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!!
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hometheaterhifi.com has a very nice write-up on RMAF 2019.
My first time to RMAF. The venue was not really to our liking. Waits for the various restaurants were always 1-1.5hrs. Captive pricing was in full force and I found myself grabbing Ubers to get the heck out of there.

Also, the hotel thought it would be a good idea to do all the tear down on Sunday night 2am to 7am moving furniture and causing a ruckus. Not a good night’s rest for sure. One positive, the water slides were cool, but then they messed up our bill and so infuriated my wife we will likely not go back.

The show as good but spread out a lot. I also noticed Dynaudio was listed but not present. I had a hard time getting in the ATC room. They would lock door at random times during the event and not let folks in with no explanation.

Anyway, on to the good stuff. Pretty much visited every room a couple of times. Sunday was the best day in my opinion because there were less people and you could request music on the systems. Some rooms I probably didn’t like more because of the music they played and Sunday helped change that a bit.

Here are my picks for what its worth 🙂

Top Rooms:

  • Vienna Acoustics Imperials + REL Stacked Sub Array + Boulder Separates = Phenomenal sound. They played a track from a Tool album (not my pick) and it was awesome. Totally listenable and engaging. No harshness whatsoever even though this is a metal band. Felt like I went through a transcendent experience.
  • Hegel Room: H390 + Sonus Faber Electa Amator III = Super simple system that took total control of the small room. Kept looking for the sub that wasn’t there.
  • Revel Room: F228BE + Mark Levinson Integrated = Crystal clear balanced sound with no fatigue at all. Nearly full range with chest thumping yet tight bass. Detailed highs. I want a pair.
  • Sonus Faber Room: Olympica Nova Vs + can’t recall the gear stack = Slam in spades. The image was a little larger than life but great soundstage and dynamics. My wife wants a pair but they are not in the current budget.
  • Acora Room: SRC-1 two way made of granite using Scanspeak drivers. Run with ARC separates. Sounded real. Like there was a violinist in the room.

Other Standouts:

  • Salk Room: Beautiful and great sounding speakers.

  • Elac Room: Great standmounts for not a lot of dough. Carina gives the Kef LS50s a run for the money and are hundreds less too boot! Debut Reference sets a new standard for $500 standmounts.

  • Kanto Room: Tuk two way actives with ATM tweeters are a real gateway into HiFi. They have a remote control, built in amps, DAC, Bluetooth, and phono preamp. Plus there is a switchable crossover for adding a subwoofer. These were really quite good at $700.

I so badly want a pair of the Debut Reference, because it really should be the "standard" by which all bookshelves must compare themselves in terms of "minimum viable product". If your speaker is over $1,000 and it doesn't sound significantly better than the Debut Reference, then you can be certain you're paying for exotic veneers more than good design.

Ohm published a wrapup in the news section of their site.