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Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2023 Show Report -- CAF 2023 premium luxury audio event coverage.

Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2023 Show Report
CAF 2023 premium luxury audio event coverage.

 

Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2023 Show Report

 

  Capital Audiofest (CAF) is the Northeast's favorite audio show! CAF started out in 2010 as a very casual show and has evolved into a well-organized and well-attended event that most everyone in the audio industry knows about. CAF is recognized as a fun, friendly and family-oriented show, where you often see families strolling from room to room listening to music, auditioning gear and browsing the multiple bins of vinyl records, CDs and accessories in the Atrium Marketplace. In the evenings we have live music in the bar and special live performers in the Theater, and local distillers offering tasting.

During the event was wonderful live music plus Enjoy the Music.com once again sponsored the Thursday night vendor / press party with free pizza and beer! In 2022 CAF had 92 listening rooms and over 50 booths spanning more than four floors of amazing audio gear, which was the largest CAF to date!

 

CAF 2023 Show Reports

Greg's Exciting Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report Bigger, better, bolder, and still my favorite show of the year. Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report By Greg Weaver

Greg's Exciting Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report
Bigger, better, bolder, and still my favorite show of the year.
Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report By Greg Weaver
This year's mammoth, and monstrously successful, Capital Audiofest 2023 marks the completion of an even dozen such shows... Though not all twelve were held at the current location, the Twinbrook Hilton Hotel & Executive Meeting Center in Rockville, Maryland, this annual late fall event has become, and remains, my favorite show on the entire annual calendar. CAF 2023, even as large as it has grown to be and let me assure you, it has matured into a full-blown colossus has always had such a very special, low-key, hip, and friendly vibe that I just can't resist. And while Gary is reticent about sharing actual attendance figures and such, this year, there were over 110 listening rooms and a vacant spot couldn't be found among all of the bustling and diverse booths in the Atrium!
---> Greg's Exciting Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report.

 

 

Cruisin' 'Round The Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report CAF 2023 was an amazing event! CAF 2023 Show Report By Bob Grossman

Cruisin' 'Round The Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report
CAF 2023 was an amazing event!
CAF 2023 Show Report By Bob Grossman
The show circuit is expanding and growing in a big-time way with new and larger events occurring around various regions within the USA. The Capital Audio Fest (CAF) has expanded by 30% with well over 100 vendors in converted hotel rooms spread over four floors along with nearly 40 vendor booths crowded around the huge, large open floor of the Atrium. This weekend-long event also included many presentations and discussions from industry representatives covering topics about equipment designs, audio company developments, record production, and turntable setups. The range of products and displays ran the full gamut from beginner entry and budget types of affordable systems to extreme state-of-the-art presentations with massive sizes of speakers and myriad racks of dazzling equipment.
---> Cruisin' 'Round The Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report.

 

 

Capital Audiofest 2023 Bonus Videos By Greg Weaver (a.k.a. The Audio Analyst)

Capital Audiofest 2023 Bonus Videos By Greg Weaver
Join the audio analyst Greg Weaver for his must-see bonus CAF 2023 videos.
Video By Greg Weaver (a.k.a. The Audio Analyst)
First up, we hear from CEO Valerio Cora and Vice President of Sales Allan Haggar at the revitalized Audio Research Corporation. Thanks to Greg's fast-thinking, he was able to get them to take a break from the Capital Audiofest 2023 show to sit down to talk about the recent ownership changes. Val has great plans for Audio Research Corporation that will provide growth of this time-honored iconic American electronics manufacturer. This is some very interesting, and exciting, information.
---> Capital Audiofest 2023 Bonus Videos By Greg Weaver.

 

 

 

Rick Becker's Extensive CAF 2023 Coverage

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 1 The 8th Floor Part A Show Report By Rick Becker

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 1
The 8th Floor Part A
Show Report By Rick Becker
Wednesday night before the show I finished my nominations of Best Rooms at the Toronto Audiofest that had taken place just three weekends earlier. Thursday morning I loaded my CD player and an old Counterpoint amp into the Shooting Brake and headed south for Rockville at noon. By 6 p.m. I was in heavy traffic driving into Frederick, MD, and by 7 p.m. I was at the Hilton looking for the open bar sponsored by Enjoy the Music.com. Well, the bar at the Hilton was obviously too sedate for anything sponsored by Enjoy the Music.com. I asked around and learned the party was at a local bar about 100 yards to the east of the Hilton in a little strip mall. I walked over....
---> Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 1.

 

 

 

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 2 The 8th Floor Part B

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 2
The 8th Floor Part B
Show Report By Rick Becker
Rounding 2nd Bass was Room 833 which was the second AV Luxury Group room at the show. Bayz is based in Hungary, but manufacturing is done in Denmark. I've raved about the design before and mentioned that only the solid granite base of their speakers is the heavy part. It is not as difficult to install as it may seem. This is maybe the fourth show where I've seen it and I've grown accustomed to its unique presence. It is as much a piece of sculpture as it is a loudspeaker once you've become accustomed to it. As an omni-directional speaker (the sound radiates from the ultralight tubular tweeter that connects the ends of the large tube, right where the two woofers are mounted. So basically, this is just a two-way design with a very high-tech tweeter and exceptionally fast woofers. As you would expect from an omni design, the listening is good throughout the room. And the room need not be humongous as was proven here.
---> Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 2.

