RMAF 2018 Best of Show
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  1. #1
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    RMAF 2018 Best of Show

    With another RMAF in the books, the last one at the Marriott Tech Center, the show goes out with a bang. Next year, the show is moving to a much bigger facility and much closer to the airport. The rooms this year were exceptionally good sounding (much better than the small ones at Axpona). Although traffic wasn’t as heavy as in past years, the rooms stole the show.

    Without further ado, here are my best of show:

    MBL 101e Mk2 with MBL Noble Electronics.





    I have never been to a show where I considered it a perfect, 10/10 room, until now. I returned to this room four separate times and could not find fault in anything. Bass was 10/10, top end was 10/10, imaging was 12/10, musicality was 10/10, etc. What did I learn from this room? The new WireWorld Electra (all copper) cables are a much better matching in my opinion than the all silver cables they’ve used in the past and I need to step up my game! Up until now, I felt the MBL’s in my room had surpassed any of the times I heard the 101’s at the show. Not any more. I have some work to do! As I said, this to me, was perfection.

    Magico M3’s with MSB Select II

    A first for this pairing at a show and boy, was it a good one. The musicality in this room was a hot as the room was itself. Those Class A amps from MSB sure do throw off some heat! That aside, this room oozed musicality and natural sound. There was nothing aggressive or forward at all. This was a system you could listen to all day (with a little more AC!). An awesome pairing I hope we see a lot more of. This is the pairing in my store and I know it’s a good one!



    Verity Audio Monsalvat with Verity Audio Electronics



    What’s not to like (other than perhaps the price)? This system was an all out assault on reproducing music. It was engaging, never fatiguing, perfectly balanced. This was one of those systems that you will remember for a very long time - and definitely one that forms a reference in ones mind.

    Gryphon Panthon with Gryphon Antilleon Evo and new Gryphon Zena Preamp



    Three times I went into this room, they were playing R2R. These were Master tapes from a Russian company I believe. The system produced a rich, liquid sound which seemed to extend far beyond the outside of the speakers. It was three dimensional and had such attack and dynamics. This was a complete Gryphon system that would could pack up, take home and live happily ever after.

    Avantgarde Uno Fino XD



    I have long wanted a horn speaker that would work in a smaller room (like 10 x 11). Avantgarde has answered my wishes with the Uno Fino XD. Not requiring a long throw (maybe 4 feet), these speakers with their new porting system sounded excellent and the drivers blended seamlessly. The Phasemation 300b tube amps rounded out the complete picture of what these amazing speakers are capable of.

    Alsyvox with Audio Concepts Electronics



    Where’s the subs I asked? There are no subs the designer responded. For those looking for the perfect electrostatic speaker, this is it. This speaker had no flaws - at all. Relatively efficient, dynamic, completely disappearing and at a level far beyond what I heard with Maggie 30.7’s. Sadly, the price is also far beyond the Maggie 30.7’s at about $87,000/pair.

    Harbeth 40.2 with Vinnie Rossi LIO electronics



    This was one of those rooms you could sit and listen all day and never get fatigued. Vinnie had them dialed in and his new DHT Preamp sounded terrific. You also won’t meet a friendlier bunch than these guys!

    DynAudio Confidence 20’s



    These new standmounts from DynAudio played HUGE! Musically engaging and refreshing to see a soft dome tweeter once again. The fit and finish was superb. Rumored to be pricing around $12-15K depending on finish.


    Honorable Mention:

    VAC with Von Schweikert speakers — This room sounded great, but was hard for me to properly assess. It was always packed! I guess that’s a good sign. The new VAC integrated certainly makes a statement.



    Sonus Faber Aida 2.0 with Audio Research - I went to this room three times and they were always playing crummy music. Like, really bad music. Again, I love this pairing, so very hard to assess the three times I was there. I heard from others who caught the room when it was playing good music, that it sounded great.



    The new little Sonus Faber Speakers (I forget the name).



    Tidal speakers with Bracasti electronics (or Tidal electronics in the other room).



    These sounded awesome with or without the sub!
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  2. #2
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    Re: RMAF 2018 Best of Show

    Wow! Thank you Mike.
    Joe

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  4. #3
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    Re: RMAF 2018 Best of Show

    Thanks Mike. I am sure any of these systems would make most of us very happy.
    Jim

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  6. #4
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    Re: RMAF 2018 Best of Show

    Mike,

    Thank you for your comments. It is said "a picture is worth 10,000 words" but when it comes to audio, just pictures leaves a lot to be desired.

