RMAF 2012 Postmortem


Doesn't seem to be an RMAF 2012 thread yet.

Wondering what people thought, so I'll make a start.

Best in Show:

The big Ventures. Hard to describe how good these speakers sounded without being sappy. IMHO, embarrassing to other "statement" speakers at the show, like the big TAD and Lansche.

I was mostly interested in high efficiency speakers. Especially good were:

Zu Defintion IV
Devore Gibbon 93 and 96
Sonist C4

The Sonists, playing in the Snake River system, sounded especially good considering their (comparatively) reasonable price.

A few other noteworthy speakers were

Vapor's new 3 way

Vivid's space alien rendition of a mini-tower in the Tweak geek room

The Evolution mini-monitor was the best (reasonably) accessible speaker I heard, at 2500. Very good.

Opinions based on information overload, over a day and a half of listening.

Any other impressions?

John
jdoris
I'll chime in eventually, I just have to rewrite my notes. One small correction, the DeVore speakers were the Orangutans and not the Gibbons. Did you like one over the other? I personally preferred the 96s. Excellent well defined and intimate midrange for jazz, slight lack of pronouncement in the lows and tended to be somewhat bright for the symphonic recording that someone had brought in...which is a stretch for these speakers driven by 8 watts of power IMO. I visited this room all three days, so I admit that I did like the speakers and they're on my list. John is also a very interesting guy with many other intriguing and divergent pursuits. I could easily spend hours engaged in conversation with him.

If you like efficient speakers then you must of died when you heard the Volti Vittora with the Border Patrol S10. Did you hear the Volti with the NF5 Feastrex driver or either of the two speakers in the Feastrex room? Voices are just heavenly.

As for price, nothing compared to Steve Nober's Pranafidelity fifty 90 IMO. If you had a chance to sit in the sweet spot you may agree with my assertion.

More on my best of show picks later.
I live near Denver, but this was my first time at this show. I don't think I've ever been to a "consumer focused trade-show" before, so it took a little while for me to get into the groove (I've attended more broadcast and cable technology shows than I care to count).

It was interesting to listen to such a wide variety high-end systems, some of which sounded amazing and some of which didn't (or at least they had characteristics that are not pleasing to my ears. I was surprised to find some of these unobtainium systems exhibited characteristics that I've had to avoid or suss out of my far more modest systems over the years, e.g. mid-bass resonance, overly brash highs or a dull, veiled sound.

It was great to walk into Roy Hall's room and hear great sound, even though the system he was demo'ing cost less than a single firehose cable from some of the other rooms. And speaking of cables, it was interesting to see that (including some high-end rooms), high-dollar cables and interconnects were not required for great sound (and even look rather overwrought and silly in comparison).

I expect that I'll go back next year, but the one thing that I will do differently is I'll be careful to take notes on the great music I hear (I'm kicking myself that I didn't this year).
Dpe:

Yes, I meant the Orangutans, not the Gibbons. I expect the 96s were better than the 93s, but at a cost uptick from 8 to 12k, and I thought the 93s had *a lot* of what I liked in the 96s, particularly a certain sweetness of sound. My hunch is that for me, the 93 would be the way to go.

I agree completely that John D. is an unusually nice man, and a lot of fun to talk to. I'd expect Devore to be a great company to deal with.

John
I have attended every year since the inception of RMAF and I found this year to be a little disappointing in some of the manfacturers that weren't there. However, I did enjoy seeing/hearing some products that I had not seen before. Adam-Audio stands out in my mind as a speaker that is fairly affordable and quite good in sound. Also getting to hear the new Totems was a good opportunity, I did find that some rooms were playing the same equipment and music they have for the past few years and it makes me wonder why they don't show something new. I wanted to hear the New Magicos and if they were there I didn't find them. Also it seemed that the TurnTable count was down this year. I always like to see what each manufacture has developed in vinyl playback but I would say about half as many were repesented. I would say attendance was down from past yeasr and according to one dealer I spoke with yesterday, many vendors were packing up early Sunday as they realized the show was over. Regardless of how the show came off I hope that it returns next year as I know I will attend. It is is a wonderful opportunity to see equipment not sold in the area and meet some people that share this passion. I just really hope I win the PowerBall before next years show, so that I can really enjoy it!
This was my first year at RMAF and I'll be back for sure. I had a GREAT time...getting to listen to dream systems that I wouldn't be able to audition anywhere.

