RMAF 2010

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 17, 2010 3 comments
The name sounds somewhat cold and diabolical, but the sound was quite inviting. Machined from a full solid slab of aluminum (FSS aluminum), this was the first time that the CRM reference monitors ($8000/pair) and prototype fully active CRS subs ($12,000) were played at a show. You'll note from the photo that, for height's sake, the CRM sits atop the not-auditioned CRG compact reference grand. The CRM has 84dB sensitivity and an impedance of 8 ohms, a response that extends from 45Hz to 20kHz, and claims a "technologically far ahead" crossover.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 17, 2010 0 comments
The pairing of Benchmark Audio and Studio Electric Loudspeakers had a new face, the Studio Electric Monitor ($2295/pair, or $2450/pair with handsome retro custom grill). With a frequency response of 44Hz–22kHz (±4 dB), the 6 ohm impedance two-way offers 87dB sensitivity. The sound was impressive and musical, inviting extended listening.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 17, 2010 3 comments
J. Gordon Rankin, always at the forefront at computer audio technology, had paired Wavelength's beautiful-sounding electronics with Vaughn Zinfandel loudspeakers and AudioQuest top-of-the-line Sky interconnects and Meteor speaker cables to create a system with an absolutely gorgeous midrange. That is no small accomplishment, folks.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 17, 2010 4 comments
Tweak Studio, the Genesis dealer in Washington state, paired the new Genesis G7.1f loudspeaker ($8000/pair) with the Balanced Audio Technology (BAT) Vk-3ix preamp and VK 55SE amp. The match was fortuitous, with the BAT's tubey midrange bringing out the loudspeaker's considerable best. Completing the partnership were the SOTA Sapphire Series 5 turntable ($2700) with SME 4 arm and Denon 103 cartridge; Kosmic server w/500GB hybrid storage ($2295) and a bunch of options; Absolute Fidelity Component Interface cable ($1800/pair), Loudspeaker Interface cables ($3000/pair); and Power Interface cables ($1800); and a host of Kosmic Equipment stands (the stand base shelf is $1600).
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 17, 2010 11 comments
Photograph: John Atkinson
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 17, 2010 7 comments
In his Avatar Acoustics room, Darren Censullo put together a system featuring a Feickert Analogue Blackbird turntable ($7495) with Feickert’s DFA 10.5 tonearm ($1000) and Lyra Kleos cartridge (review to come from Michael Fremer), Abbingdon Music Research (AMR) CD-77.1 CD player ($10,995), AMR PH-77 phono preamp ($11,995, recently reviewed by Michael Fremer and John Atkinson), and AMR AM-77.1 integrated amplifier ($9995). Speaker cables, interconnects, and power cords were Acoustic System International’s LiveLine ($995/1m interconnect; $2100/2.4m cable; $1195/1.8m power cord). The gear was supported by an Acoustic System 3-shelf rack ($3500) and Acoustic System International Top Line feet ($750). Power distribution came from an Avatar Acoustics Mach 4 ($1995) and Avatar Acoustics Afterburner 8 wall outlet ($80). Acoustic System International Resonators were carefully placed around the perimeter of the room, near where the walls met the ceiling.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 15, 2010 Published: Oct 16, 2010 0 comments
In his Jumping Cactus room, James Harrell has put together a very fun system, and one that promises to be unlike anything else here in Denver.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 16, 2010 0 comments
Jason Victor Serinus got the scoop on Mistral, represented in the US by California’s Napa Acoustic, at the AXPONA show earlier this year. I was just as impressed by the looks of the little 40Wpc Mistral MM-4 SE integrated amplifier ($699). It reminded me a lot of the Shanling MC-30 Music Center.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 16, 2010 7 comments
Photo: John Atkinson
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 16, 2010 19 comments
The sound was so full, so all encompassing, and so natural in the small Magico room (Tower 9022) that I doubt I'll encounter another display at RMAF that will top it. Certainly on the first day of the show, the sound achieved by (pictured, left to right) Tim Marutani of Marutani Consulting (Emeryville, CA), Alon Wolf of Magico, and Maier Shadi of The Audio Salon (Los Angeles) was so satisfying that it topped anything else I heard on Day One by a long shot. A very long shot.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 16, 2010 0 comments
After years of searching for the right speakers to match deHavilland electronics, Kara Chaffee of Vancouver, WA has happily alighted on the ultra-efficient Sonist line. It's a wonderful match.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 16, 2010 0 comments
That's sure how it felt when I waded through the mob at the registration table. Graced by the presence of William Togno, a fellow member of the San Francisco Bay Area Audiophile Society, the registration table was swamped a good 90 minutes before the show opened on Friday. There were so many people packing into the elevators to the five floors of exhibits in the Denver Marriott Tech Center Tower that the elevator frequently refused to move; when it finally got up the courage to ascend, it alighted on each floor with a huge thump. Scary.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 15, 2010 Published: Oct 16, 2010 0 comments
Win Analog’s S Series-833 100W monoblock power amplifier (in the rear of this image) was designed to be “a statement product, both sonically and visually,” sales director John Dark explained. The amps measure 18” x 24” x 19” and weigh 200lbs. Its aluminum chassis panels are CNC-milled, 0.375” thick. That colossal tube in the center of the chassis is an RCA 833, originally employed as a radio transmitter. Dark says it was chosen here for its “very, very liquid sound.”
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 16, 2010 0 comments
Sjofn HiFi made a big splash at our Home Entertainment 2007 show with the Guru loudspeaker, and the company hopes to attract greater attention with their new monitor, “the clue.” I walked into the room just as a thunderous bass note was struck. “Whoa,” I thought to myself as I took the last remaining seat in the packed demo. The little Sjofn speakers ($999/pair) were partnered with electronics from Norway’s impressive Hegel: CDP4A CD player ($4500) and the 200Wpc H200 integrated amplifier ($5000). The system was small, but it produced nothing but big, room-filling sound. There was that well-controlled, thunderous bass and startlingly quick transients.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 16, 2010 0 comments
DSPeakers are active designs with built-in Anti-Mode room correction. We listened to the smaller Servo 300 speaker ($3500) with a Resolution Audio CD player, and, just as in Montreal, I was surprised by the small system’s big sound and bold bass. Also on display were DSPeaker’s standalone Anti-Mode correction units, the 8033 C ($350) optimized for home theater applications and the two-input 8033 S ($450) for stereo systems.

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