Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2012 – First Impressions

Registration desk on Day One of RMAF 2012

As someone who had never attended the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest before, I was struck by not only the scope of exhibits but the range of learning opportunities available.  This year’s theme of “Feasting on the Future of Sound” was underscored by seminars about encouraging your friends to pick up the hobby, to headphones, to HDMI audio (look for another post about seminars in the coming week!).  In talking with several manufacturers and dealers, I learned that high end audio at affordable prices usually meant a downgrade of quality, but they’ve refocused their efforts to develop less costly products while maintaining the earmarks of “good sound.”

This is great news for the newer audiophiles I spoke with.  Many of them were first-timers, like me, approaching the hobby with caution.  As several of you are already aware, it’s easy to get carried away and consider taking out a second mortgage just to feed your habit!  I met a couple from Seattle on the first day of RMAF who initially seemed pessimistic about finding items in their price range, but by the third day, they’d made 180 degree turn, already beginning to figure out a workable budget that didn’t involve saving their pennies for years.

But, it wouldn’t be an Audio Fest without those items for which you’d think about selling your firstborn.  Keep an eye on the Audiogon blog for more images, videos, and reports from RMAF 2012 in the coming week. Take a look at the gallery below to get a taste of what’s to come!

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Anna Verdier | Audiogon

5 thoughts on “Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2012 – First Impressions

  1. James Vollan says:

    The Rocky Mountain Audio Show was as good as it gets. Lots of products with the show people willing to spend time to demonstrate and discuss their products. Bring your own music and try it on the new equipment. There were plenty of show specials that helped make buying new equipment more affordable.

  2. It was my 1st time at this show. I have been to many others and was told that this had a much more intimate feel (if you want to call 14 floors of equipment intimate). I did feel more of a sense of caring than other shows I have been to and the very informative and intimate seminars were what made the show for me. I learned a lot and I have been doing ‘high-end’ audio for many years. Though almost all of the merchants on the ground floor were wonderful, the show did have it’s usual ‘I’m having too much drinking fun to’ take care of business folk. I had driven 1,000 miles to attend and had planned to put down $1200-$1500 on a pre-pre amp but having a good time was more of a priority with this group. But that’s OK, I’ll spend my money locally now and not on the web where they do most of their business… I would highly recommend going to this show to anyone who wants to get the most out of their music and getting a little more educated through the seminars. Great show.

  3. Michael Hunt says:

    No vendors would play the disc and usb stick I brought. One insisted on blasting a 24/96 of Yes’ Close to the Edge for almost an hour.

    • James Vollan says:

      I had no trouble getting at least three vendors to play a disk that I had purchased at the show. I was comparing what I heard on my home system to the new equipment at the show. Emotiva and several others allowed me to play all I wanted to hear. In the past, I have met some vendors who did not welcome music from people at the show. One thing I noticed, is that many of the vendos were running everything strickly digital and did not have the ability to play disks or records.

  4. MusicGuy says:

    A friendly, great show for learning with many seminars, demos and one-on-ones in manufacturers rooms. For example, where else do you get a show within a show just for headphones and their related equipement? Certainly less vinyl playback on show in the demo rooms than last year but still well represented.

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