My favorites were as follows:
-The MBL 101's ...stunning sound! I visited this room 3 times!
-The Vandersteen Model 7 with Audio Research
-The Vivid Audio Speakers in the Tweak Geek room paired up with Luxman equipment.
-Joseph Audio Room
-Roger Sanders Electrostatic Speakers
-Estelon Room
-Gershman Black Swan

I know I'm missing many other rooms that I enjoyed as well....but that's my quick and dirty run down!
were there any panel speakers at the show ?

was there any interesting hirez software ?

was there any great sounding digital hardware ??

obviously i did not attend the whow.
Mrtennis:Sanders and Magnepan. I was very very impressed with the Sanders. Really have intergrated the sub well and the bass came thru extremely well. I didn't hear the Maggies but one thing I noticed is how many speakers are using the planar or Air Motion transformers. And sounding quite well. As far as your other questions, I can't say as I have not been bit by the digital bug beyond SACD yet.
Hi Jdoris, Focusing on efficient speakers, did you get a chance to hear the Vaughn Cabernet lls. I couldn’t make the show and would welcome any comments and comparisons on these speakers.
I have only heard of the company peripherally before, but my big winner was YG Acoustics, especially in the Veloce room. Veloce is newer amplification company that employs a sophisticated battery system to power their hybrid amps and preamp.

Also really liked BSC room with Harbeths. Bret D'Agostino is a cool guy, and that room was certainly the best sound I heard with sub $10k components. Glad someone is making a fairly affordable class a amp with decent power rating.

I also liked Devore and am considering purchasing them, unless an extra several grand falls out the sky for the Carmel.

I heard most panel speakers, just not Magnepan as far as I know. I was impressed by Sanders' integration of the panel and woofer. The transition is really smooth as the frequency drops, and stays together even with very dynamic music. Sounded good even off-axis; there were only three seats were in the room, arranged in tandem. Better though, for more money, was Analysis Audio, which had the benefit of being located in ballroom. A.A. did not have the standard diaphragm excursion "thwap" sound of electrostatics. Not as clear sounding with not as good woofer integration was M.L.

There was also a lot I was curious to hear, but didn't enjoy.
What I really like - Speakers with their front setups - Vivid K1 (I can stay in this room forever), YG Anat, Brodman, Joseph Audio new Pearl, PMC monitors and Sonus Faber Vorere. Hope I got their spelling right.

Really disappointed that some brands like Magico and Avantgarde are not represented this year.....
Not wishing to be disloyal to Audiogon, but Audiocircle.com have a very good and thorough show report and some lively feedback from attendees. Give it a look if you have'nt already.

I only attended once in 09 and won't again, not that I did'nt enjoy it, but coming from the UK, it is just too expensive. Best show I've been to though.
Mrtennis: Like others, I found the Sanders impressive. The MSRP seemed pretty reasonable, as these things go, at 10k -- although I note that's a lot more than the Maggie 3.7. Unsurprisingly, the Sanders are big: not super wide, but maybe 7' tall.

Phaelon: did not hear the Vaughns. Probably should have. Lots to hear, though.

John

I thought that the big Ventures were the best sounding rig that I have heard in my last 5 trips to the RMAF. It's too bad that they retail for $139,000; none of us will ever own a pair...Saturday evening at 8pm they switched-out the FM Acoustics SS amps for a set of Thrax Audio class A tube mono blocks and the sound got even better!

