With up to 75 rooms to cover on multiple floors of the Marriott’s tower, I decided to check out Synergistic Research’s much-heralded new products before the show officially began. Inventor Ted Denney decided to dem his new babies, not with the expected megabuck system, but rather with a Bose radio. Positioned atop one of his Tranquility Bases, used as shelves on a Solid Tech rack, the radio played a vocal track by Anne Vada and Aki Fukakura as Denney demonstrated the cumulative effects of his tiny aluminum passive HFTs (High Frequency Transducers, $299/5 pack), active FEQ (Frequency Equalizer, $750), and Tranquility Bases. (In the photo, Ted is pointing to the HFT affixed to the front of the radio.)
Every year, the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, which starts today in the Denver Tech Center Marriott, kicks off with a pre-show gathering for exhibitors and press in the hotel’s Atrium. With each attendee handed two coupons for free drinks, it’s a great way to come down after an intense day of travel and room set-up. Show organizer Marjorie Baumert, shown with Ric Mancuso of Reference Recordings, was having an especially jolly time celebrating the show’s 10th Anniversary.
For its 10th anniversary, the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest has lined up some stellar entertainment. With more than a little help from Kimber Kable, Nordost Corporation and Reference Recordings, Marjorie Baumert began the celebration with a pre-show performance by vocalist Lillian Boutté. The only musician since Louis Armstrong to be decorated Ambassador of Music by the city of New Orleans, Boutté brought her 30 years of experience with jazz, gospel, and R&B to the first of three performances at the show. Backing her up were Eric Gunnison on piano, Mike Marlier on drums, Mark Simon on bass, and a singer whose name was not listed in the program.
The 2013 Burning Amp, the DIYAudio forum's "annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and self-reliance," got off to a slow start. Although a semi-hidden posting about the one-day, all-volunteer event, held in six rooms at San Francisco's Fort Mason Center on Sunday, October 6, appeared months ago, the email blast to the Burning Amp mailing list only went out late on October 3. As a result, attendance was light, making it much easier to listen to music in the extremely live, audio unfriendly rooms.
Central to every Burning Amp is Nelson Pass (above), whose boundless generosity and support to DIYers worldwide has made him a father figure of sorts.
Everyone's favorite audio show is about to get underway. The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest returns to the Denver Marriott Tech Center on October 1113.
RMAF may not be the biggest consumer audio show in North Americathat honor recently passed to T.H.E. Show Newport Beachbut even without a cigar show, car show, wine show, and airport right across the street, RMAF's 440 brands spread over 138 hotel rooms, 25 big rooms (and three more at the Hyatt across the street), a CANJAM headphone ballroom hosting a record 37 exhibitors, 14 software vendors (CDs, LPs, etc.), and 26 lobby exhibits is definitely something to get excited about.
In what may be a record period for audio show acquisitions. Connecticut-based trade show company JD Events has acquired AXPONA (Audio Expo North America). The announcement follows on the heels of UK-based The Chester Group's announcement that it has bought Montreal's Salon Son et Image, and gotten out of the way of AXPONA Chicago by moving its New York Show to a fall date in Brooklyn.
In its own words, JD Events "is dedicated to the creation of targeted and innovative industry-leading events that deliver results. The company brings together highly qualified buying audiences, education-rich content and high-level networking opportunitiesall geared toward increasing business transactions in the markets it serves."
Roy Bird's UK-based Chester Group, which currently produces the New York Audio Show, has announced the acquisition of Montreal's Salon Son et Image. While the show will continue to take place in Montreal's Hilton Bonaventure in late MarchMarch 2830 in 2014Sarah Tremblay, former co-producer of Montreal show with her husband, Michel Plante, will join the Chester Group team and assume overall management of both North American shows.
In addition, to avoid 2013's industry-taxing situation of the Montreal, Chicago, and New York shows taking place with only two or three weeks between each, the Chester Group has decided to move the New York show from April to September.
The fourth California Audio Show had just come to an end, but from the vigor with which the Music Lovers Audio staff launched into take down (above), it could have just as well been set-up day. Perhaps some of their energy reserves arose from the fact that attendance seemed significantly lighter than anticipated, even on Saturday.
Why have I devoted so much time and energy to writing up rooms at what was essentially a modestly sized regional show? To my way of thinking, exhibitors, both newbies and industry regulars, invested so much time and energy into making a good showing at CAS that I owe it to them to help get the word out far beyond the limited number of attendees.
Hey, we were in earthquake country, the land from which Carole King may have received inspiration to write, "I Feel the Earth Move Under my Feet." Then again, she could have received equal inspiration from the Von Schweikert VR-100 XS 4-piece loudspeaker system ($140,000/pair). Paired with the debut of Raven Audio's Silhouette monoblock amplifiers ($12,995/pair) and Reference Silhouette preamplifier ($12,995), it sure inspired me with its ability to move air with musicality.
There's nothing like highlighted text from Stereophile brother Art Dudley to get a fellow writer's attention. Then again, so do the Burwell & Sons Homage Series loudspeakers ($80,000/pair), whose price will tempt many vintage horn lovers to burn a hole their pockets.