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  1. #1
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    RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    RMAF 2013 Summary

    I attended all three days, but had to cut the third day short due to my flight schedule. So let’s call it 2.2 days! ☺ I went to every room at least once and several many times.

    As I read through the various RMAF reviews on TAS, I have to wonder what Jonathan Valin was listening to or hearing. My opinions much more closely mirror those of Neil Gader’s and some of the folks from Stereophile.

    Let’s just get this out of the way first. To me, the XLF demo was incredible. It was so good, that I can't even consider it when discussing and comparing it to the other rooms. To me, it was on another planet. When they played Take the A Train, I thought I was back in the band again (I played lead alto sax in a 30 piece big band for many years). I closed my eyes, and I could imagine I was back there again.

    Let’s start with the first room I visited – the Wilson Alexia/VTL demo. It consisted of a VTL S-400 Series II amp, DCS Vivaldi stack, VTL 7.5 preamp and a turntable with the new Lyra Etna cartridge. First impressions were not good (and I'm holding back my tongue here). I was the first person to that room for a listen on day one. I raced for the room at 11:55am because that combo was one of the reasons I went to RMAF. At 12pm exactly, I knocked on the door and Bea from VTL rather rudely told me to go away and slammed the door in my face. So, I waited. I should have left. But I waited. About 10 minutes later some other visitor came down the hallway, knocked on the door and she finally let us in. First impressions were downright awful. The sound was thin, bright and just nasty sounding. After listening to some poorly recorded classical record, she agreed to put on my CD, as she turned it up, pop! The amp shut down. The tool boxes came out and we left.

    Thinking the terrible sound must have been related to an equipment failure, I returned to the room a few hours later, the next day several times and the day after that. It seemed to have gotten worse. The Absolute Sounds Neil Gader called it “almost too much to bear”. I call it “too much of a bad thing”. I sat and listened every time, and it seemed to just get progressively worse. I was scratching my head. Over the three days I returned many times. Every time I walked in they were playing classical music. Let's just say, I more than had my fill of classical musical. At the request of many of us in the room, they finally agreeing to put on Natalie Merchand (or anything but classical). Speaking with others around me, we all had heard the Alexia's sound much better in the Doshi room - or at demos elsewhere. The best the Alexia's sounded was the two times I've heard them on D'Agostino (once in Miami and once in Dallas). But I digress.....

    On Saturday night, I sat at the bar with a fellow who told me "I was all set to buy the Alexia's, but after hearing them in the VTL room, I'm seriously doubtful now." I reassured him it was a combination of a mismatch of gear and the room and and and....he was reassured by how good they sounded in the Doshi/Paragon room and told him he must hear them with D'Agostino gear.

    For me, the real big highlights were the Alexia's with Doshi, the Kronos table and the new Sony DSD DAC.

    The Raidho/Jeff Rowland gear also sounded very good. I thought those Emerald Physics speakers were crazy good for the money. And of course, the MBL room. Always a blast. The new Sonus Faber Olympica’s sounded really good too and of course, the build quality is second to none. The PMC speakers sounded exceptionally good. In the battle for best bang for the buck was the Kismet Beryllium Reference speakers. A friend of mine loved the Broadman speakers, but to me, they were quite unusual and very expensive. If you sat on axis, they sounded just average. If you say off axis, they sounded pretty darn good. Side firing woofers I guess can have that affect with some speakers. Listening to the 1954 RCA LC1 speakers and little tube amps was fun. I could see me in a Barcalounger and a scotch smoking a cigar and enjoying some nice jazz!

    For those that believe cables don’t matter, you can skip this section: At the Nordost demo, they played a track, removed the Valhalla power cord, installed a single Valhalla 2 power cord and WOW….a nice noticeable improvement.

    The biggest surprise for me was how good the Focal/Aesthetix room sounded. This to me was the best sounding room at the show.

    Biggest disappointments for me were the Vivid speakers. I had read so much about these speakers and were anxious to hear them, but when pushed, the tweeter became quite bright. The woofers had a very metallic sound to them at any level as well.

