2017 Capital Audiofest

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nature boy

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #40 on: 31 Oct 2017, 03:52 pm »
Made some last minute arrangements, so I'll be there.  Look forward to listening to Lou's latest speakers and hopefully seeing some AC friends.

NB

mix4fix

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Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #41 on: 31 Oct 2017, 06:41 pm »
Dinner is Saturday night at 7:00pm. We will meet in the hotel lobby at 6:45-ish.

dB Cooper

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #42 on: 3 Nov 2017, 03:07 pm »
Let's do this.

Official CAF thread.

If you see me wandering around, say hello. Post a selfie of your own if you like so we can spot each other. Probably can't do din-din tomorrow but nice to meet fellow ACers.



dpatters

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #43 on: 3 Nov 2017, 03:17 pm »
I'll be there tomorrow along with my wife Sandy so we'll be easy to spot! Generally not many couple at shows.  I'll keep an eye out.

Don P.

HAL

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Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #44 on: 3 Nov 2017, 03:38 pm »
Already here.  In room 134 with the DCAudioDIY folks.

Playing music and having fun! :)

Big Red Machine

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #45 on: 3 Nov 2017, 04:50 pm »
The website is honky now with the countdown clock on it. What are the show hours? I might swing into town since I am going past to see my dad in eastern PA with my son. I could leave tonight and spend 6 hours or so there on Saturday.

dpatters

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #46 on: 3 Nov 2017, 05:01 pm »
10-6 Saturday.

Big Red Machine

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #47 on: 3 Nov 2017, 05:05 pm »
Good, I assumed 6 might be the end time. I only have a 2.5 hour drive from there northeast.

dB Cooper

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #48 on: 4 Nov 2017, 03:45 am »
Was there from about 1230 til close today.

Observations/ Impressions/Opinions:

Dan Wiggins of Periodic Audio gave one of the best presentations I've ever seen, about transducers: What they do, what they don't do, and misconceptions and myths about same. Sadly this talk will not be repeated tomorrow, but a version of his powerpoint was promised for Periodic's website. Worth watching for. I was going to record audio (I have seen some previous talks video recorded in the past) but the Tidal system across the hall was too loud to do it.

Pamela Mason's presentation on hearing health is highly recommended. What good is a great system if your hearing is shot? Invest the hour. It happens again tomorrow at 1:30pm.

Bob Carver's ribbon arrays sounded good but really need room; when I moved from the third or fourth row to the front, it sounded as if all the sound was coming from the top of the arrays.

I wanted to hear the Quad S2 mini monitors featured in the Tenacious room (Kudos to Tenacious for showing some nice sounding reasonably priced gear) but they had just been rotated out when I got there  so I didn't get to.

I felt sorry for Klaus from Odyssey (who consistently shows up a lot of  big buck exhibitors year after year not to mention being one of the nicest, most approachable exhibitors) as he seemed to have drawn the short straw in the room lottery. His setup put the second/last row of seats against the back wall resulting in very boomy bass there. I have heard these speakers before and they sound better than this- much better. Moving away from the wall solved it but I'm afraid some people who aren't familiar with what his great equipment really sounds like won't 'get' that.
(Not Klaus' fault: The MoFi reissue of 'Abraxas', which requires a disc flip right at the segué between 'Gypsy Queen' and 'Oye Como Va', ruining one of the classic segués of rock). Kind of reminded me of the track-switch interruption right in the middle of the sax solo in the 8-track version of Pink Floyd's 'Money'. Others from the Mesozoic era may remember this. What was old is new again...

Fyssion had some interesting little speakers of unusual design. Even more unusual was their source: The headphone jack of an iPhone, not even into a DAC. The system sounded respectable though, presumably playing lossless.

Schiit had a good representation of their desktop line (headphone amps and DACs).

I'm a headphone guy, partly by inclination, partly by necessity, partly because of economics, so I was very interested in the 'CanMania' headphone space. Koss and ESS were MIA as far as I could tell but Koss is kind of irrelevant in today's headphone market anyway. Biggest discovery here (or, for me, the show) was the Beyerdynamic Amiron from my 'hit list', which sounded phenomenal- neutral without being sterile sounding, detailed without being 'zingy' like some of the T's, was extremely comfortable, and IMHO gave the more expensive Focal Utopia and Elear (which I finally got to hear) a real run for their money and beating their a**es on sound-for the dollar. The Amiron actually sounded less 'colored' to me than either and absent a more extended audition, Im not sure the extra $ is well spent.


General thoughts about the show:

I suggest printing out the exhibitor list from the website as the show guide only gives the exhibitor name and room number. If you came to audition a specific component, this will help.

I skipped rooms whose sponsors brought the same stuff they bring every year, and which I've heard. Too little time for that. Won't name names but you'll recognize them if you've attended before. I also skipped several that I heard music coming out of but had no signage or labeling.

Many rooms had problems with sound leakage from adjacent rooms, possibly worsened by the high playback levels that many seemed to insist on. Nothing like listening to the bassline from the next room while you're listening to a soft string quartet piece. Setup issues seemed rampant too, although I recognize that it was Day One.

The show also seemed to continue the 'Real audiophiles Play Vinyl' vibe which became very noticeable last year.

