In a year that's seen some ups and downs in the show world---a new show in LA, and longtime reliable venue THE Show cancelled, at least for this year---it's good to be able to look forward to the 14th edition of the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. At this point, RMAF is the longest-running consumer audio show in the US.
As in years past, Marjorie Baumert and company will be presenting the show at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, 'way down there on the south side of Denver. Repeat attendees can regale you with tales of death-defying Blue Van rides from the airport, 'way up north of Denver. This year the perpetual construction on I-25 is momentarily in abeyance, so perhaps the drama will be lessened.
Last year the Marriott ran late on a massive remodeling project, which limited the number of ballrooms available and forced the popular Can Jam headphone gathering to be held in bubble-like white tents in the parking lot. The difficulties did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of exhibitors or attendees, aside from annoyances created by the resultant parking shortages. This year, the newly-refreshed hotel will have all facilities available, and the show should be bigger and better than ever.
Here are a few of the products debuting or being demoed at RMAF:
Benchmark: " Benchmark Media Systems, Inc., along with MartinLogan Ltd., will be exhibiting in Room 1000 at RMAF. We do hope you will stop by and listen to our latest products.
"The system will consist of: Speakers: MartinLogan Expression ESL 13A - $14,995/pair. Electronics: New Benchmark DAC3 HGC Preamplifier/DAC - $2,195; Benchmark AHB2 Amplifier in Monobloc configuration (x2) - $2,995/each; Aurender N100H Network Streamer. All cables will be by Benchmark."
Daedalus Audio: "Daedalus will be introducing the Apollo series of loudspeakers, featuring the new Daedalus 10" woofer; isolated crossover compartment, completely asymmetrical hardwood cabinets, Dueland/Mundorf upgrades and more.
"Apollo debuted at this year's Axpona and will be shown in Room 555. At 46 inches tall, 96 db 1 w/1 m and a smooth impedance curve this is a moderate sized speaker with a BIG sound and VERY tube friendly. The virtually flat frequency response and extended bass provide lifelike definition that is clear and balanced.
"Zeus, the father of Apollo, makes its worldwide debut in the Iris Room. Zeus features a two-part cabinet design with all the drivers and crossovers in the upper cabinet. The lower cabinet has the port and additional cabinet volume. A true full range system without any subwoofer, amazingly balanced and defined with a huge lifelike stage. Powerful without undue emphasis in any range."
DEQX: "DEQX will show a complete DEQX reference speaker system incorporating HDP-5, new DEQX A250X3 Tri-Block amps and Legend/DEQX ISR reference speakers at RMAF in the Marriott Tech Center in Room 1124.
"The introductions include the HDP-5 ‘roon-ready’ Preamp processor, Dual A250X3 Tri-block active amplifiers featuring HYPEX Ncore technology driving the compact 3-way active reference monitor."
Linn: "San Francisco Bay Area dealer Basil will showcase Linn’s new Klimax 350 and Akudorik loudspeakers featuring its latest cutting edge digital-to-analogue technology - Katalyst in Room 1130 at RMAF.
"Basil’s expert team will introduce Linn’s unique built-in technologies including Exakt, Space Optimisation and the latest Katalyst DAC Architecture. They’ll also demonstrate how an Exakt Surround Sound system allows family-friendly speaker placement due to Space Optimisation software and delivers the most natural sound thanks to linear phase for all loudspeakers."
Modwright: "We are pleased to be showing our Ambrose A30 Tube Mono Block Amplifiers with new Ambrose One Reference Balanced Tube Preamp. Four A30 SE tube mono amps will be driving Daedalus Audio’s new Zeus speakers in the Iris Room.
"Our new HA300 (300B) Headphone/Integrated amp will also be making it’s U.S. debut at CANJAM A18 Atrium table and in Room 9013 driving Studio Electric's new monitor speakers. The Tryst Headphone Amp will also be on display/demo at our CANJAM A18 Atrium table, and our new Tube Modified UDP-205 Universal/4K Player/DAC will be the digital source in Iris, Room 555, Room 9013 and our CANJAM A18 Atrium table."
Peachtree Audio: "We'll have a lot of new product that will be debuting at RMAF. A new integrated with WiFi, Powered speakers and the new deepblue will all be on display for your listening pleasure. For our 10th anniversary, we're reintroducing the decco.
"The new decco125 has tons more power and is much more advanced than the original, however, many of the same relevant features remain. Plus, the decco125 will be the first Peachtree WiFi product to be released. In addition to being displayed in the Pikes Peak, the decco125 will be displayed in the Affordable Audio, $2500 room, Room 2001."
PS Audio: "PS Audio, originators of power regeneration systems for home audio, is proud to announce the debut of the new P20 Power Plant at this year's Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Spruce 1 on the main floor.
" The P20 Power Plant is the next step in power regeneration, offering lower distortion, lower output impedance, more output devices and greater current capacity than any product on the market. A pair of P20s are featured in an extraordinary system in PS' room at RMAF, demonstrated by PS Founder/CEO Paul McGowan. Source is the DirectStream Memory Player (DMP), feeding the DirectStream DAC, BHK Signature Preamplifier, and a pair of BHK Signature 300 Amplifiers. Speakers are the Focal Sopra No. 3, along with a pair of REL 212/SE subwoofers. Power cords are by PS; interconnects are by MG Audio Design. All stands and racks are by Fin Art.
"At the show, PS will give away a Stellar Gain Cell DAC and matching Stellar S300 Power Amplifier, valued at $3198. Registration for the drawing will be in the exhibit room. Our Sprout integrated amplifier can be seen in the Affordable Audio $1500 room, Room 2004."
SOtM: "SOtM’s first master clock device will be unveiled! The sCLK-OCX10 outputs high-precision clock signals using a very precise and ultra low noise 10 MHz OCXO.
"SOtM will show 2 demo systems in Room 3000: the main system features SOtM's ultimate series products with Magico S1 MkII; the smaller system will feature the headphone amp/DAC sHP-100 with tx-USBUltra and sMS 200Ultra."
As is always the case, a full range of seminars and events are scheduled for the show. Pianist Robert Silverman will be making his return to RMAF, as will UK-based Classic Album Sundays (see feature on CAS elsewhere in this issue).
I'll be wandering around RMAF, and will report on highlights in the next issue of Copper, along with pics. I hope to see you there!