RMAF 2012 the Wrap!

People. Music. Enjoyment.

In my opinion, this is what our hi-fi hobby is all about. What's its not about is finding fault in a comparative or theoretical way. While differences and ideas are rampant, a hi-fi show smacks you upside your head with the fact that people make hi-fi gear and while theories and attitudes go into the mix, entering different rooms is like entering different worlds in terms how each person decides to approach reproducing music. In the end its people's enjoyment of music that is the deciding factor and even here we have nearly as many points of view as people. I know for some this notion of enjoyment is a constant source of frustration because they know they're right and everyone who disagrees with them is wrong. From my way of seeing and listening, the only positive outcome of this attitude is a lot of frown lines.

Marjorie Baumert, the RMAF show director, and the entire RMAF crew from the Colorado Audio Society deserve a huge thank you for a job very well done. I found the general mood and climate of the show to be very positive, upbeat and lively. Attendance, especially on Friday and Saturday, was high judging from the crowds in the rooms and the wait at the Tower Floor elevators. I would also say that overall exhibitors were getting good sound in their challenging hotel rooms. My one complaint, and I do realize this is a difficult issue to balance, is what I'll call unimaginative music choices. Stevie Ray Vaughan cannot be happy about his use as the default demo track for safe bluesy rock and what's with all of the overly polite instrumental cover tunes of classic rock? Give me some edge, some noise, some attitude! Music is supposed to be a tonic not a tranquilizer.

I also want to thank all of the AudioStream readers that went out of their way to say hello. I wish I had more time to talk about what it is you like and don't like about AudioStream since I value your input and enjoy hearing different points of view. Maybe I can host a seminar something along the lines of "How Can We Make AudioStream Better?" My one stipulation being this seminar will be held at the bar.

After all, I'm only one person and there was a ton of gear and rooms I missed at RMAF 2012 and I'd like to apologize to those exhibitors I did not get to. The sheer number of rooms presented an impossible task so I tried to focus on new gear and those rooms I thought would be of interest to our readers but I know I missed some of both.

On that note, I would highly recommend checking out the Stereophile show coverage by John Atkinson, Stephen Mejias, Art Dudley and Jason Victor Serinus, Tyle Hertsens coverage of all things personal audio over on InnerFidelity, and for all things analog, Michael Fremmer's AnalogPlanet. Between these Source Interlink Media websites, you should get a very broad and extensive look at RMAF 2012.

CG's picture

I agree with the opinion expressed in the first real paragraph.  

There really is some bad equipment being sold now, as there has been in the past.  Probably in the future, too,  This gear is not reliable and not supported well.  But, those are issues you find in every market for goods there is.  Avoid those vendors as you would the plague.

That is quite different from how various products sound, especially as part of a system. People really do have different sensitivities to sound, music, and lots of other stimuli to their senses (use your imagination here...).  How folks perceive these, and what they like and don't like, is a nice subject for casual talk, but it really isn't anything evil or fraudulent, as some otherwise smart people often argue.

hotsoup's picture

Great coverage - it made me want to be there. As for SRV, I had to laugh because that's what was played for me recently at my local hi-fi. It must be hard to pick music though, honestly. There is no pleasing everyone, especially with music. I tend to enjoy any genre except Cajun/zydeco. Or pop country. Or 90's R'n'b. See, I'm already a snob!