Capital Audiofest 2022

Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by supertransformingdhruv, Oct 13, 2022.

  1. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    https://www.capitalaudiofest.com/

    Anyone else planning on going? I'll probably be there on the Saturday.

    Previous year threads:
    Based on the floor plan online, it looks like this year's show is going to have a few more exhibitors than last year.
     
  2. gaspasser

    gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    I’m hoping to go at least 2 of the days. We should try to get an SBAF group together to go out and grab beer(s) in the evening. There is a great place just a short drive down the road.
     
  3. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I'm still 50/50 on attending. But! if there's a group of unruly SBAFers drinking beers, I could be convinced to go. Were you thinking 7 Locks? If I go, any room that allows attendant music choices is going to be playing this if I have any say:



    Or this:

     
  4. Maven86

    Maven86 Almost "Made"

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    20 mins away, looks interesting... Will probably drop by for a day.
     
  5. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Any updates on this? I'm leaning closer towards going one of the days.
     
  6. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    I'm definitely going Saturday. I'd be up for some post-show beers with y'all at maybe 4 or 5 PM?
     
  7. Maven86

    Maven86 Almost "Made"

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    Sounds good, should be there on Saturday as well.
     
  8. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I'll do a PM with y'all tomorrow!
     
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  9. Climber

    Climber Facebook Friend

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    I'll be there Saturday, as well. Schedule is a little tight for me late afternoon but I'd be happy to join y'all if I can.
     
  10. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Best thing about today: everyone cleared out of the Marten speakers room and the rep asked me if I had any preferences.

    I said, "how about electronic?"

    "Daft Punk?"

    "Random Access?"

    "Sure, what track?"

    "12?"

    As soon as first synth bass note hits we both look at each other in horror because it's COMPLETELY sucked out.

    Rep immediately says, "ok good, we're not playing that one again in this room!"

    Nice to know some of these folks aren't compete assholes and are also willing to admit that sometimes $27k speakers will sound like garbage.

    My biggest surprise was AN UK room, running a Stellavox tape front end, playing some Count Basie, IIRC. Holy f'ing shit, this was the most dynamically engaging stereo experience I've ever had. Just gobsmackingly massive in it's dynamic contrast. For anyone that thought AN UK E's were limp dick, this was a solid Mike Tysons Punchout uppercut blast from 2 "wimpy" 8" woofer speakers.
     
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  11. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    This was my first audio show. There was way too much gear to listen to all thoroughly, esp. since it was mostly two channel stuff which I don't know much about. Below are some impressions and experiences, starting with HPs.

    What I wanted to hear most was the Raal SR1, having read about them so much. With the massive and expensive VM-1a amp, they were extraordinarily effortless, open and natural. Their sound wasn't fatiguing or thin as some have complained. I was most curious about the bass considering that some go to the crazy length of using a subwoofer. Their bass sounded more natural than other headphones, like it was being played in the center of a room. Comparatively, other headphones sound like the bass is stuffed in the corner of a room, booming and resonating away.

    I also heard them a solid state amp I don't remember. They sounded good, but not as great. The CA-1a had some of the SR1's mids magic and more conventional sounding bass, but lacked the unique openness and natural sound of the SR1.

    The Raal rep said they were pleased with the Jot-R, but since they had their own amps stopped selling them. He said it was a capable starting point but there was some grain to the sound that could be somewhat addressed through a pure silver capable costing twice the the Jot R. This inevitably led to a lengthy exposition on objectivism vs subjectivism in audio, with the conclusion being that current measurements only account for a fraction of what we hear.

    At some point I'd like to own the SR1. I have to find a more reasonably priced and compact tube amp alternative to the VM-1a. The Raal rep suggested the Ifi iCan Signature.

    I also heard the Susvara for the first time on a Headamp GSX. They were very balanced, technically impressive and enjoyable. However, compared to the SR1s, it was like a pleasing lacquer had been applied to the sound which made them less real sounding.

    A ton of the two channel rooms sounded like a hifi filter applied in photoshop (excuse the mixed simile). Super dynamic with lightning fast transients and great extension and imaging, but the timbre and tonality was not natural to me. Comparable to expensive multi driver BA or hybrid IEMs.

    Two natural sounding exceptions were the Audio Note room, which had the most righteous sounding 2 channel mids I heard, and the Philharmonic Audio room. The PA room just sounded correct and normal, like something you would want to listen to a lot and not just show off to your audiophile friends.

