RMAF 2019

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 10, 2019  |  32 comments
After talking with a number of exhibitors and attendees, I’d have to call the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest’s daring move to a new and very different venue—a controversial if also inevitable move—a success. Everyone I spoke to was happy with attendance, and the sound in the hotel rooms was generally excellent.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 10, 2019  |  14 comments
Ray Kimber of Kimber Kable was in “You gotta” mode. After he told me that WBT, the 34-year-old German company that supplies connectors and cable terminations to hundreds of manufacturers worldwide, had a new, environmentally friendly facing process that made for better sound, I arranged to meet with WBT founder and CEO Wolfgang Thoerner on Sunday morning to discuss their new "WBT-PlasmaProtect" PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) plasma process.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 10, 2019  |  31 comments
If you, like me, tend to associate MartinLogan with electrostatic transducers, you may be surprised to learn that their more traditional Motion line accounts for most of their sales.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 10, 2019  |  0 comments
My last exhibit in one of the multi-tower Gaylord Hotel’s 1500 rooms was sponsored by Portuguese music server manufacturer Innuos. I’ve been looking for a music server to review and, with Jim Austin’s approval, hope to tackle the top-of-the-line Statement ($13,750 for 1TB SSD up to $15,150 for 4TB SSD). Released last November, here at the show it reproduced music with impressive transparency, depth, color, and body.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 10, 2019  |  11 comments
Another speaker debut and another winner. Introducing the Vandersteen Kēnto Carbon ($37,500/pair), which, together with Vandersteen M5-HPA amplifiers ($15,800/pair), VTL electronics, and more sounded open and alive on top on a Mercury Living LP of Dorati’s rendition of Stravinsky’s The Firebird.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 10, 2019  |  19 comments
What is this strange creature with an upper driver that looks like something from a Marvel movie? Is it benign, or is it the blob that obliterated Kansas?
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 10, 2019  |  1 comments
Krell’s immensely energetic Walter Schofield was in the middle of a system description when I entered the room, so I didn't know exactly what I was hearing, but whatever it was, the fact that I’d just submitted my review of the Krell K-300i integrated before boarding a plane for Denver left me very eager to hear it.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 10, 2019  |  0 comments
In the Gaylord Hotel’s North Tower, where room after room, regardless of its size or layout, seemed conducive to good sound, Raidho Acoustics was making a major impression with the world premiere Raidho TD2.2 2.5-way loudspeakers ($46,000/pair in black).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 10, 2019  |  1 comments
Paradigm’s Canadian-designed-and-engineered Persona 7F loudspeakers, which have beryllium diaphragms, anchored a system that received additional grounding from the Paradigm Persona SUB ($6500). The sub’s six 8" woofers are powered by a 1700W “Ultra Class D” amplifier that, aided by DSP and other stuff, descends to a formidable 12Hz.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 10, 2019  |  6 comments
I hadn’t planned to visit the Göbel/CH Precision/Kronos/Bending Wave USA room, having spilled a lot of ink on Göbel and CH products at Munich High End. But, given that I’d heard everything in the room before and was familiar with the excellence of its sound, I wanted to see if it could surmount the sonic difficulties posed by the Gaylord Convention Center's huge rooms.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 09, 2019  |  11 comments
High End by Oz and United Home Audio joined together to present the US premiere of Vitus Audio’s SIA-030 30W class-A/200W class-AB integrated amplifier ($40,000) and AudioSolutions Virtuoso M loudspeakers ($32,000/pair).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 09, 2019  |  1 comments
The Hellena MK II uses a 604-8E alnico coaxial driver, made by Great Plains Audio, that owes its design to the original Altec 604-E. Its woofer, Great Plains Audio’s handmade Model 515-C low-frequency loudspeaker, incorporates a massive alnico V magnetic assembly. There's also an alnico horn supertweeter.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 09, 2019  |  3 comments
The all-one-family of Børresen loudspeakers, Aavik electronics, and Ansuz cabling, distributed by Gated HiFi and displayed by Chicago dealer NextLevel HiFi, was having a really rough time of it until their new Aavik U-380 integrated amplifier ($39,000) showed up several days late.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 09, 2019  |  15 comments
The story in the PS Audio room was the company's new loudspeaker, the AN3, various prototypes of which have been demoed at audio shows throughout 2019. The RMAF demo pair was described by the company as the final prototype. The design—strongly influenced by the late Arnie Nudell, the "AN" in AN3—includes servo-corrected powered woofers, a folded ribbon tweeter, a rectangular planar midrange, and an 8" cone "mid-bass coupler."

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