The Hub: Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2010

The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) annually marks the onset of several seasons: the pre-Christmas selling season; fall, in earnest; and for those in the industry, a warm-up to CES.

Compared to the trade-only CES in the manic, smoke-filled circus atmosphere of the Venetian in Las Vegas, RMAF is a more relaxed scene at the calmer, greener venue of the Denver Marriott Tech Center. The open nature of the show means the attendees are both younger and less arrogant than your average, jaded CES-er.

And, oh: compared to CES, you'll see a lot more female attendees. In Vegas, most females seen are associated with exhibitors, and an unfortunate percentage of them are scantily-clad, and either hold signs or point at something. So much for equality in the industry.

But we digress. One female who's clearly in charge is the endlessly-patient Marjorie Baumert, whose show this is. As pretty much everyone knows, Marjorie's husband Al Stiefel was one of the show's organizers when he passed away unexpectedly. Marjorie took over the management of the show, juggling the unending stream of challenges with an uncommon charm and grace.

So we have a successful show that builds on its strengths from year to year. This seventh edition of RMAF will have exhibitors ranging all the way from Aaudio to Zu. We'll have the popular Can Jam area sponsored by Head-Fi, with a variety of exhibitors featuring headphones and portable gear. We'll have a variety of interesting seminars covering everything from computer audio to speaker design, featuring some of the best-known designers and writers in the business. For the cost of a freakin' audiophile CD--$25-- you can go all 3 days. If you're a student, you only pay half that. If there is a screaming deal to be found in audio today, this is it, friends.

And that doesn't even begin to address the variety of gear that'll be seen in the exhibits. Killer headphones and amps from Sennheiser and the infamous Schiit, amongst others; budget gear that doesn't sound at all budget from Virtue, Peachtree and Audioengine, among others. Speakers will range from the tiny Amphion Ion to monoliths from Wilson, YG, Magico and Tidal.
Horn speakers? There'll be examples from Oswalds Mill, Classic Audio and Horning, along with many others. Electrostats? King Sound.

You'll see more analog products that you would've in 1973. Turntables from Galibier, TT Weights,SOTA, VPI,Artemis Labs and many others. Tonearms from TriPlanar, Schroder, Durand, Thales, and more. Cartridges? Sound Smith, Miyajima, Dynavector, and lots more.

Cables? Ultralink, Cardas, Kimber, TelWire, JPS Labs and more. Digital? Wadia, EMM, MSB, the Memory Player and many others. Servers, streamers, every form of digital you can imagine.

Take a look at the full exhibitor list, and you'll see the full array. See you this weekend!

Friday, Oct. 15 – noon to 6pm
Saturday, Oct. 16 – 9am to 6pm
Sunday, Oct. 17 – 9am to 4pm
It amazes me how this show continues to grow in scope. I attended the first four shows. And each time was better than the last. I think what makes this show so much better than the mega CES shows is that the aim is at the targeted high end. Plus each time there the overall ambiance of the show was very friendly not only from the vendors but from the consumer point of view. Gad who would thunk it way back at the first RMAF that it would have the impact it has today and no less in Denver of all places. My hats off to them - well done.
An update from RMAF, one day to go.
The halls are packed with exhibitors bringing in gear and setting up. It's 60 degrees (F), clear skies. The mountains are snowy and the leaves are turning.

This is not yo' daddy's audio show. There will be tons of new-tech demos and exhibits, plenty of chances to look at gear, listen to music, maybe go into town and hit one of many local brewpubs.

A one-day pass is less than that movie you'll forget as soon as you throw your Junior Mints box away. If you hadn't planned to attend...


RMAF is awesome. The vibe is great :-) Another great feature are the seminars...many, many fascinating topics!
Scheduling precludes my and my spouse's return for 2010, regrettably :-(