LATEST ADDITIONS

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 16, 2014 7 comments
The big news—the really big news at RMAF—was the "before winter" US launch of five-year old Tidal of Oslo's full CD-quality, (lossless 1411kbps) music streaming service. Demonstrated in a fine sounding room with Electrocompaniet equipment, the sound was convincingly good when we cued up a track from pianist Leif Ove Andsnes' recording of Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto. (More on the sound in another blog, where Hegel was using Tidal's service to source music for their room.)
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Herb Reichert Posted: Oct 16, 2014 1 comments
Entering the PS Audio room, I felt like a Yankee fan waiting to meet Derek Jeter. I got to speak with audio legends, Paul McGowan (PS Audio), Arnie Nudell (Infinity/Genesis), and one of my old-school engineering heroes, Bascom King (Audio magazine). And . . . I got to hear vintage audio-salon chestnuts like the Eagles' Hotel California, played through a NOS pair of Infinity IRS Beta speakers. (If they were mine, I would have got their designer Arnie Nudell to sign them right there on the spot!) Getting to hear an old song played through vintage speakers via brand new, leading-edge electronics seemed very revealing of how far we've come and where we are now—design-wise and audio aesthetic-wise.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 15, 2014 7 comments
For John Atkinson, Michael Fremer (above, eating up a rare platter), and myself, RMAF 2014 ascended to a higher dimension with the opportunity to compare pristine pressings of three tracks on original Beatles stereo LPs with their mono equivalents in the new Beatles mono box set. To say that the stereos, which were provided by music lover Shane Buettner of Brinkmann USA and Vandersteen, paled before mono remasters is an understatement. The stereo tracks sounded like a hack job embarrassment.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 15, 2014 5 comments
It was no surprise that PSB/NAD had one of the best-sounding rooms at the show. PSB's new Imagine T3 loudspeakers (about $7000/pair, available by the end of this year) sounded both natural and dynamic. They each have three 7.25" woofers operating in a cabinet less than 2 cubic feet in volume. That would appear to be too small to properly load three woofers—until you hear them. A 5.25" midrange and a selected version of PSB's well-known 1" titanium-dome tweeter round out the driver complement.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 15, 2014 0 comments
My biggest surprises at RMAF were delivered by lower-priced systems that sounded mind-blowingly good. One of the biggest delights came from the new Emerald Physics EP-X three-way dynamic dipole loudspeakers ($1795/pair, or $2595/pair in the marbleized Rosewood finish shown in the photo). These small floorstanders, which were designed by Mark Schifter in collaboration with Dan Mullins, have a sensitivity of 93dB, and an amazing frequency range of 34Hz–20kHz. Shown at T.H.E. Show in prototype form, they made their formal production debut at RMAF.
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John Atkinson Posted: Oct 14, 2014 0 comments
I have always thought it important for audio shows to feature live music, so showgoers can recalibrate their ears. Thanks to Ray Kimber, who flew in Canadian pianist Robert Silverman, RMAF attendees could do just that. Robert, who had recorded the complete Mozart sonatas on SACD for Ray's IsoMike label a couple of years back and who also appeared on five Stereophile CDs, performed a series of mini-concerts on Saturday and Sunday, as well as a full recital Saturday evening.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Oct 14, 2014 3 comments
Many times, I've said these shows are really about people, learning—and secret club—gear-head fun! I believe visiting rooms, listening for a short while and then assigning absolute virtue and value is fool's play. But! But! But! Early the last morning of the show I got a call from Steve Guttenberg raving about the sound in the Linkwitz Lab's room. Immediately, I threw on my pants and went there to investigate.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Oct 12, 2014 6 comments
Like all audio shows, the talk in the halls in Denver is feverish and typically centers on, "So? What have you heard that was good?" And, "Who's room do you like the most?" But, just so it doesn't get too goody goody this wild boy-toys enthusiasm is always seasoned with a bit of dodgy gossipy critique: "Do you believe so and so is showing such and such?" And, "To me it sounded like over priced crapola!" Or more commonly, "At that price it better sound good."

Let me say now, I try my best to avoid all of the above . . .

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 12, 2014 4 comments
Even in a world where a five-figure price tag for a pair of loudspeakers is no longer a jaw-dropper, Raidho Acoustics' has carved out an honored place. I've been impressed by the company's small C1.1 speakers in the past. This year the D-1s were on show ($26,000/pair, including stands), driven by Constellation electronics. They made a bit less of an impression this time, but in a very different, and likely problematical room and what appeared to be excessive spacing that limited soundstage cohesion. This sort of setup was an issue in some of the other, larger demo spaces as well, probably in an attempt to offer a good listening compromise in a large seating area.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 12, 2014 4 comments
When I entered room 1102, Greg Roberts of Volti Audio was in the midst of describing the Volti Audio 3-way Vittora system, complete with separate Extended Low Frequency cabinet ($25,000/five-piece set) that kicks in below 50Hz. In the familiar pairing with BorderPatrol Audio Electronics' S20 ESC + EXS dual-mono parallel 18Wpc SET amplifiers ($25,750/pair with new EXS power supply units), EXT1 triode line stage ($12,500), and USB DAC ($975); and Triode Wire Labs cabling, the system scored as another midrange winner . . . perhaps too much of a winner for some tastes, given that the exceptionally smooth midrange seemed to dominate the frequency extremes.

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