RMAF 2011

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 19, 2011 1 comments
Wilson Audio Specialties Sasha loudspeakers, D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Momentum monoblock power amplifiers, Transparent Audio cables, and Peter McGrath handling the tunes via an iPad and Meridian Sooloos MC200 media center. I heard a very similar system in a shoebox of a room at the California Audio Show earlier this year. What a difference a room makes!
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 19, 2011 3 comments
Speaking of affordable, high-quality audio, The Sound Organisation was showing Rega’s new Fono Mini moving-magnet phono stage with USB output ($175). I want one.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 18, 2011 0 comments
Though there were plenty of new Emotiva components on display—and 27 more in the pipeline!—the story here wasn’t as much about products as it was people. Emotiva’s Dan Laufman has never been happier.

“I spent so much of my life doing things I didn’t want to do. Now that I’m doing what I love, it feels like I’m living a dream.”

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 18, 2011 5 comments
As we can tell from Michael Lavorgna’s awesome reporting over at AudioStream, computer audio was very hot indeed at RMAF, but there were still lots of old-fashioned vinyl enthusiasts to be found digging through the old-fashioned crates for old-fashioned music.
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John Atkinson Posted: Oct 18, 2011 0 comments
Their politically incorrect poster may have raised some hackles, but it has to be admitted that Odyssey was making some great sounds in their room at RMAF. Klaus Bunge was showing off the Kismet Reference Monitor standmounts ($2500/pair including stands), which use a Scanspeak beryllium-dome tweeter, driving the speakers with the two-chassis Odyssey Reference Line amplifier ($3500), which combines a tubed input stage with solid-state output. I listened to that old audiophile classic, Radka Toneef singing Jim Webb's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," and the tangibility and solidity of the imaging was to be marveled at, given that wide-baffle speakers tend not to throw a stable, well-defined soundstage.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 18, 2011 0 comments
The JH Audio booth was always busy with eager listeners. Read John Atkinson's review of the company's top-of-the-line JH16 Pro.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 18, 2011 0 comments
Despite their size, the Dynaudio Confidence C2 Signature loudspeakers ($15,000/pair) managed to disappear, leaving a clear view onto the music.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 18, 2011 0 comments
The Tape Project’s Piper Payne is a talented mixing and mastering engineer and an active member of the Audio Engineering Society. (Be still, John Atkinson's beating heart!) She also enjoys origami, bunnies, the blues, and Bottlehead headphone amplifiers.

I'm just kidding about the bunnies.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 16, 2011 Published: Oct 18, 2011 0 comments
In a third Audioarts room, the company’s Gideon Schwartz selected “Burning” from Wild Beasts’ Smother, one of my favorite albums of the year.
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John Atkinson Posted: Oct 18, 2011 0 comments
Danish manufacturer Vitus Audio was showing off its new RI-100 integrated amplifier ($13,000) at RMAF with a pair of YG Acoustics' two-way Carmel speakers, connecting everything with Purist Audio Design's Corvus-series cable. (Purist was celebrating its 25th anniversary at RMAF.) Running the 300Wpc amplifier's output stage in class-AB rather than class-A allows the RI-100 to be, for Vitus, relatively affordable.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 16, 2011 Published: Oct 18, 2011 0 comments
Audioarts also presented a system comprising BMC amplification (supported by a SolidSteel stand) and Zellaton loudspeakers ($24,950/pair). Every Zellaton driver is completely handmade and takes up to three weeks to produce. The speaker cabinet uses a semi-open construction meant to minimize cabinet resonances.
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John Atkinson Posted: Oct 18, 2011 2 comments
The 2011 RMAF saw the debut of MBL's new Corona series, all finished in gloss white. Playing Peter Gabriel's new CD of some of his songs abut accompanied by a orchestra, the C31 CD player ($9200) and C51 300Wpc integrated amplifier ($11,100) sounded open, spacious, and uncolored with the new MBL 116F "Radialstrahler" loudspeaker ($32,000/pair).
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John Atkinson Posted: Oct 18, 2011 0 comments
I stuck my head in the door of Room 8009. "That's Willie Nelson," I recognized that distinctive voice. "But what's he singing? Wait a second, that's Peter Gabriel's 'Don't Give Up'—WT...?" I had to go in and take a seat. Daedalus Athena three-way speakers ($9950/pair) were being driven by AMR AM-77 monoblock amplifiers which in turn were being fed signal from a First Sound Presence Deluxe tubed preamp ($9200). Source was AMR's impressive CD-77 CD Processor. Nice, very nice.
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John Atkinson Posted: Oct 18, 2011 1 comments
I know audiophiles are not supposed to like Diana Krall. But the singer/pianist has true jazz instincts. Her version of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You," played back an open-reel tape on a Right Sound-modified Studer A80, with the Usher Dancer Mini 2 speakers ($4999/pair) driven by Usher amps and connected with JPS Aluminata cables was gripping. Undoubtedly contributing to the quality of the sound was the fact that, like many exhibitors, Usher had made a serious attempt to modify the acoustics of their room at RMAF with acoustic treatments.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Oct 18, 2011 0 comments
Emotiva’s Danielle Laufman had impressions made of her ear canals at the Westone booth. Both Danielle and her mom, Cathy, would be getting custom ear plugs, while Danielle’s father, Emotiva’s founder Dan Laufman, would be using his ear molds for custom in-ear monitors.

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