Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 sponsored by Underwood HiFi Part 4

Continuing from Part 3 of our RMAF 2019 Coverage:

PS Audio

PS Audio @ Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 RMAF 2019
PS Audio

Having spent the majority of my time at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 in Headspace, I felt I should get out and visit some of the surrounding ballrooms, my first visit being our friends at PS Audio. Apart from an impressive two channel loudspeaker display which was producing wonderful sound, they had their range of amazing Power Regenerators on display starting with the PS Audio Stellar P3 Power Plant ($2,199 USD) and ending with the eye popping PS Audio DirectStream P20 Power Plant ($9,999 USD) with a whopping 3,600 VA peak output, a must have for any true audiophile system. On the coming soon front they had the PS Audio Obsidian Ted Smith Signature DAC (TBA) a tremendous two chassis statement piece which is sure to set a new bar for high-end DACs.

PS Audio Two Channel Loudspeaker Display
PS Audio Two Channel Loudspeaker Display
PS Audio Stellar P3 Power Plant
PS Audio Stellar P3 Power Plant
PS Audio DirectStream P12 Power Plant
PS Audio DirectStream P12 Power Plant
PS Audio DirectStream P15 Power Plant
PS Audio DirectStream P15 Power Plant
PS Audio DirectStream P20 Power Plant
PS Audio DirectStream P20 Power Plant
PS Audio Obsidian TSS DAC
PS Audio Obsidian TSS DAC
PS Audio BHK Signature Vacuum Tube Reference Preamp
PS Audio BHK Signature Vacuum Tube Reference Preamp
PS Audio BHK Signature Power Amplifier
PS Audio BHK Signature Power Amplifier
PS Audio Sprout 100 DAC/Headphone/Loudspeaker Integrated Amplifier
PS Audio Sprout 100 DAC/Headphone/Loudspeaker Integrated Amplifier
PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamplifier, PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC, PS Audio Stellar M700 Amplifier (x2)
PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamplifier, PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC, PS Audio Stellar M700 Amplifier (x2)

Pro-Ject

Pro-Ject @ Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 RMAF 2019
Pro-Ject

Returning to Headspace I paid a visit to Pro-Ject, best known for their amazing and affordable turntables, who were displaying a large variety of Personal Audio products. Of especial interest was their Pro-Ject Essential III HP turntable with built in Headphone Amplifier (TBA) as well as their Pro-Ject Pre Box RS2 Digital DAC/Headphone Amplifier/Preamp ($399 USD) a dual mono design including dual mono ESS9038Q2M DACs able to decode up to 32/768 kHz PCM or DSD512.

Pro-Ject Essential III HP turntable with built in Headphone Amplifier
Pro-Ject Essential III HP turntable with built in Headphone Amplifier
Pro-Ject Pre Box RS2 Digital DAC/Headphone Amplifier/Preamp
Pro-Ject Pre Box RS2 Digital DAC/Headphone Amplifier/Preamp
Pro-Ject Head Box S2 Headphone Amplifier, Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra Audio Optimized Network Bridge and USB Detox Device, Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital DAC/Headphone Amplifier/Preamp
Pro-Ject Head Box S2 Headphone Amplifier, Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra Audio Optimized Network Bridge and USB Detox Device, Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital DAC/Headphone Amplifier/Preamp
Pro-Ject Head Box DS2 Headphone Amplifier, Pro-Ject DAC Box DS2 ultra DAC
Pro-Ject Head Box DS2 Headphone Amplifier, Pro-Ject DAC Box DS2 ultra DAC, MrSpeakers ETHER C Flow Planar Magnetic Headphones
Pro-Ject CD Box RS2 T CD Transport
Pro-Ject CD Box RS2 T CD Transport

Stereo Pravda

Stereo Pravda @ Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 RMAF 2019
Stereo Pravda

Popping over to Marketplace with Frank we discovered our good friend Misha Kucherenko of Stereo Pravda who was showing his spectacular SPearphone IEMs along with Etalon Sound DAC/Headphone Amplifiers and Kennerton Audio Equipment Headphones. Following up on suggestions by Frank Iacone, Misha updated the Stereo Pravda SPearphone SB 7 IEM ($3,000 USD) with a lighter more flexible cable making an already brilliant product better. He was also introducing a new SPearphone; the Stereo Pravda SPearphone SB 3.5 IEM ($2,000 USD) which offers similar performance in a smaller package.