    Towards the end I stepped into the Geshelli HP room. They make super affordable amps, and were demoing them with some ZMF Atticus or Eikon (?). The sound didn't come close technically to most of the other gear I heard, but that wholesome ZMF sound was a relief after hearing so much show off sounding gear at the show.

    This song is kind of a summary of the experience.

     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2022
  12. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    Good stuff guys. Do y’all recall what amp was driving the AN speakers?
     
  13. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    Had a ton of fun at the show yesterday! I'm really happy to see the place fill up again after last year's low turnouts.

    It was really exciting to hear the new Mofi speaker by Andrew Jones. I've been hearing a lot about it, and it was really cool to see what this guy can do when he's not building to a budget. Definitely one of my favorite rooms of the show. Honestly, if my room was a little bit bigger, I'd seriously consider picking up a pair.

    They were driving the SourcePoint 10s with some HiFi Rose stuff. The streamer has a nice screen, slick animations, and seemed to work pretty well with both the ipad and the remote. I guess it does everything I expect you to get at the price point ($2.5k). If I recall correctly, the integrated is a GaN class D amp. The completely unnecessary gears looked pretty neat, and I didn't have a problem with anything I heard. Makes me want to stick these speakers on some Tyrs though.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The other big standout to me was this MC Audiotech speaker. I don't know what this is called, but these are the guys who made the sail speakers (https://mcaudiotech.com/). These use a semi-open baffle (open towards the center) on a transmission line of AMTs, plus a back loaded horn on the big bass driver (which apparently makes it act like a dipole). They did really well in this tiny room, and the rep was explaining how this configuration eliminates side-wall interactions while giving a nice wide soundstage.

    [​IMG]

    Another interesting speaker I hadn't heard of was the Diptyque, aka French Magnepan. Could be cool to see some competition in this space-- but while I thought they compared favorably vs. my Magnepan LRS, I didn't think they were "10x the price" better. I think this room was run by TheListeningRoom, so they might have Diptyques in stock now/soon.
    [​IMG]

    I really wish the PAP room would just bring something that isn't the horn. Does anyone really want to hear the horn? When I was in there, the other folks were asking "hey do you have the other versions of the speaker?"
    [​IMG]

    We had a great time at the Audeze table! I had a pretty pleasant time with the new MM-500, which is a lot more diffuse-field sounding than your typical Audeze flagship. The rep also brought out a Euclid for me to try. Sad to learn that I really liked it-- I was kind of hoping it would be in the same league as the 7Hz Timeless, but it turned out to be pretttttty good.

    We also continued to love the CRBN. We really liked it last year, but I was expecting to be less impressed by it the second time around. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But it can be as good as it wants, I can't afford to get into electrostats.
    [​IMG]

    We also tried out the Geshelli room, with the ZMF headphones. This was my first time getting to hear them, but I didn't come away too impressed. I'm going to blame the amplification for that one. I was pretty annoyed at myself for missing the RAAL tables by the garage entrance. I only saw them on my way out, and they were already packed up.

    Quick roundup of the rest (more pics in https://imgur.com/a/chJ7YSh)
    • VKMusic is a pretty cool guy. Apparently his frankenstein AERs are his own creation designed to sound good in show conditions. Might have helped if he closed his doors, there were some weird suckouts in the midrange which made everyone sound a little metallic.
    • The Joseph Audio Pulsar 2 Graphene continues to be an excellent little speaker, but I think it jumped up a couple grand in price. Makes sense w/ cost of materials and stuff, but oof.
    • A lot of perfectly fine 20-30k speakers like the Marten, Von Schweikert, and KEF continue to be fine, but overall less good than the Joseph.
    • Feeling let down by my culture. What was wrong with the RETHMs? It was like separate L and R channels that didn't come together at all.
    • They got rid of the Ultra 11s in the big room. The smaller Von Schweikerts definitely sounded more like good speakers and less like alien creations. Wouldn't have hurt to bring some foam though-- the reverb in that room was godawful.
     
  14. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    I've tried a LOT of amps with the RAAL. You're better off with the Tyr.
     
  15. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Tomei, IIRC.

    Edit, also going through my notes on my phone, shout out to the High Water Sound room for playing a ~30 minute set of awesome hip hop featuring Madlib, Kendrick Lamar, and J Dilla.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2022

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