2007 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest
October 12 ~ 14, 2007
Denver Marriot Tech Center Hotel
Show Coverage Page 1
(Exhibit details supplemented by the Exhibitors and the companies they represent)
Harmonix Reimyo of Combak Corporation unveiled the Dinosaur Tuning Speaker Stand for use with the Bravo! mini-monitor ($5,995/pair). Also new in 2007 was the CDT-777 Compact Disk Transport ($8,500), with the DAP-777 20bit/K2 DAC ($5,195), CAT-777 tube preamp ($15,495), PAT-777 300B SET amp ($24,995), ALS-777 Improved line conditioner ($5,195), the HS-101GP “Golden Performance” RCA cabling ($1,530/meter), the HS-101SLC “Sophisticated Listener’s Choice” speaker cable ($2,270/1.5meter) and various Harmonix Tuning Feet. Also in prominent display were several Royal Stage rack systems and various Enacom devices.
Aaudio Imports showcased the $170,500 Acapella Triolon Excalibur in the Larkspur room on the main floor, along with the $29,600 pair of the Einstein OTL (output transformer-less) tube monoblocks, the $15,700 “The Tube” Mk II tube preamp with remote and the German company’s latest $15,200 “The Source” balanced tube CD player. Apart from the quadruplet of most noticeable, monolithic acoustic Golden Acoustic sound panels on the corners of the largish room, an army of Isoclean power management products was applied in full force. With only half a day’s worth of available time in finalizing the room-tuning process, Brian and his visiting manufacturers were able to create one of the best-sounding systems at the show. The Triolon Excalibur’s subwoofer columns loaded the vast listening space very adequately, and in one particular instance when I was there, an attendee demo’ed the system with a track laced with electric bass playing higher notes, and the resultant sound created by the Triolon Excalibur’s overloaded the room at once. Beware of patrons with non-audiophile recordings, Brian.
From left to right: Hermann Winters (Acapella), Brian Ackerman (Aaudio Imports), Volker Bohlmeier (Einstein) Eben Ayra C3.0 in Aaudio Import Sound Room
Brian hosted three of his visiting dealers and I at his house Saturday night, and this time we were treated to a new product: the $35,000 Eben Ayra C3.0 loudspeaker. Featuring custom ribbon tweeter and three custom ceramic midrange and woofers, the 88dB/6Ω Eben full-range floorstander had very impressive dynamic capabilities during our brief encounter, and we were also witness to how easily and finely the Eben’s could delineate differences of CD’s in pre- and post-Audiotop Digital’s CD treatment solution. Associated equipment: Accustic Arts Drive I Mk2, Tube DAC II, Einstein “The Tube” preamp, “The Light In The Dark” hybrid stereo amp, Acapella cables and Isoclean system. See Dagogo’s Spotlight System Profile #2 for more details of the room. (www.aaudioimports.com)
Music Interface Technology held demonstrations in one suite, and displayed various products in another. The demo room involved using a pair of small-diameter mini-monitors to showcase the functions of MIT’s own Multipole™ Technology. Simply by substituting MIT’s own entry-level speaker cables with their Oracle AVt MA, which was recently reviewed by Dagogoan Doug Schroeder, the sound attained improved dynamics, and images became cleaner with more substance. There was so much more information being reproduced by the speakers, it sounded as if the speakers had gotten bigger. “I told you so in my review,” said Doug when I related my experience to him afterwards. (http://www.mitcables.com/)
Constantine Soo (left) and Bruce Brisson of MIT (right) Z Stabilizer III HG. Have you entered the drawing yet?
Shotgun MA Magnum MA
Oracle MA Adjust the MIT cable’s impedance to match your speakers!
Despite owning Audio Note UK’s $20,000 AN-E SEC Silver and the $37,000 DAC5 Special, I couldn’t believe how lucid and extended the more affordable ensemble of the company’s products can do. Featuring the TT2 turntable with Arm Three ($3,500), the AN-S4 MC step-up transformer ($4,725), the IO1 MC cartridge ($3,250), the CD 2.1X/II CD player ($3,500), the OTO Phono SE integrated amplifier ($3,500), the AN-E Spe HE loudspeaker with the latest Hemp driver ($6,900), AN-Vx silver interconnects and Lexus XL speaker cables, the system recreated such instrument timbre as to be unbelievably rich for the price. Most bewilderingly, David Cope of Audio Note UK was driving the company’s latest USB-DAC with a MacIntosh computer. Then again, the company’s insistence on 2-way design in speakers has consistently performed most coherently and musically.
