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RMAF 2019 Show Report -- Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest 2019

RMAF 2019 Show Report Part 6
Show Report By Rick Becker


Welcome To The 7th Floor @ RMAF 2019


  The exhibition rooms on the 7th floor were spread out over two-thirds of the floor with lots of space between most of the room giving excellent isolation at the cost of more walking and a bit of ambiguity. Three of the rooms were Entry Level Rooms with exemplary rigs priced at $1000, $2500 and $5000.


RMAF 2019 Show Report Part 6


Klipsch had a pair of rooms, one of which featured a very nice sounding yet modestly priced rig featuring the RP600M featured on the April, 2019 issue of Stereophile. This was the $5000 Entry Level Room and it had a bunch of younger folks who were genuinely interested in listening. The room featured the RP600M speakers ($649 in piano black, $549 in black or walnut), a Klipsch C-Series sub (C-310ASWi is $1599) driven by Cambridge CXA60 amp ($749), CXC ($449), and CXN v2 ($899). A Pro-Ject Essential III turntable was on top of the Sanus AFA rack ($179), deferring to the digital source. Surprisingly, the Sanus BF24 speaker stands were only $59/pr and the AudioQuest speaker wire and digital coax cable were only $68.


RMAF 2019 Show Report Part 6


A few doors down in a two-room suite Klipsch featured current models of their Heritage Series including the Cornwall, first introduced in 1959, and the Heresy, dating back to 1957. Even today this is very plausible sound with high efficiency, dynamic excitement and uncompressed music. A tube lover's delight... and still built in Hope. Arkansas. I remember how they held me in awe, back in the day when "awesome" really meant something.



In the inner room of the suite they squeezed in a pair of real live Klipschorns. And damn if they didn't sound good even by today's standards. I suspected upgraded drivers and crossovers over the originals 70 years ago. With their very high efficiency you could even be thinking 2A3 tube amps with these guys. Note the exquisite bookmatch veneer and forgive the moiré pattern on the side and top grilles. While a lot of current architecture lacks proper corners for Klipschorns, at the Montreal show earlier this year I heard them sound very good pulled out from the corners driven by Tenor amps.



A window on this floor gave me a view to the southeast. Were it not for this one hill in the distance, I probably could have seen Kansas. The horses in the courtyard were life size castings, not outdoor speakers. It looks like it had been raining off and on the whole day. The parking lot was thinning out as the show was about to close, but I pressed on and found a few more rooms.



The Kanto Tuk rocked in Room 142, comprising almost the entire system of this $2500 Entry Level rig. The AMT tweeter and aluminum cone mid/woofer are driven by a 130 Watt Class D amplifier with a DSP crossover selectable at 80Hz. It had inputs for phono, USB, RCA, optical digital and a subwoofer output. And they had the great foresight to use an IEC input for the AC rather than using a captive power cord. What I heard was with a generic power cord, so there is definitely room for upgrading when the budget allows.



The speakers were $800, the stands $140, and the Audio-Technica AT-LP7 turntable with cartridge and a sensor monitored motor (even!) was another $800. They had to throw in the very nice Meze 99 Classics headphones ($309) and Line phono turntable stand ($400) and still didn't touch the $2500 target price. If you already have headphones and a place for the turntable, consider upgrading the cables and power cords or adding a better cartridge. I've heard a number of small powered monitors at numerous shows from several companies and Kanto's Tuk takes the cake.




The $1000 Entry Level rig was put together by Parts Express in Springboro, Ohio where this well-known internet/mail order marketer also has a retail store. The cell phone, which you presumable already own, feeds to a tube buffer stage with volume control that drives the three-way powered speakers. I admired the woodwork of the speaker and noted the horizontal bar of the cross on the baffle is actually a slotted port. This was more than respectable sound for under $1000 (Room 128).



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