Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2012 • TABlog

by Marc Mickelson | October 12, 2012

Two stalwarts from the Minneapolis area, Magnepan and Audio Research, used the RMAF to launch new products.

For Magnepan, it was the "New MMG" ($595/pair), the version of Magnepan's smallest and least expensive speaker that incorporates the company's ".7" updates debuted with the 1.7 and 3.7.

For Audio Research, it was the Reference 10 preamp (right equipment rack, $30,000), the successor of the company's Reference Anniversary.

I actually saw and heard both the New MMG and Reference 10 when I visited Magnepan and Audio Research in late August. The New MMGs, shown above in Magnepan's "mad scientist's lab" listening room, was played just as they were in Denver: in a three-channel stereo system that also included Magnepan's CC5 center-channel speaker ($1100) and DWM woofer ($795). A big soundscape and refined full-range character that belied the system's modest price were the result.

The Reference 10 was in Audio Research's more civilized -- and newly remodeled -- listening room, surrounded by other of the company's products.

I've listened enough at Audio Research -- calling it my "audio home away from home" -- to know the signature of the company's room, but that was the old room, not Audio Research's new-and-much-improved listening space, let alone with the Sonus Faber speakers used during my visit, which were completely unknown to me. But it was still informative to see the Reference 10, given its cosmetic and functional changes, and I am anxious to spend time with it in my own system.

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