    In addition, I had high hopes for the TAD E1’s with TAD electronics, setup by Andrew Jones and I was not impressed. I found the soundstage width very limiting. Now, with the Zesto tube gear, the E1’s improved quite a bit.

    The VAC gear sounded excellent, but the Tannoy Westminister SE’s were a major disappointment. In addition, in each and every room I heard the AMG V12, I was not impressed. It didn’t sound any better (or worse) than my VPI Classic 3/Kleos combo. Now….the Kronos table was in a different stratosphere for sound quality compared to any other table I heard. It rivaled some of the best R2R’s I heard.

    The Rockport Avoirs powered by the Absolare was not good (and I know its not the Absolare amp/preamp….I’ve heard these at Rhapsody and they sounded amazing). The Rockport’s I’ve auditioned three times and every time I wanted to run out of the room. At RMAF, that’s exactly what I did. Apologies to Kerem – but even his tremendous amps can’t make these speakers sound good.

    I was interested to hear the Legacy speakers (the one’s we always see advertised in Stereophile and TAS. The one’s that seem to write their own reviews of their own products and then publish them – looking like a review – but with fine print that says “this is a paid advertisement”). Let’s just say Legacy is a good marketing company and we will leave it at that….

    A pleasant surprise was the Akustik speakers from Australia. These were excellent speakers. Rich and full and detailed. Very nice….but a little expensive.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent listening to the Volti Vittora’s. Greg has done a wonderful job building a beautiful looking and beautiful sounding pair of speakers for a fair price. And he’s a hell of a nice guy! If I had the room for it…I could easily see myself with a pair of these and a sweet little SET tube amp.

    The MBL room was always a blast and it was manned really well. The people working the room were attentive and on the ball. They always had a great variety of music playing and the room always sounded very good (despite obvious limitations). If I didn’t have such a bad room (with my A shaped roof)…MBL might just be that destination or exit speaker.

    The Bryston room was really well put together. It was clean, neat and structured well. Most importantly, it sounded great. I would say this was one of the most musical sounding rooms I went into. I know James has been very proud of the Bryston speakers and now after hearing them for the first time, I know why! At their price point, these are MUST auditions and I would be quite surprised if you didn’t choose them. Bravo James & Co!

    My “best value of show” award goes to the Emerald Physics CS2.3 MK2 loudspeakers. I still can’t believe these only cost $5950/pair and they were approximately half this price not too long ago. Whoever says you can’t have great sound on a more modest budget hasn’t heard these.

    The most welcoming room award has to go the lovely husband and wife combination of Zesto. George and his wonderful wife Carolyn charmed everyone! I ran into them several times during the show and they are both terrific down to earth people. Carolyn made everyone that entered the room feel important (I can’t say that about every manufacturer!) Their products strike the right chord and their new amp is a real home run. Why can’t all high end audio companies be like this? Beautifully desined, great looking, great sounding products carefully built by great people.

    Not everything at RMAF is sunny skies and roses. There was one room I went into where the man had obviously poured his heart and soul into his speakers, invested thousands of dollars to come to RMAF and I’m sure they just didn’t measure up to his expectations. I walked into his room twice, and both times it was dark and he was just sitting in the corner. The sound coming out of his speakers was not good at all. I felt sad for the guy.

    Finally meeting John Atkinson and Michael Fremer was also a blast. We were all invited to an after hours party and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting them. I’ve talked to them on the phone and via email – but never met them. Both were great guys, real down to earth.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

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  2. #2

    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Great write up. Thanks for sharing your impressions. Sounds like RMAF is Disney Land for Audiophiles

  3. #3
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Try Munich!

    All that German Jewelry!
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  4. #4

    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Very much enjoyed the write-up, Mike! It sounds like there were both highs and lows at this year's RMAF...as is the case with most things in life.
    Sean

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  5. #5
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    So

    Are you going to make it a yearly trek?

    Thanks for the impressions.
    Jock

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  6. #6
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Good idea.


    Quote Originally Posted by wisnon View Post
    Try Munich!

