World's best Swiss DAC : RMAF 2016 / Steve Rochlin
RMAF2016 - 6 AWARDS
The Absolute Sound Magazine
Andrew Quint's Best of Show - Best Sound (Cost no object)
The most appealingly musical sound I heard at RMAF this year was in the very first room I set foot in on Thursday afternoon. I confirmed that impression with a return visit on Sunday. In Room 1030, LPs were played on a Kronos Pro ($38,000) fitted with a Black Beauty tonearm ($8500) and an EMT S75 cartridge (approximately $3900). Digital files and CDs were handled by a Nagra Seven digital recorder ($4800), Nagra Classic DAC converter ($14,000), and a CDT disc transport ($16,000). The system was completed with a Nagra Classic preamp ($17,000), two Nagra monoblocks ($16,000 each), Avalon Indra loudspeakers ($34,995) and Kubala-Sosna cabling. Room treatment was accomplished with Acustica Applicata DaaDs (Diffusion Absorption Acoustic Devices). Audio platforms : Modulum Audio. Especially memorable was L’histoire du soldat, played back from a Reference Recordings LP and several original DSD recordings made by master engineer René Laflamme, who was in attendance.
Gold Show Award - Best Sound
Enjoy the Music Magazine
Ok, you've been reading my rambling so far and my wife and Muse Heather generally is all smiles and loving tunes. While visiting the Nagra room she really loved the clean styling of Nagra's full CLASSIC Line of products including otheir new CLASSIC PREAMP. The speakers are INDRA from Avalon Acoustics, a Kronos PRO turntable with Black Beauty tonearm for analog junkies, EMT cartridge, the always-impressive Kubala*Sosna cables and Modulum racks. This system is my wife's personal choice for Best Sounds AT RMAF 2016 with beautiful midrange, silky smooth highs and just the right balance of supporting bass. Being that Heather has been to many shows and heard many systems... So hats off to Nagra Audio as you musically swooned my wife, and me too!
Best Product at RMAF 2016
Best Product at RMAF is shared between Nagra and their Classic DAC, and Kronos withtheir Pro Turntable. Both of these designs left me shaking my head at their innate musicality, and ability to communicate the most subtle tonal shading regardless of the recording being played. The handshake these two product were able to produce between the listener, and the recording was a bond as any live performance I've attended.
Nagra’s latest Classic-series products have been garnering serious plaudits from around the world, and on this showing it’s not hard to understand why. A change of designer has breathed new life into this respected but otherwise moribund brand, combining impressive sonic and musical performance with the company’s much-loved (if occasionally eclectic) casework. The results here were simply excellent, with the lucid resolution, spatial organization and agile dynamics... The system was supported on a Modulum rack ($1995/level), and I have no doubt that this coherent attention to the details of system infrastructure played a significant part in allowing the Nagras, Kronos and Avalon products to show their worth.
Standout room winner
RMAF 2016 - Carol Clark