RMAF Day 1 Light on Analog

RMAF is a big show this year and much more ground must be covered but so far the analog news at the show is that there hasn't really been any. The big news has been headphones and computer audio.

To that end I brought along a few USB sticks filled with 192/24 bit rips that played in some computers and not in others. Getting them to play on some systems required strategies akin to playing chess and ultimately in more than a few cases it ended in check mate with the files not capable of being played. Why? Not sure.

On the other hand the vinyl I brought played on every turntable and sounded, well you know.

The most interesting product I saw was from the Pure Audio Project an IKEA-like loudspeaker brand based in Israel/United States/Germany. The open baffle speakers—there are two in the line, the larger of which is shown in the photo—come disassembled and can be had in various states of completeness.

You can buy just the frame and hardware along with plans for a crossover network and instructions for CNC-ing your own baffle panels or you can buy the pre-cut panels and complete crossovers. You can add your own drivers or the company can supply them for not much more than you can buy them online.

There's a smaller model that comes with custom Morel drivers designed specifically for this project. I heard the big ones that are 95 dB efficient meaning you can drive them with just about anything. The sound was big, close to full range and powerful with a surprisingly robust bottom end and airy extended top. It was fun listening and great for rock. The company's CEO Ze'ev Schlik is a big Don Byron fan and he was playing Bug Music Byron's CD of cartoon and cartoonish music. You'd enjoy the ease and openness of what you heard even if it wasn't to your particular sonic taste.

I was told by others that the smaller system with the Morel drivers sounded better but I didn't have a chance yet to hear them. Either complete kit costs $3500.

Stay tuned for analog news as it develops.