2019 RMAF Reports

RMAF Member comments:

Jeff's Jabs:
 Denver 2019

Why did so many big names opt out of the show this year?

-The moved venue location? Of course a Gaylord hotel room is no larger than

 anywhere else so the sound quality was no different than you get in any little room.

-The doubled exhibitor rates? Some makers sent products to be used by others.

 Magico & Schiit for example, others were no hears-Spendor.

-The story I was told by exhibitors in a couple of "Sans Sound" rooms (no speakers playing) was

  that their room is a "Exhibition" room. Come in and look around. Personally

  I can do that online. I came to hear sound!!  Tannoy/Spendor

Another exhibitor  told me  bigger companies offer to pay the room fee

and sent gear if the smaller name brand sat the booth. Fair enough but not a good look

for the bigger company without a rep.

But "Something is Rotten in Denver" as the expression goes.

-The 2 hour line for prepaid attendees to pickup their badges was ominous foreshadowing of what was to come.

-15-30 minute waits to be seated for lunch.

-No staff tending the main bar. Table service, oh no honey! . Go wait at the bar to order.

-The building is so oversized and out of scale with the environment. The  place needed moving sidewalks. The Hotel staff was very friendly.

If the event producers wanted to be near the Gateway Airport, then why not hold it at the Westin?

It is an integral part of Gateway. No cab required. Airport menus prices are nothing compared to GayLord's Resort "Captive Audience" pricing.

End of "Rag, momma Rag!!"


Hegel- An older hippie dude gave a wonderful answer to my question "What makes

the Hegel line sound better than the competition"? His answer ran about 3 minutes

and convinced me. I am way too technically challenged to attempt to retell it.

The new $6k model 390 is the hot ticket.

Salk-Jim had his $10k Top of the Line side mounted woofer models playing rock and roll. He introduced a

prototype-a beautifully finished smaller 2 way stand mount due out in 2020. A favorite stop. Jim is a sweetheart.

His room is always busy. His artwork is worth the wait.

Fyne- This newer company now has official USA distribution. Stephen Daniels, The Sound Organization.

This was their first "Show" as such. The company is composed of a huge brain trust who left Tannoy after the 2015 takeover.  

They had a huge corner suite with what looked like the entire line. About 8 different models as I recall

ranging from $500-$1000 stand mount speakers to 3 floor standers from $1,000-$2,500.

Capped off with a $10k model. A safe bet they will be players going forward.

PS Audio- Knows how to display their booth. Great Merchandising. Even better the

speaker concept they have been playing with for years is actually starting to sound good.

Paul is one dedicated and stubborn dude.

McIntosh: Had their new tube Hybrid Integrated on hand along with a $5k set of speakers

and the higher end model made at the Sonus Faber Factory. Sound was not bad.The  Blue lights

will always draw me in.

ATC- Blasted away with their Active 50s. Sound was probably excellent but I needed ear protection

so I couldn't stay. Many did however. If I sit loud rooms on day 1 by day two my ears hurt & nothing sounds


Elac- Was playing a tiny desk top Speaker which listed at about $1,000. Pretty nice sound.

These days $1,000 will buy some amazing sounding speakers from several firms.

Innous- This company has added a separate Clocker piece. About $3,600. It does things I can't begin to

explain. These people believe that you can load your CDs in any of their machines for storage and the playback

can be better than the original CD. $4,200 for model I covet. These people are the undisputed leaders.

Sanders- Still the most moving, realistic sound I hear. Electrostatics. $17k includes a $5,000 1,000 watt stereo amp.

Quit talking about small sweet spots. This is one spot worth sitting in. If you need an education on sound, sit and listen

at the feet of the master for a few minutes.

Dali- They had speakers in two rooms. The Euphonia replacement at $20k was killer!! Even in a closet-sized room

without room correction. Hooray to the Dali Boys of Denmark.

Tekton- Eric Anderson was playing his big Moabs in Blue. Very Tall and very flashy. The room was loaded with people.

Borresen- Okay I admit I am in love their $35k stand mount. Lars Kristen Kristensen gave a very detailed 6 minute lecture on the technical

build incorporated in their product. Equipment was all Borresen as well. Check Youtube for a complete explanation.

NAD- The Masters Series has a new Integrated Amp with Dirac correction built in. $2,800 and it looks as good or better than the Naim product

they modeled. Very Cool approximately 3" x 3" color screen on the front. About 1/4 the size of traditional gear. They will sell a load of this one.

Vinnie Rossi-One of the few rooms that understands good sound can be enjoyed at 75db and lower.

Showed his new Integrated Tube Hybrid. Quite lovely. The $10k QLN Speakers are smooth. A gentleman.

Schiit- Displayed their new $800 TT. Looks cool and no doubt they will be blowing them out for sometime.

Sadly they were another check writing firm that couldn't make it to the show.

Disappointments: Sonus Faber, Vandersteen, Klipsch and ZU Audio.

Music and Headphone Hall- Busiest place at the show.

I bought one of Mark Waldrep's DVD recordings. Beyond special what he does with a microphone.

Acoustics Sounds had many temptations as did the friendly Chinese lady who

sells imported music employing some instruments you may really enjoy.

Best of all most booths had headphones so you may "listen before you buy".

Disclaimer: I did not go in every room. All prices are approximate. Opinions may vary.