RMAF 2016

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2016
The biggest RMAF 2016 story was RMAF 2016. The Denver Marriott Tech Center was still under renovation at show-time, which had show organizer Marjoie Baumont & Crew pulling out some creative ways to make this all work. Pre-show prognostication tended to fall into two camps; bad, and worse.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 15, 2016
Since the reigning "Coolest Room" champ, Ayre Acoustics, took this year off, Micromega and Focal filled the bill.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 15, 2016
Another room I make it a point to visit is this one. While there was nothing new on the digital hardware front, I've reviewed the dCS Rossini Player & Clock, there was something new (to me) and rather unusual. Roy Gregory of The Audio Beat.com, pictured above, was playing a polycarbonate disc of Beethoven's 9th that retails for $2,000.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 15, 2016
Philip O'Hanlon of On A Higher Note is the distributor of some fine lines including Luxman, Merging Technologies, and Vivid speakers among others. I usually visit Philip's room on the last day of the show due to its location on the mezzanine level. By this time I'm typically overfull with information and ideas, and my talking mechanism, which sits idle at home for the better part of most days, is on its last legs. Listening to fine music on a fine system is the balm (bomb?) I crave and Philip delvers. Always.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 15, 2016
Salk & Schiit, Attorney's At Law (kidding). A small stack of Schiit—BiFrost Multi-Bit DAC ($599), Saga preamp ($349), and Vidar amp ($699)—a dash of the Roon Ready Salk Sound StreamPlayer Generation III ($1695), with a helping of Salk Song3 speakers ($2895/pair)=value. If you haven't heard, Schiit delivers value + good sound.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 15, 2016
I'm thinking I should get in a small herd of one-box players for a big-ol' roundup review and the Oppo Sonica Grand ($699) would certainly be on that list. While I did not get a good listen here, Oppo's reputation suggests these are worth a closer look.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 15, 2016
OK, this isn't my beat but I always like sticking me head into the IsoAcoustics room to see what they're up to. I own a pair of their speaker stands (see review) and consider them a must-have item for anyone with desktop speakers. Their new GAIA Isolation Pucks (GAIA I: $600/4 holds up to 220lbs, GAIA II ($300/4 holds up to 110lbs.) promise to work the same magic (OK, it's not really magic) on floor-standers.
 |  Oct 15, 2016
To say that the Sonore microRendu ($640 w/o power supply) is on my favorite product list for 2016 is a lie because a) I don't have such a list, and b) there's nothing that comes close to delivering the sonic goods and ease of use (thanks to Roon) that the mR delivers (see my review).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 15, 2016
the Audio Alchemy DDP-1 Digital Decoding Preamp / DAC / Headphone Amp ($1995)

On the "Wow, that's news!" front, Germany-based ELAC has acquired Peter Madnick's Audio Alchemy "along with key engineers". Wow, that's news!

Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 15, 2016
Taking the all-one-one concept to a new level of all-in-onesness, the Margules Mutable Console Hi-Fi ($2500) houses a Bluetooth receiver, phono stage, Aux input, a 200Wpc class /A/B amp, and speakers. I admit that when the very kind person running the room asked me to play something from my phone, I froze in my tracks, days (and nights) of hi-fi'ing had taken their toll.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 15, 2016
Bunnies! Walking into the SOtM room, I couldn't help but notice the sheer number of products whose numbers seem to increase with each hi-fi show.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 15, 2016
the Wavelength Crimson DAC

"Did you hear Gordon's room?" was a question I was asked more than once throughout RMAF 2016. My show coverage began on the 11th floor and wound its way down, so it wasn't until Sunday that I hit 2 and the Wavelength Audio room.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 15, 2016
Thank you spell check because no matter hard I try to type Resonessence Labs, I add one too many or one too few syllables. That aside, I always my stop into the Resonessence Labs room for a taste of good sound value and good sound.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 15, 2016
The Auralic Polaris ($3800 +$400 w/1TB) is a wireless streaming amp. Do I need to say more?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 14, 2016
Some rooms have a good vibe. I'd like to say all rooms... but that's not the case, at least in my experience. The Prism Sound room made it to my 'good vibe' list a few seconds after entering.

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