2011 RMAF Analog Reports + Meet and Greet

2011 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest Analog Reports + Meet and Greet

The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is quickly approaching. Just like last year, I’m planning to use this thread to capture anticipated analog related information about the show as well as impressions.

The past four years of RMAF visits have been fun, entertaining, and rewarding. I go to the show for many reasons but mostly to meet other music lovers/audiophiles and industry professionals. The diversity of music, equipment, and personalities are very interesting to me. A link to last year's comments can be found here: 2010 RMAF Comments

There should be quite a few interesting things going on at this year’s RMAF. If you haven’t attended the show, you should seriously consider going. I’ll post a few things I anticipate seeing at this year's RMAF in the tread reply below.

I’ve also found out that AudiogoN member Cello has set up a meet and greet on Friday night @ Garcia's Restaurant located across the street from the Marriot. More details to follow. The past three meet and greets in 2008, 2009 and 2010 have been very enjoyable. I expect the same from this one as well.

Please feel free to post your attendance plans now and your analog experiences after the show.

In the previous years, it has been suggested that we put our AudiogoN Monikers in the field below our names on the RMAF badges. I think this is a great idea to continue into this year.

I'm looking forward to meeting many of you at the show,
Meet & Greet your friends from AudiogoN & Audio Asylum

All are welcome to join

2 for 1 Happy Hour
Free Chips and Salsa
Dinner Available at Same Location

Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant
5050 South Syracuse
Denver, CO
Tel# 303-779-4177
Directly across the street from Marriott Tech Center

Friday, October 14th, 2011

6:00pm - 8:00pm

You can receive a PDF version of the Meet & Greet from myself (Dre_J) or AudiogoN member Cello. Just contact one of us by e-mail.

Looking forward to seeing you all there,
Count me and a guest in. Thanks.
Would love to go but can't justify the expense.
Besides, I dwell in 'Vegas and go to T.H.E. Show in January
(pretty darn good last year -especially the Krell room!).
I'll get there some day...
Good luck to everyone. I went to the meet and greet in 09, very enjoyable. The show was the best I have ever been to. From Europe though, it's a once in a lifetime trip, unfortunately
I'll be there this year. Missed it last year. I just recently got into vinyl so this will be my first time there with my focus on analog.

See ya there.

As always, I look forward to seeing you!
I am driving from Nebraska. I am about to upgrade my turntable so, I am interested to audition candidates in the 5,000 range.
I'm looking forward to hearing a few things:

Wavestream Kinetics. One of my fondest audiophile memories was a demoing a system with the V8 amp.

Border Patrol Amplifiers. Heard great things and this will be my first chance to hear them.

DeVore Fidelity. Some of my favorite speakers

High Water Sound. Always one of the best sounding rooms.

Durand Tonearms. The public debut of the Telos tonearm

Best part of RMAF is hanging out with music lovers from around the country!
Jazdoc, what's this about a new Durand tonearm? Can you reveal any details about the Telos? How is it different from the Talea?

Win and Mark, I’m looking forward to seeing both of you again.

Waveman, Sean, and Pefstratiou see you at the meet and greet.

David12: I enjoyed meeting you and your wife in 2009.

Dweller: maybe next time?

With about 5 weeks left before RMAF I've got to start thinking about what LPs are going to make the cut for this year's show.

Last year, I set my limit at 10 LPs and ended up taking 18! Maybe this year I'll set my limit at 5 with a max of 15. I've got to put some controls on this.

With that said, What are you bringing?

You are bringing some LPs with you, right?

Dave -

It's difficult to talk about the Telos...you really have to hear it for yourself.

Recalls how Bobby Jones responded after someone asked him about Jack Nicklaus "He plays a game with which I am unfamiliar"
In the Galibier room (Suite 1130):

Turntable - Galibier Stelvio-II
Tonearm - Durand Talea-II
Tonearm - Artisan Audio Capriccio
Cartridges - Dynavector XV1s, Myajima Mono

Line Stage - by Serious Stereo (Passive Attenuator)
Line Stage - by Quicksilver Audio
Phono Stages - by Sonus Veritas and Herron Audio
Amplifiers - Serious Stereo 2A3
Speakers - Daedalus Audio Ulysses

Cabling by Discovery and Kaplan Cable
Power Conditioning by Kaplan Cable

Thom @ Galibier

Thanks for posting what's going to be in your room. Looking forward to stopping by and listening as well as catching up on things since we last talked face to face.

Thanks Andre,

As we noted offline ... no "shootouts" this year. It's proven to be an exercise in cat herding ;-)

The Saturday night get together in our room will be more of an opportunity for an informal get together. Bring your weird tunes ;-)

Thom @ Galibier

A little more productive, fun and relaxed that way too. I was in your room for that "shootout" last year for a brief listen and just could not get into it. It was late and I was tired but too much tension in the air.

