Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 Pictures and Impressions - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 439 Old 09-07-2019, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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In this room it's "Get your bargain Classe Sigma amps right here! We got stacks!"

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post #62 of 439 Old 09-07-2019, 02:52 PM
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Anybody else hear the vienna REL combo? Interested in how it sounded
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post #63 of 439 Old 09-07-2019, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I've heard Technics a number of times and there is nothing new enough here to make it work another audition. But I do have some pictures...

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post #64 of 439 Old 09-07-2019, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Anybody else hear the vienna REL combo? Interested in how it sounded
Nothing about it that spoke to the firepower on display, I thought. Certainly very clean clear sound though.

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post #65 of 439 Old 09-07-2019, 03:02 PM
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Nothing about it that spoke to the firepower on display, I thought. Certainly very clean clear sound though.

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Thanks mark
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post #66 of 439 Old 09-07-2019, 03:10 PM
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Mark speaking of the picture with Listen up in it. I happen to go by the Denver store and Sonus Faber sent the Aida's in for the show for people to go listen to over there. Was blown away! Now I need to sell a kid.... If you have not heard them it would be worth a stop.

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post #67 of 439 Old 09-07-2019, 03:20 PM
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Mark, here’s to hoping you get to check out and give your take on Tekton Design speakers. They’re exhibiting in room 11116, apparently.

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post #68 of 439 Old 09-07-2019, 03:28 PM
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Mark, don't leave us hanging! You're our ears as well as eyes at the show. Those speakers are insane looking, with some intriguing claims!

How did they sound? Was there anything sonically interesting that came from such a novel design?

(That speaker would give me nightmares, aesthetically. Like speakers imagined by David Lynch).
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post #69 of 439 Old 09-07-2019, 03:36 PM
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focal came out with new chora speakers...I guess to replace chorus...focal have anything new at rmaf? what amps they using?

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post #70 of 439 Old 09-07-2019, 04:00 PM
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File under "crazy new tweeter"...

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I would be concerned this speaker would come alive and eat me.
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post #71 of 439 Old 09-07-2019, 04:10 PM
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I would be concerned this speaker would come alive and eat me.


Or detonate.....


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post #72 of 439 Old 09-07-2019, 05:47 PM
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I sincerely feel that at $6K per pair the Polk Legend L800 towers are the best value true high-end flagship tower speakers at RMAF 2019.
How was their base? What are those cones made of?
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post #73 of 439 Old 09-07-2019, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
One of the most fun rooms at the show. HiFi Guides/Z Reviews/DMS. The lineup in the pic is Klipsch RP-600M, SVS Ultra Bookshelf, Edifier S3000 Pro, Vanatoo T LE, Kanto Tuk.

A pair of SVS SB3000 handle bass...

The "system" relies on miniDSP and JDS Labs gear.

For anyone skeptical of the value provided by the six-figure systems at shows like this, well... Having a room like this for reality check is really great! The FACT is all these speakers performed at a high level for tiny fractions of the price of the "high end" stuff.

Stack of Crown XLS 2002 amps providing power.

There's no way around it... Great sound is not expensive and much of what's found in many other rooms at this show are a terrible value compared to this lineup.

SVS Ultra Bookshelf stood out, even if it is an older design. Kanto TUK was my least favorite, too much treble!

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Our room was directly above this.

Like what he’s doing with the budget gear.
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Quote:
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I would be concerned this speaker would come alive and eat me.
They remind me of the 80’s toy “Boglins”. Google it.

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Check out the CU Denver room. It’s across the hall from the McIntosh room. Cool multichannel surround stuff going on. Nothing for sale, just a tech demo. All open source.
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I was gonna drive up a few hrs to see this show....but not interesting.

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post #77 of 439 Old 09-08-2019, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I was gonna drive up a few hrs to see this show....but not interesting.
To be perfectly candid, I had sworn off high-end audio shows because most of the rooms are worse than boring to me, being stuffed full of truly unaffordable gear being sold by folks making specious claims in small rooms full of people where you can't get a good seat, can't hear what you want to hear, etc.

I had heard that RMAF was somehow a cut above other shows but I saw absolutely no differentiation between it, AXPONA, Capital Audiofest, etc. except that THIS is the show where there's ZERO home theater demos and lacks the gear associated with it, which makes it EXTRA BORING for me.

Having said that there were some good rooms, but not enough to make it worth a drive and pay admission, given it's 2019 and there are better things to do with your day than to get stuck in a hotel listening to Diana Krall.

The reality of a consumer show where there's also press and B2B roaming the halls, is things get weird fast. You pay for access but so did all the exhibitors and they want to recoup THEIR investment too. Plenty of rooms I went into where I may as well have been invisible, the music was nothing I could relate to, etc. and I can't blame them... I don't write for a high-end magazine and I'm not there to buy a five-figure speaker system.

