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The talking heads of RMAF 2018: Sean Casey

  • Numerous high-end loudspeaker manufacturers show at RMAF but none are quite like Utah’s Zu Audio. They are the only exhibitor to constantly play interesting music all weekend, to consistently throw a kick-ass party with their main system on the show’s Saturday night and to demo their gear in visual and – this year – olfactory contexts.

    For RMAF 2018, Zu Audio put Druid VI floorstanders (US$10,000/pair), Pass Labs amplification and Mo-Fi turntables at the centre of a dark meditative space in which incense continually burned. Bring the noise. And the drone.

    Zu’s monolithic floorstanders see custom Nano-tech (paper) drivers, made to Zu’s exact specification and treated in-house, run full range to naturally crossover to a high-pass filtered super-tweeter. The result is a high-efficiency (high energy transfer) loudspeaker that generates a ‘live’ sound that few others effectively communicate.

    And company founder and Chief Whatever Sean Casey is as charismatic as his loudspeakers’ sound, his mind visibly darting in all directions as he attempts to corral numerous thoughts into a single thread such that they make sense to a non-engineering mind (like my own).

    During our pre-show sit down, Casey discusses the why of his work, the concept of hi-fi accuracy and how live music and playback are very different beasts. (Do you see a theme developing?) The opening cackle is his response to my mentioning audiophiles who espouse ‘accuracy to a live event’ as an audio goal:

    Further information: Zu Audio

    Full disclosure: Sean Casey and his family are personal friends. Readers are encouraged to filter this post accordingly.

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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    Andrew Jones must be stopped!

    The talking heads of RMAF 2018: Gordon Rankin