Even More Floor 5

RMAF
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest

Denver
Sunday October 12th, 2007

* Denotes a product carried by Audio Federation

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All pictures in this report are freely copyable and distributable.

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Odyssey Audio sounded good again this year. This $5K or so system is well-balanced, musical, and... rocks.

As I try to think about where this system lies along the mid-fi -> high-fi yardstick  - there are so many systems (I hesitate to say speakers, because I think many can be cured with a little remedial system engineering) that are mid-fi on steroids. Oh yes, they have a lot of bass, and an impressive amount of detail. But they are just a Best Buy system at heart. Does a piano sound like a piano? When more than 3 entrustments are playing at a time is it all mixed together like mashed potatoes?

Most of you know the several brands of speakers I am thinking of - but they are also expensive and people do not like being told they have been had - so I'll be nice and not mention names, just this once :-)

I think we should put Odyssey at entry-level high-fi. In my opinion, it certainly sounds no LESS real than these other 'trophy' systems.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 
Sanders, the founder of Inner Sound, is back.

 

 

 

 

 
These speakers are his personal speakers - and he is apparently not able to make these anymore.

 

 

 

 

 
But he is making electronics, which look remarkably similar to Inner Sound electronics. Certainly attractive. And as I remember their solid-state stuff sounded pretty good too.

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 
It is good to see these guys expand beyond showing at CES [actually, it is good to see all you exhibitors now showing at RMAF - how convenient for all of us in Metro Denver].

 

 

 

 
They were playing music that highlighted the easy and openness and quality of the bass of these speakers - which is indeed pretty good.

 

 

 

 
Ayre electronics.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
Trelja, who many of us know from the forums is not distributing Consonance gear. Says he isn't doing a show report this year - which is too bad, as he write one of the few reports of any substance. Nice guy - but you all knew that from reading his posts over the years, already, didna ya?

 

 

 

 
Consonance CD player in a special black.

 

 

 

 
Consonance amplifiers.

 

 

 

 
We spent the time talking and not listening. Bad me.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
Moscode with QUAD speakers. For some reason I remember nothing about this room. Too bad, looks very interesting.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
Posted on door, explaining what they are trying to do.

 

 

 

 
The system sound did not impress me, No highs, blumpy bass...

Last year, they weren't playing music and we just took a photo of their monitor there in the upper right, like the other show reports seem to be doing this year.

The Channel D folks objected to my impressions of their rooms, saying I had only been in there '10 seconds'. 

I seem to have to say this every report:

It takes only a second or two to recognize damaged sound, and a lifetime to explore great sound. How long does it take you at Circuit City to recognize that the sound is not to your liking? Is ten seconds about nine seconds too long?

Now, how long does it take to find what the weaknesses are of the best amps in the world? Best speakers? Best CD players? Are people still looking for their weaknesses?

As for this particular room, how is a person going to tell how well their new approach works? The listening experience is so compromised that these guys could have a concept here that will revolutionize analog playback and no one would be able to hear it.

Like the Upgrade Audio room, you have to rule out listening for changes in small details, subtle changes of tonality, subtle transitions of the note attack and decay, details in the bass, etc. etc. To me, those are the important things! Its what we pay the big bucks to reproduce.

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
Acoustic Zen* launched their new loudspeaker targeting the #12K range. I was impressed that they were showing with Halcro.

We weren't blown away by the sound in this room. The little Acoustic Zen Adagios are still our favorites at this point - I mean, $4K for a true high-fi speaker? Hard to compete against that.

 

 

 

 
There is a lot of competition in this price range, albeit many do not have this much bass capability.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
OK, that's the last photo of the new speaker. Just had to get it out of my system is all.

 

 

 

 
The, to my taste, beautiful looking Halcro gear.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
Since we know at least some Swedes know how to make good speakers :-) we were very interested in hearing what these sound like. But they weren't playing music here, or not that I remember anyway.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
Sound Hounds is a local dealer? installer? here in Denver.

 

 

 

 
They were displaying Acoustic Zen* speakers in this room in a surround sound configuration.

 

 

 

 
Acoustic Zen as side-channel.

 

 

 

 
Acoustic Zen subwoofer.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
One of the more aesthetically decorated rooms at the show, don't you think?

I usually like the systems with these Intuitive Design speakers, and this was not exception. With their granite cabinets and whatever else they must do infernally, they have few contributions and deadening from the speaker enclose and let a lot of the energy of the music through.

The sound was very liquid and warm. Speaking of warm...

 

 

 

 
This room was very hot.

We had the same problem in our room - with 10 to 25 people in the room for hours on end, it got really hot. I would turn on the air-conditioning and Neli would turn it off. I'd turn it back on and ... well, it was just like home.

But seriously, I do not enjoy music as much when I am uncomfortable physically. Maybe others do  not care about heat and care more about the noise of the air-conditioner. But in any case, I left here without hearing much of the sound because it was uncomfortable for me, there. I was probably already more warm than other people because I was moving through the show fairly rapidly and carrying a 100 lb camera (well, more like 10 lbs, but if FELT like 100 lbs).

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
Ah, the pretty Harmonix racks. I think I did a particularly bad job this year of capturing their beauty. I did better at HE 2006 in L.A., I think.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
That is one cool looking speaker stand.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
Harmonix rack with Reimyo gear.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
I do not remember anything about this room, so I'll just let you look at the photos.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
They weren't playing music in this room when I got there - instead Mr. Von Schweikert was talking to someone about Bull Dogs or something. That's fine. Only two hours left to the show, things were winding down, and I would have asked to hear something if I wanted to.

 

 

 

 
Those are some wide cables there, boy.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
The same group from Sweden, and again, they were switching speakers when I got here, so no evaluation was to be done here either.

 

 

 

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All pictures in this report are freely copyable and distributable.

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