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RMAF 2006 Show Report
RMAF 2006 Show Report
By Ron Nagle
Page 2


  Another honorable mention goes to GTT Audio & Video room 535 they were demonstrating Karma speakers powered by MBL electronics and the sound very good indeed. In the Symposium Acoustics room 550 I believe the prototype Symposium Ribbon speakers along with two large transmission line woofers hold great promise. And I am anxious to see if they ever work all the bugs out.



Advancing farther down the hall I came to the Jolida room 555. Once again I heard good sound this time coming from a pair of MBL speakers powered by Jolida electronics. I have been curious for some time now to know how these tubed components perform. Luckily for me I got to listen to the object of my curiosity, the JD100c integrated amplifier 100 WPC with EL34 output tubes they were powering the MBL speakers.


In room 570 was TMH Audio and Metronome. What caught my eye in this room was the Manger driver positioned above the mid bass driver in the Metronome speaker. This driver technology is not new but unaccountably it is often overlooked. The Manger driver is extremely linear and is capable of reproducing most of the range of audio frequencies, which includes all but the lowest bass.

It is 6pm and this is show closing time, all I have to do now is drag my jet lag butt back to my room and get something to eat.


Saturday October 21

As I slept snow fell and covered the trees with a glimmering carpet of white. But I must return for I have a lot of ground to cover till night. I still have 4 more floors to visit in the northern Summit Tower. I will start on the 11th top floor of the show and work my way downstairs. On this floor the first few rooms I sample are unremarkable, that is until I get to Room 1104. This is Ken Haig Audio and the $18,900 IDS speaker by Roger Russell. The music was These Bones by the Fairfield Four. I was very surprised to hear fairly deep bass coming from this 87" tall and slim line array. I remember the now defunct Pipe Dreams speakers a similar tall tower but their bass was augmented using large sub woofers.


Anyhow, Mr. Russell Explained to me how bass was generated using the magic inside the active IDS dedicated crossover. At one point a well-known amplifier designer came in and asked them to play a recording containing dynamic deep bass frequencies. Shortly after they began the right side McIntosh mono amp started clipping. The listening session than abruptly ended, never the less I think these speakers are very promising. I will venture a guess that the equalizer just needs a bit more tweaking.

Analysis Audio and Joule Electra in Room 1107: Yes they do look like the old Carver Amazing speakers on steroids. But these large black panels are the Analysis Audio top of the line Amphitryon speakers. These planar ribbon panels are 83 inches high and weigh in at 190 pounds each. This was in a triple sized room that was packed with listeners. A pair of $22,000 Joule Electra VZN160 Mk3 Grand Marquis monoblocks amplifiers provided the listening power. Maybe it was the room but my impression was that this setup sounded a bit thin and threadbare.


Room 1110 was notable for another David Berning assault on the limits of amplifier design. The Berning 2H270Se amplifier on the bottom shelf has a radio frequency switching power supply and a 70 WPC tube output. 
It is a class A push pull design and applies AC too the tube filaments. The front panel has controls for selecting either A or B input, volume control, and a three-position selector switch for high, medium or normal amounts of feedback. The MSRP for this amplifier is $6,795.


AVA, if you have been an audiophile for a while you know what those initials stand for. They are Audio by Van Alstine in Room 1114. I confess I just wanted to talk to Frank Van Alstine a man who has become an audio institution. He is alive and well still making kits to modify Dyna Stereo 70 amplifiers and he produces his own AV line of solid-state tube/transistor hybrid components.


Next up I stopped to talk to Santy Orpel the guy representing Triode Electronics products in room 1121. The editor informed me that he, Santy offered to send a sample of the TRI brand monoblock tube amplifiers to Enjoy The Music.com® for evaluation. His amps looked very nice and at some later date I hope I get a shot at these Japanese sourced components.

The last noteworthy room on the 11th floor was Room1122. The German Ascendo Speakers and Behold Mono amplifiers made a nice musical match. They were sourcing sound from A Nova Physics digital memory player interestingly this device uses chip memory.

I took the fire stairs at the end of the hallway down to the 10th floor show rooms. Lets start with Nuforce digital in Room 1002. Unfortunately I did not get pictures inside this room. They were showing a full line of analog switching mode A/V components. I didn't know they had the AVP-16 7.1 channel audio video preamp processor. Or that they were showing their very first speaker entry at the RMAF. The S-9 is a three-driver DeAppolitto configured mini monitor, great construction carved out of 23 layers of laminated Baltic birch plywood.


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