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RMAF 2016 Show Report (Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest)
RMAF 2016 Show Report
Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest & CanJam 2016
Part 1 By Steven R. Rochlin

 

  It's the very first morning of the Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest and already i can see my love of covering this great event is going to be very challenging! There are many exceptional exhibitors, plus business meetings and handing out Enjoy the Music.com's annual Blue Note Awards, that my time is going to be too little for showcasing all exhibitors. Fortunately there's two other photojournalists reporting on RMAF 2016 so that brings with it a bit of relief. We're already posted our CanJam 2016 at Denver's RMAF show coverage by Dave Hanson, so be sure to check it out.

 

 

RMAF 2016 Show Report

 

First up is within the lobby area as Meredith Gabor of Nordost receives the company's Enjoy the Music.com Blue Note Award for their excellent cables. While there they also educated me about the advantages of their new Sort Lift cable lifters ($600 per pair). The Sort Lift is their preeminent cable support for the consumer electronics industry, and the company feels it is the perfect addition to Nordost's line of Resonance Control Devices within their Sort System. Nordost's Sort System is designed to allow components to resonate at their natural frequency, both without the burden of extraneous, damaging vibrations or the constraint of damping materials. The Sort Lift is a unique and extremely effective cable support designed to enhance the sonic performance of loudspeaker cables, power cords, and interconnects. Nordost's Sort Lift not only elevates audio cables from the ground, they take advantage of a patent pending Floating Spring Design.

 

 

 

Ifi Audio's Vincent Luke and Tyler Folsom proudly hold up their Enjoy the Music.com Blue Note Award for the company's iFi Audio Micro iUSB3.0. As another one of iFo Audio's'box of tricks', it implements their IsoGround, which can be selected to be Off or On. This is optionally breaks the ground connection to the computer in a way that is USB standard compliant. Talking about standards, iFi are embracing USB3, this device is fully USB3 compliant and well as being fully backwards compatible with USB2. A short USB3 cable is provided with the unit, this again will work with USB2 as well. There's also a power mode switch that controls the power from the iUSB3.0 such that it can switch power on/off in synchronization with the PC or it can permanently powering its USB port so for example a battery powered DAC can be left on charge. The outputs of the USB3.0 follow iFi Audio's previous practice, as there is an output with just the power lines connected and another with data + power. This allows cables such as the iFi Audio Gemini to used where the power lines are in a physically separated cable to the data cables. Not one to shy away from a variety of tweaks and chackies, they also had their iSilencer3.0 and iDefender 3.0, plus the IEMatch and DC iPurifier. If you love USB audio, or personal audio, and perhaps a combination of both, then iFi Audio has something for virtually every system you need to check out ASAP!

 

 

 

Longtime portable audio enthusiasts, codemeister and web geek (said with love, because he and i share many of the same loves) Warren Chi of Cavalli Audio is at RMAF 2016's CanJam tent with the new Liquid Spark headamp ($499). He also was showcasing Cavalli Audio's Liquid Carbon 2.0 amplifier that is a fully balanced desktop unit ($799). MrSpeakers' Ether Flow headphones were being put to good use, the closed version ($1799) for those wondering, as there is also an open version (more on that later). Their Liquid Carbon is a special limited-edition unit that, smartly, is a crowd-source design. This fully-discrete, fully-balanced (yea!), transportable solid-state headphone amplifier can easily provide plenty of power for all in-ear monitors and virtually all headphones. Since some headphones, and all IEMs, do not need much amp power to achieve plenty of volume, there is an adjustable gain selector for normal and three-times power output. Being a specialist, there are an abundance of input and output options, and ultra-low output impedance of approximately 0.12 Ohms balanced and ~0.08 Ohms unbalanced. And remember, this ultimate portable amp unit provides balanced amplification, so those of you seeking serious sound quality can rejoice. Oh, and yes it sounds really great too!

 

 

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