RMAF 2019!


Just got home from a long day at RMAF.  I had a great time!  The venue is spectacular this year but definitely spread out.  Get ready to walk :-)

Some rooms you should check out are (in no particular order):

Vandersteen, Joseph Audio, Salk, Revel, Classe, Jeff Rowland (Vivid Speakers), Kii Audio (Bryston Room), Mark Levinson, YG Acoustics,

There were some I missed and some that I didn’t mention that sounded great but the ones I mentioned above all sounded really nice and are definitely worth checking out.   Hopefully my little list will help someone out Saturday or Sunday.  Enjoy the Show!!
b_limo
I really enjoyed RMAF as well.  I REALLY liked the new venue+++

The one that surprised me was the Boenicke W8's.  I hate tweeky stuff but wow these little guys really fill a room with beautiful sound!
I saw a video of Scott Walker Audio’s setup at Axpona last week, and playing ACDC. Just incredible sound.


2019 Denver RMAF Short Report


Preface:


Why did so many big names opt out of the show this year?


-The Airport venue location? A Gaylord hotel room is no larger  than anywhere

 else so sound quality is the same you get in any little room.


-The doubled exhibitor rates? Some makers sent products to be used by others

Magico for example. Fair enough but not a good look for the bigger companies

with no rep present. Others were complete product no shows-Spendor.


-The story I was told by exhibitors in a couple rooms in which speakers present but not

 connected was that their room was an "Exhibition" room. Come in and look around.

Personally I can do that online. I came to hear sound!! Tannoy/Spendor

 


But "Something is Rotten in Denver" as the expression goes.

-The 2 hour line for prepaid attendees to pickup their

badges was ominous foreshadowing of what was to come.

The line to buy tickets was 1/4 the size.  Boy Scouts lost that one.

-15-30 minute waits to be seated for lunch.

-No staff tending the main bar. Table service? Forget that. Go stand at the bar to order.

-The building is so oversized and out of scale with the environment. The

place needed moving sidewalks. The Hotel staff was very friendly.

 If the event producers wanted to be near the Gateway Airport, then why

 not hold it at the Westin?  It is an integral part of Gateway. No cab required.

Airport menus pricesare nothing compared to GayLord's Resort

 "Captive Audience" pricing.


End of "Rag, momma Rag!!"



Highlights:


Hegel- An older hippie dude gave a wonderful answer to my question "What makes

the Hegel's sound better than the competition" His answer ran about 3 minutes

and convinced me. The new $6k model 390 is the hot ticket.


Salk-Jim had his Top of the Line side mounted woofer models playing rock and roll. He introduced a

prototype-a beautifully finished smaller 2 way due out in 2020. A favorite stop. Jim is a

 sweetheart. His room is always busy. His artwork is worth the wait.


Fyne- This newer company now has official USA distribution. This was their first "Show" as such.

This company is composed of a huge brain trust who left Tannoy after the 2015 takeover.  

They had a huge corner suite with the entire line. About 8 different models as I recall

ranging from $500-$1000 stand mount speakers to 3 floor standers from $1,000-$2,500.

Capped off with a $10k model. They look like players going forward.


PS Audio- Knows how to display their booth. Great Merchandising. Even better the

speaker concept they have been playing with is actually starting to sound good.

Paul is a dedicated and stubborn dude.


Elac- Was playing a tiny desk top Speaker which listed about $1,000. Not bad sounding.


Innous- This company has added a separate Clocker piece. About $3,600. It does things I can't begin to

explain. These people believe that if you load your CDs in any of their machines for storage, the playback can be better than the original CD. $4,200 for model I covet.

These people are the undisputed leaders.


Sanders- Still the most moving, realistic sound I hear. Shutup about small sweet spots.

This is one spot worth sitting in.

 

Dali- They had speakers in two rooms. The Euphonia replacement at $20k was killer!! Even in a closet-sized room.  Hooray to the Dali Boys of Denmark.


Tekton- Eric Anderson was playing his big Moabs in Blue. Very Tall and very flashy. The room was loaded with people.


Borresen- Okay I admit I am in love their $35k Floor standers. Lars Kristen Kristensen gave a very detailed 6 minute lecture on the technical build incorporated in their product.

 Equipment was all Borresen as well. Check Youtube for a complete explanation.


NAD- Has a new Integrated with Dirac correction built in. $2,800 and it looks as good or better than the Naim product they modeled. Very Cool approximately 3" x 3" color screen on the front.

 About 1/4 the size of traditional gear.


Vinnie Rossi-One of the few rooms that understands good sound can be enjoyed at 75db and lower.

Showed his new Integrated Tube Hybrid. Quite lovely. The $10k QLN Speakers are smooth.

Mr. Rossi is a gentleman and a scholar.


Schiit- Displayed the new $800 TT. Looks cool and they will sell a ton of them no doubt.

They were another check writing firm that couldn't make it to the show.


Disappointments-Sonus Faber, Vandersteen, Klipsch and ZU Audio.

Don't ask me why but those rooms sounded like crap.


I bought one of Mark Waldrep's DVD recordings. Beyond special what he does with a microphone. Acoustics Sounds also had many temptations as did the friendly lady who sells imported Chinese  music employing some instruments you may find as captivating as I did.

Enjoythemusic.com

Most tables had  headphones so you could "listen before you buy".


Disclaimer: I did not go in every room.  Opinions may vary.



@b_limo Thanks for the time to write your feedback. I have narrowed my speaker choice between the Persona 3F and a Vivid Kaya 45/90 (?). You are the second person who liked the Persona a lot but preferred the Kaya a little more. I have heard both but will do another long demo with the Kaya.

One thing that I have to do is place the speaker close to the front wall. The Kaya can accommodate that due to the tube inside the speaker cancelling out the back sound wave (or something like that). This was feedback from Vivid. Interesting that they had the speaker out in the room at RMAF.
FWIW, since the Kayas were mentioned:  I've heard the Vivid Kaya numerous times in a nice set up.  They have that "vivid" sound to be sure: super clear, clean and extended.  A "right there" immediacy and clarity.  And they can rock when turned loud too.

As it happens they didn't grab me musically.  Mostly because I found their sound too analytical and lean in the midrange - missed the richness and organic tone I hear with some other speakers. 


But if you want to hear evertyhing on the recording...