Denver RMAF 2018 Report

RMAF 2018 Report / Zu’s View

Another fun show at Denver. This year we partnered with Pass Labs and Mobile Fidelity—fantastic patterns! We are always impressed with Pass gear (and the people behind it) and the new MoFi UltraDeck is killer, and we always have a great time with the MoFi crew, sometimes too much fun.

Showcase pieces included Zu Druid Mk.VI loudspeakers, Pass Labs XA-25 power amp, and MoFi UltraDeck turntable. We were very happy with the sound we were getting, even confident enough to put Gerrit, Harvey and Ian on the decks for long and sometimes challenging sets of music. And of course, we were happy to play records visitors had in hand.

As for the room look, we wanted to present the feel of a real living space, not a hotel and not a room with logos and banners splashed all over the floors and walls. Based on feedback from visitors most loved the look and sound and many loved that we were playing a massive swath of recordings from all over the world. Sadly, but needing saying, the Zu/Pass/MoFi room played more cuts of music from more genera’s than the rest of the show combined. If it’s one thing exhibitors at these hi-fi shows need to do better is play music that more people want to hear—the days of playing ten safe cuts of pretty and impressive music are long gone.

 Harvey of Zu enjoying a nice long set of music.

Harvey of Zu enjoying a nice long set of music.

We ran two systems from the same source gear, making it easy to flip between the Druid Mk.VI system and the Omen Dirty Weekend. Surprising to most was just how good both systems sounded, Druid-6 with Submission sounded all the better when flipping from Omen DW (no sub), and Omen DW (no sub) sounding stellar even stacked against the Druid-6 + Submission. Of course, we ran the new Druids the bulk of the time, but those that wanted were easily able taste the Omens.

 Jon Derda of MoFi taking us for a ride on his music.

Jon Derda of MoFi taking us for a ride on his music.

Some of the posted reports:

Interview of Sean from John Darko: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZk0Oc9CYhU

Part Time Audiophile: https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2018/10/09/rmaf-2018-must-see-rooms-of-sunday/

Listening to a slew of high-efficiency Zu speakers is nothing new to me, and doing so with Pass Labs is also old-hat. However, a new XP-12 preamplifier and a pair of the new XA25 Pass Labs Class-A stereo amplifiers were powering both the ($999 USD) Zu Omen Dirty Weekend, and the ($9,999 USD) Zu Druid Mk VI.

It’s not often you see (and hear) an exhibit where one model of amplifier is used to showcase such a wide berth of a speaker line hierarchy, and yet everything feel right at home in both cases. Yes, the XA25 is the most affordable stereo amplifier in Pass’ current Class-A lineup, but nowhere would I dare think or speak that the Zu Druid ever sounded better anywhere else. –Erik Shook


Young Guns of HiFi: The Future Is Now EveAnna, Sean, Cynthia, EJ and Steve Guttenberg.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=8SFn82o6lME


Gear list of the system we were running at this show:

Main System

MoFi Vinyl
MoFi UltraDeck Turntable
Pass XP-17 Phono-Stage
Pass XP-12 Preamplifier
Pass XA-25 Amplifier
Pass HPA-1 Headphone Amp

Zu/DL-103 (Grade-2) Pickup
Zu Druid Mk.VI Loudspeaker
Zu Event Loudspeaker Cables
Zu Event Interconnects
Zu Event Power Cords
Zu Submission Subwoofer

Omen System

MoFi Vinyl
MoFi UltraDeck Turntable
Pass XP-12 Preamplifier
Pass HPA-1 Headphone Amp
Pass XA-25 Amplifier

Zu/DL-103 (Grade-2) Pickup
Zu Omen DW Speakers
Zu Mission Cables

 Kent English of Pass talking shop in the foyer.

Kent English of Pass talking shop in the foyer.

Saturday night party. Well it took a bit to get going, but around 9:00 things were bouncing. Some dancing, lots of mingling and shop talk. A big thanks to Goldspot Brewing Company!

And yes, if you have three preamps and know how to bus outside the box, you can DJ on a hi-fi rig—Gerrit (DJ Spynrg) is your man.

Next year the show will be up near the Denver Airport, the Gaylord Resort, which has train service from downtown Denver. If we market this thing right, well, maybe a proper dance party will happen for 2019.