The April Music room with the Stello Ai 700 and Marten speakers sounded really nice as did the Devore room.
I totally agree, Stickman, the big Ventures were jaw dropping; surprised the are not on every best of show list. For example, I thought they were in a completely different category -- and obviously so -- than the new Wilsons, which made some people's list.

Do you suppose Venture offers mortgages?
I liked the big Ventures too as well as the Sanders room. But I'm amazed more were not smitten with the Leonardo ribbon speakers along with the $179,000 tube amps and Memory player. The system was beautiful in sound as well as looks. The ribbons reminded me of the Apogee sound and look. But much more efficient to drive. Voices were just uncanny. Great dynamics and bass too. If I had $65,000 to spare I'd have a pair.

I listened to the Ventures both with the FM Acoustics and the tube set up. Either way they were the best at the show.

I was kind of disappointed in the Wilson room. They were playing their new speakers with the big VTL amps. The room needed to be the same size as the Venture room.

The little Silverlines were impressive as well and run by the small chassis Parasound amp as well.

I was afraid I wouldn't like my humble setup at home after hearing multi thousand dollar setups at the show, but was delighted to find my little Legacy system could more than hold its own with anything I heard at the show.

Steve
Yeah I agree. They had all EnKlen power and cables. The Thrax Dac was super impressive, liquid , dynamic, detailed! Amazing sound!
The Saunders room was probably the best in the show for me, very open sound with lots of clarity, very well priced to.
I liked the Volti Audio room that had the 3 way horn speakers making nice noises, and also quite nicely priced.
The downside for me as in all years I have attended the show is the totally mind numbing easy listening pap that always seems to get played in a lot of the rooms.
Man up guys,and play music to stir the blood.
Can't really remember any stand out rooms as they all sounded very similar, or was it just the music being played?
I love this show: great people, great music and how can you not have a great time if you’re obsessed with sound. Obviously it is disappointing when some of your favorite manufactures don’t exhibit, like First Sound, Yamamoto, Thoress, Audiopax, etc,

I have to admit right off that a slight tinnitus issue currently dictates my listening preference, thus ribbon tweeters are off my list (and I’ve owned Apogee and a RAAL ribbon speaker, but I won’t buy one now). I always make it a point to visit Jim Jordan (Vaughn) because he is a great guy, but unfortunately his ribbon creations are a bit much for my ears. (sorry Jim, my loss).

Here we go:

Best of Show:
Yiddish lessons with Gideon Schwartz. Oh he was so disappointed in me but what can I say, after three generations on the West Coast we go wondering again…

Zellaton Studio Reference One with all Nagra gear. Heavenly! Outstanding tone, wonderful extension and sumptuous rate of decay. I visited this room all three days to ensure that I heard what I heard, and I did indeed hear it.

Close runner up of a different sort:
Volti Vittora, Border Patrol S10, EMM DAC and transport. Big horns done well! The sound takes me back to what I vaguely remember of my college roommate’s Klipsch and MC 2505. Small Jazz ensembles just suck you in; extremely intimate, breathy, extended and voices are simply magical. Like the Zellatons, the lack of high note fatigue was so relaxing. The caveat is I did not listen to full spectrum symphonic or raucous rock. Nevertheless these are for sipping, not gulping. I’d have these in my home if their mass didn’t take up so much space, or rather if my wife and dogs would let me have my own listening room. I just hope Greg Roberts keeps doing what he does. He and his wife are a joy to be around.

Speaking of raucous rock, in the Zu room on the 5th floor did anyone get the urge to body slam the guy next to you and proceed to wreck the place? Young guys spinning angry high energy music, good times!? I’ve got to hand it to them; at least it wasn’t your typical Norah Jones-esque sound that everyone thinks brings out the best in their speakers (yawn).

