ListenUp Audio Video, which operates a chain of high-end audio stores throughout Colorado and New Mexico, exhibited in at least a dozen rooms and booths at the 2019 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Remember when I said I was amazed at Scott Walker Audio for running eight rooms at T.H.E. Show back in June? Well, ListenUp has upped the ante considerably. I know, since I visited at least 11 of those rooms, spending much of Sunday basking in the glow of many excellent systems.
When a retailer such as ListenUp Audio Video maintains such a dominating presence at a high-end audio show, it’s usually to show off the tremendous range of products they offer to consumers. The ListenUp rooms covered that wide range with aplomb, maintaining effective demonstrations of everything from budget-minded systems from Cambridge Audio and NAD to more ambitious systems featuring such brands as B&W, Moon by Simaudio, Mark Levinson, Hegel, AudioQuest, Sonus Faber, VPI and Technics. (Yes, I now include Technics in the list of great high-end audio brands, thanks to my experiences with the Technics SL-1200G.)
What were my favorite ListenUp Audio Video rooms? I was pleasantly surprised by the performance and value of the all-Elac system, which sounded like it should have cost much more than it did. The Hegel and Sonus Faber system provided a warm, alluring sound–especially when they played cuts from Rickie Lee Jones’ Pop Pop. As I mentioned in my show highlights report, I appreciated Bill Low’s Q&A session in the AudioQuest room, which also showed off some of the beautiful rooms available at the Gaylord. Perhaps my favorite room consisted of B&W speakers and a rack full of Moon by Simaudio, where I heard a number of electronica tracks played at an uncommonly loud volume. It’s not often that you find an honest-to-goodness RAVE! at a hi-fi show.
It’s no secret that high-end audio shows often work with local retailers to maintain a larger presence since a big percentage of show attendees are locals. But the magnitude of ListenUp Audio Video exhibits were impressive. And what I’ve seen from the photos on the ListenUp website, the showrooms at their locations are also stunning. I’ll have to visit the next time I’m in town!