RMAF 2016 - Did anybody go?

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taoggniklat

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RMAF 2016 - Did anybody go?
« on: 10 Oct 2016, 02:11 am »
So after years of play by play action...it is so quiet around here. :(

I was able to attend Friday only. I did not go in every room but rather visited a few favorites from past years and a few that I have been curious to see and hear that I have missed at previous conferences.

My favorites in no particular order for this year:

Acoustic Zen / Voss Audio room in my opinion was spectacular. To me AZ has always had really good sounding rooms and this year was no exception. The sound stage and dynamic range was outstanding.

Salk /Shitt (sp?) I thought sounded very good. I have always liked Salk and it was nice to reacquaint myself to the Songtower3's.

JTR Noesis 210 I really really enjoyed. If I had the cash to spend I would have walked home with those red speakers. They may not be perfect but for what I like in a stereo system, they fit the bill and sound good doing it. Listening to Marcus Miller / Yello / and a bunch of drum recordings that were nothing less than spectacular on this system.

Seaton Sound the sub is amazing. If you are in the market for a sub that rattles your bones, you need to consider Seaton. While the system as a whole was good, I felt there was something missing in the imaging. Could have been a number of things but that was just the impression I got. Mark is a great guy to chat with and very knowledgeable. If I was building a home theater system and had not heard the JTR Noesis prior, the Seatons would be a top contender.

J-Corder...damn I want a couple tape decks now. It may not be "audiophile" but dammit its cool and sounds good doing it.



As usual there were a bunch of rooms that just didn't sound good at all. Vendors please do not think your product is "just so good it overcomes room acoustics". It doesn't. Vendors, please adjust the air temp to something comfortable. I dont know how many rooms I simply walked out because it was stifling. Yes AC noise can be annoying, but hot rooms with bad BO are worse!

It was great to meet up with folks I haven't seen or talked to since two years ago. Hope everyone else enjoyed there visit to RMAF as well.

Thank goodness the Marriot is finally upgrading their facility. It desperately needed it.

Cheers,
Jared

iluzun

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Re: RMAF 2016 - Did anybody go?
« Reply #1 on: 10 Oct 2016, 03:31 am »
I'll toss in her as I attended 2 days and had a great time.  The renovation is major but the vibe and show were great!  With little expectation, I was pleasantly surprised.  Picked up bob the new release  Steelers Wheel lips from Shane and his exceptional 'executive VP', of IR Records, really great music.  It all begins and ends there, right?  Can't wait to hear the very nice two cd package of classical recording nicely produced by Hi-Fi Plus of the Colorado Symphny, well done! 

The whole show had a relaxed and unstressfil 'vibe' and the vendors were gracious and accomidating.  Nice to catch up w/Rick of Audio Alternative in Fort Collins, great gear and a straight shooter, when I saw him Sunday afternoon he had that 'we're almost thru this' look, as only those who've worked the entire show can have .  However, the two systems that for me summed up the dilemma of 'horses for courses', were a utterly beautiful rending , on a five way active SET in the Autin Audio room of several tracks from the new Madeline Pereaux album. Heads up if you got a system that does female acoustic well...  The other for me was the Ryan Tempus III room w/ss , a system so neutral, open and nicely extended you could just tell it could play all types of music well.  I'd like to get back in that room and have another listen.  Very nice.  Major props to the Technics 1700 reel to reels, those just play music in an organic fashion.  Wish I had one!  My buddy Gary does so afterward we played a Carpenters reel that was pure 'butter'....  Rich and musical.  Lastley, Jessie sold me a 'sweet' magic pyramid made of unobtainium stone that guaranteed toremoves all stray ethereal 'nasties' from  ones audio rig. All in all, way too much fun....!

iluzun

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Re: RMAF 2016 - Did anybody go?
« Reply #2 on: 10 Oct 2016, 03:19 pm »
Seems the PSAudio BHK 250 that drove the Ryan's was a 'hybrid'.  Anyone spend time listening?  Opinions?

taoggniklat

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Re: RMAF 2016 - Did anybody go?
« Reply #3 on: 10 Oct 2016, 03:22 pm »
It seemed that there were a number of "regulars" missing from the vendors this year. Not that this was bad, just noticed it was different.

DaveC113

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Re: RMAF 2016 - Did anybody go?
« Reply #4 on: 10 Oct 2016, 04:52 pm »
I'll have a write up with lots of pics later today... and one best of show thread as I felt there was one standout that was head and shoulders better than anything else there. Probably the best system I've ever heard, RMAF was worth it just to experience this one system.


macrojack

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Re: RMAF 2016 - Did anybody go?
« Reply #5 on: 10 Oct 2016, 05:14 pm »
Pretty suspenseful, Dave. You've got my interest. When are you coming to Fruita? Weather is nice about now. High will be 74 and nearly cloudless.

Tomy2Tone

Re: RMAF 2016 - Did anybody go?
« Reply #6 on: 10 Oct 2016, 05:44 pm »
I'll have a write up with lots of pics later today... and one best of show thread as I felt there was one standout that was head and shoulders better than anything else there. Probably the best system I've ever heard, RMAF was worth it just to experience this one system.

I thought you weren't showing your own speakers this year?  :D

Look forward to what you got to say.

DaveC113

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Re: RMAF 2016 - Did anybody go?
« Reply #7 on: 10 Oct 2016, 06:30 pm »
Macro, normally I'd take a fall trip to Fruita/GJ, but I managed to injure my shoulder 3 weeks ago, I'm at the Dr's right now about to start rehab... Surgery is possible too.

