2005 RMAF

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2005 RMAF
« on: 2 Oct 2005, 06:03 am »
I thought maybe we could use this thread as the main discussion point for the show.  This way we can have all of our posts in one location.

Look for lots of pics and comments on Monday when I am back in NY and have slept a little bit.


nature boy

2005 RMAF
« Reply #1 on: 2 Oct 2005, 04:54 pm »
A/C RMAF Meet & Greet Happy Hour
Friday 9/30/05 - 3 to 5 PM
Marriott Hotel - Great Divide Brewing Company Pub

I guess everybody is still hung over or in awe of what they experienced. :D



2005 RMAF
« Reply #2 on: 2 Oct 2005, 06:15 pm »
There is a LOT to see at the show.  I was there about 8 hours yesterday (minus lunch) and still missed many rooms.


2005 RMAF
« Reply #3 on: 2 Oct 2005, 09:36 pm »
Aw, heck, BradJudy!
I was there all 3 days last year and STILL missed a lot!

Bill Baker

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2005 RMAF
« Reply #4 on: 2 Oct 2005, 11:57 pm »
Hey!!!!! Let's see the PICS!
 We don't want to wait till Monday. Come'on! Get those digital cameras downloading.


2005 RMAF
« Reply #5 on: 3 Oct 2005, 03:27 am »
I went back today for a few hours and got to listen to several more rooms.  It was good to meet Klaus today and talk with him a bit.  It was also great to meet several other AC exhibitors yesterday and today: Danny, Dusty, Steve, Al, Gary (technically doesn't have a circle, but not a stranger to these parts), Rick, Jim.  I saw Dan Wright, but didn't get a chance to talk with him.  I was in the tweekgeek room, but I don't think Bob from SP was in the room at the time.  When I get a chance, I'll write up thoughts and post them with pics (I took ~50, but several didn't come out well).  

I think the show was excellent this year with lots of good sound and plenty of interesting characters.  :D


2005 RMAF
« Reply #6 on: 3 Oct 2005, 06:03 am »
Ok, I have Chris (aka Lonewolfny42) sitting next to me at the airport as we wait for our 1:00am (Denver time) flight, so I figured why not post some comments on what I thought were some of the better rooms.

Keep in mind that I didn't see/hear everything (a lot of Saturday was spent in front of the tv rooting on the Yankees) and that these are just my opinions.   :mrgreen:

Before getting into individual rooms, here are some general thoughts:

-  it was great to see so many familiar faces as well as metting many new ones.

-  there were a lot more vendors this year, but it still didn't feel overly commerical.

-  vendors need to spend more time on setup and room treatments.  Too many rooms had zero treatments and it had a negative impact on their sound.

-  vendors also need to think about their complete setup and sound.  It isn't about getting the most big names in the same room...it is about putting together something that is musically engaging and makes you want to learn more about their product or even buy it!  :wink:

Ok, enough of my rants...here are the rooms:

Avalon/Boulder/Tara Labs/Running Springs Audio/Clearaudio

This was my favorite room at the show and the first mega buck system to sound really good.  It was dynamic, had great depth, and the music just seemed to hover in the very large space in front of us.

Salk Sound Signature Speakers

Big shock that I liked this room.   :lol: Things started off a little rough (too much bass) on Friday, but by the weekend Jim had the HT3's working their magical combination of power and finesse while using pretty "standard" associated gear.  It was great meeting Jim and his lovely wife Mary in person.

Modwright/Channel Islands Audio/Penaudio/Jorma Cables

This room was simply a well thought out, musicaly engaging system.  Each song that we played had our toes tapping.  As always, Dan was also a pleasure to talk with.

GTT Audio & Video (Karma, Nagra, DCS)

Played some acoustic guitar tracks and it was incredibly lifelike and really engaging.  They were using some new "digital" amps (maybe some fellow ACers can shed some light).

Bastanis Loudspeakers (not sure about the other gear)

These horns didn't sound like horns and produced a very holographic and enveloping sound.  Also had great dynamics and was very tube friendly with very high efficiency (96db +) and powered sub.

Oddyssey Audio

Klaus is Klaus and he was showing off the picture speakers and the Lorelei's.  I loved watching people go up to the Lorelei's thinking they were belting out these dynamic, room filling tunes when in reality it was the picture speaker.  