    All that German Jewelry!
    Jock

    If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.

    ---------

    House: Naim ND555/2PS, Naim 552, Naim 500, Studer A80/Doshi V3, Magico M2s, 2 Magico Q-Sub 15s, Lumina IC/SC, Shunyata Everest and Omega PCs.

    Workshop: Naim ND555/2 PS, VAC Master Pre, VAC Sig 200iQ, Avant Garde Duo Mezzo XD, 2 Magico Q-Sub 15s, Shunyata IC/SC, Shunyata Typhon QR/Triton V3/Sigma PCs.

  7. #7
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Thank you Mike! We really appreciate all your efforts. It's not easy for me to attend these shows and you made me feel like I was with you all the time.
    Wharfedale Linton w/ stands, Avantgarde Duo XD, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M.

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  8. #8
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Nice and honest report Mike.

    How did you see the overall attendance and number of younger audiophiles attending RMAF?
    Source: Technics SP10mk3 - Thales Simplicity II, TW Raven AC-3 - Graham Phantom, SME 3012-R, Exclusive P3,,Linn LP12 - Naim ARO
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  9. #9
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Nice write up Mike. It just goes to show you how everyone ears hear differently. I guess the moral of the story is don't buy gear on hear say or reviews only.

    John
    .

  10. #10
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by johnthomas View Post
    Nice write up Mike. It just goes to show you how everyone ears hear differently. I guess the moral of the story is don't buy gear on hear say or reviews only.

    John
    John - the biggest lesson learned for me during the past 6 months (travels to Phoenix, Toronto, Miami, Boston, New York, Dallas - twice, Denver, etc.) was to filter out all the noise. People came at me from everywhere telling me "this will be the amp for you!" or "this is the speaker for you!". But they were rarely right. My friend Jeff was right about VAC. He's the biggest VAC fanboy I've ever met. But he is right. The VAC stuff is really really good.

    At the end of the day, everyone has their personal favorites - but they haven't heard everything (and neither have I) and they don't hear what I hear.

    I enjoyed the show - a lot. My fear prior to attending was that I would want everything....when, it turns out, there were very few things I put on my "I hope to own one day" list.
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  11. #11
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    John - the biggest lesson learned for me during the past 6 months (travels to Phoenix, Toronto, Miami, Boston, New York, Dallas - twice, Denver, etc.) was to filter out all the noise. People came at me from everywhere telling me "this will be the amp for you!" or "this is the speaker for you!". But they were rarely right. My friend Jeff was right about VAC. He's the biggest VAC fanboy I've ever met. But he is right. The VAC stuff is really really good.

    At the end of the day, everyone has their personal favorites - but they haven't heard everything (and neither have I) and they don't hear what I hear.

    I enjoyed the show - a lot. My fear prior to attending was that I would want everything....when, it turns out, there were very few things I put on my "I hope to own one day" list.
    This advice is priceless. Thanks again!
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  12. #12
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by XV-1 View Post
    Nice and honest report Mike.

    How did you see the overall attendance and number of younger audiophiles attending RMAF?
    To be honest, I didn't pay too much attention to others (of course, the few hot booth babes were the exception). I was a man on a mission. I was there to listen, take pictures for everyone and make my notes. I really wasn't paying too much attention to others to be honest. I wore out the poor buggars from the Suncoast Audiophile Society that came with me.

    But others were saying the attendance was down - likely due to all the other shows and "show fatigue" setting in as one guy called it. As for crowd demographics, I would say it was 99.9% male and the average age was 50? Just a guess of course. I was encouraged to see a number of younger folks indeed, but the reality is that these young folks are SHREWD buyers. They've done their homework. They ask good tough questions and they know the costs, the value and they don't buy the B.S. that some try to pitch. I think some things in the industry are changing....rebranding a product isn't going to work. The younger buyer wants something new, bold, innovative and state of the art. But that's a whole different topic.
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  13. #13
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    That's what I'm talkin' 'bout! ...Right on Mike! ...Your insights are honest and to the point; I fully trust you.