These informal gatherings are much more fun. See you this year.
My friend Rushton has told me to be on the lookout for you and introduce myself to you. I shall be sure and do just that. While I don't think I will be able to make it to the meet and greet, I will indeed make it a point to seek you out.
I’m looking forward to meeting you and a couple other friends of Rushton heading out to RMAF. I spent some time with Rushton this past July when I delivered some audio equipment of a friend who moved to Richmond. I arranged to meet Rushton and do some introductions so my friend would have connections to the local audio society in VA. The afternoon worked out well. Had a great time visiting Rush and Ann while listening to good music.

I'll send you a message through Agon so we can exchange contact info to find each other in Denver.


Is anyone else thinking about what you are bringing with you to RMAF in terms of LPs?

RMAF is around three weeks away. I've started the process of picking the LPs I'm planning to bring with me.

So far, I've selected a couple softballs that the people showing in the rooms as well as any visitors will enjoy. However, there are a couple things even in this music that can give me a good sense of what's going on with the system as a whole. If certain pieces of equipment are well know by me, I may be able to discern a little more about what's happening.

What no Death Metal?

I'm gonna bring about 10 lps. I will bring stuff I play all the time. Not sure exactly which ones yet. Should probably bring easily replaceable discs in case something happens.

Hi Pcostsa

I'm looking forward to seeing you again. Yes, I've come to realize that informal after hours affairs in the room are a whole lot more fun for all of us, and in the end, are more informative for everyone. I'd love open up the room on Friday evening (after the meet and greet) as well as Saturday evening this year.

We'll see how the room is "behaving" - whether on Friday night, I need to run the same drill that 90% of exhibitors do on Friday nights (revisit the setup).

The pressure in these more informal gatherings is off, and folks can bring all kinds of strange music that has a tendency to chase some audiophiles out of the room during regular show hours. This gives everyone an opportunity to challenge a system in ways you can't do in "controlled" demos. Watch for this (controlled demos) as you walk the floors of the show.

I might even let jazzdoc play a "Scissor Sisters" record. Of course, I might have to "retaliate" with some vintage live Quicksilver Messenger Service, or live Little Feat.

On a more "normal" side of things, remind me to tell you the circumstances under which I met Dre_J, some 5 years ago in one of our Saturday night free-for-alls. This story of what happened, immediately after the last piano chord was struck on Bill Henderson's "Send in the Clowns" still warms my heart, all these years later. Hint - it involves an ultra low-body fat Jim Hagerman (at his triathlete best), not used to the effects of beer at altitude ;-)

This could be the year I finally make it to the meet and greet. The plan is (always is), to have the room dialed in and not have to make any changes on Friday night. We'll see how that one goes ;-)

Those of you who have been to more than one show, know all too well, that rooms sound mediocre on Friday, and their best on Sunday, just in time to break everything down and pack it up.

Three day attendees - use Friday to scout out the possibilities. Return later in the weekend several times to rooms on your short list. Don't give up on these guys. Getting systems to behave at a show is a real bear - even for experienced exhibitors.

For more "quality time" in rooms, start at the top floor of each tower and work your way down. The "herd" starts at the bottom and works their way up.

Thom @ Galibier (suite 1130)
How many LPs can you fit in a suitcase and not get charged extra for baggage? :)

I'll be bringing a few 15 ips R2Rs to play for those rooms with decsks :)
I suggest a lead sheet lined Anvil Case for those precious 15 IPS reels, Myles. :)
I have reserved a room and paid the registration fee but am still waffling on whether to attend. But if I do, it will be to take away LPs as much as anything else, so I would not be bringing any. I will listen to yours, Dre.

Stop waffling and commit to attending the show. Where else are you going to meet so many folks with similar hobby interests? I've made this a yearly event and have never regretted going even if I find much comfort in coming home and enjoying my own system. The most enjoyable things for me are the people you get to meet and the faces/personalities placed with monikers.

Since you are going to listen to my LPs, you might as well suggest one...

I Look forward to seeing you in two weeks!

After nearly a two week break from LP selection to work a different project, I've returned to my RMAF selection process. Although sometimes difficult to do, Included in this list are some pretty difficult LPs that still playback well and entertain those that are listening. I still need to add a couple more Classical LPs which is difficult because I don't have many duplicates and I'm not completely willing to bring hard to replace selections.

Below is the current list I've put together So far..

