Author Topic: RMAF 2011 Report  (Read 7182 times)

Offline Carlman

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RMAF 2011 Report
« on: October 17, 2011, 01:46:39 PM »
Any word from folks attending?  It'd be nice to hear what was great, weird, interesting, or whatnot about this year's showing.

Meet any interesting people?  Have a fun experience to share?  Let's hear it! :)
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline goldlizsts

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Re: RMAF 2011 Report
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2011, 04:52:01 AM »
Any word from folks attending?  It'd be nice to hear what was great, weird, interesting, or whatnot about this year's showing.

Meet any interesting people?  Have a fun experience to share?  Let's hear it! :)

What's great - the darn show gets bigger each year.  For example, opposite the traditional registration/check-in area, there are now more booths staffed by RMAF.

What's great and not so great - You get overloaded with sooooo many exhibitors.  Things get blurry.  Regardless, it was truly a feast for the ear, tho it's more like the eye that becomes starry with so many great-looking boxes, cases.....

Greater - Made new friends.  Weather was fantastic.  First time I can remember there was no snow over the entire sunny, warm (70's) weekend.

I'll leave it up to others to report on gears if they so desire.  There's already so much posted in the other circle. :thumb:
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 06:46:44 AM by goldlizsts »

Offline BobM

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Re: RMAF 2011 Report
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2011, 05:40:50 AM »
Posted this on the NY Rave forum. Some pretty impressive coverage on these links.

day 1
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=99214.0
day 2
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=99215.60
day 3
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=99216.40  
 
 
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Offline bpape

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Re: RMAF 2011 Report
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2011, 09:39:55 AM »
Lots of mediocre rooms and a few good ones.  More folks are being more careful about the room acoustics but some still don't get it.  If I heard one more room with curtains all the way around sucking the life out of everything, grrrr.  Oh well.

My favs from the limited time I had to listen

Luxman/Vivid/Kaplan - Natural, pleasing, good imaging, did nothing really wrong.  Any problems were errors of omission rather than of commission which is much the way I prefer it.   When I walked in, they were playing Lou Read - Walk on the Wild side on vinyl.  My jaw hit the floor.  Never heard it sound like that.  The one sure tip off is when everyone in the room is bobbing their heads and tapping their toes.  They got it right.  People were listening to MUSIC instead of equipment.  Hats off to Mike Garner for putting together a great sounding room and Paul for tying it all together with his new line of cabling.

TAD - The CR-1's never cease to amaze.  In a room that many would consider too small (smaller than most of the Marriot rooms) they sounded wonderful.  I told Andrew I gave him the highest compliment I can give.  I've heard them in a lot of rooms with lots of different gear.  Sure, sometimes they are better than others - but they never sound bad and always sound at least very good.



I'll not blow our own horn too much but I thought our room was definitely up there.  Had a few problems the first day but by Sat evening, it was sounding really nice.  While not 100% my cup of tea, it was certainly very accurate with lots of speed, detail, harmonic accuracy, imaging, etc.  A good front end and clean controlled power courtesy of BPT certainly helped.  
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 02:12:16 PM by bpape »
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mgalusha

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Re: RMAF 2011 Report
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2011, 01:17:33 PM »
This year was weird for me. I was very much looking forward to the show and enjoyed myself a lot on Friday, the high point of which was having dinner with Scott F and Bryan P and their lovely wives. Alex from Odyssey joined us for a few beers as well.

Saturday morning I completely lost all enthusiasm, not sure why but just didn't really give a crap about much of it. Thankfully I did wander around and got to hear a fair number of rooms. For me there were only a few I really liked. Like Bryan I really enjoyed the Luxman/Vivid room, especially with the analog sources. The vinyl was lovely but the RTR with master tapes was stunning. I also attribute the good sounds in this room in part to the Kaplan GS Mk II power, speaker and interconnect cables. I know what these do in my system and I I'm sure they were an important part of the overall result.

I also really like the AMR/Dr. Fieckert/Rosso Fiorentino room. Happened to sit down just as they were cueing up Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman pressed at the new QRP plant. It was magical, I could have sat there for hours and I left that room smiling and in a much better mood.

Unlike some folks I liked the Linkwitz Orion's. They won't do the kind of dynamics I like but the sound was far better than I've heard from them in the past. I suspect having 6 channels of lovely Pass Labs amplification instead of the ATI 6ch home theater amp did not hurt. One of these days I want to hear a Pass XA30.5 in my system. I've been promised a demo soon from a friend who has one. Yum.