Other than that it was the usual sea of 'deep-end' 'statement' systems, with little really differentiating them in terms of absolute SQ, just pick the one whose sound signature you like the most and sign the five (or six if you're really flush) figure check. The first room I went into handed me a price list: Phono cart $5995; TT $30,000; phono pre $13,500; digital streamer $1595; optional power supply $450; DAC $14,000, CD transport $8500; assorted tweaks including power conditioning $11,285; interconnects $1672 (fourteen power cords add up to $9260 though); line preamp $16,500; power amplification $25,000; loudspeakers at a piddling $11,500/pr; racking and stands $14,304 finishing off the package bringing the total for everything shown to $147,304 which at a glance seemed in the ballpark of quite a few rooms. Did it sound good? Sure. Thirty times better than the $5K system in the Tenacious room? Of course not; in fact the $600 Beyer headphones were more revealing, but, we all know cans are not everybody's cup of tea and not for many situations (like listening with friends).

There you have some of the reasons IMHO why personal audio and 'smart speakers' are gobbling market share while 'systems' are becoming rarer and rarer in the 'general population'. I apologize for my occasional 'beefing', I know I've done it before. Kudos to Klaus and Tenacious (and CAF for having them as exhibitors) for providing a 'door in' so people can get interested in quality audio.


Emil

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #49 on: 4 Nov 2017, 12:44 pm »
Let's do this.

Official CAF thread.

If you see me wandering around, say hello. Post a selfie of your own if you like so we can spot each other. Probably can't do din-din tomorrow but nice to meet fellow ACers.



Hello? DC FBI field office?

DB Cooper can be found at at Capital Audio Fest this weekend. :lol:

 

dB Cooper

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #50 on: 5 Nov 2017, 06:23 pm »
Guess nobody took a camera.

jlawson1977

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Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #51 on: 5 Nov 2017, 07:08 pm »
Anyone going should make a point of checking out The Audio Company / VAC display dubbed the "Million Dollar"room.  Far beyond my price point, but I've been told it is mesmerizing.  And say hello to my friends Jim, Kevin and Gordon while you're there.  The Audio Company is a great group to deal with if you're ever in Marietta, GA.

rodge827

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Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #52 on: 5 Nov 2017, 07:16 pm »
Anyone been in the Charney Audio room?

Andrew JC

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Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #53 on: 6 Nov 2017, 02:12 am »
I did not go into the Charney room but I grabbed a price sheet that the had. The show was was fun, I had never been to a high end show before. I enjoyed the CanMania portion of the show the equipment was a bit more affordable to say the least. 

dpatters

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #54 on: 6 Nov 2017, 04:46 pm »
I wasn't planning on posting pics as I only had my iphone with me but here goes along with some impressions. My wife and I attended on Saturday and spent about 5 hours or so in the various rooms. I can understand why some don't like to see all of the ultra expensive gear but that's a huge part it for me and my wife finds it fascinating.

We started off in the Border Patrol, TWL, Volti Room.  Disclaimer: I own the wonderful Border Patrol DAC and have a complete loom of Pete's cables.



This was my first listen for the Volti Rival speakers (7995.00) They were dynamic and very open.  Very impressive at this price point.

Next up was Conrad Johnson and Tidal.





Yes this system was expensive but not ridiculous and its something I could fit into my listening space.  Outside of the super systems this was my favorite room.

Stopped by the Carver room at the request of a friend to listen to the line source stats



Not my cup of tea at all.  Very hifi. Didn't sound like music to me and you had to sit far away from the speakers.

Daedalus and Modwright



Lou was very accommodating.  He was getting great sound from his new speakers (20,000.00). Again not crazy expensive.  His demo of the DiD isolation devices under the DAC was eye opening.  Very clear difference in an A/B comparison.  Not cheap, but effective.

OK.  Here we go. Time time to hit the lottery. 

The Voice That Is - Full Tidal System



My second favorite system.  Mesmerizing.

Last of all:





The Von Schweikert Ultra 11s driven by four channels of VAC Statement and Esoteric Digital front end.
Unbelievable!! Powerful and dynamic but could also show true finesse when called for.  The best system I have ever heard.

Sandy and I really enjoyed ourselves.  Most of the rooms sounded good and the vendors were very friendly and informative.  We didnt encounter any audio snobbery even when it was obvious we weren't potential customers.

Don P.




dB Cooper

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #55 on: 6 Nov 2017, 04:53 pm »
Thanks for the photos!

Andrew JC

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Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #56 on: 6 Nov 2017, 05:18 pm »
Ditto on the photos! Did anyone make it to the Vanatoo room? At a show with systems that very few people could afford I did enjoy the Vanatoo room. I'm not saying I would replace my main speakers with them. However, they would be amazing computer or bedroom speakers. They imaged like crazy and sounded good with or without a $100 Polk subwoofer.

Gopher

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #57 on: 6 Nov 2017, 05:47 pm »

Next up was Conrad Johnson and Tidal.





Yes this system was expensive but not ridiculous and its something I could fit into my listening space.  Outside of the super systems this was my favorite room.


Thanks for the praise.  Aside from Tidal and CJ, that was actually a LampizatOr Golden Atlantic DAC used for a source.

dpatters

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #58 on: 6 Nov 2017, 05:53 pm »
Unfortunately I didn't get to hear the Lampi DAC. The Kuzma Stabi was being used as the source when I was in the room.

dB Cooper

Re: 2017 Capital Audiofest
« Reply #59 on: 7 Nov 2017, 06:56 am »
Ditto on the photos! Did anyone make it to the Vanatoo room? At a show with systems that very few people could afford I did enjoy the Vanatoo room. I'm not saying I would replace my main speakers with them. However, they would be amazing computer or bedroom speakers. They imaged like crazy and sounded good with or without a $100 Polk subwoofer.

Having decided to skip systems I'd heard before, I passed on the Vanatoo room but +1 on the SQ per dollar. A good candidate for a 'starter' or budget system- and one could re-purpose them as surrounds when the next round of speaker upgraditis hits.

And +1 on the stratospheric pricing on most of the systems, but I have harped on this enough before.