RMAF 2014

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 14, 2014
The PS Audio Sprout ($799) was on display in its own mood room. The 50W per channel Sprout also offers 24/192 capable USB and Coax S/PDIF inputs, a pair of analog RCAs, as well as a moving magnet phono preamplifier input and AptX Bluetooth (cool!) all in a package that's about the size of a good book.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 14, 2014
Cremona Italy's Norma Electronics DS-1 ($6300) is a combo disc player using a TEAC transport and a 24/192 capable DAC featuring USB, 2 x SPDIF RCA, Toslink, and AES-EBU inputs. The DS-1 uses the Burr Brown 1704 DAC in dual mono configuration and offers single ended RCA and balanced XLR outputs.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 14, 2014
The DEQX PreMate+ ($5995) is a preamplifier, 24/192-capable DAC, crossover and speaker/room correction device all-in-one. The DEQX room also featured a pair of Magnepan 1.7s driven by a Plinius SB-301 amp and their demo with their room correction software on and off was also an exercise in increased and decreased naturalness respectively.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 14, 2014
ExaSound offered an interesting demo consisting of a comparison between stereo and multichannel music using five Magnepan 1.7 speakers driven by a Bryston amp. I found the surround versions to simply sound more natural and not at all gimmicky which you might expect from multichannel music.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 14, 2014
There was no information on the Exogal Comet DAC ($2500) which was on silent display when I was in the room other than to "check out the website". From that source we find that the Comet offers Asynchronous USB, AES/EBU, S/PDIF, Toslink, and line level Analog inputs and supports resolutions up to 24/384 and DSD. Outputs include analog RCA and XLR pairs.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 12, 2014
The Goldmund ProLogos Plus WiFi speakers ($40,000/pair) contain more than a three way speaker (rated at 30Hz (-6dB) > 25kHz by Goldmund). There's onboard DSP, an amp, and a DAC so all prospective owners need do is add the computer. The ProLogos are capable of handling up to 24/96 data, the rate at which all incoming data is processed.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 12, 2014
The La Rosita Pi ($13,000) is the company's flagship streamer. While there's no internal data storage, the Pi offers an internal DAC and an optional preamplifier with three analog inputs. The Pi connects to your network via WiFi (2.5GHz or 5GHz) and is capable of streaming 16/44.1 data. The company feels that CD-quality retains an essential aspect of "the flow" of music, at least according to my notes.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 12, 2014
Here's a nice little package, the Audioengine B2 ($299), that essentially combines a pair of the company's A2+s with their B1 aptX Bluetooth receiver for a portable playback solution. Available finishes include Zebra (shown), American Walnut, and Black Ash. Production models should be available by mid-November.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 11, 2014
The chiseled Astel & Kern AK500N ($TBD estimated between $9-11k) is a music server with 1TB of SSD internal storage (expandable to a max 4TB), a CD ripper (WAV or FLAC), DLNA complant for accessing network attached storage, a PCM/DSD DAC (dual Cyrus Logic 4398), and its battery powered for music playback to keep you running smoothly and quietly. The AK500N supports PCM formats up to 24/384 and up to double rate DSD. All incoming data is converted to DSD64 and that 7" WXGA (1280 x 800) touch screen is also part of the package. The AK500N supports WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, ALAC, AIFF, DFF and DSF formats. And it looks really cool to boot (based on Switzerland's Matterhorn accord to Astel & Kern).

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