Far too many rooms were playing things TOO LOUD. Before anyone says I'm too old, no that is not the issue. I like loud music but IMO every piece has an appropriate volume level and overloading the room with too much volume is just bad. Just ask Scott if I enjoy it loud, he came by Thursday night before the show and I probably ruined his hearing for Friday.  :rofl:

I also liked the Silbatone room with the 1947 Western Electric 757A monitors. Pretty amazing the sound coming out of those old blue boxes. I really need to build some of JC Morrison's designs...

mike

Edit: added info about the ancillaries in the Luxman/Vivid room.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 10:45:48 AM by mgalusha »

Offline bpape

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Re: RMAF 2011 Report
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2011, 01:36:27 PM »
I forgot to mention that same AMR room Mike.  That was some very good sound indeed - though I only got to listen for 5 minutes....  One of the downers of actually working the show.

Bryan
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Offline goldlizsts

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Re: RMAF 2011 Report
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2011, 01:39:43 PM »
This year was weird for me. I was very much looking forward to the show and enjoyed myself a lot on Friday, the high point of which was having dinner with Scott F and Bryan P and their lovely wives. Alex from Odyssey joined us for a few beers as well.

Saturday morning I completely lost all enthusiasm, not sure why but just didn't really give a crap about much of it. Thankfully I did wander around and got to hear a fair number of rooms. For me there were only a few I really liked. Like Bryan I really enjoyed the Luxman/Vivid room, especially with the analog sources. The vinyl was lovely but the RTR with master tapes was stunning.

I also really like the AMR/Dr. Fieckert/Rosso Fiorentino room. Happened to sit down just as they were cueing up Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman pressed at the new QRP plant. It was magical, I could have sat there for hours and I left that room smiling and in a much better mood.

Unlike some folks I liked the Linkwitz Orion's. They won't do the kind of dynamics I like but the sound was far better than I've heard from them in the past. I suspect having 6 channels of lovely Pass Labs amplification instead of the ATI 6ch home theater amp did not hurt. One of these days I want to hear a Pass XA30.5 in my system. I've been promised a demo soon from a friend who has one. Yum.

Far too many rooms were playing things TOO LOUD. Before anyone says I'm too old, no that is not the issue. I like loud music but IMO every piece has an appropriate volume level and overloading the room with too much volume is just bad. Just ask Scott if I enjoy it loud, he came by Thursday night before the show and I probably ruined his hearing for Friday.  :rofl:

I also liked the Silbatone room with the 1947 Western Electric 757A monitors. Pretty amazing the sound coming out of those old blue boxes. I really need to build some of JC Morrison's designs...

mike

I am in no way an old hand at hi-end audio, but I believe my ears guide me in the right direction (like anone else?!).  Too often in these shows I would expect to be very surprised to hear sounds that I really dislike.  Sometimes one wonders why the exhibitor(s) would match such equipment for the show..... That's why we all come up with what I like the most, and hate the least.....  May be it's the "ears" stupid thing.  Ain't nobody has ever quantified what anyone hears, and how he/she hears, and what he/she hears is like....

That's the key/problem?  We can sit and argue the merits or demerits of any piece of gear, and 24 hours in a day probably aren't enough......  Look at it this way, that's why going to these show are such fun, or such irritation to some.....  It's a matter of attitude I guess.

Now, my subjective best...... I actually liked the Emerald Physics room.  The CS series dipole speakers gave me a shocker.  When I setpped into the room, it was pretty packed, and I had to stand immediately outside of the inside listening main area.  Even there, I was very impressed with the holographic sensation those speakers gave.  For example, the speakers were placed somewhat far out from the rear wall (typical for dipoles?).  I heard instruments placed between the speaker and somewhere along the line from the top of the speak toward the top right hand ceiling corner of the room.  Isn't that weird I thought?  That's first time I heard a soundstage so 3-dimensional and vivid.  That's what shocked me into liking the setup.

Besides, they offer a $5K setup, speakers plus other electronics (amp, sub, etc.).  For $5K?  Great value I thought, in these days of high audio prices - $50K YKs, $50K TADs (?).......  Perhaps for $10K, I can get the top-of-the-line Emerald Physics and would be very happy.  I'd save $40K as down payment for a house :rofl:?

Regardless, I am waiting to hit the jackpot, and then would definitely don't worry about the price tag. :thumb:
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 01:41:15 PM by goldlizsts »

mgalusha

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Re: RMAF 2011 Report
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2011, 03:31:07 PM »
A few years ago I ended up manning a room for all three days and that was enlightening; both in regards to matching gear and to what people like and don't like.

From what I've observed it often occurs that one manufacturer will approach another about doing the show together. Speaker maker needs some good amps and amp maker looks and says, those might be nice but may not have ever heard them, let alone with whatever they are bringing to the show. I know that was the case when I manned the room. Modwright pre, Spectron Amps and Analysis Audio speakers. The guy I was assisting (Mike Garner - Tweekgeek.com) was a Modwright and Spectron dealer and he somehow got hooked up with Mike from Analysis Audio. We were fortunate that it all worked together fairly well but what was enlightening was the feedback from visitors.

