Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2014 show report, back stories to remember the show by…


RMAF_logo_new Rocky Mountain Audio Fest Denver, Colorado

October 10 – 12, 2014

I have done shows and seminars for many years, learned from the best and partnered with many great individuals.  This year’s RMAF was truly a triumph of wills.  Before I share some back stories, many thanks are in order.

Special thanks to David Robinson of Positive Feedback Online for the Audio Oasis Award and congratulations to the designers, engineers and production folks at Luxman, Eclipse, Mola-Mola who produced their respective components to deliver each brand’s promise.  Thank you to this year’s show partner, Synergistic Research whose new line of inexpensive cables sounded superb in the room.  Special thanks to Scott Walker Audio for all your help in the room and to Peter Lederman at Soundsmith for setting up his Hyperion cartridge to produce the Luxman sound on Stereophile Magazine’s 2014 POTY finalist PD-171 turntable.

RMAF 2014 On a Higher Note Room photo credit PFO
PC – Positive Feedback Online

Back to our RMAF demo room: We had initially planned a near field demonstration in our room to show off the Eclipse 712zMK2, Eclipse’s top of the line speakers and a desktop outside to demo the TD-M1 desktop active speaker system.

The near field set up has been perfectly executed in many mixing and mastering studios and in listening rooms where Eclipse monitors were able to set the music free from room anomalies and boundary effects.  With Eclipse’s unmatched immediacy and accuracy, we were looking to demonstrate the emotional response in a near field listening environment regardless of room anomalies.  Soundstage! Network’s Wes Marshall said it was “one of the most immersive sound experiences you can have with only two speakers” when he positioned the Eclipse 510ZMKII speakers “4’ from me, and 8’ apart” for his review.

As it turned out, given the room logistics and everything that needed to be accomplished, we had to improvise and found a set up that gave our Eclipse 712zMK2 speakers a real run for their money by ultimately pulling them 12′ apart and about 10′ from the listeners.  It wasn’t near field anymore but was the best set up for what needed to be demoed over the weekend.

Just as we thought we were home free, we had another problem.  Some of you reading this may have visited the room and may recall that we had only been playing vinyl that weekend at Rocky Mountain.  That was not by design either.  The computer that was set up to play DSD files got a last minute software upgrade in and became entirely incompatible to DSD.  With all our might, we could not get computer audio going and thank God for analog!

The musical highlight of this show had to be Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah”.  His voice and guitar painted notes across the room and held the audience spellbound.  See my short review here.

A personal highlight from this show was my afterhours chat with David Robinson about our first stereo system and our discoveries.  See posting here.

All in all, the show did go on!  Not only do we have the following press coverage and awards from the event to share (see below), we also accumulated an album of photos to remember the event by (see our Facebook album here and LIKE  our Facebook page to stay connected).

on a higher note  Audio Oasis Award from PFO for RMAF 2014
Our Audio Oasis Award from PFO for RMAF 2014
Mola-Mola Makua preamp
Photo credit: The Audio Beat

audio beat logo     Mola-Mola’s Makua made the Hot Product List by Audio Beat at RMAF  “…the Makua’s phono stage ($2500) … While many phono stages offer a small handful of adjustable recording curves, the Makua’s boasts a selection rivaled by few if any phono stages. It can be programmed to replicate any historical curve, including those necessary for 78rpm playback.”  <more>


Philip Bruno RMAF2014
PC- Stereophile

John Atkinson at Stereophile had plenty positives to say about Mola-Mola:  “…Bruno demonstrated how all the loading options and possible variations on the RIAA curve on the optional phono stage of the Mola-Mola Makua preamplifier could be controlled with an Android app communicating with the preamp via bluetooth…” <more>

enjoy the music logoCompliments from Steve R. Rochlin at, click below or here to view the video from our room.  Steve and his crew was live-streaming during the entire event.


Jeff BuckleyHallelujahGrace45rpm ORG reissue
Vanessa FernandezGroove Note
Illinois JacquetBirthday Party BluesGroove Note reissue12″ 45 rpm single
Ben Webster & Gerry MulliganChelsea BridgeMulligan Meets WebsterORG reissue
Cecile McLorin SalvantSt. Louis GalWomen Child
Cecile McLorin SalvantI Didn’t Know What Time It WasWomen Child
Doug MacLeodThere’s A TimeThere’s A Times
Angus & Julia StoneGrizzily BearAngus & Julia Stone
Natalie MerchantCarnivalTigerlilyMoFi reissue
Dead Can DanceThe Carnival Is OverInto the LabyrinthMoFi reissue
Dead Can DanceYulunga (Spirit Dance)Into the LabyrinthMoFi reissue
Lou ReedWalk On The Wild SideSingle
Fiona Joy HawkinsNaked Love600 Year In A Moment


Main demonstration room system list: Eclipse TD-712z MK II loudspeakers ($10,600/pair) Eclipse TD725SW subwoofers ($6,400 each) Luxman DA-06 DAC ($4,990) Luxman PD-171 turntable ($6,400) Mola-Mola Kaluga mono amplifier ($18,000) Mola-Mola Makua stereo preamplifier ($13,450 + $2,500 optional phonostage)

Quietest demo system: Eclipse TD-M1 nearfield desktop speaker system ($1,300) Plug & play with Apple & Android for what Art Dudley at Stereophile dubbed as “the quietest demo”. Experience why Forbes magazine calls it “possibly the world’s most exclusive computer speakers”

Headphone demo system:  Luxman DA-06 DAC & Luxman P-700u Headphone Amp ($4,990)

Passive display: Luxman CL-38u ($4,200)

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