RMAF 2015: Merging Technologies and German Physiks gets my attention with digital

Das Carbon
Das Carbon

rmaf-2015-200x200It’s not too often that I will raise an unkempt eyebrow over a digital rig.

But as I stumbled about The Tower at RMAF (where I was sentenced like Quasimodo by Scot Hull), I came across the tell-tale shape of German Physiks speakers in a darkened room with passable jazz playing and I ducked in, ostensibly to rest my weary ass for a few minutes, but in truth, I’ve always been taken with what the company had achieved in an omni-directional design.

German Physiks Carbon IV
German Physiks Carbon MK IV $31,350 USD

This was the Merging Technologies room and they were playing a mix of high-res and 16/44 digital files through their NADAC ST2 ($10,500 USD) via a MacBook Pro. Ayre was providing power through a pair of MXR-Twenty mono blocks ($29,500 USD) featuring the company’s zero-feedback, fully-balanced circuitry and Double Diamond output stage. The pre-amp was Ayre’s KXR Twenty ($27,500 USD) and CX-7e MP CD player ($3,950 USD). Cabling was provided by Purist Audio Designs and the rack and amp stands were Star Sound Technologies

860x300 PTA NOBLE RMAF-01
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Merging Technologies Nadac
Merging Technologies NADAC ST2
Ayre KXR Twenty preamp
Ayre KXR Twenty preamp
Ayre CX7eMP CD player

If you haven’t been able to hear a well-designed omni-directional speaker design, you really owe it to yourself to find a dealer who carries some, particularly German Physiks. They do a very neat trick; they disappear into a room very quickly and you don’t need your head in a sweet-spot “head vise” to get great stereo imaging and the deep sound stage many audiophiles crave.

Disappearing act

The NADAC was doing something that I don’t hear very often, which was sound organic. The music was nothing special, just a mix of various jazz titles, all at different sample rates, but it had a very natural flow, with real texture and warmth to it.

Ayre mono blocks
Ayre MXR-Twenty mono blocks

While my time in the room wasn’t long, it was very refreshing and I won’t soon forget what Merging Technologies has achieved with their NADAC, which was allowing me to enjoy the music and hear past the digital approximation that most non-analog rigs present to my ears.

Ayre and Merging Technologies
Ayre and Merging Technologies

About Rafe Arnott 389 Articles
Editor of InnerFidelity and AudioStream