By Rafe Arnott
If you haven’t experienced RMAF yourself, then it’s not easy to explain, but Denver is the audio event that people in the industry WANT to go to in my opinion.Other big hi-fi shows just don’t seem to have the same drawing power as Rocky Mountain Audio Festival, and when John DeVore of DeVore Fidelity, and Shindo Distributor Jonathan Halpern of Tone Imports walked up to me at the cocktail mixer on the mezzanine level Thursday night in the Mile-High City, I couldn’t help but give them both a big bear hug because I hadn’t seen them – despite attending Axpona in Chicago, and T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach – since Denver the year before.
Many other happy, friendly faces appeared throughout the day, and evening yesterday that I was able to connect with, one of them being Sean Casey of Zu Audio who took a few us back to the Zu room where a pair of massive prototype three-way speakers named ‘Experience’ hulked silently on either side of a huge hardware orgy set in a round that was sprouting more turntables than I could count.
Casey said the Experience was a Beta design that he had been working on for several years to perfect, and when ready for production would be firmly targeted at the $30,000 USD speaker market, – lookout Wilson – a somewhat crowded field in my experience, but one that could definitely use some shaking up, and Zu is just the company to do it.
The loudspeakers came about from a desire to create “a huge, enormous cinematic soundscape,” according to Casey, yet also be able to express the subtle, fine details that smaller ensemble, vocal or acoustic pieces require. A difficult feat, and one that seen Casey working through several iterations so far.
I’m looking forward to hearing these speakers, and experiencing them firsthand here in Denver.
More info: https://www.audiofest.net/
Zu Audio: http://www.zuaudio.com/