DaveC's RMAF 2019 Picture Thread

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,596
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#1
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest has moved to the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center in 2019. This is a big step up from the previous venue at Denver Tech Center and should encourage both vendors and participants who disliked the previous venue to attend once again. RMAF's previous location was ok until a couple years ago when a remodel caused all sorts of issues with use of the Hotel's larger rooms and suites, and the normal sized rooms became much less suitable for audio use with built-in furniture and new AC units. Attendance dwindled with a lot of the big name manufacturers choosing not to attend, and attendees also dwindled. This year I saw more major players, some new up-and-coming brands along with established brands and I also saw great attendance as well, with some rooms having waiting lines! The down side is Gaylord is HUGE and I hope some vendors didn't get skipped too often, many of the rooms were spread out and there wasn't quite enough signage making sure attendees knew where to go... You often saw folks looking down long corridors wondering if there were more demo rooms down there or not! OTOH there were maps in the booklets and on every floor showing attendees where to go, and it was a good idea to use the maps as simply wandering around can lead to some lost time going down long hallways to nowhere. I can see a few simple signs solving this issue in future years.

I forgot to get info on exactly what's in every room and what the room number was, so I'll do more posting of pics and less commenting. :) In general, the rooms sounded really good. The contrast between 2019 and what was at RMAF a decade + ago is amazing. When RMAF first started sound quality was generally very poor, it was difficult to find good sound. Quality of gear was often questionable and the setup of said gear even more questionable. Over the year we've seen steady improvement in all areas, both gear and setup is so much improved it's truly incredible. I think audio shows have done a lot to improve high end audio since RMAF started and to give credit where credit is due, RMAF was the first of it's kind. I'm happy to see such a great RMAF event and hope the new venue will return RMAF to the forefront of audio shows. Munich is too far away, and I think the Gaylord venue is probably far better anyways... ;)

Here's a shot of the inside of the Gaylord... this place is so large it has it's own indoor waterfalls, lakes and railroad car, probably it's own zip code!

 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,596
493
83
#2
Sonus Faber







High End by Oz





University of Colorado Surround Setup





Zu!







AlsyVox and Omega (Spoiler: Best in Show)









 
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DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,596
493
83
#3
Well Pleased.... This was really good and featured Vinni Rossi's new All-In-One. Like the Lio, super clean and low-noise, extremely impressive sound!





Sigma Speakers and AGD's new GaN amp-in-a-tube. This was a super-impressive system, very well behaved speakers that are gentle giants. Sold by the pound! ;)











YG with VAC amps. Wow! Certainly one of the best systems at RMAF this year!







Gobel. Big Speakers with the tweeter positioned oddly low. These speakers need a much lower seat at the LP or the speakers need to be on stands. The chairs used were too high. The display in between the speakers was FAR too bright as well. But, they sounded really good. :)



 
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DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,596
493
83
#4
Mac, sounding more forward and "modern" than I've heard in the past...







Vaughn and Wavelength, excellent as usual! ;)







SR, I wanted to hear the Magicos but this was really a SR tweak demo. Not that there's anything wrong with that...



Martin Logan and Benchmark, not the speaker I expected before walking in, but surprisingly good!







Vivid and Rowland





 
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bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,905
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London
#5
Reserved for Marc to ask about the Zu
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,596
493
83
#6
Joseph and Doshi ( I hope! ;))







Thrax w/Thrax Integrated. Super Clear and Lit-Up sound, Excellent...





Manger w/Bending Wave Driver... Sounds like an electrostat, very fast and clear.









Dali





ATC





Vienna, REL and Boulder... Very good, little too much sub... ;)



 
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DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,596
493
83
#7
Vivid and Lumin, Excellent!





Classe and Magico, Very Good!





Polk's new speaker... One of the 2 mid/tweet arrays cancels the opposite side's info so it reduces crosstalk like headphones. The result is imaging somewhat like headphones but not in your head, and it's also less sensitive to how far apart the speakers are. Very interesting! Sound wasn't bad apart from the tweeters lack of refinement. $6k/pair is CHEAP relative to everything else!





ELAC's new ribbon tweeter is pretty good. These vs the MLs? Both are surprisingly good speakers!







Troy and their GPA based speakers, really good sound! :)







 
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spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
9,070
1,073
113
E. England
#8
Likes: DaveC

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,344
805
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#9
Thanks Dave, great pics and coverage... big effort and much appreciated.
 
Likes: DaveC

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,635
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Boston, MA
#10
Thanks!
 
Likes: DaveC

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,596
493
83
#11
Lol... they were good... I think they've been pretty similar the last few times I've heard them. They've done a good job keeping the positive aspects of their design while moving the speakers closer to neutral and getting rid of the "PA" type colorations.

I feel the same about Zu as I do most single drivers, they're a good choice for some, especially at lower price points, but at the higher end of the spectrum multi-way speakers and ribbons have gotten so good I feel they're in another league.

It wasn't long ago that most multi-way speakers had serious issues, when YG first started they sounded horrible and Wilson was just bad circa Y2K or so, there were hundreds of demo systems at RMAF but only a few really good ones. Most commercial tweeters were horribly compromised and either soft or metallic sounding, speakers sounded disjointed and incoherent... in this environment there was a lot to like about a good single driver, but basically every advantage they can claim is a non-issue in modern high end speakers.

