Read our Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015 Show Report DAY 2
Carlo Lo Raso

Secrets Sponsor

11:00 PM

The Daemon integrated amplifier from Jeff Rowland Design Group has to be one of the most overbuilt pieces of equipment that I’ve ever seen. This 100 pound behemoth’s case is milled from solid aluminum and puts out 1500 watts per channel into 8 ohms. Go down to 4 ohms and the power jumps to 2500 watts per side. The 7″ x 5″ touch screen is the main interface that controls volume, source selection, you name it. It has the full gambit of analog and digital inputs, including asynchronous USB (HDMI input is optional). It can accept sampling rates up to 192 kHz and DSD comparability is available via USB. The price you ask? A skosh over $39,000.00.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

10:36 PM

The Nola KO 2 open baffle loudspeakers sounded incredibly spacious on the jazz and vocal tracks that were being played. Price of admission: $14,000.00.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

10:04 PM

The Zu Audio Soul Supreme loudspeakers ($4500.00 a pair) being powered by Peachtree Audio’s new Sona amplifier and DAC ($2000.00 for the pair). The amp is rated at 150 watts per side and it was just making those speakers sing! First time I’ve heard ZU Audio speakers before, and I hope it wont be the last!

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

9:47 PM

The G1 GIYA loudspeakers may look like they belong to a court jester but their sound quality was no joke! Lovely room filling sound with plenty of tight, solid bass. These $40,000.00 speakers were powered by a pair of Kaluga monoblock amplifiers from Mola-Mola ($18,000.00 each).

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

9:26 PM

Sony had a nice little display of portable hardware in the CAN-JAM area. Of particular interest was the exploded parts view of their Hi-Rez portable player and the bare milled aluminum parts that make up the player and external DAC chassis.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

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RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

9:18 PM

The $50,000.00 Wilson Audio Alexia loudspeakers powered by about $200,000.00 worth of electronics from Constellation Audio. It’s amazing what can be had with just a little “walking around” money!

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

9:11 PM

The T-1.5 Reference horn speaker from Classic Audio Loudspeakers sounded silky smooth powered by a pair of massive tube monoblocks. Check out the lovely wood grain.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

8:17 PM

A pretty amazing custom configurable turntable, this one with dual tonearms. It had some sort of magnetic suspension combined with an air bearing and most likely a flux capacitor somewhere in there!

RMAF 2015

8:13 PM

A family portrait of the Vintage Direct GrooveMaster turntables by PBN Audio.

RMAF 2015

4:33 PM

Some more pictures of the Final Audio headphone booth and their selection of finery. I never tried IEMs without foam tips before but Robert and I both listened to the little Piano Forte X model and they did sound sweet. They also have the build quality of fine heirlooms.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

4:23 PM

Uh Piero, did you leave your Burmeisters in Denver?

RMAF 2015

3:47 PM

The CAN-JAM room. Headphones and portables galore!!!

RMAF 2015

3:43 PM

RMAF 2015

For those who want to get their hands dirty in this hobby, Akitika might have what you’re looking for with a selection of kits to build a pre-amp and power amp. The PR-101 stereo preamp kit (with remote) costs $450.00 with optional phono input for $79.00 more. The GT-101 stereo power amp kit costs $299.00. The amp puts out 50 watts per channel into 8 ohms and is stable with 4ohm loads. Parts quality looked good and the folks at Akitika are all to happy to guide you with parts upgrades should you desire.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

12:51 PM

Robert with Jason Liao of OPPO getting a walk through of the updated media control app for the company’s players.

RMAF 2015

11:24 AM

Stopped by Legacy Audio’s room where Robert is seen chatting with owner Bill Dudleston. There were some expectedly wonderful sounds coming from the Legacy V series loudspeakers.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

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RMAF 2015

Robert Kozel

Secrets Sponsor

10:04 PM

This is the Jeff Rowland Design Group demo room. It featured a pair of YG Sonja speakers ($73K/pair), a Bergman turntable ($28K), an Oracle CD transport ($15K), and the Jeff Rowland Daemon integrated amp ($39K). The components were connected by approximately $40K in Nordost speaker cable. The Daemon integrated amp provides 1500 watts into 8 ohms and 2500 watts into 4 ohms.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

9:54 PM

As if the first Apex Audio room wasn’t impressive enough, the next Apex Audio demo room featured a pair of Focal Grande Utopia EM speakers which retail for $198K a pair!

RMAF 2015

9:49 PM

Apex Audio was showcasing an ultimate listening room featuring a pair of Focal Stella Utopia EM loudspeakers which retail for $97,500 a pair. The room featured over $750,000 in equipment and had such luxuries as a $55,000 Transrotor Tourbillon turntable and over $60,000 in TARA labs speaker, interconnect and power cords. After show specials would be available.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

9:25 PM

My favorite demo of the day was from Darin Fong, the owner of Darin Fong Audio LLC. He was showing off his Out Of Your Head software which uses virtual speaker technology to recreate the sound of up to 7.1 channels using only a pair of headphones. The software runs on both Mac and Windows and uses a software driver which processes the original audio soundtrack. The result is a virtual reality where you hear the sound of a listening room in the privacy of your headphones. He was playing the latest Transformers movie and it sounded fantastic.

RMAF 2015

To take things one step further, Fong Audio has sampled many of the premier speaker systems and listening rooms (e.g. the AIX Recording Studio), and the software replicates the sound of that speaker system or room for only $25 per venue. This is a bargain considering the cost of many of the high-end systems including many of those shown at RMAF. For those of us that can’t afford these luxury systems, this may just be the next best thing.

