Never wear white shoes after labor day.
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I usually try to steal a reviewers badge. Then when you go into a room they play what ever CD you may bring. They also reward you with their "top self" liquor. They keep it in the bathroom under the sink and it usually not visible to the average show goer. A warning however, be sure to compliment them on the sound. Say something like, "the midrange sounds fuller this year and the bass is tighter, did you change the crossover or eliminate that annoying cabinet resonance?" That puts them off their game and gives you a chance to ask for a refill on your 30 year old scotch.
Ha, Some funny answers!
It is a friendly show and relatively easy to navigate the venue.If you come by air be sure to book and prepay the Show shuttle-it is on the Hotel site.
If you want to save $$$'s and be spared Hotel grub--and big dollar booze markups-both within 5 mins walk from M front door.
There is a very good breakfast/lunch -fresh organic/etc eatery just about 100yds on right from entrance of the Marriot,plus opposite it is a Buffet-- Indian,also very good and cheap.
Next to the Indian is a Wine cellar with amazing selection.
I'll join ya there!
I never wear white after labor day.
I always remember my ears.
I floss daily, so breath isn't a problem.
I do enjoy 30 year old scotch, so I will be liberal with compliments.
As helpful as that advice was, I was hoping to hear from folks who have been to the show, or who are going this year, or who happen to know something about the program. I'm asking, for example, if there are any "must sees" or "don't bothers" that might help me make the most out of the show.
I'm also open to suggestions about what steak to eat.
Definitely prioritize the two or three things you want to hear every day.
Take short breaks every hour.
Start at the top floor and work your way down.
Stay hydrated but don't over-hydrate.
Don't eat a big lunch -- it makes you sleepy. Eat small, healthy snacks during the day.
Try and get enough sleep. It's easy to get overstimulated and overly tired.
Use the sweet spot seat judiciously
Don't talk if other people are listening in the room
Use Sunday morning to go back to re-listen to pieces you are genuinely interested in. The room is less crowded, the power is better and the gear is broken in. Best time to make a deal on show demos.
When you "enrol" you will see the Supershuttle site you get a code for the $12 Discount -just complete and the Van departs just outside
Airport desk to the left outside --there will be other punters so easy to find.The Venue is a fair hike form the Airport so the $32 bucks Rtn is
well worth it.
Yes those eateries are a few minutes close and great value.
The Site is easy to get around --good advice form previous posters--start at top and work down
There is a Messanine Floor and Ballrooms area plus open area vendors in the off Lobby /etc.
Should be a break from the industries troubled times.
Bryon, I have gone every year since it started and can tell you if you can attend only two days, skip friday. I have found that firday the vendors are still getting set up and optimum sound is not usually yet acheived. However it is a good day to look at the records for sale and static displays. If you are wanting a good steak the best place that is close to the hotel is Del Friscos. Bring your wallet but come hungry. But actually I have had many meals at the Mariott and they are quite good for hotel food.
Last year was the first time I went. The one thing I would say is go to the upper floors of the tower side early in the day. I found that you end up wasting too much time waiting on the elevator later in the day as they are busy going back and forth on the upper floors. By the time an elevator shows up at ground level, you can't get nearly enough people on to them. I also agree with prioritizing rooms you want to hear as there is just too much to listen to everything. Have fun out there, it is a blast.
Now that I know you won't embarrass me by wearing white shoes I'll point to a few friends I'd who I'd suggest taking a listen to their offerings. I don't know that all will be there, but here's a few suggestions in no particular order - mostly stuff that might be more challenging to hear at dealers - not positive that all will be there, but if they are, their rooms will most certainly be worth a listen:
Atmasphere/Classic Audio (usually together)
bc- Add Merlin to those that Jax2 mentioned (which are all seconded). That will give you some idea of how far a relatively simple design (2 way bass reflex monitor) can be developed and you also will get to hear a great OTL tube amp (Joule). Also if you are interested at all in computer audio, check out Sound Science's Music Vaults.
Fritzspeakers makes very fine high value speakers, and Fritz is a good guy. The Zu room was fun last year (more good guys), I'd be especially keen to go if they are showing one of their statement speaker designs.
The Balanced Power Technology/Empirical Audio/Salk Room was excellent last year. BPT will be there, and I'd expect Chris to have another excellent room, though I'm not sure who he's showing with this this year.
Have fun; wish I could go!
I recommend that you start the show on the main floor. There is a large atrium and rooms on the West side. Larger systems,,really large. Start there. Also rooms in that hall way that goes behind the elevator, the Conifier rooms and a few more. Then do the rooms above the atrium, the 4th. 5th. etc. floors. Cover those areas. Takes about 3 hours. By now the crowds headed up to the tower will have diminished and you can head over to that direction. check out the rooms on the mezzanine. Don't fall in love with any room. To early for that. Just adjust your ears. Now you can head up the tower. I recommend going all the way up to floor 11. The elevator going up gets crowded, going down is easier.
Be prepared to be disappointed.... those highly reviewed amps speakers etc. don't always sound that great.
Take a CD or two that you like but I recommend if you go to a room and like the sound you might just ask them their favorite CD/Album and have them play that.
Oh, and one further suggestion, more in the novelty department. I can't recall whether it was RMAF or CES, but I heard an impressive demonstration of Maggie's mini speakers at one of them, when they were still in prototype stage. Here's a brief review of the production version. They are releasing those speakers in September at $1495. They should therefore be at RMAF, and would certainly be worth a listen if you were in the market for a mini speaker for a bedroom or office. I think in the demo they were using a sub with them, and the results in a very large room were quite impressive. I don't think they played them without the sub for that demo so I wonder what they'd sound like without it.
John - I don't know anything about Fritz or Zu other than hearing about them occasionally here on A'gon. I will be sure to check them out. I was planning on hitting the Empirical Audio/Salk room, as I am a happy customer of EA (though I know absolutely nothing about Salk).
Jax - I was unaware of Maggie's mini speaker. Neat.
Jim - Thanks for the detailed advice about how to proceed. I will follow it.
Per Swamp - that is CanJam. Even if you are not into headphones you might enjoy some of the stuff they'll be sure to have there. Check out Stax 009's (look for the crowd) and perhaps you'd enjoy Audeze's LCD-2's, which I use whenever my wife needs a bit of quiet in the house. Good call. There will also be various vendors hocking actual music, some of it difficult to come by otherwise.
Thanks, guys. I hadn't thought about listening to headphones while I'm there, but now that you mention it, I will probably be using headphones in the not too distant future, as my wife and I are expecting our first child. So late night listening sessions (when I can manage them) will probably be headphones-only.
Not sure what your goal is when you attend but even though there are lots of rooms you should be able to get through all of them pretty quickly. Take a few notes of the rooms you like. On day two if you have made it around you should have narrowed it down to 20 rooms or less that you were impressed with. Go back to those rooms again. Also ask other people what rooms they were impressed with and why. You might have missed something. On Sunday most rooms will have really settled in and if they are ever going to sound good they will. So Sunday you should plan to spend some real time in your favorite rooms.
If you like analog Michael Fremer might have a seminar going on so don't miss those. Other seminars as well.
Have fun. Colorado brews some great beers so don't drink Bud, drink local.