Retailer Big Sky Hi-Fi exhibited the Italian brand of Audia solid-state electronics, of which Dagogo reviewed the Flight CD One, Flight Pre, Flight 100 power amplifier. This time on display were the Acoustic Solid Solid-Wood Classic turntable with WTB300 tonearm ($2,370), Audia Flight Two CD player ($4,200), ModWright SWP 9.0SE phono preamp ($2,995), ModWright LS36.5 preamp ($4,995), Audia Flight 50 power amplifier ($8,000), BC Acoustique A3 loudspeakers ($7,000/pair) and Acoustic Zen cabling. The very natural top-end extension coming from digital playback in this system at least made the Audia and ModWright products a quintessential solid-state excellence. (http://www.bigskyhifi.com/) See Dagogo’s reviews on Audia & ModWright.
John Shigo (Big Sky Hi Fi, left), Jean-Marc Trochon (BC Acoustique, right)
Feastrex importer Joseph Cohen of Lotus Group USA demonstrated the $35,000 Feastrex D9e Field Coil speaker with $2,495 worth of PranaWire Nataraja internal wire in supposedly prototype cabinet that was simply beautiful to look at and touch. Just one listen to this loudspeaker and it will redefine what single-driver systems can do for you. High-volume, no compression, rocketing dynamics and oh-so-smooth textural renditions. Lately, MaxxHorn has also teamed up with Lotus Group USA and incorporated one of the more affordable Feastrex driver models into a new speaker, and the result was equally spectacular. See MaxxHorn report below. Associated equipment: AMR CD 77 ($8,000), Lamm L-2 Reference preamp ($14,790), Lamm ML2.1 monoblocks ($29,990), PranaWire Avatar Reference RCA ($7,950), PranaWire Reference speaker cable ($12,500), PranaWire Cosmos 3-meter RCA ($7,395), PranaWire MahaSamadhi power cable ($2,250) with Oyaide M1/F1 AC/IEC connectors ($1,650), two Acoustic Revive RTP-2ultimate Passive Line Conditioners ($1,295 each), Acoustic Revive RTP-4ultimate ($1,895), Acoustic Revive RGC-24 Grounding Conditioner ($450), Acoustic Revive RD-3 CD Demagnetizer ($399), Acoustic Revive RIO-5 II Negative Ion Generator ($595), three Sound Mechanics PX1 Racks ($4,500 each), three sets of Sound Mechanics C100 Cones ($240 each set), three sets of Sound Mechanics C101 Bases ($95 each set), Sound Mechanics MC88 Cones ($240). (www.lotusgroupusa.com)
Haruhiko Teramoto, left (Feastrex designer), Kazuya Akiyama, right (son of Feastrex president)
Feastrex Monster AlNico
MaxxHorn, in a room provided by Lotus Group USA, debuted its $16,500/pair Lumination, an upper model of its Immersion ($12,500/pair) reviewed by me. The Lumination was equipped with the big-magnet Feastrex driver designated D5nf, or Dimension5 Monster Alnico. The original Immersion model’s PHL driver, mounted forward on the side of the horn, already sounded magnificent in MaxxHorn designer Johan van Zyl’s advanced cabinet, the Lumination with the Feastrex driver surpassed the Immersion in every regard. With minimal room treatment, the Lumination produced spectacular spectral coherency with no crossover, and sounded decidedly more powerful and dynamic than the PHL-equipped Immersion, making it the space-saving horn speaker to contend with. Mr. Teramoto of Feastrex refitted the demonstration pair on Saturday afternoon from the D5nf to the monster Alnico D5; unfortunately I had not returned to the same room since my visits on Friday and Saturday morning.
Associated equipment: modified Marantz CD player with advance power supply technology powered by the PranaWire Kensho Power Cable, Lotus FAST Integrated Amplifier (solid-state, 50Wpc, MSRP $8,000 to $9,000), powered by the Acoustic Revive Power Reference Cable, Acrolink Mexcell 7N-DA6100 RC interconnects, Acrolink 7N-S10000 speaker cable, Acoustic Revive Power Reference power cable feeding the Acoustic Revive RTP-4 Ultimate Power Distribution Bar.
MaxxHorn offers a 60-day auditioning period, and interested readers can purchase the Lumination at a special introductory price of $12,500 until October 31. Contact MaxxHorn for details. (www.maxxhorn.com)
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