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All Ears On ListenUp For ‘Music Matters’ Showcase

Colorado's acclaimed A/V specialist presented audio the Rocky Mountain way.

ListenUp, Colorado’s acclaimed A/V specialty dealer and custom installer, has established a musical tradition at its Denver showroom that’s taking on a life of its own.

For those who haven’t been, the company’s annual Music Matters jamboree is a celebration of sound, and the state-of-the-art home equipment that faithfully reproduces it.

This year ListenUp drew a record turnout of audio enthusiasts to the two-night event, some 350 in all. They crowded its Pearl Street showroom last month to learn about the latest in loudspeakers and components, and how to squeeze the best sound from streaming song files and high-res audio.

See: High-Res Audio Grows As Industry Pivots To Streaming

Headlining the gathering was editor, reviewer and author Robert Harley (“The Complete Guide To High-End Audio”), who autographed books and talked music reproduction with attendees.

But he vied for attention with a $500,000-plus showcase sound system in the showroom’s newly remodeled super-premium music area. The centerpiece was Focal’s Grande Utopia EM, a four-way, floor-standing reference speaker with a unique electro-magnet woofer and 1,458 settings for completely customizable sound. Two Utopias were powered by a pair of Moon 888 monoblock amplifiers that can each pump out 888 watts into 8 ohms, along with the company’s 850P preamp and 780 streaming DAC.

Other standout demos included:

  • Sonus’ faber II Cremonese loudspeakers paired with amps, preamp, SACD/CD and turntable by McIntosh;
  • NAD’s new M17v2 preamp/processor, M22v2 power amp and M50.2 music player;
  • Revel F228Be floor-standing speakers with advanced beryllium tweeters and Mark Levinson 585.5 integrated amp and No. 515 turntable, both from Harman; and
  • Cambridge Audio’s new Edge series premium components, including integrated amp, preamp/network player and amplifier, paired with an AudioQuest Niagara 7000 low-z power noise dissipation system, and played through B&W’s 804 D3 speakers.

Founded in 1972, ProSource member ListenUp operates showrooms in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs and Albuquerque, N.M. It received the 2018 Mark of Excellence Award for Multiroom A/V Project of the Year from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which inducted its co-founder, ProSource vice chairman Walt Stinson, into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame in 2009.