Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018

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Tyson

Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« on: 7 Oct 2018, 11:32 pm »
This was a fun year for me.  I think that not doing our live in-room coverage really let me kick back and take in the whole show in a more relaxed manner.  And I got to hear some new vendors I'd never seen/heard before.  And it also let me have a bit more time to hang out & talk with a bunch of other audio nerds  :thumb: 

Without further ado, here's my choices for best in show.  And a few of these categories I just made up  :lol:

Best bass
Spatial Audio w/Vinnie Rossi.  Man those Lumina L2s just crush it in the bass department.  Blazing fast, highly musical and punches you in the chest.  Couple that with some of the best imaging/soundstage at the show and Clayton has another winner on his hands.




Most Improved:
Focal.  Focal?  Yes!  Even Jason agreed with me.  After a decade of BOTH of us absolutely hating the Focal house sound, Focal has made a huge shift in their presentation.  They now sound coherent, punchy and lively.  Perfect for reaching the under-40 crowd.  And of course some of the best colors/finishes in the industry.  Focal speakers have always looked cool, now they have sound quality to match:




Best Nostalgic Audio Relaunch:
Tie.  JBL L100 and Klipsch Forte III.  These speakers sounded more alike than different.  Clear, clean, punchy and smooooooth!  I'd say the L100 was more of a rock & roll sound with modern refinement, while the Forte was just a great speaker, period.  In fact the Fortes sounded better than the La Scalas in the same room.  Well done!





Lifetime Achievement Award:
Vinnie Rossi - every year his rooms are always at the top of best in show.  And he never rests on his laurels.  Because I swear to god his rooms get better and better and better, year after year after year.  The man is relentless at improving.  Bravo!



Best Sound Cost No Object AND Best Value In Show:
AudioKinesis - Duke's been knocking on the door of best sound in show for a while now and this is the year he went over the top.  Easily my favorite room.  He has his speakers tuned just right - they aren't "warm" in the traditional sense - they present music in a way that glows from within.  It's not so much "lit up" as its 'burnished'.  A beautiful, rich, better than life tonality combined with incredible speed, transparency, soundstaging and precision.  Along with best-in-class room-integration.  Perfect bass.  And that's not even touching the value part of the equation.  4 powered subs, 2 stands and the the 2 main speakers, all for $9700; that's just ridiculous value.  C'mon Duke, now you're just showing off  :lol: 

Tomy2Tone

Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #1 on: 7 Oct 2018, 11:39 pm »
What’s the price on just the Azel speakers?

poseidonsvoice

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Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #2 on: 8 Oct 2018, 12:27 am »
Duke is a consummate speaker designer and has grown tremendously in the decade I’ve known him. I am thrilled he is continuing to carry the constant directivity waveguide + multisub torch for newbies who will turn into devotees like I have  :green:

Best,
Anand.

HT cOz

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Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #3 on: 8 Oct 2018, 02:04 am »
Tyson thanks for your coverage.  :thumb:

charmerci

Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #4 on: 8 Oct 2018, 09:03 pm »
.
« Last Edit: 8 Oct 2018, 11:55 pm by charmerci »

Tomy2Tone


Tomy2Tone

Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #6 on: 8 Oct 2018, 10:07 pm »

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=price+of+audiokinesis+loudspeakers

I see, so rather than trying to be helpful you'd thought it would be more fun to be a dick. Obviously I've searched and looked around but there's not much info out there and there's no mention of the Azel on Duke's website. Tyson mentioned the price of all the subs with the speakers and stands to be under $10k so I was just curious what the price of just the speakers would be but he must not know. I'm contemplating the Klipsch Forte III but if the Azel is not far from the Forte price of $3600 then maybe I would consider it as well. Since Duke is wrapping up from the show and probably traveling it may be a few days before I can contact him...

FullRangeMan

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Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #7 on: 8 Oct 2018, 10:33 pm »

Could not let notice these Vinnie monoblocks.
Great to a FR driver or a hi sensitivity speaker.

