I fell in love at this year’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest with the new $70,000 Dynaudio Consequence Ultimate Edition loudspeaker. So palpable, so luscious, and ever so beautiful. Friends, this is one heck of a loudspeaker. Tweeter on bottom, bass driver on top, 5-way crossover?!? Yes, yes, and yes. No matter. The sound is what matters and it sounded phenomenal, at least to these diminutive ears.
Then there was the $60,000 TAD Reference 1 loudspeaker, which was being demoed by its lively British designer, Andrew Jones. TAS’s Neil Gader was raving about the loudspeaker so I had no choice but to listen to it. The size of the soundstage and power of the bass were superb. Treble extension up to 100 kHz. How on earth the speaker managed to output so much sound with just a few drivers was a mystery I was determined to fathom. Jones explains that he is running the drivers in extremely linear fashion. The substantial cabinet must have a lot to do with the capacious sound as well—they weigh in at 330 lbs. each.
I also moseyed by the Avalon Indra/VTL-450 amplifier room. A full and warm sound, testifying to the musicality of the Indras. The 450s sounded effortless and detailed. And this was before I had one of the translucent, blue martinis on offer at the tribute to J. Gordon Holt that was generously hosted by Luke Manley and Bea Lam of the aforementioned VTL.
In the audio stratosphere hovered the big daddy JM Lab loudspeaker that was being demoed by Denver’s Audio Unlimited. If you have a spare $180,000 burning a hole in your pocket, then there could be worse ways to spend it than on these behemoths. Resolution and palpability were off the charts. And if you have a little more spare change, then why not add Ted Denny’s latest Synergistic cables that clock in at about $90,000 for a full set of speaker and interconnects.
The most unique product, though, was the new record cleaning machine being demoed by the Cable Company. The Audio Desk Systeme uses an ultrasonic cleaning method to eliminate many of the headaches associated with eliminating the grunge from vinyl. You just pop the LP in and watch it get cleaned and dried. Who said audiophiles don’t have good hygiene?