RMAF 2012 Show Report (Rocky Mountain Audio
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
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
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?
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