2bigears

Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #8 on: 8 Oct 2018, 11:54 pm »
 :D Azel speaker is brand new ?  The swarm and mains and stands under 10 grand.?   :popcorn:

charmerci

Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #9 on: 8 Oct 2018, 11:55 pm »
I see, so rather than trying to be helpful you'd thought it would be more fun to be a dick. Obviously I've searched and looked around but there's not much info out there and there's no mention of the Azel on Duke's website. Tyson mentioned the price of all the subs with the speakers and stands to be under $10k so I was just curious what the price of just the speakers would be but he must not know. I'm contemplating the Klipsch Forte III but if the Azel is not far from the Forte price of $3600 then maybe I would consider it as well. Since Duke is wrapping up from the show and probably traveling it may be a few days before I can contact him...


So you asked a question without any corresponding info about what you didn't find, sorry.

SlushPuppy

Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #10 on: 9 Oct 2018, 12:05 am »
Per the Azel pricing:

$6000 - $7000 depending on the article you find:

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/rmaf-2017-show-report-loudspeakers/

Other debuting speakers ranged in scale and cost, from the cute little red MarkAudio-SOTA Tozzi desktop mini-monitors ($495) to the imposing but beautifully crafted Daedalus Audio Zeus (price TBD). Other smaller newcomers, at a relatively modest price, included the Harberth 30.2 ($6495), QCN Signature 3 ($7500), Audio Kinesis Azel ($7000), and Neat Acoustics IOTA Xplorer (TBD; $5000-$5500 estimated)—the last an innovative two-and-a-half-way that employs an AMT (Air Motion Transformer) tweeter and a sealed iso-barik woofer system. The Alta Hestia ($32,000), described as "a new form of transmission line," was heard with Frank Van Alstine's electronics, playing Mahler's Seventh with command and ease. Thrax introduced its Basus woofer ($40,600), designed to accommodate that company's Lyra loudspeaker on top of its enclosure.

Tomy2Tone

Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #11 on: 9 Oct 2018, 01:39 am »
Per the Azel pricing:

$6000 - $7000 depending on the article you find:

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/rmaf-2017-show-report-loudspeakers/

Other debuting speakers ranged in scale and cost, from the cute little red MarkAudio-SOTA Tozzi desktop mini-monitors ($495) to the imposing but beautifully crafted Daedalus Audio Zeus (price TBD). Other smaller newcomers, at a relatively modest price, included the Harberth 30.2 ($6495), QCN Signature 3 ($7500), Audio Kinesis Azel ($7000), and Neat Acoustics IOTA Xplorer (TBD; $5000-$5500 estimated)—the last an innovative two-and-a-half-way that employs an AMT (Air Motion Transformer) tweeter and a sealed iso-barik woofer system. The Alta Hestia ($32,000), described as "a new form of transmission line," was heard with Frank Van Alstine's electronics, playing Mahler's Seventh with command and ease. Thrax introduced its Basus woofer ($40,600), designed to accommodate that company's Lyra loudspeaker on top of its enclosure.

That took some diggin, thank you!

Tomy2Tone

Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #12 on: 9 Oct 2018, 01:44 am »

So you asked a question without any corresponding info about what you didn't find, sorry.

I’m the one that’s sorry. I should have just left it alone.

charmerci

Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #13 on: 9 Oct 2018, 02:09 am »
I’m the one that’s sorry. I should have just left it alone.

Well I was trying too hard to be cute. Sometimes it's hard to judge intent on line. I need to remember to respect AC members at all times... you're not the usual internet riff-raff.
« Last Edit: 9 Oct 2018, 03:50 pm by charmerci »

Duke

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Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #14 on: 9 Oct 2018, 04:38 am »
Best Sound Cost No Object AND Best Value In Show:
AudioKinesis - Duke's been knocking on the door of best sound in show for a while now and this is the year he went over the top.  Easily my favorite room.  He has his speakers tuned just right - they aren't "warm" in the traditional sense - they present music in a way that glows from within.  It's not so much "lit up" as its 'burnished'.  A beautiful, rich, better than life tonality combined with incredible speed, transparency, soundstaging and precision.  Along with best-in-class room-integration.  Perfect bass.  And that's not even touching the value part of the equation.  4 powered subs, 2 stands and the the 2 main speakers, all for $9700; that's just ridiculous value.

Omigosh - I did not expect this!  WOW - THANK YOU!!

This go-round it really was a team effort.  Credit to Debra and James Romeyn for their critique of the Azel Stand Mount design as it matured over the past several months; to Melissa and Chris Owen for their world-class cables which made a major difference, far more than my last few crossover tweakages; and to Hans Looman of Resonessence for providing us with a world-class streamer/server, DAC, cool-running (modulated bias) Class A amp, and his expertise as we set up the room.

