November 2018
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RMAF 2018: Purist Audio, Classic Audio Loudspeakers, and Atma-Sphere

By | November 16th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , |

I caught up to Purist Audio Design‘s Jim Aud at RMAF, where the music flowed like water and the dynamics made the angels weep. This was a great room. Of course, this was also a Classic Audio Loudspeaker room, so this was a gloriously familiar sound. And yes, those were Novacron amps — new ones, this time — from Atma-Sphere driving them, and a Kuzma turntable spinning vinyl.

Mr. Aud was showing off a brand new cable — the Diamond Revision 30th Anniversary USB.… Read the full article

RMAF 2018: Gryphon Audio and Tweak Studio

By | November 16th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , |

I closed my eyes.  A strange but familiar world of percussion and bass beats opened up in my imagination across a vast soundstage.  I forgot about my exhaustion from a full day of walking the halls and taking hundreds of photos.  I reconnected with Yello in a way that even my system back home was not yet capable of.  “La Habanera…La Habanera…”  The walking bass line Yello is famous for was vivid.  There was a wonderful flow to the music.  Note decays trailed off into infinity.  … Read the full article

RMAF 2018: The Audio Alternative, Audioquest, Vandersteen, AMG, Lyra and VTL

By | November 16th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , |

I was enthusiastic about checking out the Audioquest room at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Just a few months ago I met Audioquest’s Bill Low when he strolled into one of my dealer’s stores while I was visiting. We had a wonderful conversation about the audio industry in general and then we sat down and listened to a wonderful system that consisted of the brands I distributed, all wired with Audioquest cable. It sounded wonderful. I was looking forward to seeing Bill once more.… Read the full article

RMAF 2018: Raidho Acoustics, SimAudio Moon and a Deep, Deep Window into the Music

By | November 15th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , |


My first hands-on experience with Raidho Acoustics’ loudspeakers occurred a few years ago, when I was pulled into an exhibit room to listen to a new digital technology. I can’t even remember what that product was, but I do remember the small yet very expensive Raidho 1.1 monitors that were in the system. They provided one of the most vivid and clear windows into a musical event I’ve ever heard—albeit with limited low-frequency information. I was so impressed with that demo, and the 1.1s, that I continue to suspect that they’re one of the finest 2-way monitors you can buy…if you can afford them.… Read the full article

On pragmatism and positivity

By | November 15th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

Ten thousand dollars. In the nineties, it would have bought us 500 new release CDs. Twenty years down the line, that same $10K would buy us 1000 CDs or 500 new release LPs. That’s generously assuming a $20 unit price for new release vinyl and $10 for silver discs. Used vinyl LPs are cheaper – yes – but only if your thirst for new music came to a halt during the decade that brought us Peter Gabriel’s So (1985), Joan Armatrading’s The Key (1983) or Billy Joel’s Storm Front (1989).… Read the full article

RMAF 2018: Jeff Rowland Design Group and the Ultimate Phono Pre for Multiple Tonearms

By | November 15th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , |

Lucien Pichette of the Jeff Rowland Design Group is an old friend of ours. He grew up in Montrose, Colorado, where Colleen and I lived for a few years, and I used to drive past his boyhood home nearly every day. I was happy to visit with him in the Rowland room at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest and talk about Colorado, but I kept getting distracted by the beautiful shiny faceplates of the gear in the room.

If you’ve ever seen a Rowland product, you know exactly what I mean—even though this was just a static display of the current Rowland models, attendees were wandering in, mesmerized by these shimmering amplifiers and preamplifiers.… Read the full article

RMAF 2018: Falcon Acoustics, Primare and the Incredible LS3/5a

By | November 13th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , |

I’m a huge fan of the LS3/5a…are you? If so, you probably know all about Falcon Acoustics, the only manufacturer licensed by the BBC who is continuing to produce the original 15 ohm LS3/5a design in 2018. Falcon, located in Oxford, England, manned three rooms at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest—one that featured a simple set-up around their LS3/5a ($2995/pair), a larger room focused around their new tower speaker, the Reference GC6500R ($26,000/pair), and an incredible third room filled with LS3/5as from different makes, vintages, crossovers and impedances.… Read the full article

RMAF 2018: Troy Audio, Twin AV, Triode; big speakers, big sound

By | November 12th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

KEF R Series


Troy Audio was presenting at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest and just like last year, they had great success in keeping their exhibit room as one of the most visited, and well regarded.


Troy Audio had two systems: The first was made up of Triode Corporation tube electronics, a preamplifier and power amplifier using 300B tubes at just 8 watts. The digital source was an Esoteric CD transport, while the DAC was the small giant DAC212SE from DiDIT High End.

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RMAF 2018: Bob’s Devices and a Long-Delayed Introduction

By | November 12th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Bob Sattin is one of those guys I always see at the shows, but I’ve never really introduced myself to him. That’s a bit ridiculous, considering that I’ve been calling myself the Vinyl Anachronist for 21 years and here’s someone who is totally dedicated to vinyl playback and has created some truly outstanding products…especially in the field of step-up transformers. So at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, I made a commitment to march up to him and his Bob’s Devices booth at the marketplace and say, “Hi Bob, I’m Marc.”

Bob always brings a variety of products to hi-fi shows—LPs, headphone systems, turntables, phono preamplifiers and accessories.… Read the full article

RMAF 2018: Gershman Acoustics, VAC, VPI, Nordost, Audio-Technica and the Art of Being POSH

By | November 11th, 2018|Categories: Nordost, Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , |


Naming a speaker POSH? This would all seem silly if the system in the Gershman Acoustics room didn’t offer a luxurious and exceptional sound. Ofra and Eli Gershman were showing off their new POSH Statement loudspeakers ($129,000/pair), powered by a VAC Statement 405S amplifier ($46,000) and a VAC Master preamp with phono ($40,000), with a VPI turntable using the hottest new thing in phono cartridges, the Audio-Technica AT-ART1000 ($4995). All cabling was from Nordost. Two more modest Gershman speakers were being rotated in and out of the system, but I was treated to the POSH, and the sound was every bit as opulent as the name implies.… Read the full article