Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2011 exceeded expectations……so many exhibitors and attendees. Great Show! Exhibitors filled the Denver Marriott Tech Center this past week, October 14-16. Jim Clements, Senior Editor, covered the show for SECRETS of Home Theater this year. And was it busy…some very special sounds and spectacular products. Jim’s coverage includes many great names in Audio…..Linn, Legacy Audio, Harman Kardon family, Velodyne, Naim, NAD, Clarus, ClearAudio, OPPO, Acoustic Signature, DynAudio, Emotiva, and so much more.
The 2011 installment of the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest turned out to be the tale of two technologies. I am personally something of a generational ‘tweener’. I was born at the tail end of the Baby Boom Generation – but I’m not really a Baby Boomer and I’m not really a GenXer. I am young enough that there was a computer in my HS math class. I am old enough that I completely grew up on analog audio.
It warms my heart in a number of ways to see and hear the resurgence of vinyl. You will find a lot of pictures of turntables in my blog below. I also enjoyed the rooms with active open-reel tape demos. Nothing can get your foot tapping better than analog audio.
However, this was the year that I really started to appreciate the vast potential of digital music. The first point is access and diversity as artists can make their own recordings and sell them directly over the web. The second point is convenience with wireless streaming and music servers. The third point is the quality. I now declare that the digital revolution has evolved to the point that it can satisfy hardcore audiophiles everywhere.
Almost every manufacturer has music streamers and DAC’s on the market. Many of them have their own twist on how they think the bits should be sliced and diced. In the end, though, the winner is you, the audiophile consumer. Because the sound quality of digital is really coming into it’s own these days. The Resolution Audio Cantata shown above is a major realization of this new breed. Heck, I even think Class D amps are finally starting to fulfill their potential.
Now I need to learn more about jitter, bits, bytes, asynchronous, and on and on. Me thinks this will be fun!