2nd runner up:
Estelon Xb. OK I admit that the beautiful Estonian sales representative was a bit of a distraction but I swear she did not sway my vote. I did get bonus points when I said I’d been to Tallinn, but then I lost them when I said my family was originally from Lithuania…D’oh like that has any relevance to anything. Well back to the odd looking Estelon: great bass, drums had superb separation, percussive speed and splendid timbre. I heard a slight glare punch in the highs but the piano notes had wonderful extension. I could tell you that their aesthetic appearance would not get my wife’s seal of approval. They also give the impression that they may move a round on their own when you’re not looking.

I too am a big fan of efficient speakers and I always enjoy what Mike Zivkovic did with the Lowthar driver in his Teresonic Ingenium, although I hate to watch videos when listening to music. I preferred the Ingenium to the Voxativ (another Lowthar driver) that was just a couple of doors down the hall. I was also very excited to hear the Feastrex NF5 and thought the Feastrex in the Feastrex cabinet and the Volti Veretta were wonderfully expressive, particularly when listening to vocals. And then there was the FN9…wow! I can’t wait to see what some cabinet builder does with that driver.

Best Value:
Steve Nober's Pranafidelity fifty 90. Unbelievable for under 5K. I give these speakers 4 out 5 merely for their affordability and outstanding dynamic sound, which can be modified by six switch settings in the back of the speaker (a tweaker’s dream).

Most interesting exhibitors:
Steve Nober, Kenji Furukawa (Feastrex), John Devore and of course Jeffrey Catalano are all really enjoyable and engaging people to hang out with. The eccentric Robin Wyatt is very entertaining…many of us just sat there in disbelief as he yanked and replaced one tubes after another, without turning off the power, and tried to convince us that the 206 was the paramount of tubes. I was just there to see if he’d blow a tube in his hands: please Robin can you do that again!

For you Wilson lovers, did you not catch the Maxx 3 and the Doshi jhor 160s. I’m not a big fan of Wilson, but I love Doshi’s preamps and the Wilson sang with those 160 monos IMO.

Any opinions on Morch’s DP-8 tonearm or were you more taken with the beautiful Schroder LT?

Apologize for the length. I got carried away.
I love this show: great people, great music and how can you not have a great time if you’re obsessed with sound. Obviously it is disappointing when some of your favorite manufactures don’t exhibit, like First Sound, Yamamoto, Thoress, Audiopax, etc,

I have to admit right off that a slight tinnitus issue currently dictates my listening preference, thus ribbon tweeters are off my list (and I’ve owned Apogee and a RAAL ribbon speaker, but I won’t buy one now). I always make it a point to visit Jim Jordan (Vaughn) because he is a great guy, but unfortunately his ribbon creations are a bit much for my ears. (sorry Jim, my loss).

Here we go:

Best of Show:
Yiddish lessons with Gideon Schwartz. Oh he was so disappointed in me but what can I say, after three generations on the West Coast we go wondering again…

Zellaton Studio Reference One with all Nagra gear. Heavenly! Outstanding tone, wonderful extension and sumptuous rate of decay. I visited this room all three days to ensure that I heard what I heard, and I did indeed hear it.

Close runner up of a different sort:
Volti Vittora, Border Patrol S10, EMM DAC and transport. Big horns done well! The sound takes me back to what I vaguely remember of my college roommate’s Klipsch and MC 2505. Small Jazz ensembles just suck you in; extremely intimate, breathy, extended and voices are simply magical. Like the Zellatons, the lack of high note fatigue was so relaxing. The caveat is I did not listen to full spectrum symphonic or raucous rock. Nevertheless these are for sipping, not gulping. I’d have these in my home if their mass didn’t take up so much space, or rather if my wife and dogs would let me have my own listening room. I just hope Greg Roberts keeps doing what he does. He and his wife are a joy to be around.

Speaking of raucous rock, in the Zu room on the 5th floor did anyone get the urge to body slam the guy next to you and proceed to wreck the place? Young guys spinning angry high energy music, good times!? I’ve got to hand it to them; at least it wasn’t your typical Norah Jones-esque sound that everyone thinks brings out the best in their speakers (yawn).

