AudioThesis, Rosso Fiorentino, Norma Audio, Lumin, Star Sound Technologies | CAF 2019

AudioThesis CAF 2019

WASHINGTON DC (PTA) — I can’t be sure of this, because after a dozen audio shows or so, personal recollection of history starts to blur. In my mind the first time I heard Rosso Fiorentino loudspeakers was with AudioThesis in Dallas, Texas at the Lone Star Audio Fest just earlier this year. There, like here today, it was with Norma Audio electronics, a Lumin streamer, and Star Sound Technologies — which if you haven’t heard the news, is changing their name to Soundstage Audio.

Tenacious Sound
Capital Audiofest 2019 brought to you in part by Tenacious Sound.
Verdant Audio
Capital Audiofest 2019 brought to you in part by Verdant Audio!

AudioThesis CAF 2019

The Story

I urge to recall my first impressions with Rosso Fiorentino because at the Dallas show, it was easily one of the best sounding experiences I had at the show. But that’s Dallas — an almost rinky-dink sized show by comparison to say Axpona or Munich. However the Dallas experience with AudioThesis and Rosso Fiorentino still stands out in my mind as one of the best exhibits I’ve heard this year. Here we are again with AudioThesis owner Derek “Skip” Skipworth, but this time at Capital Audiofest with real competition everywhere and around the corner.

AudioThesis CAF 2019

But first, let me tell you about these gorgeous Silver Foil finished Rosso Fiorentino Elba loudspeakers. Whoo-wee! These things are gorgeous. Pictures just don’t tell the story. Yes, they are moreover just simple boxes, but the level of finish is astounding for the $5K per pair asking price. The Elba is a 2.5-way rear ported floorstander, with a 1-inch hand treated textile diaphragm tweeter (think silk), and a two 6.5-inch coated fiberglass cone woofers. Frequency response runs from a modest 40Hz-up to- 30kHz. The enclosure substructure is HDF with internal bracing and three different types of sound absorbing materials.

AudioThesis CAF 2019

Finishing on the Elba is available in all matte black, or with real walnut side veneers, or as we have on display at Capital Audiofest, with the Silver Foil finish side panels, which plays with light and my heart oh so deftly. It’s gorgeous and I want more of it. All Elbas feature a textured black carbon fiber patterned leather along the front baffle.

Also on display — though static — Rosso Fiorentino’s Pienza monitor, which is coming soon and there’s not much else I can tell you other than it will carry an estimated street price of $4,000 pr USD.

The Sound

Like the first time I heard Rosso Fiorentino loudspeakers, I’m dazzled by what they deliver in terms of refinement and extension at the top end. Glossy never sounded so smooth and distortion free. Bass on the towers was solid and seemed to play deeper than the stated specs would have you believe. I know I’m supposed to be writing about sonics in this section, but the looks here are amazing. They say, whoever “they” are, that looks play a part in what we here, so stand with that thought for a moment. Either way, after hearing everything else at the show, there’s little I would say was missing from the AudioThesis room in terms of sound quality and simplicity. Bravo!

AudioThesis CAF 2019

The System

Rosso Fiorentino

– Elba Loudspeakers (2nd Generation) – $5,000 pr USD

Norma Audio

– REVO IPA-140 Integrated Amplifier – $7,000 USD

– REVO DS-1 DAC/CD Player – $5,250 USD


– U1 Mini Streamer – $2,000 USD

High Fidelity Cables

– Reveal Loom

Soundstage Audio (formerly Star Sound Technologies)

– Rack and Platforms