RMAF 2019

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 08, 2019  |  3 comments
The big news in the Musical Surroundings room was the introduction of the AMG Viella Forte 12 Turbo turntable ($30,000), shown in its engraved version ($32,000).
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 06, 2019  |  6 comments
Before the revelation of Bryston’s new BDA-3.14 streamer/DAC/digital preamp ($4195) came another, far less welcome one: The Gaylord Resort and Convention Center is huge. Ridiculously huge, and constructed with less-than-penetrable logic.
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 07, 2019  |  3 comments
Ed Meitner goes analog?

Not really. But the famed digital pioneer and founder of EMM Labs, known especially for his work with DSD/SACD, was showing his prototype optical phono preamp, the Optical Equalizer. Designed solely for use with DS Audio's optical cartridges, it can be described as a marriage between analog and digital. With specific filters for the different DS Audio cartridge models, it's expected in the first quarter of 2020.

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  |  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 07, 2019  |  4 comments
Haniwa's chief designer, Tetsuo Kubo, surprised me with the sound of his new Clear Focus speakers plus digital phase control system amplifier ($25,000 total). With a much larger cone than in previous versions and an impedance of 1.3 ohms, this loudspeaker sounded totally smooth, with a very strong midrange presence, when mated with their 400Wpc amplifier. Even the bright voice of Luciano Pavarotti was pleasant to listen to, and thrilling as well.
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 08, 2019  |  15 comments
Occupying a small but significant place in Bluebird Music’s outer suite, the new Jadis Orchestra Black integrated amplifier ($3995) was producing sweet and enjoyable sound that, on a track from Count Basie Meets Oscar Peterson, felt like a lovely warm kiss.
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 09, 2019  |  4 comments
McIntosh had (at least) one big system, two smaller systems, and one minisystem in their huge room.
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 08, 2019  |  8 comments
Mark Conti’s MC Audiotech room was dominated by his company’s just-launched, Paul Paddock-designed MC Audiotech Forty-10 2-way loudspeaker ($35,000/pair including crossover). Hidden in the high-frequency spaced array are 10 identical bending wave drivers “of the latest generation,” which cover everything above 100 Hz. In its Folded Cube low-frequency enclosure reside two “industrial type” woofers in a dipole arrangement. The speaker uses a dedicated hybrid external crossover, with low-frequency level/contour controls.

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