RMAF 2018: Ayon, Lumenwhite, USA Tube Audio, rock us like a hurricane


Ayon Audio and USA Tube Audio brought to Rocky Mountain Audio Fest one of the more popular rooms at the show. Not only for bringing great sound, and a stunning product, but for consistently playing great pop and r&b music. If you want a crowd, content matters. That is a rule of media and broadcasting. Content is king, and it’s what you don’t do that matters. One of those “don’ts” these days is to drown your audience in Diana Krall and the usual hum-drum associated with budding audiophile playlists.


The Story

New product on top of new product, connected to new products. That tells the visual story of the Ayon/USA Tube Audio room at RMAF. Starting at the source, the new Ayon S-10 Network Streamer Vacuum Tube Preamplifier ($8,300 USD), fed into the new Ayon Auris Preamplifier ($10,500 USD), handing off to a new stereo pair of Ayon Epsilon Gen 4 Mono-Block Amplifiers ($18,000 ea USD), finally presenting the amplified signal to a stunning pair of Lumen White Kyara Speakers (shown in French Nut veneers), themselves loaded with familiar but proprietary designs, components, and drivers.

Of immediate note was the power of this system. Each of the Ayon Epsilon Gen 4 mono-blocks houses six KT-150 power tubes, resulting in 180 watts / 8-ohms (250 watts / 4-ohms) in pentode mode, or 100 watts / 8-ohms (150 watts / 4-ohms) in pure class-A triode mode. In layman’s terms, this amplifier will beat you to a pulp if it be the will of the source material.


Delivering the emotion were the new Lumen White Kyara loudspeakers ($49,900 pr USD), which are baby brothers to the Lumen White “White Light” 25th Anniversary speakers ($69,900 pr USD). Features include; proprietary Accuton drivers, time and phase coherent loading, 1st order crossovers — what is not to like?

Also on hand in a static display was the gorgeous Ayon HA-3 Tube Headphone amplifier ($4,500 USD) which looks as beautiful as it is serious.

The Sound

This Ayon system exhibited as much force as was audibly possible without overloading the room. Music could easily be heard down the hall. Smooth tube sound, underpinned by force and speed were hallmarks of the overall sonic sculpture created by the Lumen White speakers.

Be it a ‘70s Michael Jackson track, or something from the Garage Rock era, the music was always poppin’. It wasn’t like we weren’t looking for all of those details of imaging, and spacing of instruments — because they were there — it’s just that we didn’t care to go looking for them. The usual snobbery was easily overruled by a mood that filled the room. It was the mood of a party. Everyone firmly enjoying themselves, as the system did one thing abundantly well — it turned on the songs into emotions. Luckily for our DJ and room captain Charles Harrison who was playing upbeat and cheerful songs, for had he made the switch over to the darker side of the emotional spectrum, we’d all might be at a shortage of Kleenex.

The System

Ayon Audio
– S-10 Network Streamer / Preamplifier
– Auris Preamplifier
– Epsilon Gen 4 Mono-Block Amplifiers

Lumen White
– Kyara Speakers

Racks by BBS Audio Systems