Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2014 Show Coverage - Page 4 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #31 of 51 Old 10-28-14, 09:08 PM
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Re: Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2014 Show Coverage

I've known Mark for a few years, now, he always brings his A game when demonstrating his gear. This time was no exception. Even in light of short set up time in a small hotel room, The Seaton Sound, Inc./MiniDSP/Dirac Live room was literally a showstopper.

The main attraction was the Catalyst 12C loudspeaker in Black Maple finish. Capable of a 19-20,000 Hz +/-3 dB range, with 10 Hz in room possible, the Master of the Deep needed none of his famous subwoofers on stage for this 2 channel system. Supported by the new MiniDSP DDRC-22DA w/UMIK-1 microphone and Dirac Live room correction software, the sound was dialed in to a "T".

Heavyweight sound that packed the punch of a champion, I watched a guy jump right out of his chair when one demo song started to play! Mark gave a quick on/off comparison of Dirac Live. I noticed that when on, the room seemed to disappear and I was transported to a much larger space. Reverb and hall sound really came through. A convincing example of the control that the DDRC-22DA gives the user over the listening room.

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Wayne's Comments

I have learned to never miss an opportunity to hear Mark's room at a show like this. It always ends up being a special experience in some unexpected way.

A pair of Catalyst 12C powered (2000 w per enclosure) full-range loudspeakers were set up two-channel style. Mark had chosen miniDSP with Dirac Live room correction to support the configuration.

I am neither proponent nor antagonist when it comes to speaker equalization or room correction. When it is done well, involving the right technology and implementation approach, the result can be completely invisible, as I witnessed in three different rooms at RMAF. In other words, the result was so natural that there was no sonic evidence of EQ or room correction taking place, except, of course, that the speakers in question sounded truer and more accurate.

I jotted in my notebook that the soundstage was GREAT (with double under-line), a break-down-the-walls soundstage with super-tight image clarity. And what gave me a special thrill in this case was the dynamic nature of the sound. Every note stood out with an impact of its own. Every sound in the sound field was being presented by way of special delivery. This does not happen by accident.

Mark talked about the Dirac Live mic setup pattern that he used, and it was clear that a thoughtful approach had been employed. I have seen him at work and he knows how to make speaker and room work together. The room earned one of my four Wow! Awards, and my single Most Dynamic Speaker award for the show.

"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #32 of 51 Old 10-28-14, 10:31 PM
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Re: Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2014 Show Coverage

The TigerFox Sound System is a room within a room, it's intent is to allow the speaker to perform it's best by providing an ideal acoustical environment, while reducing sound outside of the enclosure so as not to disturb others.

I found the experience bizarre, with sounds coming at me from all sides, but especially from the rear. I was told it is a great way to get surround sound out of 2 channels, and it certainly did project a surround soundfield, but not in a way that multi-channel is normally mixed. It did make the speakers "disappear", none of the sound could be perceived as coming from the two monitors used in the display.

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"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #33 of 51 Old 10-28-14, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2014 Show Coverage

Legacy Audio

  • Legacy Audio V Speaker with Wavelet Processor: Price TBA
Legacy

Legacy Audio's new model V is a technological tour de force. It comes with their new Wavelet processor, including onboard preamp, a four-way crossover with time alignment, complete speaker and room resonance correction (by Bohmer Audio), and a high-end DAC with apodizing ability (to eliminate pre-ringing). Frequency response smoothness was awesome and clarity was impeccable. My first experience with Legacy was at AXPONA back in April. Now I can not pass their room without hearing what they have to offer.

The Legacy "sound" is not at all shy about including a high end that is a little bit in your face, and by that I mean flat. Legacy sets the pace for giving you a high end that is so smooth and so clean that you don't mind it slapping you around a little bit. I often wonder if the trend in some circles toward a high end that gradually droops from 1 kHz on up, following some expert's idea of an ideal target curve, is a result of listeners trying to avoid annoying peaks and distortions in lesser-quality speakers. The Legacy V keeps it all flat and clean and perfectly timed, and it sounds just wonderful to me, as fresh as mountain spring water.

Sub and bass sections are powered with 1400 watts of internal power, and the two channels per speaker requiring user amplification are 98 dB/watt efficient, very easy to drive. Does all that DSP for basic operation bother you? Get over it. Today's top DSP technology is as high-end as anything else you can call high-end in audio, and in the Wavelet processor is just plain invisible, except for its positive effects.

The Legacy V system was supported by:
  • (2) CODA 15.5 Amplifiers - $10,000 ea
  • Ayon Audio CD-07 Player
  • Wireworld Cables
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post #34 of 51 Old 10-28-14, 11:02 PM
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Re: Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2014 Show Coverage

I've been wanting to lay ears on Cabasse speakers for a while, so I ducked into the Esoteric/Cabasse room for that opportunity. Backed by ne plus ultra electronics, I was informed that this system debuts the Grandioso C1 linestage preamp. This was not a planned stop, so I didn't get specifics on the rest of the gear.

