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RMAF 2009 - Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2009 Report / Coverage
RMAF 2009 Show Report (Rocky Mountain Audio Fest)
Report By Scott Faller

Aaudio Imports and Acapella Audio Arts

Acapella High Violin horn loaded loudspeakers ($68,000) utilizing a pair of 11" woofers in an isobaric configuration. The mids and highs are horn loaded. The tweeter is the completely unique Ionic (some call it a plasma) tweeter. The frequency response on the high side of this unit is near 50k. Though clearly ultrasonic, I can say with certainty from what I experienced the highs were extremely clean, well extended and had tons of air in the presentation.


The supporting electronics were provided by the Einstein line of gear. The source was the Einstein "The Source" balanced tubed CD player ($17,800) feeding The Tube MkII balanced preamp ($17,800) which in turn fed The Final Cut Mk60 balanced OTL (output transformerless) amplifiers ($33,800).


Also on display in the Aaudio room was a full line of audiophile tweaks from Isoclean. One of the cooler products being displayed was the Zero Ohm breaker panel. This thing is completely over the top. It uses copper buss bars that are gold plated and gold plated contacts and terminals throughout.



Audio Limits LLC and YG Acoustics

Speaking of over the top, the YG Acoustics promotional poster in the room purports that the YG Anat II Reference is the best loudspeaker on Earth. Well, I'm not sure of their claim but the Anat sure was mighty cool to look at. The cabinets are CNC milled from solid aluminum. The woofers are active with a built in 200wpc amplifier. Just inside the Anatswere a pair of the smaller Kipods.


On the electronics side there was the Weiss Engineering Jason Transport feeding the FM Acoustics 245 Preamp which then fed the FM Acoustics 811 MK II amplifier. They also had the new BlackNote DSS-30 digital static source Hi Res player.


Believe it or not, YG offer a full home theater package of the Anat reference line. With the main channels costing $107,000 per pair, you'd better be well healed.


Atma-Sphere and Classic Audio Reproductions

Also on the first floor was the Atma-Sphere room. Ralph Karsten has always made great sounding OTL amplifiers. This was another one of those rooms I just love to visit since it was filled with tubes, horns and vinyl.


On the front end of this system was the Kuzma Reference turntable equipped with a Triplanar Mk7 and PC-1 Supreme cart which fed the Atma-Sphere MP-1 preamplifier with the external MP-1 power supply. On the amplification end were the very nice sounding Atma-Sphere M-60 Mk 3.1 amplifiers. Also on hand to handle the digital duties was the Teac Esoteric CD player.


The speakers were the Classic Audio Reproductions T-1.3 ($36,500) which was an all field coil driver speaker. The T-1.3 also utilized a custom fabricated Tractrix wood horn for the mids with a pair of front and down firing 15" woofers.


Experience Music, Bent Audio And Intact Audio

Just to the left and behind the main RMAF registration desk I ran across three guys who are living on the fringe of the high end audio scene. The first is master single ended triode amp builder, Jeffrey Jackson of Experience Music. Jeff builds some of the coolest SETs on the planet. Jeff was there loosely in support of the Lowther America room with his uber cool field coil mercury vapor power supply but more so, to show people some of his creations. Unfortunately he didn't bring a 50 SET for me to bring home, he was however showing all who were interested his pictorial book of single ended treasures.


Dave Slagle of intact audio and John Chapman of Bent Audio brought tables full of goodies to ogle over. As part of his product offering Dave hand winds custom transformers, attenuators even resistors. In turn, John Chapman of Bent Audio takes some of Dave's attenuators and incorporates them into a few of his custom remote attenuator and passive preamp projects.


Once I figure out just how much room I have in my Korato KVP-20 preamp, I'll be doing a write up on either the Hybrid Resistor Attenuator or the Slagleformer Attenuator. Should be a fun little DIY project with some seriously good sonic results from all I've been told by others I've talked to.


Odyssey Audio

My final stop of the day was the Odyssey Audio room. This was one of the first showings of Klaus' new Kismet line. The Kismet line is the reference series with his new generation of tubed preamp, the stereo and monoblock amplifiers, a new tubed phonostage and finally the new reference line of speakers.


I have to say that with my short time in the room that his new Reference line was pretty impressive sounding. Big, bold and expressive. I've always had an affinity for the sound of heir Klaus' gear, in fact I still own a pair of the awesome sounding, first generation Epiphanys. I wish I'd had more time to spend in the Odyssey room.


This ends my first day at RMAF 2009. It looks like I made by about eleven rooms in six or so hours. Needless to say, there is no way I'm going to be able to hit all of the rooms I wanted to visit but I'll do my best.


Click here for part 2 of Scott Faller's report.














































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