C'mon Duke, now you're just showing off  :lol: 

Must admit that we intentionally left our room treatments at home, as sort of a "Look ma - hands!" thing. 

What’s the price on just the Azel speakers?

Currently $4800 for just the stand-mount mains (and $9750 for the complete speaker system as shown at RMAF), not including shipping.   

The mains are intended to be used with subs, but they don't have to be used with OUR subs.  The Azels don't need a protective high-pass filter unless you want to play them very loud. 

I'm contemplating the Klipsch Forte III but if the Azel is not far from the Forte price of $3600 then maybe I would consider it as well.

The Forte doesn't need subs, but the Azel Stand Mount does.  Making that decision allowed us to get a bit better performance out of the Azel Stand Mount in other areas, imo.  But it also means it's not practical as a stand-alone speaker (it only goes down to about 65 Hz by itself). 


Tomy2Tone

Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #15 on: 9 Oct 2018, 05:44 pm »
Thanks Duke, appreciate the info!

James Romeyn

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Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #16 on: 10 Oct 2018, 02:32 am »
Thank you Tyson for your comments and superb show coverage.  You are much loved and appreciated by all who enjoy your musings of this premier N.A. show, renown for a sense of "family" lacking at other venues.     

I just posted at Duke's circle an official and comprehensive show system list with prices: https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=160117.new#new

If I wasn't busy answering questions from show visitors, and forwarding price requests to the CNC shop, I'd have already posted specs and images at my website.

As Duke mentioned, Hans Looman of Resonessence and Melissa and Chris Owen of Clarity Cable, pushed us over the line this year.  Our beloved Melissa stayed up till 7:30am Thursday finishing cables, for which Duke and I are eternally grateful.   





 

Tyson

Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #17 on: 10 Oct 2018, 03:13 am »
Jim and Duke - make no mistake, you guys EARNED it.  I hit about 40 rooms every year and most rooms sound more or less the same year after year.  Very few people have rooms that get better over time.  A few people are doing some innovation around constant directivity, but that's where they stop.  And no one (no one) is doing other innovative stuff like swarm style bass or late ceiling splash.  Put it all together (and having the tone of the speakers dialed in perfectly) and it was an easy award to give you :thumb:

James Romeyn

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Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #18 on: 11 Oct 2018, 12:37 am »
:D Azel speaker is brand new ?  The swarm and mains and stands under 10 grand.?   :popcorn:

The entire show system comprised two each:
Azel Stand Mount dark walnut
SuperStand black satin comprising 10" sealed 600W sub driver, 8" coaxial Space Generator (5th generation w/level control)

Outboard subs black satin, dual flared 29" ports

Dayton SA1000 sub amp/crossover/parametric EQ in "phase quadrature" tuning to minimize bass modes

Above $9750/8 pieces minus 10% for show demo + FX from Logan, Utah 84332. 

Azel Stand Mount (a la carte) $4800/pr minus 10% show demo pair + FX from Logan, Utah.





Duke

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Re: Tyson's Best of RMAF 2018
« Reply #19 on: 11 Oct 2018, 07:00 pm »
Jim and Duke - make no mistake, you guys EARNED it.  I hit about 40 rooms every year and most rooms sound more or less the same year after year.  Very few people have rooms that get better over time.  A few people are doing some innovation around constant directivity, but that's where they stop.  And no one (no one) is doing other innovative stuff like swarm style bass or late ceiling splash.  Put it all together (and having the tone of the speakers dialed in perfectly) and it was an easy award to give you :thumb:

Thank you very much, Tyson! 

Late Ceiling Splash is James' innovation, and it has proven to work very well.  He figured out the optimum SPL for the Splasher (which we call the Space Generator) relative to the mains and it's lower than I expected. 

So we've been refining our basic ideas, which apparently were in the ballpark to begin with, and THANK YOU so much for noticing!!  That means a LOT to us. 

James and I were extremely fortunately to show with Clarity Cable and Resonessence, and in turn I was extremely fortunate to have James and his wife Debra providing input going into the show.   

We come away from the show seeing room for improvement in one or two areas, and our wheels are already turning.   A big thank-you to Clayton Shaw for his generosity with his experience and knowledge. 

Duke

« Last Edit: 11 Oct 2018, 08:27 pm by Duke »