This is what I would call well lit signage!
Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to
listen to this setup that featured Avalon's
Eidolon loudspeakers and PS Audio
electronics. Instead, I spent too much time
admiring PS Audio's newest digital prototype
transport and D/A converter that looked
quite different from the first prototype
they showed last year. PS Audio predicts
mid-spring of 2009 as release date.
Arts Design/Concert Fidelity electronics of
Japan and the Audience ClairAudient 16
Line Source Array ($33k) demonstrated all
the intangibles in what I've come to admire
about line arrays. Savvy west coast retailer
and distributor Rick Brown of HiFi One,
Silicon Arts/Concert Fidelity's Norihisa
Sayanagi (photo above left) and John
McDonald of Audience were all on hand to
gladly show their wares.
included the Concert Fidelity SPA-4B
solid-state phono equalizer ($14k) and
CF-080LS hybrid line stage ($18k). The
Silicone Arts Design ZL-120 solid-state mono
amplifiers ($24k pair), shown atop Stillpoint iso- platforms and iso-rack,
needed little muscle to get the 95 dB
efficient ClairAudient's to sing.
self-powered ClairAudient dual 12 subwoofer
($9k) looked as impressive as its
performance. Attempting to get any
corner-loaded subwoofer to blend seamlessly
with whatever's in front of it is a trick
rarely executed correctly. But listening to
Renee Marie's exhilarating Dixie
Land/Strange Fruit from her Vertigo CD
provided nary a hint of whether a sub was
being used. Lastly, because this wasn't one
of the larger rooms only made the
ClairAudient sub's disappearing act that
much sweeter. Cabling throughout was by way
I witnessed this much love and enthusiasm
over this beloved hobby as when I entered this room.
Hand-built in Serbia, NN Acoustics'
affordable ribbon based 2-way Xenia
loudspeaker ($8k) is designed around the
RAAL midrange/tweeter ribbon driver by Nenad
Napijalo (photo above). The look,
substantial feel and exquisite build quality
had me guessing about three times its
sticker price. After a short listen,
I would have to consider this loudspeaker a
steal. This of course must have something to
do with fellow countryman Dragan Solaja's
well executed electronics (second photo).
With little information to go on except the
amplifiers are said to be designed using
digital power supplies, I was intrigued by
the overall sound which was fast, articulate
and very tuneful. I hope this RMAF serves as
a promising and successful launch for such
promising products and designers.