2nd runner up:
Estelon Xb. OK I admit that the beautiful Estonian sales representative was a bit of a distraction but I swear she did not sway my vote. I did get bonus points when I said I’d been to Tallinn, but then I lost them when I said my family was originally from Lithuania…D’oh like that has any relevance to anything. Well back to the odd looking Estelon: great bass, drums had superb separation, percussive speed and splendid timbre. I heard a slight glare punch in the highs but the piano notes had wonderful extension. I could tell you that their aesthetic appearance would not get my wife’s seal of approval. They also give the impression that they may move a round on their own when you’re not looking.

I too am a big fan of efficient speakers and I always enjoy what Mike Zivkovic did with the Lowthar driver in his Teresonic Ingenium, although I hate to watch videos when listening to music. I preferred the Ingenium to the Voxativ (another Lowthar driver) that was just a couple of doors down the hall. I was also very excited to hear the Feastrex NF5 and thought the Feastrex in the Feastrex cabinet and the Volti Veretta were wonderfully expressive, particularly when listening to vocals. And then there was the FN9…wow! I can’t wait to see what some cabinet builder does with that driver.

Best Value:
Steve Nober's Pranafidelity fifty 90. Unbelievable for under 5K. I give these speakers 4 out 5 merely for their affordability and outstanding dynamic sound, which can be modified by six switch settings in the back of the speaker (a tweaker’s dream).

Most interesting exhibitors:
Steve Nober, Kenji Furukawa (Feastrex), John Devore and of course Jeffrey Catalano are all really enjoyable and engaging people to hang out with. The eccentric Robin Wyatt is very entertaining…many of us just sat there in disbelief as he yanked and replaced one tubes after another, without turning off the power, and tried to convince us that the 206 was the paramount of tubes. I was just there to see if he’d blow a tube in his hands: please Robin can you do that again!

For you Wilson lovers, did you not catch the Maxx 3 and the Doshi jhor 160s. I’m not a big fan of Wilson, but I love Doshi’s preamps and the Wilson sang with those 160 monos IMO.

Any opinions on Morch’s DP-8 tonearm or were you more taken with the beautiful Schroder LT?

Apologize for the length. I got carried away.
Sorry about the double post. Not sure how that happened.
i am surprised that nobody who attended the show, is commenting upon the magnepan room.

i heard the sanders hybrid years ago at THE SHOW. the panel was amazing, but i heard a discontinuity between the bass panel and the panel.

i believe the problem is dispersion. the dispersion of a cone differs significantly from that of a panel.

also, the cross over point could be a factor.

i have heard other hybrid designs, but all have a problem in coherence. they sound like two different speakers. i suppose many will argue that some hybrids have a seamless transition between drivers, but i believe i can identify hybrid speakers, even with a blind fold, or with my eyes closed.
and cone bass do not sound the same.
Hello all, I just registered here after attending my first RMAF. Being 63 and living in the quiet town of Taos, NM I don't get on the internet much. Hopefully my impressions of the show will be appreciated.

First off I was on a mission to find a replacement for my Dynaudio C4's. I've had them for around 6-7 years now and have enjoyed my time with them. But ultimately I find myself wishing for more balance and transparency. The Dyn's can feel a bit slow and uninvolving at times, other times they're spectacular.

Friday I tried to visit all the large main floor rooms and the Mezzanine rooms. Below were my notes:

The Venture setup in the Primrose room were spectacular. Incredible scale and dynamics. I felt these were very similar to my C4's but bigger and more refined. For 1/4 the asking price I would love to have them in my room, but for full price I'd want more micro-detail and sparkle on top.

The Launsche setup was also very involving and powerful. Again too rich for my blood, but another speaker I could easily live with at home. These had more midrange details than the Venture I thought.

The Daedalus/Modwright setup was very easy to listen, but too laid back my taste and somewhat dead on top.

