Capital Audiofest 2017

Discussion in 'Events & Happenings' started by Archguy, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. Archguy

    Archguy Life's 2 short 4 plastic speakers Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Richmond VA
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  2. FONSguy

    FONSguy Super Member

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    Actually it cost's about 16 bucks or so to get in.
     
  3. Archguy

    Archguy Life's 2 short 4 plastic speakers Subscriber

    Messages:
    767
    Location:
    Richmond VA
    Ack, you're right, it does cost. Not a word about it on their site mind you.

    Oh well, not the first time I've been naïve about things like this!
     
  4. DC

    DC "Manhattan Boy" Subscriber

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    Go. Just go.

    Really, I highly recommend to go if you can. It's ear-opening. Yes, most shows are tilted toward the high-end, but that's the best opportunity for the manufacturers and dealers to strut their best stuff to a captive and receptive audience. But there are always modest offerings to compare, too. You can talk to the designers, hear casual listening sessions as well as attend scripted, sequenced demos, and chat with other attendees about what they are hearing and liking, too.

    I've not been to Capital (though it's been on the radar) but I've been to RMAF in Denver several times and AXPONA in Chicago numerous times, too. I always come back home with a renewed sense of what's out there (a good perspective to have) yet I can always sit down to my own (yes, very modest) system and hear (through now enhanced ears/understanding) something it does a little better than I thought it did. I've never come home and decided that my system was trash and there was no point in going on and blah blah blah.

    Anyway, you get my point. If you're nearby and have the time, dooo eeet!
     
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  5. rromeo

    rromeo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I went a few years ago and they had a swap meet there with some good used items. They also had some beer! Lol. I heard some great systems that cost well over 100k. The best thing was going home and listening to my system costing oh so much less and thinking, hey this doesnt sound too bad in comparison.
    All in all a fun time.
     
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  6. empirelvr

    empirelvr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've been to almost every one since 2011. (Missed last year's.) Go! It's an incredible scene. Lot's of fun. Saw and heard lots of great gear over the years. I got to meet and chat with Mat and Harry of VPI, Greg Roberts of Volti Audio (His Vittora speaker is by far my favorite speakers heard at a show hands down. I wish I had the room they need and could afford them!) and even Art Dudley and Michael Fremer.
     
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  7. El Pee

    El Pee AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    In the groove
    I've been to a few of those and by far my favorite part is the gear/record swap meet in a lobby room or in the parking lot.
     
  8. FONSguy

    FONSguy Super Member

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    1,813
    Location:
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    My favorite thing was listening to the Hartsfields, but he's not bringing them anymore......
     
  9. kryten79

    kryten79 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    VA Outside D.C.
    I signed up on DC Audio DIY and am planning to attend the Capital Audio Fest. It may be a "High End" event but there are always people who know more than I do. I'll be picking brains between drooling over esoteric equipment.
    I am aware of a DC HiFi group that I haven't checked into yet. I'm assembling a Pioneer Silver Face setup now which doesn't preclude other gear at some point. So far the best sounding speakers I have heard are a pair of Klipschorns in a dedicated music room.

    Look me up, I'll be working a desk somewhere 4-6 Friday and 2-4 Sunday with the DCdiyaudio people. I'll be there Saturday afternoon with my wife and then going out to dinner at 7 at Nicks Chophouse with the group. I'll be the tall ugly middle-aged guy :rockon: -Rick
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
  10. Jeff449

    Jeff449 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    FWIW: Students and active military get in FREE. I am neither, tho. I live 15 minutes from the hotel. This will be my first convention of this type. I'm looking forward to it.
     
  11. Archguy

    Archguy Life's 2 short 4 plastic speakers Subscriber

    Messages:
    767
    Location:
    Richmond VA
    I may need a chaperone.

    Seriously, I'm hardly an experienced audiophile. Was into sound in college (like so many of us) and for a short while thereafter but that was in the 1980s! Just got back into it this summer. So I know next to nothing!

    The point here being: what's the one thing you read about more than anything else when it comes to higher-end audio? Soundstage. If I had a dollar for every time I've read that word these past few months, I could afford a whole new Mac system. But I'm not sure I've experienced the real thing. I keep reading about the ability to pick out and locate specific instruments and voices, and things like imaging (even 'are the images filled in or are they just outlined') and specificity etc etc. Not to mention depth of soundstage.