Literally, the most interesting room in the show was the Z Reviews room, which was basically a hard troll of the show itself. An SVS Ultra system with a pair of SVS subs absolutely keeps up with all that overprices high-end nonsense on display.

OK so the other rooms I liked were Polk, KLH, Klipsch and ELAC because these companies offer products that benefit from economy of scale, so the prices are not crazy high. And Andrew Jones did continue his winning streak in the $500 or less per pair bookshelf speaker category with the ELAC Debut Reference. It's plainly obvious the products from these companies compete or beat much more expensive boutique high-end stuff. If you want to personally experience this so you don't ever again need to wonder what all that $10,000 power cord and audiophile USB cable nonsense is about, it may be worth going once.

-----

Based on this experience, IMO AXPONA is now the best audio show in the U.S. and probably the only one worth traveling for, if you are just going for fun.

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post #78 of 439 Old 09-08-2019, 07:28 AM
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Back to ELAC to hear the new Debut Reference bookshelf model.

These are simply amazing $500 speakers. Andrew notes the new Debuts have a better crossover than the current Debut, same woofer but new cast basket with less resonance, and same tweeter but new waveguide. And the vent is now a slot.

I just snuck into the front row.

Love it when treble has "snap" to it but is not bright or grainy. Translates well for pop music or classical. Arguably their ability to handle orchestral music is the greatest trick performed by Andrew Jones latest design.


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Thanks for the update. From the photos they have a really high-end looking finish as well.

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post #79 of 439 Old 09-08-2019, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
To be perfectly candid, I had sworn off high-end audio shows because most of the rooms are worse than boring to me, being stuffed full of truly unaffordable gear being sold by folks making specious claims in small rooms full of people where you can't get a good seat, can't hear what you want to hear, etc.

I had heard that RMAF was somehow a cut above other shows but I saw absolutely no differentiation between it, AXPONA, Capital Audiofest, etc. except that THIS is the show where there's ZERO home theater demos and lacks the gear associated with it, which makes it EXTRA BORING for me.

Having said that there were some good rooms, but not enough to make it worth a drive and pay admission, given it's 2019 and there are better things to do with your day than to get stuck in a hotel listening to Diana Krall.

The reality of a consumer show where there's also press and B2B roaming the halls, is things get weird fast. You pay for access but so did all the exhibitors and they want to recoup THEIR investment too. Plenty of rooms I went into where I may as well have been invisible, the music was nothing I could relate to, etc. and I can't blame them... I don't write for a high-end magazine and I'm not there to buy a five-figure speaker system.

Literally, the most interesting room in the show was the Z Reviews room, which was basically a hard troll of the show itself. An SVS Ultra system with a pair of SVS subs absolutely keeps up with all that overprices high-end nonsense on display.

OK so the other rooms I liked were Polk, KLH, Klipsch and ELAC because these companies offer products that benefit from economy of scale, so the prices are not crazy high. And Andrew Jones did continue his winning streak in the $500 or less per pair bookshelf speaker category with the ELAC Debut Reference. It's plainly obvious the products from these companies compete or beat much more expensive boutique high-end stuff. If you want to personally experience this so you don't ever again need to wonder what all that $10,000 power cord and audiophile USB cable nonsense is about, it may be worth going once.

-----

Based on this experience, IMO AXPONA is now the best audio show in the U.S. and probably the only one worth traveling for, if you are just going for fun.
Candor very much appreciated! Long ago I drove up from central MO to attend the Chicago CES every year and it sounds like things have not changed much. Back then industry luminaries would attend so at least you got to meet some of the legends.
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post #80 of 439 Old 09-08-2019, 08:43 AM
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To be perfectly candid, I had sworn off high-end audio shows because most of the rooms are worse than boring to me, being stuffed full of truly unaffordable gear being sold by folks making specious claims in small rooms full of people where you can't get a good seat, can't hear what you want to hear, etc.

I had heard that RMAF was somehow a cut above other shows but I saw absolutely no differentiation between it, AXPONA, Capital Audiofest, etc. except that THIS is the show where there's ZERO home theater demos and lacks the gear associated with it, which makes it EXTRA BORING for me.

Given that much antipathy for audio shows your swearing off of them was probably the right move for you personally. Doesn't make sense having a reporter on shows who is that uninterested. But I and others do appreciate you taking it for the team, and sending photos. ;-)


It's extremely common among audiophiles to go to shows, experience all this uber-stupid-expensive stuff, and shrug their shoulders, coming home and finding themselves quite happy with their much more modest set up. Happens to me virtually ever audio show I attend.