Red Wine Audio/Omega Speakers

What do you get when you combine battery powered amps, a modified SB2, and high efficiency speakers?  MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC!!!   :dance:
I didn't get to hear the modified iPod, but I was told that it was darn good as well.

GR Research/Dodd Audio/RAW

I was only able to hear Danny's still to be named open baffle design, but it was musical and fun to listen.  It was well balanced from top to bottom and had a nice effortless sound.  I think the Dodd amps had something to do with it and should definitely be on your audition list if you are looking for some powerful tubes that don't sound like soild state.

I'll post more thoughts tomorrow as well as tons of pictures.



2005 RMAF
« Reply #7 on: 3 Oct 2005, 07:05 am »
Hi George,

Were there any shootouts between the benchmark or other DACs and RWA modded SB2 ?



2005 RMAF
« Reply #8 on: 3 Oct 2005, 07:52 am »
Re your question about the amps  in the GTT Audio room:
I was not there but my guess is they were the Karma MP 150 mono blocks:

Nice.  Analog Class D.  And from what I know of them they are the only amps that might nudge the CIAudio D-series amps out of the current Class D SOTA top spot.
But the MP 150's are $6800.....



2005 RMAF
« Reply #9 on: 3 Oct 2005, 01:54 pm »
It was a long weekend!! Due to storms in Chicago, I didn't get home till 2:30am. It was like musical chairs on steroids!! I agree with George(Zybar) the rooms were not set up properly. Some were, others weren't?? One other bitch, not enough VINYL!!!  Here is a list of some of my favorite rooms.

1. deHaviland/Nola: Just beautiful music. This is a very musical combo. At one point I thought Shirley Horn was in the room.

2. Modwright/Penaudio/CIA: Like George said. Musically engaging. Well done. The CIA class D amps were the best I've ever heard!! In my opinion based on what I heard at the show they SMOKED the Nu-force amps!! Great synergy between these products. Also, Dan's preamp was KILLER!! Beautiful music from this preamp and that was evident by the fact there were a lot of rooms using his preamp. That speaks volumes!

3. Von Schweikert/VAC/Oracle: The VR-4 Sr speaker is a major upgrade to the VR-4 Jr. They play all kinds of music and do I very well. I will make the upgrade myself.

4. Zu/Audiopax: I was totally blown away with the Druid speakers. They had deep bass, dynamic with rich highs. And I got to hear Rush's 2112 with a pair of 8 watt Song Audio Mono's. Don't laugh!! It was quite good! The Zu guy's were a lot of fun.. Nice Guys!!

5. Red Wine/Omega: I was impressed!!  It's not my cup of tea (tube guy)but I thought their products were well thought out!! Great sound, very detailed and open. The Omega speakers were scary good!! Do yourself a favor and give them a listen.

6. Eastern Electric/Vivaldi: If you know Bill, it's all about the music!! And that's what you got, MUSIC. And they played VINYL!!

7. Tyler/Coda: Ty's speakers are great sounding and well built!! Top quality parts and drivers and the sound was open, detailed, full and with deep bass. And his prices don't have dealer and advertising mark-ups!!


1. Von Schweikert/darTZeel: WOW!! $150K room and if I had the money it would be in my house!!

2. MBL: Overkill, In my opinion. Amps the size of coffins!!

3. Avalon/Boulder/Tara Labs/Running Springs Audio/Clearaudio: Well thoughtout system. It cover all the bases. Hard to leave the room.

More to come later.. Hope this helps



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2005 RMAF
« Reply #10 on: 3 Oct 2005, 03:28 pm »
Spent Saturday there, mostly in seminars, but saw and met what and whom I wanted, especially Bruce Thigpen of Eminent Technology and Mike Sanders of Quicksilver (which now lives in the Denver area).

