I just got home from a Sunday at Capfest. Should have gone 2 days to see more. I haven't been to a show in 6-8 years. Gary has done a great job with this one. Last Capfest I went to had about 15-20 rooms on maybe 2 floors. This was a spectacular event in comparison. 4 floors and dozens of rooms. Like most shows, some rooms sounded great, and others struggled, but I came away impressed with the overall quality. I also saw a lot of young people in rooms taking it pretty seriously. That's a great sign for the industry.
Highlight for me was the MC Audiotech room in particular. They weren't in a great room, but it sounded amazing. Absolute transparency, and great dynamic range. It's a design concept I'm not familiar with and priced beyond my means, but WOW, game changing speakers.
The GT Audioworks room was also spectacular. Not as much transparency but more powerful, and punchy. I met Greg not long after he built the 1st iteration of these speakers. Holy cow has he come a long way! This room KICKED. Balanced from top to bottom. I think he uses GR Research open baffle subs to mate with his panels. Magnepan can only dream about sounding this good.
I enjoyed the Salk room with the SS 9.5 speakers. First time I've heard Salks, and was impressed with them except I felt the bottom was bloated. Probably the room, but maybe the tube amp they were using. Midrange and top end were exceptionally clear and open with a great soundstage. I could live with these speakers. Spent quite a bit of time in there ignoring the bloat.
Gingko Audio had for me, the most realistic soundstage with their Sextet speakers that include 2 monitor speakers and 4 subs in a swarm arrangement. Excellent imaging, and the bass was spot on.
The Acora room, and all the LTA rooms (except the Fern and Roby room-I don't care for single driver speakers) also all showed transparent, open, balanced, and engaging sound. Great work. First time I've heard Acora speakers too.