I had never considered panels, but the Analysis Audio room made me reconsider. They were fast and transparent with excellent low level details. The price I thought was also in line. I'm not sure if I could live with the small sweet spot, and slightly constrained dynamics.

Those space age looking Cabasse speakers were cool, but sounded to my ears like an experiment and not a finished product. Unrefined and uncontrolled.

On the Mezzanine I honestly didn't find anything that was notable. The Raidho monitors were probably best, but listening was impossible due to the repeated cable swaps they were doing.

All the Focal rooms were to my ears, a mess. To me they more tried to bully you into enjoying the music instead of caressing. The Laufner Teknik's (with those gorgeous tubes) were just awful, sweet spot about the size of nickel and I could hear the panels flapping on bass notes.

Onto Saturday and the tower.

2nd floor highlights were GR/Serenity and Nola. Both had huge soundstage and plenty of low level detail, with a transparent sound. I'm not sure about the open baffle approach though, everything sounded equally big at the cost of pinpoint imaging. Plenty of great value in electronics with the Dodd stuff. Of the two I liked the Nola's better, they were just a bit more refined, the Serenity's at times turning forward and edgy at times.

The Wilson setup had it's moments of spectacular, as it should for the price of everything in there. Lots of things to like in that room, but being out of my range I didn't give it serious thought.

I hadn't heard of Adam Audio, and for the most part enjoyed them but they could be a bit hot on top at times. Big surprise of the 2nd floor was the Audio Physic Aventera's. Overall balanced, transparent, and musically involving. I'd like a bit more scale and dynamics, but an excellent speaker.

I don't remember the model, but the Totem floorstanders I heard (the ones with the funky silver frame around the woofers) were very good for the price. They're a speaker I'll consider when it comes purchase time. Midrange was the star with these, very open and lifelike.

The big MBL's were so much fun, like living inside a bubble of music. Their balance surprised me as well.

The Salk Soundscape speakers were gorgeous and sounded very balanced overall, although a bit slow and thick on bottom. I love the ability to pick my own veneer and look though, worth considering.

KEF LS50 (I think) was a surprisingly good sounding speaker. For such a small speaker it presented good scale, overall balanced with good detail as well. A touch of harshness on top but not a huge problem.

The Vivid/Ayre room was very cool, more vendors should try and do up their room instead of the same look door to door. Sound was very nice as well, on the analytical side but with excellent imaging and balance. Too funky looking though, and a bit loose on bottom.

The Odyssey monitors were excellent, big surprise how well they stacked up to much more expensive speakers. Only downside was a bit of congestion on vocals, but otherwise a fantastic speaker for the price.

... feeling lazy now, just going to type highlights from the other tower 4th and 5th floor.

Honestly I thought the best sounds of the entire show were in this tower.

The Emotiva setup was one of the best bargains I've heard. You don't get that ultimate refined feel for this price, but one of the best bargains I've heard.

The Rosso Fiorentino (spelling) speakers in the Avatar room were very nice, great emotional connection here. Smooth but not sacraficing detail and transparency. These are on my list to consider.

The Evolution Acoustic mini monitor was very enjoyable, if leaning a bit too much toward analytical. Bass was a bit flubby, but another excellent value.

Zellaton was a company I've not heard of, but their speakers were very impressive. Excellent imaging and transparency, a bit dull on top but otherwise glorious. Ultimately too expensive, but still impressive.

5th floor held many surprises for me!

The Sanders panel setup was excellent, and the price was another pleasant surprise. Another speaker that I'll consider.

The Estelon Xb was incredible. Everything about that speaker is what I'm looking for, except I would like a bit more heft to the mid-bass. Gorgeous speakers though and incredible micro-detail and transparency.

I've heard YG speakers a few times before and never really cared for them, too hi-fi sounding. But on the 5th floor they sounded as good as I've ever heard them. Here they were a sound I could live with, if a dealer gave me a nice discount :)

The bending wave Goebel speakers were also quite nice. Midrange and upper end was spectacular, but let down a bit by a much slower bottom end. Could be the room though, and a very cool looking speaker I thought.