I sure didn't hear all the systems, and I'm not about to say that my fave is the show's best system, but here are a few observations.
1. Most rooms I didn't even walk into as they were either too crowded or were playing diddeebopper trash (WAY too loudly) that I RUN away from.
2. The Intuitive Design speakers room was playing an acoustic-bass recording that sounded EXCELLENT. It was closely miked and the bassist was doing lots of whacking and clacking, and the bass really did sound real. Didn't hear anything else there. Their literature reads as if their 2 systems will be QUITE expensive.
3. Herron was demoing prototypes of new, big speakers and subwoofers, and the short piece of the Reference recording of the Rutter Requium sounded VERY good.
4. North Creek's new Advanced Ribbon Technologies Division was playing their new Metro hybrid ribbon system. Only about 3' high, it used a single MR/treble ribbon and a 7" vented woofer. The system had almost no bottom-octave energy and a little too much treble for my taste, but it sounded VERY coherent. Too bad it'll retail for some $7 - $8K/pair.  If Eminent Technology promoted their 8 as much as it deserves, he'd sell about 10 times as many.)
5. Bruce Thigpen of Eminent Technology was demoing his new Thigpen Rotary Woofer (TRW) system. This thing is going to be a hit with well-moneyed home-theater and BIG-pipe-organ fans, as it'll generate high SPLs with VERY little distortion at frequencies as low as ONE Hertz! Several of us heard continuous tones at 16Hz.; below that I felt rather than heard the energy. At 2 Hertz it was flapping the room's door about an inch peak-to-peak! 'Only' $13K.
6. The only ABSOLUTELY GREAT-sounding system for me was AvantGarde's Duo horn-based system, driven by Thor tubed preamp and amps. WOW!!!!!! I've never heard big, expensive, horn-based systems before, and it literally had me in tears with, again, the Rutter Requium. I played a lot of my CD of the EMI/Boult Holst Planets, and I was truly amazed at the tonal naturalness, soundstage size, imaging specificity, etc.


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2005 RMAF
« Reply #11 on: 3 Oct 2005, 03:49 pm »
I'm feeling a need to apologize to my fellow audiocircle members for not showing up at the "meet and greet" on Friday afternoon.  Two things contributed to my absence:  first, I forgot to set my watch to Colorado time when I arrived, so I was thinking it was one hour earlier than it really was, and second, I was in Keith Herron's room and was so involved in the music and the sound of his prototype speakers that I lost all track of time.  By the time I came back to earth, I realized that I had completely spaced out getting down to meet all of you.  I was really looking forward to that.  So sorry!!



2005 RMAF
« Reply #12 on: 3 Oct 2005, 04:29 pm »
Anyone got a chance to hear the Strata Mini from AV123? I appreciate if you can post some comments.

Thanks in advance


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2005 RMAF
« Reply #13 on: 3 Oct 2005, 05:06 pm »
Denver is now safe....I'm back in NY. :jester:
    Had a great time :hyper: ...I'll post my comments later tonite...have to get some work done. I know Captain Humble took some photo's, I hope he can post a few. 8) [/list:u]


2005 RMAF
« Reply #14 on: 3 Oct 2005, 05:31 pm »
I am trying to post my pics, but it keeps timing out...   :cry:


Captain Humble

2005 RMAF
« Reply #15 on: 3 Oct 2005, 06:45 pm »
Lonewolf said:
I know Captain Humble took some photo's, I hope he can post a few.  
I'm scrambling right now.  I'll try to get them up tonight.


2005 RMAF
« Reply #16 on: 3 Oct 2005, 06:52 pm »
Thanks everyone for posting. There were so many pieces of gear there that I want to hear. I'll post questions after everyone has had there say. I can't wait for the pictures.


2005 RMAF
« Reply #17 on: 3 Oct 2005, 07:22 pm »
Quote from: zybar
GTT Audio & Video (Karma, Nagra, DCS)

Played some acoustic guitar tracks and it was incredibly lifelike and really engaging. They were using some new "digital" amps (maybe some fellow ACers can shed some light).

Were they they these?


I've visited GTT a few times recently, and they have a couple of big setups using these switching amps.  And I agree...pretty incredible stuff...


2005 RMAF
« Reply #18 on: 3 Oct 2005, 08:43 pm »
Phil, they sounded okay for the short time I had a listen. Out of all the "Class D" amps that I heard, the CIA D-200 was the hands down winner in my opinion. The highs were smooth and detailed, mids were smooth and deep articulate bass. I could very easily live with these amps and I'm a tube lover. The CIA/Modwright/Penaudio room was one of the best rooms in my opinion. Dusty and Dan are true gentlemen.


2005 RMAF
« Reply #19 on: 3 Oct 2005, 09:04 pm »

Thanks for the comment.  Am curious, tho, whether the other components had something to do with it?  If the Kharma stuff was being run by a dCS source, dCS is notoriously analytical/sterile sounding...

(btw - I'm not trying to make any judgements here...just pointing out something that everyone here on AC knows; that system matching and synergy is a big factor in what we hear...)