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.”

“We can’t change the world,” Laufman continues, “but we can change the parts that we’re involved with. We want to reinvigorate the hi-fi hobby by creating products that are actually accessible to people who want better sound.”

The all-Emotiva system was made of ERC-2 CD player ($449; review to come in December), XDA-1 DAC ($299), XSP-1 fully-balanced preamp ($899), XPA-1 monoblock power amplifiers ($1998/pair), and X-Ref-6.2 loudspeakers ($999/pair), for a total system cost of under $6000, including cables and accessories.

The sound was clear, confident, and well-balanced. Emotiva products are built to a standard that defies their modest cost, and the company takes special pride in building lasting relationships with their customers. It makes perfect sense that the entire family would be involved. In the picture we see (from left) VP of Engineering Lonnie Vaughn, Dan Laufman, Jessica Laufman, and Cathy Laufman.