RMAF 2012

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 3 comments
I ran into Avatar Acoustics’ Darren Censullo, who was buzzing with enthusiasm and excitement over the new i-Fi Micro line of components. And rightfully so.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 3 comments
Jason Victor Serinus also mentioned that Rega has released their popular RP6 turntable with a new Union Jack finish. Here’s a closer look.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 3 comments
Jason Victor Serinus has already discussed the products shown by Gingko Audio, but here’s a closer look at VPI’s Traveler turntable with Gingko’s Cloud 9T vibration-control platform ($349) and dust cover ($279).
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 5 comments
I had thought things were pretty fancy over in Musical Surroundings’ Crestone Peak room, but nothing could have prepared me for what Apex Audio had set up in the Blanca Peak:
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 5 comments
The people from TweekGeek (“Funny Name, Serious Audio”) have a great thing going. They’re starting the Knights of the Listening Room, “a group of friends where audiophiles can share their audio systems…”
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 3 comments
On the Mezzanine Level, in the Crestone Peak room, Musical Surroundings put together an audacious, high-aspirations system:
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 3 comments
Odyssey Audio products are proudly handmade in the US and sold factory-direct. The system I heard consisted of Odyssey’s Kismet Reference loudspeakers ($3500/pair), Stratos stereo amplifier ($1400), Candela preamp ($1500), Suspiro MC/MM phono stage ($1200), Groneberg cables, and a 15-year-old VPI turntable.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 3 comments
John Atkinson insisted that this cowbell had something to do with his daily seminar on recorded sound, but I suspect that he, like most people at RMAF, was just having a good time.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 4 comments
John Atkinson told me I should go see SOTA’s Donna Bodinet, so I did, and this is what I found: SOTA’s Series II Moonbeam turntable ($800 with S100 tonearm and Ortofon OM5E phono cartridge).
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 0 comments
In the AudioQuest room, I was treated to a course on the Powers of Network Attached Storage. It wasn’t really a course and it wasn’t really called that, but it could have been. AudioQuest’s Steve Silberman is convincing. And I am now convinced that, when the time comes for me to dive into computer audio and other digital waters, I’ll seriously consider a NAS for my needs.

While Silberman has found success with several different NAS devices, on display in the AQ room was Synology’s powerful DS712+, which Silberman says is highly reliable, has a very friendly user interface, and never compromises the performance of his system.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 17, 2012 14 comments
Although I was only able to stay long enough to snap a few photos and hear moderator Ken Kessler’s (Hi-Fi News) downer of an introduction, Friday evening’s post-show panel included, from left to right, HiFi Plus editor Alan Sircom, recording engineer Peter McGrath of Wilson Audio Specialties, Kathy Gornick of Thiel Audio, Michael Fremer of Stereophile and AnalogPlanet.com, Roy Hall of Music Hall and "why don’t you join me for a shot," and Kessler himself. Dan D’Agostino of D’Agostino, Inc., founder of and former designer at Krell, turned up after I had shot my photo.

John Atkinson adds: Kessler’s thesis was the high-end audio industry is dying by its own hand; that if it is to continue to exist, let alone thrive, high-end audio has to emulate the example of the luxury watch, pen, and car industries...

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 3 comments
Wavelength Audio and Vaughn Loudspeakers teamed up for a sound that may have lacked the bass impact and scale of other systems I heard at RMAF, but that was coherent, relaxed, and very easy to enjoy.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 2 comments
Eficion’s distinctly shaped F250 loudspeaker ($9950/pair) combines an Air Motion Transformer tweeter with a 5” carbon-fiber midrange unit and a 10” woofer. The speaker has a high specified sensitivity of 90db and a frequency range of 30Hz–35kHz.

The speakers were partnered with Plinius (“The Heart of Music”) gear: the 125Wpc, Class-A SA-103 power amplifier ($10,125), M8 preamplifier ($5150), and Tiki 24/96-compatible networking DAC ($4775).

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 12 comments
I wanted to better understand what I was hearing in the PranaFidelity/Musical Concepts room, so I asked PranaFidelity’s Steven Norber to tell me about his design philosophy.

Norber said something very interesting:

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2012 3 comments
Merlin Music Systems’ Bobby Palkovic is having a better time than ever, and you could tell by the sound in his room, which was remarkably tuneful, engaging—neither too forward nor too laidback—and, most of all, fun.

“I like to take things to an end, and now I’ve gotten to a point where I’m beyond happy,” Palkovic said of his Master VSM loudspeaker ($13,600/pair), which are now wired with Cardas Clear cable.

Adding to Palkovic’s pleasure is his new relationship with digital music:

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