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Rocky Mountain Audio Fest- Day 3

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MiTT

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Hey everybody - FINALLY getting over a rough week at work and posting my show report on Day 3 of the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Sorry for my tardiness.

The first room that my buddy Joe and I visited on Day 3 was a doozie. AudiKinesis is actualy a High End retailer that have developed their own brand of speakers and electronics. These big box enclosures are their Jazz Modules. While they are heavily towed in (almost like they were Klipshorns or something), these things imaged like champs and had a very punchy dynamic sound - in fact very reminicent of Klipshorns. "Nils Lofgren Live Acoustic" sounded FANTASTIC in this room.
 

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AudioKinesis amp

This 300B based amp had some of the most beautiful casewok I've seen and sounded wonderful. Pre-amp was an M1 from IDT Labs (never heard of them and no additional info) fed by an Oppo DVD player. This room made great music!
 

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Advanced Ribbon Technologies

Advanced Ribbon Technologies was demonstrating their METRO speaker system fed by all Naim electronics. The sound was "nice", but a bit laid back if you ask me - which seems odd given the Naim electroics (always known for their supperb PRAT). The METRO sells for $6900.00. If you ask me the Martin Logan guys aren't loosing any sleep over these speakers.
 

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MiTT

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Analysis Audio

On the other hand...the Analysis Audio Omega's may cause them to think twice. These speakers reminded of the the glory days of Apogee for obvious reasons. Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington were playing "Up at Duke's Place" and it was very convincing. The Omega's sell for $24K.
 

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MiTT

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Joule Electra

The big Analysis ribbons were being fed by these Joule Electra VZN 160 Grand Marquis OTL amps ($22K). I would LOVE to hear these amps strapped to my ReQuests. Digital source was the Audio Research CD-1.
 

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VPI and Joule Electra

Analog source in the Analysis Audio room was the VPI Super Scout feeding a Joule Electra OPS-2 phono stage ($4100.00) and their LA-150 pre-amp ($5200.00). All in all, a very musical sounding system.
 

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Ayre

The Ayre room featured their new MX-R monoblocks, the K-1xe per-amp, and the C-5xe universal player that Joey is currently in love with. They were playing some unidentified World music through the new Vandersteen Quattro speakers. Made me want to do something primal.
 

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Ayre MX-R's

The fit and finish on these new MX-R monoblocks is really something special. A real notch above their already nice look on the rest of the electronics.
 

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Azzolina Audio

Azzolina Audio makes some seriously BIG horns and Class A pre-amps. They are teamed here with some 845 based power amps from Serious Stereo. Source was another of the Galibier turntables. Seriously big music
 

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David Berning

The David Berning room featured his sensible elctronics playing through Sentient Acoustics Fostex 8 loudspeakers. Music was the John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman "Ballads" album. Tangible and seductive are the best words to describe the sound, and the Sentient speakers were very nice looking too.
 

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Behold Audio

The Behold room featured their BPA768 "Bi-Amping" power amps, APU768 Audio Processing Unit (pre-amp) and Memory CD player. Speakers were the $46K Ascendo M-S Mk II loudspeakers that just received a rave review in the November issue of The Abso!ute Sound. Yep, they're VERY good.
 

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More Behold

These Ascendo speakers are a real thing of beauty. Here's another view with one of the big Behold amps...
 

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Behold Sources

The Behold equipment is all very modularly based, they offer a number of phono cards and DAC cards for the Audio Processsing Unit. The Memory CD player can be used as a conventional tubed CD player, or as transport with an upgraded internal 32 bit tubed DAC with 215Khz upsampling (will also accept 5.1 to 7.2 HT inputs!), or as a digital recorder. You can record your favorite vinyl to upsampled digital and burn it on a CD. When in use it upsamples the input signal to non-mechanical memory, then feeds it through the tubed DAC. Future plans will include DVD Audio and Video playback as well as DVD-A & V burning capability, HD-DVD, and Blu-Ray. The latter requiring a factory upgrade, all others are software upgrades only. Very Cool! The Memory player is the silver box with the blue circle of light in the upper left.
 

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High Water Sound

Jeff Catalano bills his company High Water Sound as "Two Channel with Attitude". This is the second year that I've had a chance to talk with him and enjoy his room. The attitude here is definately more one focused on the music rather than the equipment. The equipment sounds great, but the focus is on getting out of the way and letting the music speak for itself. His 108Db efficient horns speak quite elloquently.
 

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MiTT

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T.W. Acustic TT

The High Water room was running analog only using this TW Acustic (their spelling) Raven AC turntable from Germany featuring 3 motors and 2 tonearm (Raven-one and Schroder Reference) both with Dynavector 507mkII cartridges. As shown $10K...
 

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PS Audio

PS Audio was showing their new Power Plant Premiere. Much smaller that the PS 600 and PS 1000 based chassis like I have - and supposedly much better sound. They are offering some significant trade in value for existing owners through November I believe - up to $1000.00 on the PS 600 I was told.
 

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Halcro

The monster Halcro amps were driving Wilson Audio Maxx II's and Talon subs in their room. How could the Wilsons have sounded so good in the Audio Unlimited/Boulder room and so bad in this room? The room was much larger here, and the source was supposedly uncompressed streaming audio from Music Giants, but the sound was just plain blah.
 

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Halcro Pre-Pro

The only AV Pre-Pro's I saw at the show was this SSP-100 on static display outside of the Halcro room along side of their SSP-80. The SSP-100 sells for $10K, the SSP-80 for $8K. The fact that these were the only real pre-pro's I saw at the show speaks volumes about the focus of this AUDIO show.
 

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Triode Corporation

A new company out of Japan called Triode Corporation (Tri) was making some amazing music with their collection of valve based amps and very small speakers (I didn't hear the larger ones). The speakers are a solid block of wood carved out to fit the drivers and crossover. They sounded amazing given their size - I'd just have a hard time ponying up 4 Large for something about the size of half a loaf of bread.
 

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