Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2013 • Best of Show

Volti Audio has made consistently terrific sound at the RMAF using an ultra-wide placement of its speakers -- so wide, in fact, that getting a single picture showing both Vittora speakers ($17,500/pair) is impossible. But the placement worked sonically, showing off the speakers' immediacy and dynamics -- and exquisite, unhorn-like midrange -- amidst a truly panoramic soundstage. This time, the Vittoras were augmented by a Volti Vittora subwoofer ($2900) driven by a Marchand MB42 amp/crossover ($1500).

The BorderPatrol electronics played more than a bit part in this production. The EXT1 preamp (top shelf, left) ranges in price from $9750 to $15,500 depending on the power supply with which it comes. The Border Patrol S20 EXD amp (front three chassis) is available in the same way, but with only two options: with the standard MP power supplies ($16,750) or, as shown, with the new EXD power supplies ($25,750). The digital-to-analog converter was BorderPatrol's DAC2 ($9750), which has a 6SN7-based output stage but does no oversampling or filtering. The CD transport was made from a TentLabs kit. All-copper, "nothing special" interconnects and speaker cables rounded out the system.

Both BorderPatrol and Volti Audio were phenoms a couple of years ago at this show, but good press has followed, and the companies have grown in stature ever since. This year's showing will do nothing to impede their momentum.

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