RMAF 2017: A preview (of sorts)

Dear Santa, All I want for Xmas is my RMAF

by Eric Franklin Shook

I’m not the long winded bullshit artist you might have originally thought or hoped me to be. I lean towards the succinct, overshare constantly, and alienate people with my well thought out, and controversial opinions. Cutting right to it, recently my morning rituals have been upended. The setting of my alarm clock hasn’t changed, but prior to this week I’ve been wide awake before my trusty ’60s Timex had the chance to buzz. Why you may ask? I’ve got Rocky Mountain Audio Fest Fever baby!

It’s true, I am overly excited to cover Rocky Mountain Audio Fest for a mixed bag of reasons.

  • Because Scot asked me to. Meaning he’s either desperate or actually likes what I do.
  • I can reconnect with audiophile friends from around the country.
  • I can meet with audiophile friends from around the country for the first time.
  • I can reinvigorate my thirst for new gear, new music, and old whiskey.

Needless to say I’m ready for the unique experience that our great Denver show has to offer. Different than AXPONA, different from Capital Audiofest, I’m nevertheless expecting to be wowed.

CanJam 2017

This will be like a second date for me. Earlier in the year AXPONA’s Ear Gear Expo was a first date for me, and I can feel myself falling in love with what I’ve heard from the likes of Audeze, Questyle, ZMF, Schiit, and Meze so far. Can’t wait to see what I discover this year at Can Jam.

Reel to Reel

Tapes continue to excite me more than anything else I hear at the shows. Sorry MQA, you might have to take second chair for a moment. Sitting before a well curated tape system is like nothing I can explain. I’m sure an out of work poet or writer out there might try, but why even dare. It’s vastness, depth, and realism are not to be trifled with in mere words.

Budget Gear

This bracket really interests me. I’m not wealthy by any monetary measure, nor are most of my non-audiophile friends. I’m often asked about what can be had on blue-collar wages to start listening to vinyl in a serious capacity. Thanks to companies like VPI, U-Turn, and Pro-Ject, it doesn’t require loss of a financial limb. FIVE rooms at this years RMAF will focus on systems ranging from $500 USD to $5,000 USD – what is more exciting than that?

The Experience

Gear aside, the experience of attending an audio show is something I think is grossly overlooked in the media, and I hope to change that. Beyond the drinking, and cigar smoking the show itself offers so much to love. Classic Album Sunday’s listening sessions, After Hours listening parties, panel discussions about the future of the industry, and maybe even another fist fight or two. Who knows?