A little warm in the midbass, but without giving a sense of bloat. Deep and wide was the soundstage, with very good dynamics which belies the size of the point source Cabasse 3-way loudspeakers.

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"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #35 of 51 Old 10-29-14, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2014 Show Coverage

Von Schweikert Audio

  • Von Schweikert Unifield II Mk-3: $12,000 per pair
Von Schweikert Audio

Von Schweikert Unifield II Mk-3 is a three-way compact speaker consisting of woofer and concentric mid/tweeter. The soundstage was nice, image clarity a bit soft, a pinpoint source appearing about the size of a beach ball. But then some people prefer a bigger softer image.

The concentric mid/tweeter design created a very unified upper frequency range. Overall, the frequency response had a bit of a characteristic contour, free of any annoying peaks, but definitely containing its own voicing. The Unified II Mk-3 reached into inter detail very effectively.

Von Schweikert Audio has done interesting research into sound reproduction over the years. I look forward to hearing some of their bigger speakers.
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post #36 of 51 Old 10-29-14, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2014 Show Coverage

oBravo Audio

  • oBravo Audio HAMT-1 Headphone: $2,000 each
  • oBravo Audio HAMT-2 Headphone: $1,500 each
  • oBravo Audio HAMT-3 Headphone: $1,000 each
oBravo Audio

The oBravo Audio headphones combined a neodymium dynamic driver with an Air Motion Tweeter (AMT), a true two-way headphone design. I am a real AMT tweeter fan, and the clarity and smoothness characteristic of an AMT was in evidence in all three models. All the things that are hard about the upper-mid and high-frequency response in headphones, the HAMT series seemed to get right.

Moving successively from the HAMT-3 to the -2 and then -1, it was clear that the tonality was more controlled and refined at each step. Craftsmanship was incredible, it made me think of riding in a Rolls Royce (I never have) with hand-stitched leather and polished fine wood everywhere. They are truly beautiful headphones.
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post #37 of 51 Old 10-29-14, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2014 Show Coverage

Nola Speakers

  • Nola Studio Grand Reference Gold Speaker: $19,800 per pair
Nola Speakers

The Nola Studio Grand Reference Gold, was rocking to Rush's Tom Sawyer as I walked into the room. They projected a very open, transparent sound worthy of being called a reference speaker.
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post #38 of 51 Old 10-29-14, 07:43 PM
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Re: Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2014 Show Coverage

The Tyler Acoustics Taylo Dream Console! Lots of fun for a den or patio.

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"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #39 of 51 Old 10-29-14, 08:00 PM
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I ducked into the Home Audio Sound LLC room to listen to Harman's best. The Everest gave good account of it's self. Never harsh, but I did not get to hear it LOUD like I would have liked, and there was conversation going on in the room, so I had to move on. I sure would like a pair of those Mark Levinson amps.

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"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #40 of 51 Old 10-30-14, 10:02 PM
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Re: Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2014 Show Coverage

The Listen Up/GoldenEar room had it going on, showcasing this latest creation from the mind of Sandy Gross, the Triton One.

I've heard almost all of the GoldenEar speakers at a local hifi hut, and find it amazing they can bring all of these different drivers together to sound as one. I've played the trumpet (and most of the other brass horns, too, when I was younger) and Hugh Masekela: "The Coal Train" played through the Triton One portrayed that instrument as real as any other speaker I have heard. No added warmth, not cold, nor sterile, the Triton One just tells the truth.

Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio: "Misty" was a piece that really brought out the best of this system's capabilities. During the solo upright bass intro, you could hear the fingers on the strings well enough to almost envision fingers plucking away. Piano (an instrument my mother insisted I take lessons on), probably the most difficult of all instruments to reproduce, was almost perfect. Again as good as anything I've ever laid ears on.

While this was a music only system, I have no doubt the dynamic Triton One would be very comfortable in a home theater system as well. Definitely one of my favorite exhibits of the show.

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Wayne's Comments

I have heard so much about GoldenEar in the laast year that I had visiting their room as top priority on my RMAF Gotta Get There list. The pair of Triton 1 speakers was set up along with carefully-placed absorptive panels in the room, and company president Sandy Gross was on hand to answer questions.

Wow! I wrote the word 3 times in my notes. The soundstage was simply gargantuan, with image clarity as sharp and precise as any at the show. The disappearing act performed by the Triton 1 was so complete that you could be blindfolded and never never guess their location sonically. I noted more than once how effective the room treatment was to help accomplish this.

Attention to detail, everything about room and speakers said it. And the tweeters? Throughout the show I was listening for and to tweeters. It was as though the Triton 1 speakers had none, and the treble frequencies were conjured into the air by some other means. The high-velocity folded-motion tweeter was exceptionally transparent.

Getting ready to spend $5,000 on a pair of speakers? If you buy something else, be sure you avoid any and all contact with a Triton 1 afterward, or you will probably just cry.

I was able to listen to a number of my test tracks, and for most of them simply wrote the word [/i]perfect.[/i] That is how good everything sounded through the Triton 1.

"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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