Phew! I sit here at RMAF 2011 getting ready to edit my first day’s coverage and whilst today is a short day, from 12pm to 6pm, am already very impressed. The immense crowd that formed outside during the opening of RMAF 2011 was the most impressive to date! Many attendees flew in from all over to check out all the magnificent performing audiophile products from all around the world. Although my
still photo coverage for this first day is only of a few of the many floors, the average sound on this day from many rooms was delightful. Usually the first day of any show can be hit and miss as gear settles in and systems get a bit more tweaking over the following days.
Add to that, my live streaming videos seem to be getting downsampled for some reason that is eluding me and IT/software guys. Of course being at the cutting edge means growing pains are to be expected. For those curious, the hotel’s Wi-Fi is spotty
as i travel from location to location so have been using alternative means to access the necessary bandwidth. Perhaps we can figure out the problem this evening. Worse case scenario, instead of live streaming can simply record at high definition and then edit
accordingly to put it online, yet that really defeats my hopes of truly live 'on the spot'
fully mobile video streaming. In any case, you can see the various videos from today by
Ray Samuels had their new The Dark Star ($2995) fully balanced headphone amplifier. I did a live video stream with the designer who explains many of the in’s and out’s of the unit. You can see the video at the link above of course.
Woo Audio has just released their proverbial ‘Swiss Army Knife’ 234 Mono ($10,000) monoblock tube amplifiers that produce 8 watts, are also headphone amplifiers and for you tube junkies these babies handle the 2A3, 300B, and Type 45 vacuum tube. A 6N7 is used for driver stage while the 5U4G is in the rectification stage. Frequency response is really wide at 5 Hz to 62 kHz while the 46-step attenuator provides an immense amount of volume choices. The curvy casing is made from CNC machined aluminum.
ALO audio is offering custom cables for in-ear monitors (IEM) with either silver plated copper or all copper ($250 and $265 as the all copper uses thicker wire gauge). Virtually no one makes high-end cables for IEMs and so these guys are worth checking out.
Here we have the new Empirical Audio Overdrive Ultra DAC that has a 100% bronze case ($12,000). This smooth looking unit has a low jitter Turboclock, 24-bit/192kHz DAC, asyc USB and both balanced via XLR and unbalanced RCA analog outputs. The amplification is of course high-end audio quality Class A and there are no resistors in the signal path. Visually, this sweet looking unit is very unique and unlike anything else I have seen over the years.
Horn and OTL bliss is here with the Classic Audio Reproductions
model T-3.4 hornspeakers and Atma-Sphere M-60 Mark 3.1 amplifier ($46,500 and $7000 respectively). For many years these two manufacturers have shared a room and they know how to get great sound. This combo has always made some really fast, clean sounds and it is always good to take a rest for a few minutes to enjoy the music. If you have never tried an OTL amplifier out, Atma-Sphere is an excellent choice.
GTT Audio room had the award winning YG Acoustic speakers (Anat III) plus
Tenor Audio 350M monoblock amps and Kubala cables. Can not stress enough how very transparent, with excellent dynamics and harmonic rendering they were achieving. If you are at the RMAF 2011 and have not stopped by their room, by all means do so and be prepared to be amazed...
Teresonic Ingenium floorstander and Magnus monitor are both wrapped in an elegant wood finish. Both models use the Lowther driver for full range sound production and achieve very high sensitivity. The Ingenium internally is of the ETQWT transmission line with Helmholtz resonators variety. The driver is a single 8” Lowther DX3 or DX4 driver (user's choice) and produces sound from 30 Hz to 22 kHz +/-3dB). That high sensitivity is an outstanding 101dB/W/m with normal 8 Ohm impedance. Of course most people will first notice the curved enclosure before anything else. The smaller Mangus has a 5" Lowther DX55, A55 or DX65 and sensitivity of a still outstanding 98dB/W/m.
Click here for
Saturday's RMAF 2011 coverage.