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RMAF 2012 - Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2012 Report / Coverage
RMAF 2012 Show Report (Rocky Mountain Audio Fest)
Show Coverage By Steven R. Rochlin

  Ray Samuels Audio had their Emmeline model The Intruder ($650), which is balanced from input to output plus it is a USB DAC. Since it is a dual mono design, the front panel has separate three level gains (H, M and L) and uses a single front panel volume control that works in the analog domain.

 

Gordon Rankin of Wavelength Audio/USB DACS and Robert Robinson of Channel D.

 

Analog is alive and well in this digitally dominated world as Tri-Planar has two tonearms for RMAF 2012 attendees to carefully inspect. Who would have guessed in this modern digital age people would still be scraping a diamond over a 12" piece of plastic ;-)

 

Dadales Audio and ModWright shared digs here at RMAF 2012 with the Orpheus speaker ($38,500). It features carefully hand-selected hardwoods, rear-firing supertweeters and more! ModWright brought everything (and the kitchen sink) with them to the show and glad they did as the sound was very well defined, yet not etched at all. A really nicely balanced sound.

 

Aaudio Imports had the Germany-made HB Cable Design power distribution that is 100% handmade. Seen here is Brian Ackerman with the Power Slate Acrylic ($6995) that uses custom made wrapping and wire plus all the usual, if we can actually say that, high-end audio bits. The Ypsilon SET 100 Ultimate speakers ($125,000) weight a staggering 240 lbs and produce 120 watts onto 8 Ohms and is all Class A. Hmm... maybe analog vinyl is a great thing as I love Class A amplification. Sweet sounds here in this room so if you are at RMAF you really should hear this setup!

 

THIS IS SPARTAcus! Tube amps that is as the Thrax Spartacus mono has XLR and RCA inputs, and says to be the finest on the world (what high end company doesn't quite frankly). As simple as the signal path is, the rest of the internal workings are not as the Spartacus is claimed to have one of the most sophisticated and complicated power supplies. They use a very well-known but rarely used arrangement to reduce power supply noise as instead of the normal arrangement of diode bridge rectifier and electrolytic capacitor bank they use a choke input full wave tube rectifier arrangement. This virtually eliminates switching and other noise.

 

C'mon guys, how about a smile! This is the Ask The Experts seminar that covered digital audio and more.

 

Yup, another photo of that amp. This is a straight shot photo, handheld, and with no Photoshop effects other than to reduce the file size (and no sharpening tricks either, simply a straight file/image size reduction). Hope you are all enjoying the new digital camera specifically purchased for this event as it is excellent in low light (Sony NEX-5n if you must know, only 500 bucks from Amazon!). 

 

The IsoMike room sounded truly stupendous! Really, really, reeeeeally stunning and very much like master tape sound I have heard in the studio over the years! Another must-listen room.

 

 

Rogers High Fidelity EHF-100 ($6350) tube amp looked very basic, so you know the money is (hopefully) in the internal parts and transformers.

 

mbl had their smaller system and were once again playing great music in their room. Last time it was Rush, this time it was Nirvana. Maybe tomorrow they’ll play The Game or Snoop Dog, then again that is West coast music and we are in the Rockies.

 

For a small system, this really kicks ass! Here we have the Benchmark DAC2 HGC ($1995) and Studio Electric monitors ($2650) with EA 4 amplifier ($7500 or so). The amplifier is very special as it uses tubes driving MOSFETs to produce 275 watts. Many very interesting design technologies in this unit and the wicked cool English UV Meters just make it all that more desirable.

 

Veloce and YG Acoustic making sweet sounds with a hopeful review coming at some point as the sound within this room is that good.

 

Antelope Audio partnered with KR Audio VA880 ($6000) that uses four KT88 tubes. Seems some of KR Audio customers are worried about tube supplies of their other products, which seems silly to me as anyone can easily buy a few extra tubes and keep them in storage. Seriously people, buy extra tubes you find you like and stash them. NOS tubes are an excellent investment if you buy right and one of my friends has more than quadrupled his tube investments when he finally sold part of his stash. What other audio gear/component can you say that about today?

 

---> Click here for Saturday's coverage.   

 

     
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