped out as well. So enjoy our coverage of fine -- but utterly non-essential -- audio while it lasts. Remember to only take the important things in life serious. Audio definitely does not apply there.