RMAF 2015

Out Of Your Head software can be purchased for $149 and each additional room or speaker preset is $25. A trial version is available. I am definitely going to checkout the demo. The thought of listening to a multi-channel system on the flight back home is definitely intriguing.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

8:48 PM

Australian headphone company AudioFly transformed a guitar case into a display for their AF series in-ear monitors. The AF120 ($249.99) has dual hybrid drivers, the AF140 ($349.99) has a hybrid triple driver, the AF160 ($449.99) has three balanced armature drivers with crossover, and the AF180 ($549.99) has four balanced armature drivers.

RMAF 2015

8:35 PM

There were so many companies at CANJAM that some had their displays in the atrium areas of the Marriott in full view of the hotel rooms. This display from German TA-HiFi and ELAC used speaker boxes to frame out part of their display. The TA stands for Theory and Application and the company has been around since 1978.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

8:15 PM

Secrets’ Carlo Lo Raso was having way too much listening to the VPI Avenger turntable with floating magnetic platter at Bob’s Devices. The Avenger retails for $15,000. I am not sure if that look is his reaction to the price or to the wonderful sound coming from the turntable.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

8:05 PM

Reference Recordings was showcasing and selling their collection of wonderful music.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

7:59 PM

It was great to see so much vinyl available for sale including new releases like this soundtrack from “Mad Max Fury Road”. This movie sounded amazing in Dolby Atmos and now the soundtrack can be enjoyed on a turntable near you.

RMAF 2015

4:39 PM

If you need a great turntable to go with those PBN Audio pre-amps, checkout these Vintage Direct GrooveMaster turntables from PBN Audio. Each GrooveMaster is based upon a restored and rebuilt Denon DP Series direct drive turntable. Pricing ranged from $5,500 – $9,500 depending on features and finish.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

PBN Audio Systems was showing some of their pre-amps. The Olympia PXi phono pre-amplifier features Caddock resistors, two transformers and eight filtering chokes to extract every detail from your phonograph. It retails for $22K without the power supply. The Olympia LXi pre-amplifier has a similar design and is also priced at $22K.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

4:09 PM

RMAF has something for everyone including the DIY enthusiast. This is the TU-8500 Tube Preamp Kit from EK Japan. It is sold by Canadian firm VK Music. It uses low noise OPamps in the phono equalizer amp circuitry and uses two 12AU7 (ECC82) tubes in the line amp stage. It can be paired with the TU-8200 tube amp kit. The kits come with all the components and casing and VK Music can help customers select premium components to suit individual taste and budget. Pricing starts at $495 USD for the TU-8500 and $725 USD for the TU-8200.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

2:14 PM

Chris Walker and Andrew Jones from ELAC America were discussing the prototype of their new embedded Roon music server. The product will have the capabilities of Roon without the need for a PC. Full details will be coming out at CES in January.

RMAF 2015

12:54 PM

Oppo was showing support for the TIDAL music streaming service. A major benefit of TIDAL is the ability to stream lossless CD quality music. The feature is included in the latest beta firmware for the Oppo 103,103D, 105 and 105D players.

RMAF 2015

12:32 PM

This is the flagship Sonorous X headphone from Final Audio. The headphones are completely hand made in Japan and retail for $4,999. They sound amazing with sound extending well beyond the ear-cups and would be best paired with a headphone amp.

RMAF 2015

12:02 PM

Oppo Digital is demonstrating the PM-3 headphone ($399) and the HA-1headphone amplifier ($1199). The PM-3 is going to be available in blue and red in the near future. The PM-3 is designed for portable use and can be paired with the HA-2 portable headphone amp and DAC ($299).

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

11:53 AM

Headphones have become so popular that RMAF includes a separate CANJAM section showcasing all things headphone.

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

RMAF 2015

Read our full coverage from the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015 

  • andrew

    That’s the best picture you could post of me????? 😉

  • Carlo Lo Raso

    Speaking as one of the guys who took the pictures, don’t complain! I think you got off better than the one I took of Chris Walker! 😉
    I promise, I will bring a better camera to CES!
    You guys had a great presentation by the way. Thank you again for indulging all our questions!

  • Excentric_1307

    Greetings all;

    Thanks for posting these photos of amazing audio equipment! I was not able to attend this show, living on the east coast as I do. However, and I do hope this is the correct place to engage others on this topic, there seems to be a rather large elephant in the room, made somewhat noticeable by these photos: There’s hardly any young people or women in attendance. Myself? I’m barely under 30 and have little budget, but I love music. More than that, I love listening to it in the best possible fidelity I can, and geek out over improvements in my audio-chain. I would argue that I am the definition of an audiophile.

    I hold the opinion that the audiophile equipment industry needs to do more to reach out to my generation of music lovers. Clearly, my generation is interested, especially if the spike in record sales is evidence! What would bringing in a younger audience, and generating sustainable sales growth as a result, require?

    What if there were listening rooms with a given budget in mind? How far can you go for $500? For $1000? For $3000?

    What if these same rooms played music that we actually wanted to hear, like classic rock, pop, country, hip-hop, or (gasp) metal?

    What if patrons were invited to bring in their own music, to play through these systems and see what a difference the equipment could make to the music they love? I make the claim that nothing sells equipment faster than by playing music they already love, through a system that can transform it beyond what they thought possible.

    I’ve written this because I see Andrew Jones has commented here, and maybe folks throughout the industry are reading these comments. I’m an Industrial Designer and music lover, and pretty big fan of Andrew Jones; I found him through a YouTube video discussing some of his work at TAD and Pioneer.

    I hope someone finds this comment informational or perhaps inspiring. Thanks everyone!