RMAF 2016: ELAC and Audio Alchemy Join Forces

Peter Madnick, founder of Audio Alchemy, dropped a news bomb on me as we stood chatting outside his room at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest.

I had just heard his compact, affordable electronics making a fine sound on the ELAC Reference FS 507 VX-JET loudspeakers ($10,000 a pair). I asked about the pairing for the show, and he smiled.

“Audio Alchemy now is a division of ELAC,” he said.

The deal was literally hours old as RMAF kicked off. Madnick is coming over to head up the division and he’s bringing his key engineers. He seemed excited about Audio Alchemy’s prospects with new backers behind him.

“ELAC is a great company,” he said.

Inside his room, Madnick had been playing me the audio-show staple “No Sanctuary Here” by singer-guitarist Chris Jones. This tune often can be heard blasting out of half the rooms on any given floor, but at least it is one I have heard on a wide range of systems.

Rocky Mountain Audio Festival coverage brought to you by Noble Audio. Visit them at https://nobleaudio.com/.

With the Audio Alchemy-ELAC rig, the track was reproduced with all of its famed dynamics. Jones’ voice was clear and surrounded by a nice amount of air, while his guitar also stood out.

I wound up sitting through the entire song, hearing nuances I really had not noticed before. And despite the tune being a done-to-death, high-end warhorse, the demo was an enjoyable experience.

The Audio Alchemy portion of the system consisted of the DPA-1M hybrid Class A/Class D power mono amplifier (325 watts per channel, $1,995 a pair), DDP-1 digital-decoding DAC/preamp/headphone amp ($1,995), DMP-1 media player ($1,795), PPA-1 phono stage ($1,795) and PS-5 power station ($595).

The hybrid amp was especially intriguing. Only 10.5 inches wide, the unit features a discrete FET input and XLR connections. Sound-wise, the DPA-1 seemed to offer Class D power and smoothness with a taste of Class A palpability. All in all, the amp packs a lot of technology for a very reasonable price.

With Elac providing support, it will be interesting to see what Madnick comes up with next.

About John Stancavage 196 Articles
Contributing Editor for Part-Time Audiophile


  1. I thought the sound from these speakers was not all that different than what Andrew Jones was creating next door with his 1/10 the price set up. While some of this can be chalked up to the room, etc. I simply did not hear anything special from these (Euro-spec & sold) Elac’s. Not sure what that means in relation to Audio Alchemy gear – my first instinct was that it was the speakers. Just my opinion…

  2. $10,000 speakers!!? they have 3 mid range drivers! Of course they are the greatest thing, this minute, it’s getting old, real old.

  3. Of course, things you didn’t hear before….oy vey. When will reviewers just be truthful, and possibly say, yup, sounds like the 27 other things I heard today…..with all the recordings out there, why is it the same swill over and over….I give up on this stuff. How many phrases for the same inane content?

    • Sometimes in a room, you have to listen to what the host wants to play. Believe me, I did NOT request “No Sanctuary.” After a day at an audio show, this is the last track I want to hear. That said, I honestly enjoyed the demo. When a system does that to you, it is worth noting. Take that as you will.

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