Stereo Pravda SPearphone SB 3.5 IEM
Stereo Pravda SPearphone SB 3.5 IEM

Etalon Sound

Etalon Sound @ Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 RMAF 2019
Etalon Sound

Etalon Sound was debuting their Etalon Sound DREAMDAC ($10,000 USD) and Etalon Sound DREAMDAC – Mini ($10,000 USD), both of which are the same electronics but in different casings. To call the DREAMDAC-Mini a mini is a bit of a misnomer as if anything it is larger than the DREAMDAC, but what intrigued me was the outboard power supply, which all things being equal, should provide a slightly lower noise floor. It is also a bit of a misnomer to call them DAC/Headphone Amplifiers as the design of their DAC is such that no analog amplifier is required, and volume control takes place in the actual DAC function and is therefore neither Digital or Analog. Needless to say, this sounds very compelling to me, and I look forward to future developments.

Etalon Sound DREAMDAC – Mini
Etalon Sound DREAMDAC – Mini
Etalon Sound DREAMDAC – Mini Power Supply
Etalon Sound DREAMDAC – Mini Power Supply
Etalon Sound DREAMDAC
Etalon Sound DREAMDAC

Kennerton Audio Equipment

Kennerton Thror
Kennerton Thror

Kennerton Audio Equipment was demonstrating two of their headphone models, both of which are exotic in appearance and available in multiple wood finishes. The Kennerton Thror Planar Magnetic Headphone sells for between €2,990 and €3,300 depending on finish and the Kennerton Odin Thridi Planar Magnetic Headphone starts at €2,390, both offer a detailed and open sound.

Kennerton Odin Thridi
Kennerton Odin Thridi

Nordost, VTL, YG Acoustics

Nordost, VTL, YG Acoustics @ Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 RMAF 2019
Nordost, VTL, YG Acoustics

Nordost was sharing a ballroom with VTL and YG Acoustics showing how good sound can be if you have an unlimited budget, $116,547.81 in Nordost products alone, total cost for the system was $409,335.81. Throughout the system was Nordost’s spectacular ODIN 2 Power Cords ($17,849.99 USD) Nordost ODIN 2 Interconnects ($20,999.99 USD), Nordost ODIN 2 Digital Cables ($11,549.99 USD), Nordost ODIN 2 Tonearm Cable ($11,999.99 USD), and Nordost ODIN 2 Loudspeaker Cable ($31,499.99 USD) proving that cables can be every bit as much a component as amplifiers and speakers. Other highlights of the system were the VPI HW40 Direct Drive Turntable ($17,495 USD) and the dCS Rossini Player and Clock ($35,998 USD)

Nordost ODIN 2 cables
Nordost ODIN 2 cables
Nordost ODIN 2 Loudspeaker Cable
Nordost ODIN 2 Loudspeaker Cable
Nordost ODIN 2 cables
Nordost ODIN 2 cables
VPI HW40 Direct Drive Turntable
VPI HW40 Direct Drive Turntable
dCS Rossini Player and Clock
dCS Rossini Player and Clock
VTL TP-6.5 Series II Signature Phonostage, VTL TL-75 Series III Reference Linestage Preamplifier
VTL TP-6.5 Series II Signature Phonostage, VTL TL-75 Series III Reference Linestage Preamplifier
Nordost cable display
Nordost cable display
Nordost ODIN 2 cables
Nordost ODIN 2 cables

Fostex

Fostex @ Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 RMAF 2019
Fostex

Returning to Headspace my next stop was Fostex who was showing their line of planar magnetic and dynamic headphones as well as their new Fostex TM2 True Wireless IEMs ($299.99 USD).

Fostex TH610 Headphones, Fostex TH900 Headphones, Fostex TH900mk2 Headphones, Fostex HP-4A DAC/Headphone Amplifier
Fostex TH610 Headphones, Fostex TH900 Headphones, Fostex TH900mk2 Headphones, Fostex HP-4A DAC/Headphone Amplifier
Fostex T50RPmk3 Headphones, Fostex HP-4A DAC/Headphone Amplifier, Fostex T60RP Headphones
Fostex T50RPmk3 Headphones, Fostex HP-4A DAC/Headphone Amplifier, Fostex T60RP Headphones

Astell&Kern

Astell&Kern @ Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 RMAF 2019
Astell&Kern

Next up was Astell&Kern who were showcasing their new A&Ultima SP2000 DAP ($3,499 USD) the latest in a long line of state of the art players once again setting the bar for performance. Available in either Stainless Steel or Copper body finishes they employ dual AKM AK4499EQ DACs for native playback of 32/768 kHz PCM and DSD512 and offer Dual Band Wi-Fi. Also coming soon was their new Astell&Kern/beyerdynamic AK T9iE IEM (TBA)