That said, my view of audio shows is the opposite of yours. I really enjoy them. I love seeing all the wild-west designs in high end audio, from hearing the occasional amazing demonstration I'd never hear elsewhere, to encountering some wacky speaker design that has a certain "something" or that utterly fails. It's all fascinating to me as I'm not there trawling for the bottom price point audio gear, but simply having a good time. If it's super expensive "come at me bro" and let's see what you've achieved. If it sucks, I reflect on how nice my sound is at home for so much less. If it's awesome, I had an awesome experience.



The shows certainly can be fatiguing though. My main gripe is systems generally playing too loud and burning out my ears fast.
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post #81 of 439 Old 09-08-2019, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Given that much antipathy for audio shows your swearing off of them was probably the right move for you personally. Doesn't make sense having a reporter on shows who is that uninterested. But I and others do appreciate you taking it for the team, and sending photos. ;-)

It's extremely common among audiophiles to go to shows, experience all this uber-stupid-expensive stuff, and shrug their shoulders, coming home and finding themselves quite happy with their much more modest set up. Happens to me virtually ever audio show I attend.

That said, my view of audio shows is the opposite of yours. I really enjoy them. I love seeing all the wild-west designs in high end audio, from hearing the occasional amazing demonstration I'd never hear elsewhere, to encountering some wacky speaker design that has a certain "something" or that utterly fails. It's all fascinating to me as I'm not there trawling for the bottom price point audio gear, but simply having a good time. If it's super expensive "come at me bro" and let's see what you've achieved. If it sucks, I reflect on how nice my sound is at home for so much less. If it's awesome, I had an awesome experience.

The shows certainly can be fatiguing though. My main gripe is systems generally playing too loud and burning out my ears fast.
There are a few things at play here. One is that I do enjoy some rooms, but there's not enough of those to make a full day of it. I've been to too many audio shows and a lot of what's going on is very repetitive at this point.

But, the key is I'm not playing pretend Stereophile reporter. I'm not reporting in depth on six-figure systems, offering paragraphs of opinion on how speakers sound connected to some bespoke signal chain. I'm perfectly happy to take pics and run since most (not all) demos are not very useful to me in gauging how this gear does in applications I most relate to. I know exactly what these audiophiles are going for, more power to them etc.

I do think there's some value in having a grumpy me run around a show every now and then but... I'm surely not going to join that crowd of writers who make a living singing the praises of multi-thousand dollar cables and stuff. And I think I'll skip the pilgrimage to Munich. If Philly had an audio show of course I'd go to it, but it doesn't. And that might be the main thing... as a local activity for a consumer I think it's a perfectly fun day out. Mainly, I'm turned off to these high-end hotel-based audio shows as something I'd travel to, dedicate 2+ days to, deal with hotels and 3 restaurant meals a day.

As for THIS SPECIFIC show I mainly went because I knew the new Polk SDR speakers would debut there. And to me, that's big news... biggest news at the show. I would not have gone otherwise.
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I was at RMAF yesterday and spent time with most of the systems pictured and quite a few that were not. I'll see if I can post my thoughts on some of them.
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post #83 of 439 Old 09-08-2019, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I was at RMAF yesterday and spent time with most of the systems pictured and quite a few that were not. I'll see if I can post my thoughts on some of them.
I have a few more system pics I'll post shortly. If you have comments on the demos that's awesome, please share.
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post #84 of 439 Old 09-08-2019, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Candor very much appreciated! Long ago I drove up from central MO to attend the Chicago CES every year and it sounds like things have not changed much. Back then industry luminaries would attend so at least you got to meet some of the legends.
Plenty of company owners and head designers here, so I can see the appeal if the desire is to get face time with someone.

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post #85 of 439 Old 09-08-2019, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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OK here's a mondo McIntosh system. Big enough to handle being set up in a small ballroom!


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post #86 of 439 Old 09-08-2019, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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This was the Wilson system being demoed. Sasha speakers and Watch Dog subs.

It's pleasing to see a high end rig that acknowledges the role subwoofers play. Respect to Wilson that company has stuck it out and knows what it sells.

Ten Grand a pop for those passive subs is of course insane. But at least those subs are akin to what an AVS DIYer would build!





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post #87 of 439 Old 09-08-2019, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I find this amusing... What's with the whole power cord craze.


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post #88 of 439 Old 09-08-2019, 09:46 AM
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I find this amusing... What's with the whole power cord craze.


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Me too.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #89 of 439 Old 09-08-2019, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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I have no comments on this system except that visually the speakers are the most aggressively macho design I saw at the show. These are the speakers of some movie super-villain.

Turntable to match.

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post #90 of 439 Old 09-08-2019, 10:07 AM
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Mark...I'm still curious what you will think of the Joseph Audio room, if you get a chance.

As to McIntosh speakers, their speaker models with the multiple midrange drivers have been routinely among the worst "high end" speakers I've ever heard. I'm always amazed at how unimpressive and blah they sound. That company should stick to amplifiers, IMO....
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rmaf 2019 , rocky mountain audio fest 2019

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