    Go VAC go!
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  14. #14
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Beautifully well researched summation. When I attend shows I also try to get rid of all the hype and noise and just judge and compare speakers on my music and see if any of these setups betters what I currently own. Sounds like d3, S5 and perhaps alexia were all to your liking with the right equipment. I found some magico q series while impressive initially are often too forward and somewhat fatiguing after about 30 minutes. The s1 & s5 with tubes like vac were really nice and never fatiguing on the ears. So Mike r speakers or electronics next? I am excited to see how it shakes out.
    Good luck and thnx again for sharing the show with us.

    Nick
    Nick



    Main system :TAD CR1 speakers, Viola Labs Symphony amp,Pass XP-20 preamp., MSB Discrete DAC with twin power supplies and V2 Renderer module, Gigafoil V4 inline ethernet filter with uptone LPS-1 power supply with Ghent audio Gotham 2.1mm to 2.5mm cable and AG diamond ethernet cable, Sonicorbitor Roon Audiophile 6 TB network server-player , MG Audio Design Planus III jumpers & speaker cables, Zitron Cobra power cords, Shunyata Hydra AV, and acoustic zen absolute copper IC,. Room treatment ASC tower traps, Vicoustic absorber premium cinema wall and ceiling panels, and MSR acoustic trifusser side wall panel

  15. #15
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Nick, I'm going to move slowly. I want to take some time and digest my notes, formulate a plan and try a few more things out. My friend Jeff has agreed to bring is VAC phi200's over for me when he gets them in a few weeks. Luckily he only lives a few minutes away from me. I also have a friend of mine who is quite knowledgeable in room acoustics. I'm going to work with him to tweak my room a bit. I also need to take a hard look at my cabling situation. Its a real hodgepodge.

    But I think that S5's with VAC Phi200's sounds like a juicy combination!
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

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  16. #16
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    I will add my thought to Mikes thread.


    I believe this was was my 5th RMAF. I do not recall attending prior to 2007. I remember having attended 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and now 2013. In my opinion attendance was way down this year. The halls were not crowded and there was seldom a room where I could not get a seat if I so desired.

    Now for a bit of doom and gloom. The demographic of the attendee's was noticeably skewed towards the over 50 crowd and 50 might be on the low side. The younger attendee's I saw were "generally" more interested in the CanJam section. I saw very few of them sitting and auditioning any of the mid to high ticket items.

    If I do not include the three or four rooms at the Hyatt and the numerous tables and displays scattered around the lobby of the Marriott, there were about 167 rooms where gear or accessories were being shown. Unfortunately from all of those rooms maybe 30 were of any interest to me and of those thirty maybe a dozen had really good sound. (I will touch on some of those further on)

    Doom and Gloom Part 2. The prices being asked for some of this gear is crazy especially from newer firms. Look, I understand that established names with some history can offer statement products with +$100k prices while filling out their products lines with lower cost yet still very high priced units. Examples off the top of my head would include Wilson, Focal, Magico, Sonus Faber, Burmester, MBL, DCS, et al. I am not trying to justify their pricing rather stating that they have a track record offering a bit of cache along with products that perform a bit above the norm.

    I saw amps, sources and speakers being offered at +$10k, +$20k from unknown manufacturers that looked like one offs produced in a basement. When we are talking these levels of pricing you better be offering something more than good performance. My under $80 rubber banded Casio watch that automatically adjusts to atomic clocks daily performs better time than our Rolexes or Breitlings but that does not mean if is worth premium pricing. It is almost as if these start-ups think they can ask for these prices without the intangibles that go beyond the Bill Of Material.

    If it wasn't for the company of a few friends and meeting other friends I have made over the years, I would have to say this year was a bust. With so few new products, so many rooms that sounded poor, the continuing increase in gear prices, and not really being in the market for new gear, I was underwhelmed.