New additions for this year:
Gatemouth Brown - Standing My Ground
Melody Gardot - My One and Only Thrill
Eva Cassidy - Songbird
Michael Hedges - Aerial Boundaries
Ray Lamontagne - Till The Sun Turns Black

Returns from last year's list:
Linda Ronstadt - What's New
Sara K. - Water Falls
Rossini - I'Italiana in Algeri, Sinfonia

Possible returns from last year:
Rickie Lee Jones - Girl at Her Volcano
Tyrone Brunson - Sticky Situation
Herbie Hancock - Future Shock

I have a little over a week to work on the remaining LPs

Anyone else know what LPs they are brining?
I'll be at the show all weekend, and am looking forward to meeting you guys! Like others, I'll be leaving my precious vinyl at home, but expect to be leaving with a couple of black pizzas!

I might even take a few photos for the mag (Vinylphile)... :-)
We are getting closer to RMAF. A couple days away...

Don't forget about the Meet and Greet Friday night at Garcia's. It is worth very much worth to meet others with similar hobbies in an environment that allows plenty of conversation.
Dre, I'm not going this year but might I suggest at a preset time to take about 10-15 min to allow everyone quickly to say their name and monikor.

I went last year but ended up just eating at the bar instead barging around (interrupting conversation) introducing myself to see if I could put a name to a face.

Hope ya'll have a great time.


That sounds like a reasonable request. I'll mention it to Larry and see if we can try it this year.

As I pack for tomorrow's flight to Denver for RMAF, I've accumulated the following LPs:

Gatemouth Brown - Standing My Ground
Melody Gardot - My One and Only Thrill
Eva Cassidy - Songbird
Michael Hedges - Aerial Boundaries
Ray Lamontagne - Till The Sun Turns Black
Linda Ronstadt - What's New
Sara K. - Water Falls
Rossini - I'Italiana in Algeri, Sinfonia
Tyrone Brunson - Sticky Situation
Herbie Hancock - Future Shock
Zeitgenossische Musik fur KontrabaB
Espinola & Duisit - Feather River

I'm still sorting through my Eric Bibb recordings to pick one.

I may add one or two more but this is the list right now.

It's day one of the show. Things will be starting in about an hour. Hopefully, we can get a couple posts from those attending during the events.

If you guys have questions about the show, go ahead and post them. Maybe one of us attending the show will be able to answer. If we can't answer your question, it may trigger us to visit the room over the next few days and reply later.

One of the rooms that blew me away was an unknown company "Precision Transducer Engineering" room showcasing their Phoenix and Statement amplified speakers. These speakers are good (though they don't have the best of looks "WAF"), the the sound...the sound just kills. I want their Phoenix speakers so wifee and I would check them out tomorrow. You can find the Stereo Times review online. These would save me money on amplifiers and speaker cables.
RMAF is complete and I really enjoyed the show. I'll post some impressions later since I'm still traveling home.

However, the show was excellent as usual and the amount of vinyl was not disappointing.

For those that are able to report your show impressions, please do so. I'm interested in hearing the thoughts of others.

For me the show is always great to connect with friends and industry people I know.

However, for purposes of checking out equipment and overall sound, this was the most disappointing RMAF I have attended (my sixth). I could count the number of what I would consider to be really good rooms on one hand. Normally my top 5 list is a lot harder to determine. Not this year.
I agree with Clio09. There were very few rooms this year with what I consider good sound. Five that did sound promising or at least interesting were (not in any particular order):

1. Silbatone with Western Electric 757 speakers
2. Galibier room with Daedalus speakers and Serious Stereo amps
3. VAC with Tannoy speakers
4. First Sound with AMR cd player and amps and Daedalus Athena speakers
5. DeVore with new Orangutan speakers

Putting a positive spin on things, I was quite happy to return home and hear how good my own system sounds. Life is good!
I forgot the Volti Audio Vittora. That also sounded very nice, even better than when I heard them at the DC Capital AudioFest in July.
The Friday evening Meet and Greet was fun and interesting. We filled the room again this year with a very good turnout. I had a good time talking with many new faces. Sorry if I didn't make it over to meet everyone that attended. There were many I wanted to talk with but there was not enough time Friday night.

I'm looking forward to next year already.
Was the Magico Q1 room cool??
I listened to the Q1 on Thursday evening before the show. The sound was pretty good. I did not get back into the room during the show.

I visited the Magico room saturday. The sound was decent but did not stand out as special. That was my first listen to their speakers. Maybe next time will be more favorable.

My favorite room was the Vandersteen/Aesthetix/Clearaudio room.

No one has mentioned Soundsmiths new cart the Hyperion. I heard it in a few different rooms and thought it sounded nice. Very clear and balanced. If I had not just bought a new cart it would have been a candidate.

Thanks much heard Magico Q1 at a demo thought MAGICO MINI 2 much more musical to spite the hipe!!