RMAF 2017 Page 3

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The Martin Logan suite that featured Audio Research and Clearaudio proved to be one of the most inspiring I’ve heard from an electrostat design. The power, loudness and sheer energy was equal to a dynamic design, but with more coherent focus and musicality. 

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Show goers were swooned by the dynamic duo of the new Wilson Audio’s Alexa 2’s and a slew of Constellation Audio electronics.  

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PS Audio really impressed me with their latest series of hi-end components on display at this year’s RMAF: most notably their all-new P-20 AC Regenerator ($TBA). Boasting a larger chassis, new LED screen and beefier internal parts, “this, says Paul McGowan, is our most auspicious unit to date!” Being an owner of the fabulous P-10, I cannot wait to hear the sonic improvements this is said to possess.

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Legacy Audio had a huge suite called the Evergreen Ballroom, that usually shows off quite a number of their successful loudspeakers at different price points. But this year, Bill Dudleston revealed their Valor loudspeaker which takes the title as their most sophisticated and expensive to date. “This is also the first Legacy loudspeaker that will feature the Stereo Unfold technology” boasts Dudleston. Stereo Unfold is just another way of providing sophisticated room correction software via an included Legacy Wavelet preamp/DAC/processor, calibrated mic and auto-setup software.   

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In addition to the Stereo Unfold technology, the company has also introduced a type of wave-guide and bridge-mounted tweeter array that employs dual 4″ AMT ribbons. Stereo Unfold technology purports: “precise spatial cues key to imaging are typically masked by early listening room reflections, while desirable late reflections that provide the dimensions and presence of the recording venue are either smeared or fade prematurely. The strategically shaped, dual radiation patterns generated by the VALOR system reduce early reflection in the direct field, thus unmasking critical spatial cues, while Wavelet’s STEREO UNFOLD algorithm identifies ambient information and restores it to proper time and level in the diffuse field.” Unfortunately, as wonderful as the appeared to work; giving greater clarity to instruments, especially the human voice, I ultimately preferred it off or in bypass mode. I don’t think it was the system as much as it is my preconcieved notions about room correction in general. As much as it helps the sound, it also hurts it by removing artifacts that are part of the musical signal. Problem with sophisticated computer software is that it doesn’t discern or know the difference between what’s good distortions versus bad ones. After more than ten years of embracing room correction, I’ve discovered it’s a double-edged sword and can do more harm than good.    

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