And that brings me to my last mention, I saved the best for last. I'd never heard of Vapor Audio, they're a small custom builder based in St Louis. But after finding out about them mid-day Satuurday, I spent hours going back and forth between their two rooms. I got to hear all 5 of their models (consulting notes), Jewel Black, Cirrus Black, Cirrus White, Arcus, and Aurora. I was just amazed at how all 5 models could be so coherent, so fast and transparent sounding while using such different constructions and components. What I found most surprising is how their speakers could show more low level detail than I've ever heard without every being forward or harsh. The Jewel Black I can easily see replacing my C4's. Honestly I think my mind is made up, the Vapor speakers made the whole trip worthwhile and will likely be my next speaker ... I just have to decide which one! With the price being lower than I expected to spend, I can see myself finally setting up that 2nd system as well.
Dpe: Wondering if you'd elaborate on your issues with tinnitus and ribbons? Too edgy? I find this sometimes (eg Salk HTL-TL w/Van Alstine, RMAF 2010), but not others (Vapor on a number of occasions).

Mrtennis: I heard various people comment on how well the Sanders integrated this year; maybe they've cleaned things up a bit.

On the topic of integration, anyone hear the Rythm -- a single driver augmented with a bass unit? I only heard it briefly, but I wondered about the integration.

The Joule Black is my favorite of the Vapor line as well Petrakis; punching above its weight is you'd move from the C4! I think the pro audio based Acurus is a really neat design too; might be my choice, if I were more of a headbanger.

John
I think the Sanders sounded good, especially in the bass; but overall they cannot match the Magnepans in the mids and highs...overall I still think the Maggies sound better, especially the 3.7 and 20.7's...
John,

I can hear to 18 kHz no problem. Old CRTs, and whatever is going on in the fluorescent lights or hard drives I can here a continuous high pitch sound. Having worked near wind tunnels for 25 years I've undoubtedly broken off some of the tiny hairs in the cochlea. Thus a small portion of my midrange has dimensioned. Unfortunately this accentuates the highs, which means that any persistent frequency between 10 to 13 kHz will cause extreme listening fatigue for me. I can easily hear a 10-12 kHz buzz from and ribbon or electrostatic tweeter and ribbons can produce sound way beyond 20kHz (hardly anyone past their teens can hear or ever heard 20kHz). I'm more amazed that other people don't have similar issues.

When I say that there’s a pop or punch in the highs I’m just referring to a sudden seemingly uncontrolled burst of energy that doesn’t dissipate well at 10-12 kHz. This is different then the constant buzz of a ribbon; rather it’s punctuated. I can tell you within 30 seconds whether a cone tweeter has this tendency. The buzz of a ribbon tweeter will fatigue you over time because it’s sustained. Just my opinion…
Analysis Audio, I was told, is having 25% off for RMAF that is good until the end of this month.
Petrakis, WOW! nice and long first post. I am actually looking to dump my Vapor Cirrus Blacks and your post has enlightened me to look into some of these other speakers. Thanks!

I know another recent Vapor customer that may be looking to sell his Cirrus. Send me a pm if interested.

And I must add, for not being on the internet much you sure know how to post like a pro! :) I actually thought I was reading something a reviewer wrote.
Thanks Dpe. I'm prone to earbleed and fatigue from etched audiophile detail, but I've not noticed the buzz.

John
I've traded a couple emails with Ryan at Vapor Audio and it looks like the Joule White is the best fit for me. I still haven't made a decision, and may end up with the Analysis panels. Also found a very nice deal on a pair of Rosso Fiorentino Sienna's, and the Estelon's are the other one still in the running, but can't seem to find any discounts on them.

