This is a really great audio show. It must have something to do with the crisp mountain air or the approaching cold weather, but it’s been a really good day. The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is a comfortable affair…the staff is helpful and friendly, the attendees seem genuinely interested in what you have to say, and more than a few customers walked away with a serious number of my recordings. I didn’t bring enough.
I arrived in Denver yesterday in the late afternoon. Drove my Chevy rental car to the Denver Tech Center Marriott and dropped off my two large suitcases at my booth location. As I was about to leave, I noticed my friend Ray Kimber standing outside the large ballroom at the end of the lobby. The RMAF is a show that Ray does right. His demo room is 60 x 60 with another equally large room with tables and a grand piano in the middle. He’s holding concerts after hours.
Ray partnered with MartinLogan and EMM Labs. When I walked in they were setting up 4 very big Martin Logan Electro Static speakers…I mean really large. This is new model called the Neolith and the bright red ones that I saw are beautiful to look at. Looking at their website, the frequency range spec is 23–22,000 Hz ±3dB. In the world of high-resolution logos and such…they couldn’t wear the JAS Hi-Res Audio logo but that probably doesn’t matter.
Power for the MartinLogans is being delivered by four new EMM Labs amplifiers…I think I saw an MTK on the signs as I visited the room today. Last evening the guys told me they were $130,000 for a stereo setup. Ray’s room was demonstrating the high end of the marketplace. And I’m sure that his cables were equally pricey.
I went in to the room this afternoon to hear the system and recognized Stravinsky’s “Firebird” playing. It was being performed by a Wind Symphony/Marching Band and was recorded using Ray’s unique “IsoMike” technology. Here’s a picture of the elaborate baffling system that he’s developed.
Figure 1 – A picture of the IsoMike hanging in front of a stage.
The “Firebird” recording was done outside. Ray’s got some serious pull with the university in Utah where he often records. The police shut down roads, the HVAC system for the entire campus is turned off, and even the local airport advises general aviation to avoid the stadium area. The performance was good…and it sounded like a very good sonic documentary of the band. The percussion was especially powerful and direct.
I applaud Ray for keeping up the fight for surround recordings. I’m not a huge fan of the IsoMike because I personally prefer a closer sound but he manages to pull off some big productions. I wish I had the resources to continue producing new recordings.
It was great to meet some regular readers of the blog and all of the usual audiophile folks…Peter McGrath, Jonathan Reichbach of Amarra, Bob Hodas, and Rory Rall from Benchmark. Now I have to pry myself away from my tables and visit the rooms in the towers.
The “Music and Audio Guide” campaign is still running although it has slowed down over the past 48 hours, which is to be expected. I approached Ray about contributing an interview about cable design and he told me, “I’m definitely not saying no.” That’s Ray. And Jonathan Reichbach told me he’s happy to do an interview. He’s got his fingers in a bunch of things including MQA…so that will be interesting. Stop by the Kickstarter “Music and Audio” page if you’re interested in backing the book and Blu-ray production.