With the same gear, same room and not far apart time wise I had comments ranging from "not working for me" and leaving after 30 seconds to "best I've ever heard" and they came back multiple times over the weekend and spent a lot of time in the room. Other comments covered the entire range between. This drove home just how subjective this little hobby is and that you have to figure out what matters, not anyone else. We all know this but three days of watching reactions and listening to feedback really drove it home. These days if someone asks me if my system sounds good, the only answer I can give is that I like it and if they like it, great, if not, equally great.

mike

ltr317

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Re: RMAF 2011 Report
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2011, 07:24:30 PM »
A few years ago I ended up manning a room for all three days and that was enlightening; both in regards to matching gear and to what people like and don't like.

From what I've observed it often occurs that one manufacturer will approach another about doing the show together. Speaker maker needs some good amps and amp maker looks and says, those might be nice but may not have ever heard them, let alone with whatever they are bringing to the show. I know that was the case when I manned the room. Modwright pre, Spectron Amps and Analysis Audio speakers. The guy I was assisting (Mike Garner - Tweekgeek.com) was a Modwright and Spectron dealer and he somehow got hooked up with Mike from Analysis Audio. We were fortunate that it all worked together fairly well but what was enlightening was the feedback from visitors.

With the same gear, same room and not far apart time wise I had comments ranging from "not working for me" and leaving after 30 seconds to "best I've ever heard" and they came back multiple times over the weekend and spent a lot of time in the room. Other comments covered the entire range between. This drove home just how subjective this little hobby is and that you have to figure out what matters, not anyone else. We all know this but three days of watching reactions and listening to feedback really drove it home. These days if someone asks me if my system sounds good, the only answer I can give is that I like it and if they like it, great, if not, equally great.

mike

Mike,

All you have to do is please yourself.  The vast majority of attendees hear basically the same, but the reason why the comments about the sound are so different is because everyone has different tastes, whether it is tonality, imaging, transparency, etc.  I didn't get a chance to meet you, so perhaps next year at RMAF. 

Cheers,
Paul

ltr317

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Re: RMAF 2011 Report
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2011, 07:29:08 PM »
I forgot to mention that same AMR room Mike.  That was some very good sound indeed - though I only got to listen for 5 minutes....  One of the downers of actually working the show.

Bryan

Bryan,

Sorry for the quick hello and goodbye on Sunday, as I was about to catch the van to the airport.  I'll be sure to spend a little more time in your room next year.  From the few minutes I did spend listening, the system sounded pretty good, with a touch too much high frequency energy.

Cheers,
Paul

p.s. Really like the photos on your acoustic panels this year.  A really nice touch.

Offline bpape

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Re: RMAF 2011 Report
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2011, 08:16:14 AM »
Yeah - it was a bit crazy - even Sunday.

I would agree that it was a tad forward for my personal taste but not much we can do about that.  Kind of used all our bag of tricks to get the imaging and bass right.  Could have used absorption at the reflections rather than diffusion and trade off the bigger soundstage. 

Something always has to give....

Bryan
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Offline Hugh

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Re: RMAF 2011 Report
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2011, 08:22:53 AM »
Bryan,

Sorry I missed you when you came to our room. :(

I was pulled from one meeting to another.
It's good for business but left nothing else for others. :)
My aplogy.

It's good to finally meet you in person.
Hugh Nguyen
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Offline Hugh

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Re: RMAF 2011 Report
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2011, 08:24:17 AM »
Paul,

It's good to have met you in person.

Hopefully, we'll get to spend more time talking, over a beer or something. :)
I forgot to mention that same AMR room Mike.  That was some very good sound indeed - though I only got to listen for 5 minutes....  One of the downers of actually working the show.

Bryan

Bryan,

Sorry for the quick hello and goodbye on Sunday, as I was about to catch the van to the airport.  I'll be sure to spend a little more time in your room next year.  From the few minutes I did spend listening, the system sounded pretty good, with a touch too much high frequency energy.

Cheers,
Paul

p.s. Really like the photos on your acoustic panels this year.  A really nice touch.
Hugh Nguyen
Angel City Audio
Exclusive Melody US Distributor

mgalusha

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Re: RMAF 2011 Report
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2011, 10:51:41 AM »
Paul,

Oh I've known this for years, it was just observing the reactions of others to the same system that really drove home just how varied our perceptions can be. :)

We will definitely have to hook up next year.

Mike


Mike,

All you have to do is please yourself.  The vast majority of attendees hear basically the same, but the reason why the comments about the sound are so different is because everyone has different tastes, whether it is tonality, imaging, transparency, etc.  I didn't get a chance to meet you, so perhaps next year at RMAF. 

Cheers,
Paul