Every year I say I'm going to be jaded about audio in general and RMAF in particular. And every year I'm wrong! This year there was an energy, a buzz at the Hilton that just wasn't there the past few years. So far things have been very fun, and cool. I saw more cool stuff in one day this year than I did all of last year!
As always, I only take a few pics of things I think are notable either from a looks/design standpoint, or from a sound quality stand point. Things that I think sounded meh or bad, don't get a mention (Focal, I'm looking at you).
Denver in the fall, one of the reasons this is the best city on earth to live in:
And it's too bad they are moving the venue next year, as the hotel is now one of the coolest spaces to do a show in:
Of course the first room I went in to sounded great! The Devore simian speakers:
On the topic of "here's something you don't see every day", a makeup booth in the middle of an audio show! Because, of course, who wants to look frozen?
These wooden platforms were very well made, looked cool and had vibration absorbing feet built right in. RMAF is starting off really well, these were nice!
Quick stop by the iFi booth - these guys had a bunch of new stuff including a new bluetooth, all in one console system. Some people (Pez) hated the look. Some people (Pez) obviously have no taste. IMO it looks damn cool and I want one! Oh, and BTW, I have one of their iDSD Pro DACs in house for a review, it's phenomenal - look for an official review soon.
Once again on the topic of "that's something you don't see every day", with a bit of "HOLY SHIT!!!" added in, this is the most massive, most extreme, most f'ing cool speaker setup I've seen in years. Maybe ever:
Yes, you can loose pets and small children in theses speakers. Yes, those stack of boxes in the middle are all separate amps - this system is fully active and every horn has it's own power amp driving it. Yes, you need a private island with a mansion and a 50 foot ballroom to go with these speakers. But on the other hand, they sounded quite pleasant and did not overpower the room. Which was a shock.
The Verity room sounded outstanding, as it does every year. This year the speakers were EVEN BIGGER than last year. And they sounded just beautiful:
Back to Canjam!
Alclair had a new IEM with an electrostatic tweeter. I'm a big fan of their house sound (I own a pair of their Curve IEMs made a few years ago). This electrostatic IEM beat my old Curves quite handily:
Dennis Had Inspire tube headphone amp - this is the same company that makes my main amplifiers for my speakers at home. Love their sound. The headphone amp sounded very good, but I think it was hampered by the crappy Focal headphones that were hooked up. I'll have to go back and give it another listen with a better set of cans:
Headed over the the Klipsch booth, those headphones sounded awesome, probably the best headphones I've ever hear, outside of the Beyer T1s I have at home. But the coolest thing at their booth was this Type 45 SET tube amp. I have a Type 45 tube amp at home for my main speakers and it's the clearest most see-through amp I own. As a headphone amp, it did a bang up job. And I love the design of this amp:
"Yeah, well, this one goes to 11"
OK, that was one great SET headphone experience - time for another! Right nearby is a 300b headphone amp! And in some ways this was even better than the 45 amp! Where the 45 was warmth and clarity, the 300b was visceral boogie and soul:
OK, enough with the triodes, lets here some pentodes and tetrodes. This was my favorite booth of the day, the owner was super cool to talk to, and he really knew his stuff. There's a variety of amps on display, and the headphones were the 2nd best set I'd hear all day (after the Klipsch):
A few of the tubes you can swap. I LOVE being able to tube swap. And I have a TON of pentodes from my Dennis Had Inspire speaker amps. If I were to buy another headphone amp, this would be it. Here's a display showing some of the very cool NOS tubes you can roll in there:
OK, that was it for day one. After this Pez and I went to dinner with some buds from the Colorado Audio Society. Fun times.