Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2017
For Lovely Recording I selected music that speaks to me on many levels—and yes they all sound great!!!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 13, 2017
Take Me Apart ravages the listener. I think I'm in love.
Stephen Mejias  |  Oct 10, 2017

Photos: Stephen Mejias. Design and animation: Todd Steponick, Nice Looking Designs

Track 26

It's true that our indignation has acquired a hollow, meaningless sameness. The high-end audio industry's interest in attracting a younger and more diverse audience is something like our government's interest in putting an end to horrific mass shootings, working toward racial equality, rebuilding Puerto Rico. If we really wanted to make a significant change, we would. Of course, the stakes couldn't be more different: In high-end audio, we're only losing customers.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2017
Themes. I do enjoy a good theme and for me there were 3 major themes woven through RMAF 2017; room setup (I know, not very sexy), DSP (I know, not very sexy), and fun (very sexy).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2017
Let's see: DeVore Fidelity speakers? Check. totaldac? Check. Anything from Tone Imports? Check. Guys who know how to set up a room? Check. Good friends? Check. Great music? Check. Lots (and lots) of laughter? Check. What more can I ask for?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2017
I always enjoy my time in Gordon Rankin's room because a) I always learn something, b) he plays real music, and c) he gets great sound. "Did you hear Gordon's room?" being a common refrain. Gordon was showing his new Secant DAC ($5000) with a system powered by his tube amps and the Plasma Signature speakers ($20,000/pair) from Vaughn Loudspeakers.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2017
"I'll take Manhattan." A while back, I was asked if I'd like to review the Mytek Manhattan II DAC ($5995). My response was that Herb Reichert's review had just come out in Stereophile so it seemed a bit busy. I first read Herb's audio writing back in the Sound Practices days (I own a complete set), followed him to Art Dudley's much loved and missed Listener Magazine (I own a complete set), and online. Herb, and Art, are the reason I write about hi-fi (blame them ;-).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2017
Vince Galbo of MSB is yet another great setup guy and RMAF 2017 was no exception. MSB was showing off their new Reference DAC ($39,500, MQA USB input module +$1595, Femto 33 Clock +$9950) with the MSB M204 mono amplifiers (lookers they are), and a pair of YG Acoustics Mosaic Genesis speakers ($72,800).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2017
Another must-hear room at every hi-fi show is Joseph Audio. Proprietor Jeff Jospeh is yet another professional who knows setup (and speaker building) and perhaps of greatest delight, music. While there were some Playback Designs Sonoma gear in-room, it was tape that won the day.

Favorite line of the show from Jeff,

"Please refrain from touching Ms. Mitchell during the performance."
Yea, it was that good.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2017
Fort Collins, CO dealer Audio Alternative put together a fine sounding system comprised of VTL electronics, Vandersteen Audio speakers, and Brinkmann front ends.