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Notes from the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest

Notes from the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest
Notes from the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest

RMAF is one of the more interesting audio shows on the “circuit" featuring a broad cross-section of the high-end industry combined with the headphone community's CanJam for a well-attended party in the newly renovated Tech Center Marriott in Denver.

As always at these audio shows, sound ranged from so-so to pretty good, but we will focus here on new products of most interest to our Cable Company readers.


PS Audio

Our first stop was our friends at PS Audio who have been on a roll lately with products including the stunningly good DirectStream Transport and DAC, the reference level BHK preamp with matching amplifiers, the impressive and affordable Stellar series.

At RMAF PS Audio announced their most ambitious powerline product to date, a new reference power conditioner, the P20. The  massive P20 is intended to take advantage of a 20A circuit to deliver 2000W of regenerated power. That's more than enough to power most complete systems. PS Audio was using a pair of them to power  BHK Mono amps and a pair of REL 212SE subwoofers with plenty of power left over for a BHK preamp, DSD DAC and Transport. Even in show conditions, there was no dynamic compression and the sound field was huge. Anticipated to be priced somewhere near $8500 and available in early 2018, the P20 looks to be another winner!

Wolf Audio

Wolf Audio, the high-end music servers we featured last month, were pleased to have received a very complimentary online review from Dagogo just in time for the show. This follows close on the heels of Bascom King’s write up in the The Audiophile Voice, he actually purchased the review sample. This brand is starting to catch fire!

Blue Fuses from Synergistic Research

Synergistic Research has a new generation of fuses which start shipping this month. The “Blue Fuses” ($149.95) promise a significant step up even over their own lust-worthy Black Fuses ($119.95) and we can’t wait to get these into our reference system for testing.

Synergistic Research 25th Anniversary Power Cord

SR also is releasing a new, limited production, statement power cord for their 25th anniversary. Incorporating everything they have learned about power transmission, this cost-no-object design comes in at a cool $20k. A quick listen to a 25th Anniversary cord on the Berkeley Reference DAC in SR's active display was ear-opening. And after all, the kids could go to a community college…

Harmonic Tech Rectangular Series Cables

In other cable news, Harmonic Technologies has a new series of cables using copper and silver ribbon conductors. Prices ranges from $150/1m pair to $600/1m pair for the interconnects, and from $550 to $5500 for 8ft pairs of the speaker cables.

Furutech's Best Bulk AC Cable

Furutech has a new top line bulk AC cable called “DPS-4” using their best, highly-processed ultra-purity, crystal-aligned copper conductors. At $450 per meter the importer promises unsurpassed performance in the unterminated cable category. He also promised that he would make us a terminated cord for our internal auditioning.


Focal Launches Their $1500 "Clear" Headphones

Focal launched their new “Clear” headphones ($1495) at RMAF. This open back design offers much of the air and sonic beauty of the top-line Utopia headphones at a fraction of the cost. Very sophisticated.

MrSpeakers Aeon Headphones

MrSpeakers was playing their new, more affordable Aeon headphones ($799.95), one of the most impressive under $1k ‘cans out there. Available in both open and closed back versions, and based on their excellent Ether Flow models, these are compact and efficient enough to be used as a portable.

Abyss Diana Headphones

Abyss headphones were showing off the new Phi version of their signature AB-1266 headphones (from $4495), but also a pre-production run of the soon-to-launch (weeks, not months, available for pre-order) “Diana” model (pictured; projected price $2995), a very pretty and more conventional-looking design incorporating many of the attributes of the more expensive Abyss in a more consumer-friendly package.

We will be adding Focal’s Clear, MrSpeakers’ Aeon, and the Abyss Diana to the high end headphone Library just as soon as we can. If you are interested in getting to the front of the queue, please let us know.

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