    The highlight of the weekend was Wilson’s Owners Invitation event Saturday evening. As I understand Dave Wilson played and discussed about 6 or 8 tracks that were made available for this event and not part of the demo sessions. (Since I did not make it over there for the demo’s I cannot be sure.) The SQ was amazing. One of the tracks was introduced by the man who conducted the orchestra during the original recording session. He stated that the sound was as close as one could get to being where he stood when he was conducting.
    As Mike has noted other memorable rooms included :
    -Paragon’s Doshi/Alexia set-up

    -APEX audio’s Focal/Soulution room

    -MBL’s room even if it was their lower end products.

    -This was the first time I thought the VTL/Wilson room was really good

    -The TAD room this time with the EVO instead of Ref's sounded good while I was there

    -I also liked the big Von Schwikert/Consellation set-up
    Jim

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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Good write up Jim. Thanks. Your comments about the demographics are very telling and higher prices from unknown companies will certainly not help to attract the younger folks.
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  18. #18

    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    First, thank you Mike for taking the time to post in real-time, with photos and color, and then summarize again for us to discuss. This hobby is more fun when you are sharing and learning from others, and you went above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you so much!

    Jim, great summary of the show from your perspective. The XLF room really seemed to hit the right buttons for most people, which is rare. I wish I was there to hear it.


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  19. #19
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by socfan12 View Post
    First, thank you Mike for taking the time to post in real-time, with photos and color, and then summarize again for us to discuss. This hobby is more fun when you are sharing and learning from others, and you went above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you so much!

    Jim, great summary of the show from your perspective. The XLF room really seemed to hit the right buttons for most people, which is rare. I wish I was there to hear it.
    You're very welcome Alan.
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  20. #20
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by socfan12 View Post
    First, thank you Mike for taking the time to post in real-time, with photos and color, and then summarize again for us to discuss. This hobby is more fun when you are sharing and learning from others, and you went above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you so much!

    Jim, great summary of the show from your perspective. The XLF room really seemed to hit the right buttons for most people, which is rare. I wish I was there to hear it.
    +1 , Mike. Any chance to coming to TAVES in Toronto next month ? or Anybody ? I would love to meet up
    Paul

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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMcIntosh View Post
    +1 , Mike. Any chance to coming to TAVES in Toronto next month ? or Anybody ? I would love to meet up
    I would love to.
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Paul, I miss you.

    Jim, I enjoyed reading your post, ty.
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  23. #23

    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Mike, what were the three most used dacs that you noticed?

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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by sharkmouth View Post
    Mike, what were the three most used dacs that you noticed?
    I paid no attention to DACS to be honest because most rooms were analog/vinyl. That was my biggest surprise....that it seemed to me that over 50% of the rooms were using a vinyl source. The ones using digital were using a mixture. There wasn't any dominant one or two that I remember.
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    I just read it. Very enjoyable summary.

    How was the CH/Zellatom room?

    I agree about Emerald Physics...open-baffle/electronic x-over/controlled directivity and DSP control make for a very potent combination. Wally must have been stoked.
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  26. #26

    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by wisnon View Post
    I just read it. Very enjoyable summary.

    How was the CH/Zellatom room?

    I agree about Emerald Physics...open-baffle/electronic x-over/controlled directivity and DSP control make for a very potent combination. Wally must have been stoked.
    Wisnon,
    I agree with Mike's summary of the EPhysics smaller models. They were very good value and were set up well in the room. Didn't find the larger ones that special.

    Also agree with Jim that the demographics was averaging well past 50 with the exception of Canjam. Reviewers and Press included, with the exception of the audiocircle guys. On one of my visits to the CH Zellaton room, the audiocircle guys were there, with laptops out, reporting on the spot. This is their method and as a team, one photographs while the other types for a couple of demo tracks and then they switch. Demo tracks included a couple of classical, tom waits, and the civil wars. They mentioned that the Zellaton room at RMAF 2012 was their surprise BOS. They were impressed again this year as was I.

    I've mentioned a few times several rooms that I really liked with horns (Volti and Cessaro especially) but the room I spent the most cummulative time in was the CH Precision room. Several people have commented on the fact that if there is music playing that is not your thing, you often avoid the room or run for the door. I have a feeling that this was one of the reasons that I enjoyed more time in that room - the music was great!

