Capital AudioFest Chronicles 2022
We often think our systems end at the wall with the possible addition of an audiophile duplex outlet. But a dedicated line with an audiophile-grade cable takes it back to the breaker box. And this is where Kingrex picks up the ball and takes it that final yard to the public utility feed. There's always something new to learn.
Montrose (revisited) Odyssey
I don't know what the speakers were, but the Symphonic Line amplification brought the music to life and in the cover of candlelight, the emotions poured forth. The experience was about the experience — listening in the dark, surrendering to the music. Sure, the Symphonic Line gear is great, and the rig was perfectly set up within the dimensions of the room, but the attention to ambiance and the quality of the music itself delivered the best few moments of the show for me. After a few minutes, I realized it wasn't going to get any better than this, so I got up and motioned for someone else to take my seat. Thank you, Klaus.
My bags had been stowed in my car before check-out so I simply strolled back to the Atrium floor and took the exit to the garage. The Lambo that someone had parked there before I arrived still needed a wash and wax. Eight hours later, after a seafood dinner up in Frederick, I rolled into Rochester, still high on all the great gear at the show.
Rick Becker's Best Rooms @ CAF 2022
I was able to narrow this list down to 21 rooms that I thought were outstanding, cutting a little slack for the music being played, room adjustment factor, and variations in my personal taste. I'm human, after all, and sometimes I like my music to sound one way, and other times I like it another. Even the amount of daylight pouring into my dedicated listening room affects my acoustic preference. A darkened room late at night is another key element for optimum listening in my book, but at shows, the darkness can compromise the photography or trip me into artist mode.
So, if you're looking for a list of the top 10 rooms at the show, I'm not your guy. I'm not that critical. There was a wonderful offering of great gear at this show and not all of it was in the rooms I've listed here. I've added a list of five "Wildcards" that were not among the Best Rooms but that had an outstanding product or experience that I felt should be acknowledged. I invite you to go back to the coverage of these rooms to explore them in a little greater depth. The Capital Audiofest Chronicles start on the 6th Floor and work their way down to the Atrium floor.
Ultimately, you will want to take a deep dive into the net to seek out more details and other reviews. Hopefully, you have found my coverage of some value. The people who put on the show, Gary Gill, and all the presenters have put in a lot of work that seems to have paid off in bumping Capital Audiofest up to the big league. Hopefully, the show has moved this industry forward.
If you think of yourself as an audiophile, you owe it to yourself, at least once in your life, to attend a major audio show. There is no substitute for seeing and hearing the wide variety of products being offered. Or, as Elvis more adamantly put it, "You ain't never caught a rabbit, you ain't no friend of mine."
I'm looking forward to seeing you all again soon in Montreal and Chicago in 2023.
Be well and enjoy your music!
...And Now, The Best Rooms At CAF 2022
616 Audio Thesis, Rossofiorentino, Norma, Caprice Audio, and AudioQuest
645 Von Schweikert, VAC, and LampizatOr
650 Linkwitz Lab
525 GTAudioworks, Pass Labs, and LampizatOr
538 Songer Audio and Whammerdyne
541 Triangle Art
549 Theoretica Applied Physics and JansZen Audio
555 Fidelity Imports, Cyrus, and Diptyque
321 Audio Thesis, Rossofiorentino, and Thrax
323 High Water Sound, TW Acoustic, Horning, and New Audio Frontiers
Twinbrook Room United Home Audio, and High End by Oz
Montrose Room Odyssey
Democracy Room Command Performance AV, Marten Design, Gryphon, and J. Sikora
Wilson Room The Voice That Is, Vinnie Rossi, and Tidal
Truman Room Convergent Audio Technology (CAT), Essential Sound Products, and Magico
Monroe Room 20/20 Evolution Systems, Kharma, and Conrad Johnson
Jackson Room Bending Wave, Goebel, and Thrax
Eisenhower Room Acora, JMF, and Cardas
Executive Lounge Now Listen Here and Vandersteen
Montgomery Room Legacy Audio and Bel Canto Design
At CAF 2022
519 Robyatt and Thai-Scandinavian Engineering (Bird of Prey tonearm)
526 M101 Cables, MolaMola, Paradigm, and EcoFlow (System run off-grid)
532 Alma Music & Audio, and MoFi SourcePoint 10 speaker306 Philharmonic Audio BMR Monitor