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Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2009

October 6, 2009 By Charles Crowley



Click the images below for bigger versions:
Galibier Design
RAAL Constellation
Blue Circle Audio
Wadia 151PowerDAC Mini
Dynaudio Consequence Ultimate Edition
Synergistic Research
Gallo Reference Strada
Hegel
Audioengine
Affirm Audio
The Soundsmith
Emotiva ERC-1 and USP-1
Head-Direct
Audio Magic
Electrocompaniet Nordic Tone Model 1

Mountain High (End)

The Hi-Fi world headed to Denver last weekend for the annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest.

This year, there were over 150 rooms of high-end audio at the Denver Marriott Tech Center. Check out all the cool stuff after the jump.

David Berning Company

David Berning Company

RMAF is the place to see turntables, tweaks, towering speakers … and, of course, tube amps. This one is the Siegfried, designed by famed tube audio master David Berning, a single-ended $6,950 stereo amp that puts out 10 watts into 8 ohms.

I heard it at the MA Recordings room, playing incredible CDs made by audio engineer Todd Garfinkle.

 

Galibier Design

Galibier Design

Audiophiles love anachronism, which is why RMAF is perhaps the only audio show where manufacturers use vinyl records to demo their products.

RMAF attendees can see and hear numerous exotic turntables such as the one shown here, made by Galibier Design.

Sadly, no one who was in the room when I visited could explain what purpose the blue LEDs serve—except, of course, to look cool.

 

RAAL Constellation

RAAL Constellation

This ingenious speaker is called the Constellation, and it comes from RAAL. Each of the metal cylinders holds two 3-inch midrange drivers, one pointing up and one pointing down, for a total of four. A ribbon tweeter mounted in the side of one cylinder fires into the side of the other, so sound sprays symmetrically from between them.

Dual 6-inch woofers in the black cylinder at bottom provide bass. The RAAL guy said, “You can pull them out to listen to them, and if they bother your wife you can fold them back in like a swing-arm lamp.”

No firm price yet, but figure something like $4,000/pair including six channels of amplification.

 

Blue Circle Audio

Blue Circle Audio

One of my favorite rooms—and the one that perhaps best embodied the spirit of artisanal audiophilia—was populated with various products from Blue Circle Audio, which builds many of its components into little black cylinders then fills the cylinders with silicon.

This is the company’s new modular preamp, which is battery-powered to eliminate the effects of AC power line noise.

The battery was charged by solar panels, which meant the preamp was probably the only piece of audio gear still running when the power failed for about 30 minutes at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel where the show was held. (Yep, that’s a shower drain cover capping one of the components.)

 

Comments

Beautiful shots.

It would have been great if you would have included Legacy Audio in your coverage of RMAF. Our line is quite relevant to your readership, both in the two channel and home theater market. We were in the larger room on the mezzanine next to the Dynaudio room and the Focal Utopias. Those interested may view additional coverage of RMAF at http://legacyaudio.com.

We not only displayed our flagship Helix system, but also debuted the Focus SE and some of our home theater products. Hopefully next year you can pay us a visit!

Best wishes,

Doug Brown
Legacy Audio

The "record weight" on the Galibier turntable was designed by Hagermann Technology and serves a very important purpose as a speed strobe -- which allows one to check the speed accuracy of the table. Anyone working the Galibier room could have informed the reviewer of this, including myself.

Thank you for your coverage of the room.

Wes Bender

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