Robert Silverman entertains a full room of guests. Live performances provide enjoyment but also a reference point at these shows. More often than not, piano doesn’t sound quite like the real thing in many of these “high-resolution” setups.

I’m seeing more and more of these REL subwoofers in listening rooms.

PS Audio debuts its new PureStream Power Plant 20 (P20). $8,500.

We had a private session with the man himself, Paul McGowan. He’s a great guy to talk audio with and we had a fantastic time listening to some of his favorite recordings.

Inside of the PS Audio P20…

This setup was Best of Show for me. Those Wilson Alexia Series-2 loudspeakers really sang to my core. It had the most realistic timbre and tone of any setup I’ve ever heard. It was also dynamically immersive. I’ll write more about it in my Show Awards write-up.

Tiffany Austin performed beautifully and reminds us of how far we are from achieving a live performance in our own systems. When you stop thinking about resolution and warmth and are drawn only to the music…that’s when you’re truly at end-game.

When you love a sound so much, you get down on your knees and pray to the Audio Gods.

Fort Collins Audio room: Unassuming with minimal room treatments, small footprint floorstanders, and fronted by a Chord Hugo 2, this room was the biggest surprise at the show. These Spendor A4 ($3,195), driven by Quicksilver Mono 120 (KT150) ($4,395) were voiced so well and sang musically into the room. Fantastic resolution, expansive soundstage, proper tactility and tonal density. I’m surprised this room didn’t garner more attention.

Periodic Audio had their own lounge area at the show. Much better than bumping elbows in uncomfortable chairs in the CanJam section. They even had chocolate. I’ll be reviewing their IEMs very soon.

Zu Audio debuts its Druid Mk.VI at RMAF. Transparent, fun, and resolving.

Due to trypophobia, I had to close my eyes while I listened to these Tekton Design Double Impact speakers ($3,000/pair). Transparency and speed first comes to mind. Black background with fantastic micro/macro dynamics.

Valve Amplification Co. (VAC) Renaissance Mk. V preamp ($9,990 USD). Shares some of the DNA of their $75,000 Statement Line preamp.

Tannoy Kingdom Royal Mk.2 loudspeakers ($96,000). A very emotive, silky, and soulfully rich sounding system.

        


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