Tommy, lol... I did not have my speakers ready, but I'd have to admit these are better than mine, but also 10x the price. Just the drivers likely cost more than my new car.

Delacroix

Re: RMAF 2016 - Did anybody go?
« Reply #8 on: 10 Oct 2016, 07:03 pm »
Agreed - did not see as much commentary on RMAF this year on most forums. Could not go myself, sadly, so am hoping to read a few impressions for those of you who were there. Thanks for kicking it off Jared.

Patrick

VonHess

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Re: RMAF 2016 - Did anybody go?
« Reply #9 on: 11 Oct 2016, 03:47 pm »
As mentioned, there were some fantastic sounding rooms and some not so good. Some of the rooms that I really liked- Lejonklou and Nokturne- Lejonklou is Swedish maker of preamps, amps and phono stages and Nokturne I believe is his US distributor.  He was using fairly inexpensive JBL home theatre speakers and the the room had a really "you are there" sound.  I really liked the Zu and Peachtree room.  Zu had a prototype of a new very large speaker that I believe they said will sell for about 30k per pair powered  by Peachtree's new 300wpc integrated.  This for me was the best sound of the show but they had the advantage of a much bigger room and the speakers really fit the room.  The smaller Zu, I believe they were the Soul Supreme- the one that was on the cover of Stereophile recently (actually the very speaker that was on the cover), these sounded great also.  They had a small powered speaker that I liked.  A really big sound from a small speaker.  Not surprisingly the Focal Grande Utopia speakers powered by Naim sounded incredible.  The Ayre, Wilson room was really good- very clean, uncolored sound.  Austin Acoustics was one of the companies I had never heard of that was really impressive-another "you are there" experience. Had never heard of Gamut speakers- they were impressive.  I liked the new Martin Logan Impressions.  Some of the brands that you would think would sound good that did- Salk and Schiit, Elac and anything, Vinnie Rossi and Harbeth,  Vincent with Ryan Speakers (actually Ryan speakers with anything),  Esoteric and Canton, Monitor Audio. If I missed some of the manufacturers who shared the rooms with the companies I mentioned, its because it all sort of blurs together, I guess I should have taken notes.  So many rooms and systems....  One of the best parts of the show was discovering music and artists that I wasnt familiar with.  For me, that's what it's all about.

jarcher

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Re: RMAF 2016 - Did anybody go?
« Reply #10 on: 20 Oct 2016, 04:36 am »
I was there - first time - but sadly it seems from the roll call few ACers went this year. Would have been nice to have dinner w/ someone on Friday but crashed early due to time zone differences, super early flight and exhaustion brought on in part by Frontier Airlines granite hard seats (which actually do recline - but you have to find the hidden switch)

Yeah, there was some problems with the CANJAM "FEMA" tent as some called it, but on the whole it was quite enjoyable, with more acceptable to good sounding rooms than bad. Good attendance Friday & Saturday but Sunday seemed quiet (all fairness there was a mid day Broncos game on).

With the disclaimer that just because something sound bad at a show doesn't mean it won't sound good under other conditions (ymmv) and not mentioning anything I sell, here goes.

Notables good rooms to me were, in no particular order of preference:

1. Nagra / Avalon : Rich & musical
2. Rowland / Jospeh Audio : same though smaller room didn't allow scale of #1
3. Thrax : Same but with a bit more crispness (getting an idea of what I like?)
4. Endeavor (now Von Schweikert) / VAC : very dynamic and impressive despite being giant almost line arrays in a small room.

Notably bad :

1. Austin - sorry Dave - I don't get it - but I guess I'm not a horn guy. I can appreciate good dynamics / efficiency but just can't go for the PA sound. Room definitely also too small for that kind of system.

2. Harbeth 40.2 - some said placement / set up problems, but it just seemed all you heard was the cabinet and not the drivers (despite big room). I've heard the smaller guys sound wonderful, so not giving up yet.

3. Even worse - biggest fail of RMAF 2016 - big PS Audio suite with Scaeena speakers. Muddy awful mess. Even McGowan was complaining / apologetic at room opening. "Scaeena needs to adjust crossover" (which it seems they never did). In all fairness I didn't hear any other system featuring the new PS Audio preamp / amp that was musical and engaging. Reminded me of Audio Research at its worst - but more dull.

Surprises :

1.  Mark Levinson / Revel - have usually not been a fan of ML which I've often found dark and mechanical,  new model(s) sounded surprisingly good. I think there's better value of there, but the SQ was undeniably good.

2. Dynaudio - has sounded dry and crunchy in past to me, but these new contour models sound more musical. Got a chance to hear the new XEO 2 "wireless" speakers and I found them to be quite good for the money (about $1600).

3.  Ryan speakers - my most pleasant discovery - very musical and very reasonably priced (and made in the USA!). I liked the cheaper models more than the reference one - but the reference had a ps audio front end which I think was a big part of the problem.

4. Sugden. British made gear which apparently has a long history & recognition abroad even if new to me. Very warm sounding (class a amps) but musical and build quality seems nice. Very reasonably priced for something with that fit / finish made in the UK.

5. Boenicke (sp.?) speakers / SOTM. Tiny odd speakers with an amazing room filling sound. Apparently needs a lot of juice and not cheap (over $4k) but very impressive none the less.

Hope to catch some ACers at future shows!