    Wisnon, are you looking into CH amps or Zellaton speakers? I don't know what the total cost of the system is but I'd hazard a guess that it was upwards of $200k, yet it was a small and understated room and set-up (classy and typical european). No need for a grand ballroom for wickedly good sound if you know what I mean. This is probably why I also loved the DeVore room and sound. Unassuming system yet really musical and dynamic.

    FWIW, in addition to Mike's great coverage here on AS, check out Jon Valin's coverage
    Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2013: Speakers $20,000 and Above | The Absolute Sound
    and
    Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2013 Coverage | Ultra High-End Audio and Home Theater Review

  27. #27

    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    one other thought. Munich would be a really really fun show to attend. Never been but hope to some year.

  28. #28
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by wisnon View Post
    I just read it. Very enjoyable summary.

    How was the CH/Zellatom room?

    I agree about Emerald Physics...open-baffle/electronic x-over/controlled directivity and DSP control make for a very potent combination. Wally must have been stoked.
    It was a good room. I kind of chucked when I saw the CH Precision gear because a friend of mine had been telling me how great it was the week before. Good room, but I don't recall anything special. I don't think I stayed long enough. I meant to go back to that room, but never did. Neither product was on my radar for a return visit.

    I know a lot of people like to say, "rooms sound bad at shows" and "you can't judge gear at a show". I say hogwash. It is the manufacturers responsibility to get their gear sounding as good as possible. Bring whatever room treatments you need. Who's to say my living room won't be just like that hotel room (acoustically speaking) or worse! In my case - it would be worse I bet. I have a three pane sliding glass door that meets at a 90 degree angle to a 2 pane sliding glass door. Big windows surround that. Add in no side walls, glass side tables and glass coffee tables and it's an acoustical nightmare.

    I've heard all the excuses, such as "but we only have one day to setup". My response "and you've been coming to the same venue how many years now?" "You've attended how many similar trade shows?" If you are forced to rely on unfamiliar ancillary gear (speakers for an amp manufacturer) for logistical reasons - fair enough. But I think it's unacceptable to slap up a couple of speakers and a rack of gear and then get out the laundry list of excuses. Stereo shops are closing across the country by the dozen. This might be a manufacturers only opportunity to reach those new customers and show off their products. Maybe the gear that sounds great at shows will sound amazing in our homes. Maybe this is the best test of all. Just saying.....

    That being said - I saw many rooms that brought the silk plants, diffuser panels, absorption panels, bass panels, etc. and had their rooms dialed in beautifully. Bryston, PS audio, Focal, Zesto, Jeff Rowland/Raidho just to name a few. And hats off to those rooms that recognized their deficiencies after day one, brought in some panels (or whatever) and had their rooms dialed in beautifully the next day. Many however, just lived with the poor sound.

    Ok...rant over.
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  29. #29

    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Perfect, Mike. That's how I feel too.
    C'mon, these guys are in the business of selling audio performance. If they can't match gear and room into a cohesive thing, they need help.

    I truly don't think these guys have to present a flawless, perfect audio presentation, like you can get at people's homes. But they should present something that will at least stand out from the pack. Isn't it why they're there for? To make their gear sound good and make people notice?

    alexandre

  30. #30
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by asiufy View Post
    Perfect, Mike. That's how I feel too.
    C'mon, these guys are in the business of selling audio performance. If they can't match gear and room into a cohesive thing, they need help.

    I truly don't think these guys have to present a flawless, perfect audio presentation, like you can get at people's homes. But they should present something that will at least stand out from the pack. Isn't it why they're there for? To make their gear sound good and make people notice?

    alexandre
    Exactly. It's like showing up at your local Toyota dealer to test drive the new Camry and he says, "we don't have any 2013's, but here's a 1993 Camry....it's still a Camry....try that."

    I wonder how many people went home, turned on their systems and went "holy sh**, my system sounds better than 95% of the rooms I heard" and consequently decided to buy nothing new? I wonder how many younger folks, put back on their ear buds and decided "this doesn't sound too bad!" Hard to grow an industry like that.
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  31. #31
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Thanks Guys,

    How about the Lawrence Audio room?

