RMAF 2015

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2015
Brooklyn ($1,995) is the new DAC from Mytek who are responsible for making some great DACs (see my Manhattan review and the Stereo192-DSD DAC review which I use daily). We're looking at a production prototype and what you see on the display will change in a number of ways but that "MQA" won't be going anywhere. The Brooklyn delivers all of the goodies you'd expect from Mytek including up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256 playback, a headphone amp, a number of digital inputs (USB2 Class2, AES/EBU, 2x S/PDIF, Toslink/ADAT, 2x coax S/PDIF, and SDIF3), line level inputs, analog and digital volume control, RCA and XLR output pairs, and, now pay attention, a MM/MC phono input.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 08, 2015
the DirectStream DAC sits in between the BHK Signature Preamplifier and the PerfectWave Memory Player transport

The PS Audio DirectStream DAC ($5,999) never ends. With each firmware upgrade (I think "upgrade" is appropriate in this case more so than "revision"), designer Ted Smith improves the damn DAC. For free. That makes my two-revision-old review, um, irrelevant (click the link to find out what the DirectStream does). Of course from an owner's perspective this is a beautiful thing. From PS Audio's view, I'd imagine it's kinda like the DAC that keeps on giving.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 08, 2015
Rob Robinson of Channel D was showing off the company's newly minted Pure Music 3 by playing some vinly rips (ripped using Channel D's Pure Vinyl) of outrageously great music, loud. I mean, really, really fun music at realistic levels. Here's my top 3:
Mark Lanoogna "Pretty Colors"
Zeppelin's "Hearbreaker" from the original "hot mix" pressing done by Bob Ludwig (yeow!)
"Vamos" from The Pixies Surfer Rosa (my notes read, "Killed it!")
Of course there was more music played but I didn't write it down. Rob also played "Electric Ladyland" which he got from my USB stick. This is a rip of the Japanese import CD with the original UK album cover art and it happens to sound simply fantastic. There was also a mystery afoot....
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 08, 2015
the Veritas' skeleton is milled from a block of aluminum

I have never, in my entire life, correctly typed Resonessence. I actually dread trying because I know I should know how many s's and n's there are by now but I don't. Thank you Google. The new Resonessence Labs Veritas DAC ($2,850) sits comfortably between the company's Concero DAC ($850 see review) and Invicta ($4,995 see review). If you read those reviews, as well as Steve Plaskin's review of the Mirus DAC, you'll see that we think Resonessence (I just cut and paste once I have it down) Labs makes some fine DACs. From what I heard at RMAF, the Veritas adds another to that category.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 02, 2015  |  First Published: Oct 03, 2015
Audio Note and Vincent Bélanger win the AudioStream RMAF 2015 Award for palpable presence.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2015
I was totally diggin' those new Audio Physic Avanti loudspeakers

My first priority at any show is new but that doesn't mean what isn't new is old. If you know what I mean. Here's a peak at some of the other rooms and gear I visited.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2015

Hi-Fi is first and foremost about people. That's why, when you walk around a show like the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, you see as many approaches to delivering our music through gear as there are people who make it. If you think there's a right way and a wrong way, you've missed this basic fact.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 02, 2015
Here's the music I brought with me so when someone asks, "Do you have something you'd like play?" I can finally say, "Well, yes I do."
Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 28, 2015
In three days I'll be heading to Denver, CO for the 12th annual RMAF. Billed as the largest consumer audio and home entertainment show in the United States with over 160 exhibition spaces filled with products from about 400 companies from around the world, there'll be plenty to see, hear, and report. I'll be focusing my attention on what's new in computer audio, lining up some future Q&As, seeing friends, and ideally hearing some great music that's new to me.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2015
The Sonore Signature Rendu streamer ($2,895) outputs its asynchronous Ethernet input via coax S/PDIF (BNC) or LVDS i2s. In-room at RMAF, a Twisted Pair Audio DIY Buffalo-IIISE 2-Channel DAC ($379), which can process PCM resolutions up to 32-bit/192kHz and DSD using the ESS Sabre32 Reference (ES9018), received its bits from the Rendu's i2s output. A pair of DIY Hypex Ncore amps drove the always good sounding Raidho C 1.1 loudspeakers.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 08, 2015
Neal Van Berg of Sound Science has been busy building his forthcoming flagship server, the Music Vault Epiphany (around $10k). As you can see, Eric has pulled out all of the steam punk stops with Epiphany but those looks are mostly functional. That Metropolis-looking tower is all heatsink, baby, to cool the Intel Core I7 Processor. There will be 32GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage as well as all of the sonically advantageous goodies Neal has garnered from building his Music Vault servers.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 08, 2015
That about says it all, no? The Questyle T2 Transmitter ($999 pictured above) accepts up to 24-bit/192kHz data via coax S/PDIF, Toslink, and asynchronous USB inputs. Then T2 then sends the digital data via WiFi, "transmitting uncompressed 24bit/22M audio signal in the 5.2GHz/5.8GHz frequency band" according to the company, to the Questyle receiving amp/DAC, in this case the 200W R200 Wireless Mono Amplifiers ($999/ea.).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 09, 2015
Speaking of friends, Germany's Voxativ was using Vincent Brient's totaldac to convert bits to magic. My review of the totaldac d1-tube-mk2 DAC ($10,000) will be showing up on AudioStream shortly much to my chagrin since that means I'll have to send it back. Just as we were becoming such.great.friends. Haruumph!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 08, 2015
I'm not going to get into the interesting details behind the Vinnie Rossi LIO ultracapacitor-powered Integrated Amplifier (starts at $2,495) since Sterophile's Herb Reichert has done so in a full review. The LIO is a modular design and one available plug-in is a PCM/DSD DAC (+$895 and offers up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD128 support) based on a pair of AKM AK4399 D/A chips per channel.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2015
I always enjoy seeing Wavelength Audio's Gordon Rankin and his wife Kelly. They are, in my book, good people. Gordon was even kind enough to address my mumbled questions about the AudioQuest JitterBug (see review), Gordon was the chief designer, putting all of the nonsensical noise created by people who think they know more than they actually know, at rest. Of course this only occurred after I spent time in the Wavelength room listening to some real music through some fine gear.

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