Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2017

Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2017

Written by Bill Leebens

RMAF this year was back to full size, with the memories of tents and blocked-off rooms behind us. The show seemed particularly busy Friday morning, as you can see from the long line at registration shown above. The rest of the weekend seemed busy, with traffic waxing and waning as always. I saw more younger folk and females this year, and was glad of that. 140+ rooms made it challenging for anyone to cover all the rooms (not to mention the Marketplace and 70 tables in CanJam); as usual, I saw only a fraction of the exhibits. Sorry!

The day before the show: clear skies, beautiful weather, changing leaves. Perfect.

The all-new exterior of the Denver Marriott Tech Center. More than one exhibitor passed by the place, not recognizing it!

The fancy-schmancy lobby. It’s a lovely place…but some of us miss the Rancho Deluxe vibe of the old interior.

The completely-remodeled restaurant area. Those windows above used to be rooms with balconies. No more water balloons from drunken exhibitors….

Enter if you dare….

Can Jam: back in its proper space, after last year’s tent show. The calm before the storm.

Full house. What a difference a few hours makes.

This was a busy place. As always, I was struck by the relative silence. Headphones!

Tonearm gurus Tri Mai of Triplanar and Frank Schröder of…Schröder.

Paul McGowan of PS Audio, Schiit-head Jason Stoddard, Audiophiliac Steve Guttenberg.

Chad Kassem of Acoustic Sounds, in the marketplace.

Axiss Audio demoed speakers from Swiss company Piega with Air Tight amps.

Full house at Exogal, w/ CEO Jeff Haagenstad.

The cast-iron speakers from JERN, with the affable Ole Lund Christensen.

A badly-backlit “Captain” Bob Carver with his ribbon speakers. Lighting in exhibit rooms was often challenging.

Sam Willett of Classic Album Sundays, pre-recital.

Madisound featured speaker kits and components, as usual.

The amazing Vanatoo Zero speakers in the $500 Entry-Level room offered a real taste of major league sound for minor league bucks.

One of the Innovations rooms showed prototypes of a desktop acoustic lens system. Umm.

JWM Acoustics in the Al Stiefel room offered great sound and beautiful gear, including…

…genuinely stunning turntables, based around Rega components.

A striking cherry red amp from Dan D’Agostino—another challenging display to photograph.

Reel-to-reel tape decks in the J-Corder room.

Musical Surroundings had an impressive display of Clearaudio turntables.

The inimitable Philip O’Hanlon demonstrating Gryphon gear from Denmark.

The impressive VAC/Tannoy system.

Bea Lam of VTL demonstrating the Vandersteen/VTL system.

The PS Audio/Focal/REL system…which sounded pretty terrific, if I do say so myself.

The Rocky Mountain International Hi-Fi Press Awards, hosted by Roy Gregory.

Jana Dagdagan and Herb Reichert (the man, the myth, the legend) of Stereophile.

Dave Clark of Positive Feedback; Tyll Hertsens of InnerFidelity; Marjorie Baumert, head of RMAF; Michael Lavorgna of AudioStream and Stereophile.

At show’s end: Herb; Leebs; Scot Hull of Parttime Audiophile; Brian Hunter of AudioHead; Carol and Dave Clark; Jana; innocent bystander Alan Kafton; Michael; Tyll.

The day after the show: welcome to Colorado! Say hi, Buster!

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