WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
Jason Davis – firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s Fresh at the Florida Audio Expo? RJS Acoustics
…I didn’t have to go far to find an experience that literally changed my (however flawed) understanding of a particular type of product, and one that the two-channel crowd still hasn’t completely embraced.
I asked owner/designer John Schunk to play “Everything in Its Right Place” from Radiohead’s Kid A, the synthy and eclectic 2000 release that shook up the alternative-rock industry. The song is sparse, but
the opening synthesizer is full, like a building wave that arcs and yet refuses to break. In some systems that feature a subwoofer, the opening synth notes are forceful and overpowering. The synth waves crash; it washes over you. This is the idea that people my age or younger have grown up with, that if you don’t feel the subwoofer—or in car audio, that if the trunk hasn’t created a rattling-induced distortion—you’re doing it wrong.
In the sweet spot, the MD2s filled in the lowest octaves without pretension or pronouncement. Bodybuilders and fitness buffs don’t need to flex to impress, and so, too, the MD2 doesn’t.
The Absolute Sound
Now we turn to my favorite new product of the show: the RJS MD2 Bass Augmentation Speakers. RJS abhors the term subwoofer because most of them utilize large woofers that are, RJS feels, unacceptably slow-sounding. In contrast, RJS “subs” use multiple small drivers to move a similar amount of air but with greater alacrity. I loved the MD6 introduced at FLAX 2020, and I love the smaller, less expensive MD2 ($2750/pr.) even more. At FLAX, RJS boldly exhibited the MD2’s flanking a pair of Magnepan LRS, one of the world’s fastest speakers. The two blended seamless in a combination that sounded like Maggies with more bass. I predict hotcake-like sales.
The RJS/Magnepan/PS Audio/Dayton The least expensive system I encountered at FLAX was also one of the best-sounding. In fact, I seriously considered this room for Best in Show. I’ve already described RJS MD2 subs (oops…Bass Augmentation Speakers) that so perfectly complemented the Magnepan LRS speakers. PS Audio electronics (circa $3500) powered the Maggies, which were run wide open, while a $500 Dayton Audio amp with built-in low-pass filter drove the MD2s. That sums up to around $10k, yet I didn’t hear instruments sound more realistic anywhere else in the show. I also heard superb dynamics and plenty of low-end power. From a value standpoint, this was clearly the most inspirational system at the show.
Enjoy The Music
RJS Acoustics was showcasing their remarkable MD-2 Bass Augmentation System (actually subwoofers) to flesh out the low frequencies in bass shy main speaker systems such as certain panel speakers. Offered in freestanding, mid-height tower pairs with multiple smaller drivers and placed close to the main speakers. The units are self-powered by Dayton modular solid-state amps, they are easy to integrate and if adjusted properly are only detected when needed in the music program. The demonstration herein was remarkable, especially with the modest size and cost of the Maggie LRS loudspeakers demonstrated here. Integration was the best I’ve ever heard in this situation. Congrats to the designers of St. Petersburg, Fl! Bass starved panel owners should rejoice (other designs would likely benefit as well).