RMAF 2018: Wynn Audio; feat. Thales, Karan, ZenSati, Kalista, Penaudio, Entreq, Kiso Acoustics


Wynn Audio is one of North America’s premier high-end audio dealers, and thus has quickly become a mainstay among the audio show circuit for producing ultra-high-end exhibit rooms that truly stimulate the senses. It was no surprise to see them at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest with a multi-room exhibit, featuring two systems of expertly curated audio components, along with the Wynn team achieving a stand-out level of sound quality.


The Story

Often at audio shows, many of the elite manufacturers and dealers, battle with room size and acoustics. They struggle to get the sound that most accurately demonstrates their system’s capability. The hurdle to overcome is mostly in part due to the small size of the hotel exhibit rooms. We all understand that brands must show-off their flag-ship reference components, but when those reference components are of monstrous size, exhibiting in a hotel room doesn’t always produce the ideal results. However, it doesn’t always have to be that way.

Only a few months ago at Axpona 2018, the Wynn Audio team brought to a show one of the most talked about exhibits in recent years — they brought their own room. More can be read about the Wynn Audio exhibit HERE, and seen in this video from our Part-Time Audiophile publisher Scot Hull. Be sure to check out the tonearm in this video

What everything comes down to in a good exhibit, (and in-home system building) is playing the room. Wynn Audio’s two room exhibit here at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest was a prime example of how system building should be done. Not only were they exhibiting a great set of systems, curated from the myriad of esoteric brands they support, but they also were showing off their talents as a dealer. They brought the right sized systems for the room they were playing, and with that left anyone who entered, floored at how lively and flawless the sound was for both rooms.

Most mesmerizing was the Kalista DreamPlay One CD player, which from what I’ve heard while listening, is flawless. But again, it is wonderful to watch in action, so much so, that I decided to shoot a video of my own. Disregard the potato-like quality of my video.

The Kalista DreamPlay One CD Player is the combination of Kalista DreamPlay CD Transport and Kalista DAC, which are the top of the line from offerings of the company. Many have been asking for a less expensive option and finally Jean Marie of Kalista made it happen. The DreamPlay One has a built-in DAC equal to the Kalista DAC and yet it is half the price of a DreamPlay CD Transport + Kalista DAC setup.

The analog source (in room #5025) was a Thales TTT Compact II Turntable optioned with a Statement Tonearm, also from Thales. The Thales Statement is the only tonearm from Thales utilizing a special kind of aluminum that is naturally stabilized by aging underground, which normally is a process reserved for the finer components of Swiss-made luxury watches. The Thales Statement tonearm self-adjusts the head shell, so that it will always maintain linear tracking within a allowable maximum tracking error of 0.006 degrees. The Statement tonearm also has an integrated mechanism for adjusting the VTA and azimuth on the fly.

The Sound

Both rooms performed powerfully, and beautifully — but with differences. The Penaudio Legato Signature loudspeakers are small as any tower speaker at the show in footprint, but with 400 watts of Karan Acoustics power behind them, they sounded anything but small. In fact, they were as full-range as I do believe anything in a room of this size could be. From top to bottom the system exhibited; neutrality, cohesion, and imaging to die for. Seriously, take me now.

The Kiso Acoustics HB-X1 monitors are like musical instruments more than they are speakers. They utilize cabinet resonances perfectly. Mimicking mostly the mood and tone of an acoustic guitar. Though small, I felt that absolutely nothing was missing. Be it Johnny Cash or a string orchestra; detail, dynamic weight, and scale were all present.

Most exciting was getting a chance to hear a system with an Entreq grounding box incorporated, which was reviewed HERE by a former member of the Part-Time Audiophile writing staff who shall remain unnamed. Wynn Audio also recently became the North American distributor for Entreq.

There’s just not enough time in the world for all of the things we love, and it is exhibit rooms like these that remind me of that fact. Reserve yourself the time.


The Systems

Room #5021

– DreamPlay One CD Player – $43,000

Karan Acoustics
– KA L Ref Preamplifier – $17,000
– KA S400 Power Amplifier – $18,000

– Legato Signature Loudspeakers – $11,000

– Seraphim and Zorro cables (Prices Vary)

Room #5025

– TTT Compact II Turntable – $14,850
– Statement Tonearm – $21,090

EMT International
– JSD-VM Cartridge $5,000

Karan Acoustics
– KA PH1 Phono-Preamp – $15,000
– KA-I180 Integrated Amp $10,000

Kiso Acoustics
– HB-X1 Loudspeakers (shown in Hawaiian Koa finish) – $20,000

– Poseidon Ground Box $5,000

– Seraphim and Zorro cables (Prices Vary)