September 2019
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ZMF & The New Verite Closed-Back Headphones – RMAF 2019

By | September 16th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , |

ZMF Headphones Verite Closed Back at RMAF 2019.

Running a wide open exhibit every day of the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 was ZMF Headphones. “Busy, busy, busy” was the name of the game all weekend for Zach Mehrbach, Owner of ZMF Headphones. So much so, that Zach was often unavailable for comment about his booth during show hours. As with such tragedies, there is usually a silver lining to be found somewhere, and in this case our silver lining had a name: Bevin Mehrbach.

Bevin Mehrbach is often referred to amongst the audiophile press (and industry partners) as “the brains of the operation” over at ZMF Headphones.… Read the full article

iFi Unveils New Zen Series – RMAF 2019

By | September 15th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , |

iFi Zen Blue

Browsing through the HeadSpace are of Rocky Mountain Audio Fest on Saturday morning brought me to some conclusions about Denver people and their weekends. Friday at the show, in all exhibits, was a madhouse of activity. Headspace in particular was more crowded than I was ready to deal with considering I’d be trying to gather information on new product from my favourite brands.

Saturday morning comes, and the show is much less busy. As it turns out, a weekend beautiful weather in Denver is important to the locals, and if it’s nice outside, good luck getting them to do anything indoors.… Read the full article

Elac Launches All-New Debut Reference Speaker With Andrew Jones – RMAF 2019

By | September 14th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

Elac Debut Reference speakers

To hear Andrew Jones recount the starting of Elac’s American operation and foray into affordable speakers, it’s like listening to the character Quint from the movie Jaws (1975) tell us all about his battle scars.

The Debut series started out as Andrew Jones’ project to continue doing what he had done for Pioneer, but now under the Elac label. After some time, and great success, it was time to revise the Debut series ever so slightly to 2.0 status, and add twenty dollars to the MSRP.… Read the full article

Auralic Debuts Altair G1 Do-Everything-Box – RMAF 2019

By | September 13th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , |

Auralic Altair G1

The all-new G1 series product making it’s North American debut at RMAF 2019, is the newly updated Altair G1 and it is one show-stopping device from Auralic that has a proud history to build on, so pardon the excitement. The new Altair G1 ($2,699 USD) is an all-in-one digital source and so much more. It’s a server, streamer, DAC, preamp, volume control, headphone amp, bluetooth receiver, and on-board storage (as an option).

A sneak-peek of the new Altair G1 was given in Munich earlier this year, and we were proud to report on it then.… Read the full article

Sony Debuts New Signature Series SA-Z1 Near-field Music System – RMAF 2019

By | September 12th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

Sony SA-Z1 near-field music system

Sony Electronics Inc. was debuting their latest addition to the heralded brand’s Signature Series of loudspeakers. The star of the show, the new SA-Z1 near-field powered speaker system.

The SA-Z1 (estimated $9,000 USD) speaker system is a self-powered hi-resolution near-field audio-delivery system for music, movies, and video gaming. The included inputs cover the gambit of digital: USB, Optical, along with a specific digital input designed to get the most out of Sony’s Walkman® and other Sony Signature Series DAPs.

Sony also included various ways to tailor the sound experience with “blend ratio of the digital and analogue amplifier”, “control of the assist woofer motion”, “cut-off frequency of the assist woofer”, “the ‘assist tweeter’ time alignment.” 

The acoustic design concept of SA-Z1 is that of an ideal point-source.… Read the full article

Astell & Kern Talks Layla, Beyer and Activo – RMAF 2019

By | September 11th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

AK JH Layla IEM

Astell & Kern has been on a roll this summer, with new IEMs and DAPs making waves, as reported at CanJam SoCal 2019.

Much is the same with Astell & Kern at the Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest, as they release a few “brand-brand-new” products. Starting with the new third generation Layla IEMs. The Layla platform is a collaboration product made by Jerry Harvey Audio. Astell & Kern has been partnering with Jerry Harvey Audio and Beyerdynamic for quite some time now, so it’s no surprise that the new Layla’s come with pedigree build, sound, and history in the Astell & Kern brand.… Read the full article

Focal Revamps Entry-Level Offerings With The Chora Speaker Line

By | September 10th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

Focal Chora 806

Thursday night at Rocky Mountain Audiofest held a special surprise for a few select members of the audiophile press. Lucky for us, we were pulled into a off-site meeting to see (and be one of the first to hear) a new range of budget-oriented loudspeakers from hifi favorite Focal.

Even though the line starts at a meager (at least for audiophiles) $800/pair for the Chora 806 standmounts, the loudspeakers are still constructed in facilities in Focal’s home of France. The media presentation we heard emphasized the new driver tech and the tooling, assembling, machining and home grown expertise associated with them.… Read the full article

Vinnie Rossi, Innuos, QLN & Well Pleased AV – RMAF 2019

By | September 10th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

First things first at RMAF 2019, I had to see, hear, and lay hands on the new Vinnie Rossi L2 ‘Signature Edition’ Integrated Amplifier (L2i-SE, $18,995 USD).

But before I begin, let’s backtrack to 2018 where Vinnie Rossi showed us their new L2 Signature Preamp and Monoblocks. In that selection of components, DAC and phono cards, you’d be looking at nearly $37,000 USD to complete the electronics portion of the system. Now enter the new integrated in Signature Edition (~$19k) and Standard (~$13k) with the option to install both the DAC and Phono cards at (~$3,5k ea).… Read the full article

The Schiit Sol Turntable Gets Official At $799

By | September 5th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

Schiit Sol Turntable

It has been a long time in the works. Our first glimpse at a mechanical doohickey that spins black discs from the wildly successful budget DAC-and-Amp maker Schiit Audio was probably more than a year ago. Even the company’s direct to consumer website notes 6 years of research and development for the product.

Now perhaps the longest teased audio product of all time has finally taken form in the market as the Sol turntable. While the actual price has bounced around some since its inception, the final market price rolled out at $799 (without a cartridge).… Read the full article

An Interview With Dan D’Agostino

By | September 4th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

Dan D'Agostino podcast interview

From Krell to Dan D’Agostino amplifiers, Daniel has made his mark on high end audio as a whole. His large and powerful amplifiers are known for their beautiful casework as much as they are for their musicality and acoustic dance.

Dan recently sat down with the Occasional Podcast for a full one-on-one interview. The result was some good insight into Mr. D’Agostino’s history, where he’s going, and what he has learned along the way. It’s worth a listen if you have a little drive time this week or are jumping on a flight to the RMAF audio show in Denver.… Read the full article