Publisher Profile

2008 RMAF Coverage 6

Part 2 of 2

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(continued from Coverage V)
This portion of Dagogo’s 2008 RMAF Coverage by Doug Schroeder (Part 2 of 2)

Audio Unlimited/Focal/Boulder Amplifiers/Running Springs Audio/Tara Labs

I am sickened by the fact that I had a lousy pic of this room which is unusable. I’m a better listener than photographer. A very majestic experience; this rig was unassailable in many respects including vivid sound stage, palpable power and clarity. The oddity which struck my ear was the elevation of the midrange to approximately seven feet from the ground. In that respect, the performance seemed to float, a presentation which might evoke strong preferences both for or against.

KEF/Musical Fidelity

The Muon is so unusual, and even more so in this room with the other-worldly lighting effect. I thought the sound was tight, but light. Later I spoke with a man who had learned the rear drivers were turned off; they were turned on afterwards and the bottom end improved substantially. A very seductive, modern look, which I found much more appealing in person than pics.

Weinhart Design/Pathos Acoustics/Audiomachina/Stahl-Tek LLC/

I very much liked this room. The Audiomachina Maestro is a powerful bruiser of a speaker in a svelte package. I was quite surprised at its performance level, which I did not expect from this size floor standing speaker. It was one of my favorite sounds at the show among moderate floor standing speakers. The Pathos Adrenalin amps made a perfect foil for the Maestro, both visually and sonically. With the Pathos Endorphin CD player and Vekian- D/A the sound was smooth and refined.

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N. N. Acoustics/Soulaja Audio

Nendad Napijalo and Dragan Soulaja came halfway round the world to show their audio stuff. I felt an international audio camaraderie with them immediately; of course, it didn’t hurt that their equipment sounded wonderful! These innovative guys turned two beds on their sides and placed them on boxes to act as sound panels! I love that kind of humility and creativity in service to the art of audio! The N. N. Acoustics speakers use layered ceramic tile inside to deaden the cabinet. It worked marvelously! These men know their craft, and I was able to completely relax in the waves of their system. These two Serbian gentlemen have done their homework.

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bd Design/Kemp Electronics

The twosomes of designers were hitting the ball out of the park. I score at least a triple on the bd Design/Kemp room. Though not in the league of the priciest speakers in the show (i.e. 100K), it was one of the most impressive to me. The speaker swivels vertically on its base to allow for adjustment to the environment – very clever! Bert Doppenberg, the designer of the electronics as well as speakers, has a reason to be self-assured. When I suggested, “This is excellent sound,” he nodded, “I know!” My ear told me that the Kemp cabling and power conditioning, as well as the Oris SWING MkII was an excellent case for a “brand focused” system.

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Gill Audio Design/Art Audio/Manley Labs/Daedalus Audio

Another “Stunner” was the Manley-Daedalus-Art Audio combo. I easily heard why Ed Momkus of Dagogo rated the speaker highly. (See Dagogo Review.) I’ve not heard too many floor standing speakers with a smaller footprint pump out so much energy. The Gill Audio team knew how to make a listener feel “at home” with the relaxed décor.

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Audio Limits/FM Acoustics/IsoTek Systems/Weiss Engineering/YG Acoustics

So, are they the best speakers in the world? They were the best at the show in one or two respects; phenomenal detail retrieval and deeeeep soundstage with superb placement of instruments. Of course, with such high profile gear as the FM Acoustics 255 preamplifier and the 811 MkII power amplifier it would be nigh unto impossible to have poor sound!

I would like to hear the system in a different room, as I felt it was compromised by its surroundings.

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Acoustic Zen/DEQX Pty Limited/Halcro/Legend Acoustics

I heard the more diminutive Legend Acoustics Tikandi speaker kicking out some tunes with serious presence for a diminutive floor stander! What can you say about seven Halcro’s (and a red one in center!)? The power was enough for a rocket to lift off, but it was completely controlled. A very impressive audio performance which had the Qsonix server as the source. No slack in this system!

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There were so many more experiences I would love to write about, but I hope you enjoyed these.

This portion of Dagogo’s 2008 RMAF Coverage
by Doug Schroeder

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