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RMAF 2016 Show Report (Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest)
RMAF 2016 Show Report
Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest & CanJam 2016
Part 2 By Steven R. Rochlin


RMAF 2016 Show Report

RMAF 2016 Show Report

  More happy smiling faces as Audioengine's Dave and Gavin receive their Enjoy the Music.com Blue Note Award for the HD6 powered speaker. Editor Tom Lyle says, "For $749 one can procure Audioengine's top of the line self-powered HD6. Not only is it self-powered, but this speaker also includes an onboard DAC and is Bluetooth capable. Audioengine also throws in speaker cable and interconnect that connects the speaker with the internal amp/DAC to the other. In my review I said of the Audioengine HD6 that not only can these speakers provide much more than decent sound, they negate the need for an amplifier, preamplifier, and DAC. When one considers the price of the HD6, it's a no-brainer." At the RMAF 2016 show they were showcasing their smaller HD3 in black ($399) and the award-winning HD6 in beautiful wood finish ($749). Usually this is when i give you listening impressions from the event, yet since the A2 and A5 have been mainstays within my home simply walking into their room and giving a brief listen is all that was needed. If you're looking for a great self-powered speakers, Audioengine are great! They also now offer a passive version of the HD6 called the HDP6 for only $499.



As i continue to hand out Enjoy the Music.com Blue Note Awards, of which only 13 were given out this year, so you know these products are in very rarified air, my next stop was Hegel where retailer of Woof Audio Systems, Joe Parvey, holds up their Blue Note Award. Greg Weaver, who reviewed the impressive Hegel HD30 32-bit/192kHz DAC, said, "If you are a die-hard analog hound like me, or have just eschewed using a digital playback system for whatever reason (as I did until about three years ago), this may be the perfect time, and most affordable device, to get you into remarkably satisfying, enjoyable digital playback. The Hegel HD30 has changed how I look at (and listen to) DACs under $8000. I can't imagine you could find anything to quibble with at its price... You will be one satisfied music lover." Hegel is also on of the very few high-end audio manufacturers that offer an excellent app to control their devices, which are also IP addressable so they can easily be used within a modern home automation system. Bravo Hegel! 


Joe Parvey, representing retailer Woof Audio Systems, was manning the room with Audience cables to accept their Blue Note Award. A truly nice showing with Wavelength Audio, Eddie Evoke loudspeakers and other gear. ZOTL amplifiers drive the speakers, which use ribbons to deliver fast and clean sound into the room. An Adept Response power filter, made by Audience, ensures all AC power going to the audio components were filtered well so they could produce the best sound.



Getting my vote for being amongst the happiest people here at RMAF 2016 is Roger DuNaier of Audiophile Direct and Jeff Wells of Wells Audio who accepted his award for the Aurum Cantus V30M. These large stand-mounted speakers are a real-world bargain at $2600 and include stands and free shipping too! So not only are they happy, you'll be happy too! So what makes them so special you ask? Enjoy the Music.com reviewer Ron Nagle says, "I'm very impressed with the Aurum Cantus V30M! Over the course of ten years the Aurum Cantus people have certainly evolved the art and struck Aurum (Latin for gold.) The V30M has taken a quantum leap forward in pushing the limits of what can be done with two drivers within a box. The construction attention to detail and finish make beautiful audio jewelry worth far more than the $2600 asking price. These speakers do what I want, with a wide open limitless soundscape with air, speed and detail. The bass is now cut of the same fabric as the sound is "continuous". This is more than enough for me, who ranks the human voice as the ultimate test." Wells Audio amplification drove the speakers and our reviewer Wayne Donnelly reviewed their Innamorata Signature amplifier ($15,000). He says, "Listening 'epiphanies' have been happening to me since I began my Innamorata journey. In all my decades of seeking audio that can seriously challenge listening to live music, nothing has brought me closer than these Innamorata Signatures, except years ago when changing from box speakers to my beloved Analysis planar/ribbon dipoles. That change and this one and, I must say, the digital transformation from the LampizatOr DAC reviewed last month have made the audio listening experience more pleasurable than I would have thought possible. The many other upgrades I have heard over the years have been rewarding and sometimes startling, but until now nothing has improved the audio experience to such a fundamental degree. I feel like the leprechaun who finally found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!"



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