Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2017 – Day 1 Coverage
Auralic G series. Aries G2 wireless streaming transporter and Vega G2 streaming DAC
ELAC Adante speakers $5000/pair
ELAC Adante speaker demo
Raven Audio Golden Eagle 70 wpc $6,495
Legacy Valor speakers
Cambridge is working on some stuff
When the sweet spots are all taken at GoldenEar’s Demo
Paul Barton giving the low down on the new psb M4U 8 headphones
For those of us that love the French-made Focal speakers but can’t afford the Utopia or Sopra, perhaps a bit closer to your budget at just under $10,000 is the new Kanta; still 3-way design and beryllium tweeter. I managed a short listening with Naim gear, very promising for sure!
Met with Wang Xuanqian, President and CEO of Auralic for an introduction to the new VEGA G2 streaming DAC at $5,699 along with the new Aries G2 Streaming Transporter at $3,899. Wang talks about how Auralic is a software company as much as a music hardware company, combining the two for their products. Look for a short video of his presentation later.
Listening through a pair of YG Acoustics Carmel floor standing speakers, ($24,300.00 for the pair), this is an exciting and potent combination. Listening to both CD and DSD files, I was impressed by the detail and dynamic ease of the Auralic combination.
Here are a couple of hands-on guys!
We had a chance to do extended listening to the Elac Adante towers that are now shipping! They have interesting bass loading with three 6.5″ woofers in ported cabinet that feed into a front cabinet that contains three 8″ passive radiators. A sort of hybrid bass loading.
The family includes the towers, a stand mount model, a center speaker and a matching subwoofer.
The towers are being offered at the unheard of price of $5,000/pr.
Their marketing byline is “Power, gracefully refined”. After some listening, I am inclined to agree with that.
All in all, a brilliant design concept excellently executed and a at a ridiculous price point. The bass loading really works but these are not a one trick pony. The coax upper unit has the refinement to more than hold up its end of the bargain. The speakers look very nice as well with apparent excellent build quality. I was also impressed by what was nearly holographic imaging from a large box!
Wilson Audio’s new Alexa Series 2 speakers were premiering in the Constellation Audio room and proving why Wilson Audio has been such a long-standing mainstay in the high end.
The bass extension goes on all day long. Apparent low distortion which opened up the mid and upper range frequencies. This was another system that had no weaknesses that I could pinpoint.
I am working on getting more details to include pricing.
Here is a lineup of Raven Audio gear. Vacuum tube greatness! And a fine Texas company to boot.
I spent some time in the Beleive High Fidelity room where I got the chance to listen to the JWM Alyson AML II Large Monitor ($8,500) and the JWM Karen 12 turntable ($6,000). The other front end components were the Aries Cerat Kassandra DAC ($35,000) and Impera II preamp ($82,500). Power courtesy of Constellation mono blocks, wowza!!
We auditioned some sparse and airy vinyl. What I heard was impressive macro dynamics with clean treble that was in no way “hot”. These are very smooth up top. The room loading was not ideal which led to a slight thickness in the bass but the bass extension was much more than I expected. I was blown away by what I was hearing in a relatively compact form factor. These speakers could fill a large room.
A digital percussion track really showcased the dynamic abilities of this amazing system. I could happily live with this for the rest of time.
AURALiC was showing a pair of amazing components in their demo. The Aries G2 streamer ($3,899) is on top. The Vega G2 Streaming DAC ($5,699) is below. These are part of a family of digital components that feature two upcoming releases – the Sirius G2 Upsampling Processor (with room correction) and the Leo G2 Femto Reference Clock. All four will work together to provide the highest quality digital playback imaginable.
All of AURALiC’s components are built to the highest standards and feature quality components and workmanship throughout. They can handle any digital format I can think of (up to 384/32 and DSD 512). I also love that they can handle analog signals and include analog resistor ladder volume controls.
Their proprietary L-Link connector provides two-way communication between all connected components.
What I heard was clarity galore with airy treble and excellent ambiance retrieval. A DSD of Dave Brubeck Take Five had remarkably taught and lean bass.
Nils Lofgren Keith Don’t Go at CD quality impressed too. There was a super wide and deep stage with all the hall ambiance. The texture of the strings was true to source. Well done!