    Also, was Brodmann there?
    NORMAN
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by wisnon View Post
    I just read it. Very enjoyable summary.

    How was the CH/Zellatom room?

    I agree about Emerald Physics...open-baffle/electronic x-over/controlled directivity and DSP control make for a very potent combination. Wally must have been stoked.
    When I stopped by it was a bit crowded. I really liked the looks of the product but the CH pricing was crazy high.
    Amps- $37k each
    Pre amp - $31k
    DAC- $35k
    CD - $38k
    Power Supply for DAC/CD - $15k
    Speakers - $50k
    Jim

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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by still-one View Post
    When I stopped by it was a bit crowded. I really liked the looks of the product but the CH pricing was crazy high.
    Amps- $37k each
    Pre amp - $31k
    DAC- $35k
    CD - $38k
    Power Supply for DAC/CD - $15k
    Speakers - $50k

    Yes, that's a good 20% more than prices here in the Helvetic Confederation.
    NORMAN
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    RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    I have heard Brodman three times. Beautiful for piano and classical. Nothing else sounded very good on them. Nice woodwork

    Nick
    Nick



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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Thanx Nick,

    I will hear them for the first time on Sunday.
    NORMAN
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  36. #36
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Exactly. It's like showing up at your local Toyota dealer to test drive the new Camry and he says, "we don't have any 2013's, but here's a 1993 Camry....it's still a Camry....try that."

    I wonder how many people went home, turned on their systems and went "holy sh**, my system sounds better than 95% of the rooms I heard" and consequently decided to buy nothing new? I wonder how many younger folks, put back on their ear buds and decided "this doesn't sound too bad!" Hard to grow an industry like that.
    So, having said that, would you say the show is worth going to? And what are your thoughts about CES? Better, worse, or the same... By the way, I'll be there. Hope to see you!

  37. #37
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    So, having said that, would you say the show is worth going to? And what are your thoughts about CES? Better, worse, or the same... By the way, I'll be there. Hope to see you!
    Yes, RMAF was well worth it. Meeting people, seeing gear, hearing gear - it was all great. Without going, I would never have heard Volti speakers and the Kronos table for example.

    I've been to CES. Its so massive and an absolute madhouse that you must plan ahead of what you're going to see and hear and stay focused.

    I may go ... I'll see what management (my wife) says.
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  38. #38
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Thanks for all your hard work, between shooting all those pics and the great summation, you really helped give us a feeling of what it's like to be at the show !!
    Mark

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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by MDP View Post
    Thanks for all your hard work, between shooting all those pics and the great summation, you really helped give us a feeling of what it's like to be at the show !!
    You're very welcome. Thanks for letting me crash at your place on the way to RMAF. Always great to hear your great system, in your awesome (aesthetically and acoustically) room. And you're not too shabby of a cook either.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, TechDAS/AirForce Turntables, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  40. #40
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Posts
    142

    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Yes, RMAF was well worth it. Meeting people, seeing gear, hearing gear - it was all great. Without going, I would never have heard Volti speakers and the Kronos table for example.

    I've been to CES. Its so massive and an absolute madhouse that you must plan ahead of what you're going to see and hear and stay focused.

    I may go ... I'll see what management (my wife) says.
    Oh ok, that's cool...

    I know what you mean about CES. That's why I go on the last day! lol.

    Sounds good. Let me know, I'll be around.

  41. #41
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by still-one View Post
    When I stopped by it was a bit crowded. I really liked the looks of the product but the CH pricing was crazy high.
    Amps- $37k each
    Pre amp - $31k
    DAC- $35k
    CD - $38k
    Power Supply for DAC/CD - $15k
    Speakers - $50k
    This room sounded quite nice. But I must agree with Jim.
    _______________

    Mike

  42. #42
    Audioshark
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
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    26,041

    Re: RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritmo View Post
    This room sounded quite nice. But I must agree with Jim.
    +1.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, TechDAS/AirForce Turntables, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

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RMAF 2013 Thoughts & Impressions

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