    What I noticed about your top few picks is the huge size of the rooms. That is one thing that has turned me off about shows. That and the prices. Equipment and systems not designed for mere mortals. Still, those rooms show what can be done and set a benchmark for others to strive for.

  7. #5
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    Re: RMAF 2018 Best of Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzie View Post
    Mike,

    Thank you for your comments. It is said "a picture is worth 10,000 words" but when it comes to audio, just pictures leaves a lot to be desired.

    What I noticed about your top few picks is the huge size of the rooms. That is one thing that has turned me off about shows. That and the prices. Equipment and systems not designed for mere mortals. Still, those rooms show what can be done and set a benchmark for others to strive for.
    I don’t consider my top two picks, the MBL room or most certainly the MSB/Magico room large. Quite the contrary. I also mentioned the Avantgarde Uno Fino XD designed for very small rooms and priced excellently.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Bryston, Chord, ClearAudio Turntables & Accessories, Constellation Audio, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Furutech, Gryphon Audio, iFi Audio, ISO Acoustics, JL Audio, KEF Loudspeakers, Kimber Kable, KL Audio Record Cleaning Machines, KR Audio Tube & Amps, Kronos, Lampizator, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MicroMega, MIT Cables, MSB Technologies, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, PS Audio, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables, Roon Labs, Shunyata Research, Siltech, Solid Tech Racks, Sony, SRA, Stein Music, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, Tannoy Loudspeakers, Transfiguration Cartridges, Trenner & Friedl, Triode Corporation of Japan, VAC, Verity Audio Speakers, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries.

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  8. #6
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    Re: RMAF 2018 Best of Show

    Wonderful coverage and thoughtful comments Mike, many thanks for the effort it must take to cover so much ground in the allotted time.

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  10. #7
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    Re: RMAF 2018 Best of Show

    Enjoyed all the pictures and your final reviews. Helped all of us be a part of the experience. Might have to visit the new resort location next year...
    VAC Renaissance mk5/ Ayre VX-5/20 / OL Resolution Mk3 LSC/ OL Illustrious Mk3c/ Ortofon Windfeld Ti/ Ayre Codex/ Spendor D9/ Audience /Adona

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  12. #8
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    Re: RMAF 2018 Best of Show

    Mike, many thanks for your great reports. The new little Sonus Faber speaker is the new Electa Amator III. Pity music in the ARC/Aida II room was crummy when you went. Safe travels back.

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  14. #9
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    Re: RMAF 2018 Best of Show

    Great reporting Mike and it was a great pleasure meeting you and the other AS members. My only inclusion to your list would be the Aaudio Imports room with the Wilson Benesch speakers and Ypsilon electronics. I had to ask for them to play a different selection of music and it was worth it. Looking forward to the Florida Audio Expo.
    Marty
    Main system: SGC sonicTransporter I7, microRendu,Terminator DAC, Audio Research REF5SE, Nord B&O 1200as mono amps, Von Schweikert VR5 Anniversary MKII, JPS Labs, Furutech cabling and connectors.
    Office System: Linn LP12, Aurender N100H, Audio Research LS27, Oppo Sonica, Nord NC500, KEF R500

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  16. #10
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    Re: RMAF 2018 Best of Show

    Quote Originally Posted by nc42acc View Post
    Great reporting Mike and it was a great pleasure meeting you and the other AS members. My only inclusion to your list would be the Aaudio Imports room with the Wilson Benesch speakers and Ypsilon electronics. I had to ask for them to play a different selection of music and it was worth it. Looking forward to the Florida Audio Expo.
    Thanks and great meeting with you as well Marty.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Bryston, Chord, ClearAudio Turntables & Accessories, Constellation Audio, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Furutech, Gryphon Audio, iFi Audio, ISO Acoustics, JL Audio, KEF Loudspeakers, Kimber Kable, KL Audio Record Cleaning Machines, KR Audio Tube & Amps, Kronos, Lampizator, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MicroMega, MIT Cables, MSB Technologies, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, PS Audio, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables, Roon Labs, Shunyata Research, Siltech, Solid Tech Racks, Sony, SRA, Stein Music, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, Tannoy Loudspeakers, Transfiguration Cartridges, Trenner & Friedl, Triode Corporation of Japan, VAC, Verity Audio Speakers, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

 

 
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