So yes, I like Zu quite a bit, but you just can't compare them to speakers like YG and AlsyVox... but of course the cost can't be compared either. ;)
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
9,070
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E. England
#12
Dave, that's fair enough. I'm never gonna be able to even think of affording top Wilsons and Alsyvox etc. Zu is in both my financial, and design ethos, sweetspots. It's good to know you're feeling they're evolving while keeping their core DNA sound. Kinda explains why I love modded idlers too. But that's a subject for another thread LOL...
 

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
1,348
712
113
Principality of Liechtenstein
#13
What amazes me time and time again is how every Hotel seems to manage to find carpets that are even more hideous than the ones in the other Hotels before :eek:
It seems to be a deadly vicious circle of bad taste :rolleyes:
Sorry for being partly OT
 
Jan 29, 2012
1,318
404
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#14
Dave, that's fair enough. I'm never gonna be able to even think of affording top Wilsons and Alsyvox etc. Zu is in both my financial, and design ethos, sweetspots. It's good to know you're feeling they're evolving while keeping their core DNA sound. Kinda explains why I love modded idlers too. But that's a subject for another thread LOL...
I’ve yet to hear a pair of YG’s that can convey the emotion and musical enjoyment of a pair of Zu’s. You get detail and transparency with the YG, but that’s all you get IMO.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
9,070
1,073
113
E. England
#15
Jeffrey, I'm WAY too much a gentleman to ever say such a thing. You must be a rogue and a rotter, a cad and a bounder, to say such things.

Expect someone to challenge you to a duel.
 
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DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,596
493
83
#16
I’ve yet to hear a pair of YG’s that can convey the emotion and musical enjoyment of a pair of Zu’s. You get detail and transparency with the YG, but that’s all you get IMO.
Well, I can totally see that as the Zus sound like a PA system so it makes it easy to close your eyes and imagine you're at your favorite rock-concert venue. YG just plays back what's on the recording... how boring! ;)
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
9,070
1,073
113
E. England
#17
Dave, I've got no axe to grind re YG. I've heard them sound v fine in one system. But this PA quality criticism of Zu is not really true. I have mine sounding outstanding in lots of high end attributes. OT, so that's all I wanna say.
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,596
493
83
#18
Dave, I've got no axe to grind re YG. I've heard them sound v fine in one system. But this PA quality criticism of Zu is not really true. I have mine sounding outstanding in lots of high end attributes. OT, so that's all I wanna say.
It was a joke... however, it was true some years ago.
 
Jan 4, 2019
58
59
18
64
#19
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest has moved to the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center in 2019. This is a big step up from the previous venue at Denver Tech Center and should encourage both vendors and participants who disliked the previous venue to attend once again. RMAF's previous location was ok until a couple years ago when a remodel caused all sorts of issues with use of the Hotel's larger rooms and suites, and the normal sized rooms became much less suitable for audio use with built-in furniture and new AC units. Attendance dwindled with a lot of the big name manufacturers choosing not to attend, and attendees also dwindled. This year I saw more major players, some new up-and-coming brands along with established brands and I also saw great attendance as well, with some rooms having waiting lines! The down side is Gaylord is HUGE and I hope some vendors didn't get skipped too often, many of the rooms were spread out and there wasn't quite enough signage making sure attendees knew where to go... You often saw folks looking down long corridors wondering if there were more demo rooms down there or not! OTOH there were maps in the booklets and on every floor showing attendees where to go, and it was a good idea to use the maps as simply wandering around can lead to some lost time going down long hallways to nowhere. I can see a few simple signs solving this issue in future years.

I forgot to get info on exactly what's in every room and what the room number was, so I'll do more posting of pics and less commenting. :) In general, the rooms sounded really good. The contrast between 2019 and what was at RMAF a decade + ago is amazing. When RMAF first started sound quality was generally very poor, it was difficult to find good sound. Quality of gear was often questionable and the setup of said gear even more questionable. Over the year we've seen steady improvement in all areas, both gear and setup is so much improved it's truly incredible. I think audio shows have done a lot to improve high end audio since RMAF started and to give credit where credit is due, RMAF was the first of it's kind. I'm happy to see such a great RMAF event and hope the new venue will return RMAF to the forefront of audio shows. Munich is too far away, and I think the Gaylord venue is probably far better anyways... ;)

Here's a shot of the inside of the Gaylord... this place is so large it has it's own indoor waterfalls, lakes and railroad car, probably it's own zip code!

I would sincerely like to thank Dave C for his tremendous pics and the insight to the new Venue. The new space (Gaylord) has way more positive attributes than negatives and that list can go on and on. In the end, for those like myself spending some time in the Rockies while there is a plus no other show in the US can accomplish. Just hoping it has a bright future.
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
3,317
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83
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#20
I’ve yet to hear a pair of YG’s that can convey the emotion and musical enjoyment of a pair of Zu’s. You get detail and transparency with the YG, but that’s all you get IMO.
That's why this hobby is so fascinating. To me, the YG's detail and transparency are means of communicating emotion and musical enjoyment. And they're (more than) perfectly adequate at that.
As for the Zus, I wouldn't listen to one if given to me for free.
Again, the ol' "horses for courses", etc, and the reason why this hobby is so interesting. And just talking about these things in forums cannot really convey what the systems will do, as emotions are intrinsically very personal, and what might make one laugh, might make someone else cry.
 

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