    I'm not sure I've ever experienced these things. So I'd love to be shown. If anyone has ten or fifteen minutes at the show to take me to the right place and sit me down and point out what I should be hearing, I'll buy you a drink, or dinner, or entrance to the show, whatever. Yeah I know the vendors can do this (in theory) but in practice I'm thinking they may be busy. Should I bring CDs? It does make sense that I should listen to music I know. But I sort of have trouble believing I'll have the opportunity to play my own music in someone's setup. I've never been to an audio show before. Advice welcome!
     
  12. squirrelnest

    squirrelnest Addicted Member

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    6,338
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    I went one year and enjoyed the food truck they had outside.
     
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  13. Ohighway

    Ohighway Wannabe Minimalist Subscriber

    I've been before. It's definitely worthwhile.

    One thing to keep in mind is that even though it is tilted towards high end, it's hard to evaluate the equipment because it's set up in a less than optimum environment.

    Still worth visiting though!
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
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  14. FONSguy

    FONSguy Super Member

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    1,813
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    VPI will probably be giving away more platter mats!
     
  15. kryten79

    kryten79 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    VA Outside D.C.
    I imagine that will not be an issue. I mean, a bunch of geeks and engineers in attendance. Shouldn't be hard to find one who is talkative!
    I'll be with the DCaudioDIY group off and on. Looking forward to my 1st show!
     
  16. dajack761

    dajack761 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Parkville, Maryland
    I'm heading there now.
     
  17. Jeff449

    Jeff449 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    So What did you guys think? This was my first event of this kind. Nice people all around. I enjoyed the original Quad electrostats from Tenacious and the Frederick room featuring the GT Audio Works GTA3R Planar/Ribbon
    Speakers. The VAC setup was really nice, too. All out of my league. My money went to El Suprimo Records for 50's rock and classical and to Sound Stage for the Beatles mono reissues. Then I listened to my modest home system (~$2500 in all). Not quite as nice as what I heard in SOME of the listening rooms, but at 1% of the price, it's pretty darn good!
     
  18. dajack761

    dajack761 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Parkville, Maryland
    I enjoyed the show! It was my first time attending such an event. It was really nice to hear all the cost object systems. I enjoyed the DIY system driving open baffle Tannoys and another room featuring Elekit tube amps and Aer custom open baffles. It was interesting to see how the different system configurations worked in small rooms versus larger rooms. I only spent a few hours on Sunday running from room to room, next year I will allow for time.
     
  19. jbailey930

    jbailey930 AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    756
    Location:
    N. Va
    damn i missed this again! wish it was this weekend since its so cold now. did anyone see DejaVu's room? did you hear his customer tubes and horns?
     
  20. Archguy

    Archguy Life's 2 short 4 plastic speakers Subscriber

    Messages:
    767
    Location:
    Richmond VA
    My first time at a show too, and I definitely enjoyed it. Friday evening was much more comfortable and low-key from my perspective than Saturday, which was a bit crazy and crowded. A few random impressions: Zesto Audio had a party going on, Sean Casey of Zu Audio is one dynamic & passionate individual, and Fern & Roby pulled out all the stops to create an impressive space to showcase their objects. I have to call them objects because they are such artifacts, as much to see and feel as to listen to, which may sound like faint praise, which leads me to:

    Came away feeling as though I wasn't missing too much in the SQ department. Most exhibitors (to my ears) were more interested in playing loud than playing well. But...this could just be my ears at fault. I'm certainly impressed with the serious and dedication nearly everyone brought to the game. I did feel there was a lot of emphasis on vinyl. Almost felt at some places like you're not cool if you're not into vinyl. (I have two TTs and a bunch of LPs...somewhere...so I'm not anti-vinyl but it's just not my thing at the moment.) Nonetheless overall it was fun and I'd do it again.

    ETA: These guys do it a lot better than I do. They're pros after all!
    https://www.stereophile.com/content/arts-saturday-afternoon-caf
    https://www.stereophile.com/content/arts-saturday-morning-caf
    https://www.stereophile.com/content/herbs-first-report-caf

    Guh, I think I missed half the show! Oh well, there's always next year.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017

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