RMAF IX: Big Wonking Speakers, Itty Bitty Room
If I had to give a prize for the best sound at the show, it would be a toss-up between the Wilson Sasha W/Ps tied to Ayre electronics, discussed earlier, and the PMC MB2XBDi speakers (shown here) driven by Bryston electronics. Apart from room bass mode issues that all manufacturers had to deal with, the PMCs were superb. They were far too big for the space, designed as they are for professional applications. But the top modules of the towers are available separately (known as the MB2i), offering a more domesticated appearance for $21,000/pair. I didn't catch the price of the add-on bottom subwoofer modules, but am reasonably certain that for home use a duet (or, for home theater, a quintet) of MB2is will be a better fitsupplemented by a more conventional and inconspicuous subwoofer or two positioned where they minimize room interactions (co-locating the subwoofers with the main speakers almost never gives the best results). So went RMAF 2009. The show also offered a wide selection of interesting and informative seminars, with presenters from the two major high-end, mainly two-channel audio print publications, Stereophile and The Absolute Sound, and others as well. If you missed the show this year, a 2010 edition is currently planned for next fall.