RMAF 2017

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2017
I like my hi-fi like I like my coffee? Bel Canto's new EX line trickles down from their flagship Black series. We're looking at the Black EX DAC / Control Preamp ($13,990) which includes a host of digital (USB, S/PDIF, Toslink, AES, Ethernet) and analog (line level, MM/MC) inputs. The Black EX DAC also decodes MQA.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2017
Continuing on our recent All-In-One theme, the AVM A30 integrated amp ($2995) adds a DAC and Bluetooth connectivity inside its 2x 110W Class A/B amp.
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
Micromega has gone and done it again; this year dressed in electric blue. Micromega added DSP to the M-150 Amp/DAC/Streamer/DSP/MM/MC phono Pre ($7495) which outputs an additional 50W of output power as compared to the M-100 (I love it when names makes sense).
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
I've covered Nagra's HD DAC before but it's always worth a look & listen.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2017
We're looking at a complete DEQX system; DEQX HDP-5 preamplifier/digital linear phase crossover/frequency & group calibration and room compensation/Roon certified end point, DEQX A250x3 monoblock 3 channel amplifier, DEQX/Legen Acoustics ISR active monitors ($16995/system). Frequency response is a reported 100Hz - 10kHz (+/- 0.5dB anechoic).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2017
Real "MEN" use room correction? The McIntosh Laboratory room was directly across from B&O, so I had DSP on the brain. The MEN220 ($5000) was in-use in the Mc system, which allows for 8 preset 'Room Perfect' settings while also offering Custom-EQ and 2-Way Crossover capabilities.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2017
Stereophile's Kal Rubinson reviewed the BeoLab 90 from Bang & Olufsen and concluded, ..."I exhort every caring music listener to listen to the BeoLab 90 and hear what is now possible. It's that good." The BeoLab 50 ($39,170/pair) are the 90's little brother but they house much of the same technology. The 50's are active speakers + DAC (24/192) and employ sophisticated DSP for in-room correction.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2017
I like themes, don't you? The Parasound Halo Integrated Amplifier ($2495) houses an ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC (ES9018K2M) and supports PCM resolutions up to 32/384 and DSD256 (via USB) while pumping out 2x 160 Watts (@ 8 Ohms).
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
Bryston's BDP-3 Digital Music Player ($3495, $1500 for just upgrade) got speedier with a "blazing Intel processor and 8 gigabytes of RAM". This allows for faster processing (wink) which should positively impact performance for people with large music libraries.
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
When you enter a room at a hi-fi show, what do you hear? More than anything else, you're hearing how skilled the people running the room are at setup.
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.

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