Jpl208 - I may take you up on that. I've been thinking about the Cirrus Black for a 2nd room system. I have no idea how to send pm's though.
Petrakis, I see you are now having second thoughts on the Vapor Audio speakers. I understand.
Dpe,

A buzz in the 10-12 kHz region from a ribbon tweeter should show up in a frequency response curve. On my RAAL ribbon tweeter the response curve is as flat as a pancake. A lot of dome tweeters start to roll off above 10 kHz and I think that is what you must be hearing.

Bob
I would not be surprised if the "unmeasurable" artifact irritating to Dpe's and other's ears is related to the torsional distortion related to a ribbon's twisting (slight as it may be). Planar's do not suffer (or suffer less) from this problem, due to the increased stability provided by the planar's substrate (typically mylar), albeit a planar speaker may not be perceived to sound as "fast" as a ribbon.
Over the last thirty-five years, I have yet to hear a ribbon (not to say this may not happen) without a "sheen" to its character. Some people like this, some don't. I find the sound of ribbons to be interesting, albeit one, over time, to be fatiguing, and at the end of the day less like music, instead, more effect driven.
Their simplicity offers a very high cool factor: secure a thin strip or strips of aluminum within a strong magnetic field and transform ac voltage from the amplifier to modulate current to the ribbon. What could be simpler--taking into account simple does not always mean easy?
There are still some aspects of audio reproduction that have yet to be measured. And even if we arrive at a point where we "believe" all that can measured has been taken into account, at that same point in time we will have lost our senses.
My suggestion: don't lose your senses (as whimsical and unreliable they may be for discerning an enduring, unchanging "truth').
If a given sound brings up a red flag, per se, it is worth trying to understand the source of the red flag (it may be the polarity of an AC plug needs to be reversed?).
In today's world of "measured perfection," many have become less and less attuned and trusting of their senses and gut feelings, change as they may over time (welcome to maturation). Measurements may provide an interesting map to look at, but the territory is for each of us to discover on our own.
I wouldn't say second thoughts, just keeping my options open. The Vapor Joule is my top choice at this time. The Analysis panels, I have doubts would work in my very large room where I'm rarely in the sweet spot. And the Rosso's sounded quite nice, but were a bit utilitarian. I flat out loved the sound of all the Vapor designs, and also like that I can customize the look to fit a house where everything is custom already.

Jpl208, did you send me a PM? I tried to figure out how to check and can't tell if I have one or not.
Petrakis LOL, didn't need to send you a pm as the Vapor Audio speakers are now listed in the classifieds. Good luck with your Vapor postings.
Petrakis. Have you followed Jp1208's threads? Don't let this person sway your opinion. I'm sorry Jp but ive been following your interaction with Vapor and its less than professional on both sides. I personally wish you would stop your rant with Vapor and Vapor should get off this web site now. Ive read a ton of reviews of Vapor loudspeakers all of which were positive. You had an issue and it hasn't been resolved to your liking so you're using this forum to tear Vapor apart. On the other hand Vapor has been responding to your rants which is straight up bad business. Both of you need to handle your issue outside of this forum. This is pathetic. Neither of you are getting anywhere by using this forum to
resolve your dispute. Move on please. I don't think this is the purpose.of Audiogon and since there doesn't appear to be a living moderator here any longer I guess Ill step in.
And please don't think I'm some authority. Ive just been following some.poor ethics on this forum lately and it doesn't do any of us any good. If you want to settle a dispute that has nothing to do with an Audiogon transaction I think you need to take it outside. I'm here to learn, not to cut people down. I expect that from everyone and I hope you do too.
Greetings to all from South Pacific.

Has anyone visited the "COINCIDENT" room? Your comments/comparisons on the Total Victory V loudspeakers will be appreciated.
Denis
With Donjr here. I don't think this thread is the place for revisiting one user's customer service dispute. The sound in the Vapor rooms at RMAF, which many judged to excellent, is of course relevant here. Please, let's stick to the show.

Thx,

John
Kelvin,
That’s a very interesting post. It’s well considered and has a great deal of merit.