Astell&Kern
Astell&Kern
Astell&Kern A&Ultima SP2000 DAP
Astell&Kern A&Ultima SP2000 DAP
Astell&Kern/beyerdynamic AK T9iE IEM
Astell&Kern/beyerdynamic AK T9iE IEM
Astell&Kern/JH Billie Jean IEM, Astell&Kern Activo CT10 DAP, Astell&Kern/beyerdynamic AK T9iE IEM, Astell&Kern A&norma SR15 DAP
Astell&Kern/JH Billie Jean IEM, Astell&Kern Activo CT10 DAP, Astell&Kern/beyerdynamic AK T9iE IEM, Astell&Kern A&norma SR15 DAP
Astell&Kern AK T5p 2nd Gen, Astell&Kern ACRO S1000 Speaker, Astell&Kern KHAN DAP, Astell&Kern ACRO L1000 DAC Amplifier, Astell&Kern PEE31 Aux Cable
Astell&Kern AK T5p 2nd Gen, Astell&Kern ACRO S1000 Speaker, Astell&Kern KHAN DAP, Astell&Kern ACRO L1000 DAC Amplifier, Astell&Kern PEE31 Aux Cable
Astell&Kern KHAN DAP, Astell&Kern ACRO L1000 DAC Amplifier, Astell&Kern ACRO S1000 Speaker, Astell&Kern SP1000 AMP with Astell&Kern A&Ultima SP1000 DAP (3), Grado GS3000e Headphones, Astell&Kern PEE31 Aux Cable, Astell&Kern AK CD-Ripper MKII, Astell&Kern 3 Split Carrying Case, Astell&Kern 2 Split Carrying Case
Astell&Kern KHAN DAP, Astell&Kern ACRO L1000 DAC Amplifier, Astell&Kern ACRO S1000 Speaker, Astell&Kern SP1000 AMP with Astell&Kern A&Ultima SP1000 DAP (3), Grado GS3000e Headphones, Astell&Kern PEE31 Aux Cable, Astell&Kern AK CD-Ripper MKII, Astell&Kern 3 Split Carrying Case, Astell&Kern 2 Split Carrying Case
Astell&Kern/JH Layla IEM, Astell&Kern A&Ultima SP2000 DAP, Sennheiser HD820 Headphones, Astell&Kern A&Ultima SP2000 DAP
Astell&Kern/JH Layla IEM, Astell&Kern A&Ultima SP2000 DAP, Sennheiser HD820 Headphones, Astell&Kern A&Ultima SP2000 DAP
Astell&Kern KHAN CUBE DAP, Astell&Kern AK T5p 2nd Gen, Astell&Kern AK T5p 2nd Gen, Astell&Kern KHAN CUBE DAP
Astell&Kern KHAN CUBE DAP, Astell&Kern AK T5p 2nd Gen, Astell&Kern AK T5p 2nd Gen, Astell&Kern KHAN CUBE DAP

AIX RECORDS

AIX RECORDS
AIX RECORDS

My last stop of the show was AIX Records, popular creator of REAL HD AUDIO, who had moved his display from Marketplace to Headspace. As always he had a large selection of 24/96 kHz Blu-Ray Audio discs in 2 and 5 channel.

AIX Records 24/96 kHz 5 channel discs
AIX Records 24/96 kHz 5 channel discs
AIX Records Blu-Ray Audio discs
AIX Records Blu-Ray Audio discs
Mark Waldrep of AIX Records
Mark Waldrep of AIX Records

That wraps up my coverage of Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019, but that doesn’t mean we are done, no, stay tuned for more from Frank Iacone.

We would like to thank Walter Liederman, affectionately known as Underwood Wally, for sponsoring our show coverage and making it possible for us to take our team of writers to this beautiful venue. Without the support of Underwood HiFi, it would have been difficult to provide our complete coverage and for that, we are truly grateful Please check out Wally’s website https://www.underwoodhifi.com/ and support him so we can continue to offer our special coverages.

To be Continued in part five of our RMAF 2019 coverage:

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Gary Alan Barker

Gary Alan Barker is a writer who has been a member of the Audio Industry since 1978, having acted as technical writer for several high-end audio companies, and been an electronics hobbyist since 1960. He has also been a musician and writer since the mid 1960s.

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