CES & THE Show 2014 • Hot Product

A prototype of the Kondo Kagura was displayed at last year's CES. This year brought the finished version of this substantial 211-based monoblock, the most powerful amplifier the company has ever built. Although it has the same power rating as the previous range topper, the Gakuon, the massive nature of the Kagura's power supply means that it is considerably better at driving real-world loudspeakers.

To illustrate this point, Kondo used B&W 801D loudspeakers in its system, a speaker that's known as being a tough load. The Kagura's power supply contains custom-made paper-in-oil capacitors of the metal-canned variety alongside four C-core choke coils. The actual signal-amplifier section forms no more than 20% of the volume of this 136-pound monoblock, but it contains a large new-generation pure-silver coupling capacitor. The name Kagura apparently means music for God, which makes its heavenly price of $198,000 per pair more understandable.

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