So, what’s new at RMAF this year? Turns out, a lot.
Well, buckle up. Heres’ the (admittedly) partial list.
- Channel D (Room 582) is announcing a new tool for the digital audiophile, the Seta Piccola Active DAC Buffer/Attenuator. This is about half the price of the Buffer unit I wrote about recently! Like the Buffer, the Piccola will sit between your DAC and your amp, correcting all manner of impedance issues and let your DAC’s digital volume control operate in its un-damaging sweet spot. Price is $1,599.
- Resonessence Labs (Room 1104) is announcing its newest DAC, the Herus. “Priced at $350 HERUS is the lowest priced DSD/DXD capable DAC/headphone amp product available. HERUS follows a line of high performance, award-winning Audio DACs from Resonessece Labs. This thumb sized unit really packs a punch!”
- DEQX (Room 525) has a new preamplifier, the PreMate ($4495; USB input adds another $495), providing speaker calibration, crossover and room compensation.
- Antelope Audio (Room 447) has a new “Platinum” version of its popular DAC, now supporting DSD. No price on this one, but it does support 764kHz sampling for PCM and quad-DSD (DSD256).
- Zesto Audio (Room 1117) has a new amplifier, the Bia 120 ($12,500). 60wpc from a quartet of Class A-biased KT88 vacuum tubes.
- ModWright (Iris Ballroom) will be showing off their new Elyse DAC and a prototype phono stage that Dan is calling “Black” (Room 514).
- High Water Sound (Room 589) is showing off the magnificent Liszt loudspeakers from Cessaro Horn Acoustics. This is a don’t-miss demo, kids.
- Woo Audio (Room 574) has a new mono-block can amp!
- iRiver/Astell&Kern (Room 506) are intro-ing a new in-ear monitor, a docking station for their DAP products, a bookshelf pair of speakers, and the new AK10, an amp/DAC combo specifically for the latest iPhones.
- Jude over at Head-Fi has a whole 40-minute video up on Youtube of all the other new head-fi stuff.
- Including … two new models from Audez’e, the LCD-X ($1,699) and the LCD-XC ($1,799), which should slot them in between the current offerings. The LCD-XC are closed back, the X is open, and both are supposed to be terrific.
- Naim (Room 8020) is showing off three new integrated amps from Naim, including the NAIT 5si ($1,800), Nait XS2 ($2,900) and Supernait2 ($4,900). This is alongside four new speakers from Dali, including the Kubik Free ($1,295 ea) wireless speakers, the Epicon 6 ($13,999/pair), the Fazon Micro ($650/pair) bookshelf speakers, and the Zensor 3 (starting at $695/pair).
- Rega (Room 8024) will be showing a new turntable, the RP8 ($3,490), “This new turntable includes a radical new low mass, high rigidity Skeletal plinth design with polyolefin foam core which adds more stiffness in the crucial area between the arm and the main bearing. A hand-built tone arm boasts a low mass, precision engineered, vertical bearing assembly redesigned to redistribute mass. A 24V twin phase synchronous motor unit contains an anti-vibration circuit hand tuned to each motor and is controlled by Rega’s unique and innovative TTPSU power supply.” Rega will also be showing the new top-loading Saturn CD/DAC ($2,995) and their new Elicit-R integrated ($2,995).
- Nordost (Mezzanine) will be showing off their new footers, the Sort Füt ($350 each — $1,500 will get you a set of four, plus tools for customization, including a laser-leveling system), and the recently released Valhalla v2 cabling loom.
- Source Systems (Room 469) will be showing off the new Lumin DSD/PCM network streamer/DAC that 6moons and Computer Audiophile went bananas over and some new bits from M2Tech and Cyrus.
- Audio Arts (Room 570) will be showing off the newest from Robert Koda, CH Precision, Trinity, and Zellaton.
- SVS (Room 441) will be there and showing the new SoundPath Subwoofer Isolation System for the first time.
- Emia‘s Dave Slagle (Room 9009) will be hauling around a Christmas sack full of goodies he’s not talking about. Evil bastard.
- Triode Corp of Japan/Acoustic Zen (Room 1009) will be showing the brand new TRX-2 tube preamp with phono ($5,000) with an all-Triode/Acoustic Zen lineup featuring the big Crescendo loudspeakers ($16,000). This is usually one of the best sounds at the show, if you’ll pardon the totally unnecessary editorial.
- The Lotus Group (Room 9017) will be demoing the new Aurender W-20 “Reference Music Server” and host of other choice bits, including SMc and TIDAL Audio.
- Danacable (Room 557) will apparently be doing “cable shootouts” at RMAF this year. Pretty ballsy of them. They’re also giving away Gingko isolation platforms and offering serious at-show cable discounts, too.
- VPI will be showing their new MW-1 Cyclone record cleaning machine ($1,000) at the Soundstage Direct booth in the Evergreen Ballroom and they’re asking you to bring your dirty LPs. Right on! The new Classic Direct will also be on hand, elsewhere ….
- BorderPatrol (Rooms 431 and 1102) may, or may not, have some brand new external über power supply units for their 300b-based amplifiers. I’ve heard the prototype, and if Gary brings these along for the show, you might want to bring a bowl to catch the salad of superlatives likely to be flying about the room.
- Greg Roberts of Volti Audio (Room 1114) will also be showing off a new integrated from SST Audio with his Alura loudspeakers.
- Merrill Audio (Room 582) will be showing off the Thor mono blocks ($4,000/pair), based on NCore technology. 9″ x 9″ x 2.5″, the Thor are rated to 400wpc into 4ohms. Order now and get a pre-production 10% off on your pair.
- Auralic will be demoing their newest, the GEMINI 2000 ($1,995) and 1000 ($995). These are sexy head-amp “accessories” that combine Class-A amplifiers, DACs with support for DXD, DSD and double-rate DSD as well as sampling rates from 44.1K to 384K, SDXC support for up to 2TB of storage all built-in to a stylish headphone stand. Talk about “desktop-friendly”. Head over to CanJam for these beauties.
- Last, but certainly not least (and probably not last, either), Philip O’Hanlon will be launching a new DSD-download site at this year’s RMAF — http://nativedsd.com/.
I’m sure I’m missing something, so I’ll update this when I learn more.