 

 

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 3 The 7th Floor Part A Show Report By Rick Becker

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 3
The 7th Floor Part A
Show Report By Rick Becker
Percy Chase remember that name drifted into Capital Audiofest just like "A Sheep Out On The Foam" with a couple of prototype speakers that defy his background. I probably saw him in the room, but never suspected he was the Ultra-DIY person behind these two speakers that looked ready for Prime Time. I'm not sure I even heard them play. I have no video notes and no spec sheet for the room. I snapped a couple of shots and picked up a slick brochure, pressing on without even looking at it. As I read it over in my office I'm thinking "Good grief! Who is this company?" There is no website, address, or phone number. But these were not speakers built out of the back of a van. Each is a two-way design, though all the drivers are different. One has a soft dome tweeter, the other an "accordion-type" diaphragm driver.
---> Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 3.

 

 

Capital Audiofest Chronicles 2023 Part 4 The 7th Floor Part B CAF 2023 Show Report By Rick Becker

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 4
The 7th Floor Part B
Show Report By Rick Becker
In their second room, Just Audio went further upstream with Spendor Classic 100 three-way stand-mount speakers ($14,800) speakers and an all-Cyrus Audio rig.
Seen here, paired up on standard-width shelves, was the current generation of Cyrus gear which I've found at other shows to be a noticeable improvement over the previous generation. Cyrus also has their own dedicated stand which stacks their components one above the other in a smaller footprint. I've also seen this gear parked side-by-side across a sofa table for a most elegant presentation. New, to me at least, was this TTP turntable with an integrated DC motor ($5800) with what looked like a Rega tonearm. I'd like to tell you how this rig sounded, but there was no music playing at the time and no host present.
---> Capital Audiofest Chronicles 2023 Part 4.

 

 

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 5 The 6th Floor Part A

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 5
The 6th Floor Part A
Show Report By Rick Becker
Based in Toronto, Angi Lisi's American Sound is a major importer and a top retailer in Canada. She also typically has a major presence at the Chicago show. Her room at Capital was modest but it was a fine-sounding room with Rethm Marga speakers driven by a Western Electric 91E amp. The Rethm speakers are markedly improved within the room at CAF 2023, sounding fuller and more tonally balanced. If you liked them before, you will love them now. And if you haven't appreciated them in the past, they deserve to be revisited. It's a hybrid design with active woofers and an efficient full-range driver on top that can be driven with SET amps. It has an interesting, architectural use of metal and wood and it is very easy to listen to.
---> Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 5.

 

 

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 6 The 6th Floor Part B

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 6
The 6th Floor Part B
Show Report By Rick Becker
The banner across the front wall was for the re-entry of Perreaux (in New Zealand) to North America. The orange integrated amp sure caught the eye and matched the speaker cables, but the active unit in the Pangea Audio rack was in white. Lots of other colors are available to appeal to the younger set or the young at heart. What caught my ear was the liquid sound coming from Rosso Fiorentino as it always does at shows. This is one of my favorite brands and the first time I've heard the new Certaldo 2 (~$10k), shown here with a dark alligator treatment on the sides. They are from Italy and sounded just as good with the Perreaux amp as I've heard the Rossos sound with the Norma amps from Italy.
---> Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 6.

 

 

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 7 The 3rd Floor Part A

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 7
The 3rd Floor Part A
Show Report By Rick Becker
This stretch of smaller rooms was the most kick-ass hallway of the whole show. While the big conference rooms had some heavy hitters, too, and the entire show was on a very high level overall, as I write about this hallway in the fifth week after the show, I am amazed as I review my video recordings. If I had to point a novice or a veteran audiophile to any area of the show with only an hour or two to spend, I would have sent them down this hallway. They were almost all veteran presenters, too, with most of them having cheat sheets prepared to help me write about them. Starting with a classic Audio Note UK room set a valid benchmark for high-end audio. Their rooms sound consistently good with their familiar British sound, and they look pretty much the same regardless of whether they've presented entry-level products or top-of-the-line series.
---> Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 7.

 

 

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 8 The 3rd Floor Large Rooms Part A

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 8
The 3rd Floor Large Rooms Part A
Show Report By Rick Becker
It was by now late morning on Sunday and I walked over toward Olive's Restaurant in the hotel where I started in with the large rooms.... In the past couple of Capital shows the Arion Audio room had not sounded all that great to me. There was a lot of confusion with the layout of the rig as I recall. This year it was obvious a lot of care had been taken with the setup and the rig sounded terrific. This was the Apollo 12 system with full DSP and advanced room correction ($59.9k). The Arion Audio Dual-Pack Woofer Package, the two black towers at the outer edges, included two additional woofers and an amplifier for each side ($9,600). Each subwoofer module contains two drivers facing each other with sound emanating from the slots in the front and rear of each unit.
---> Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 8.

 

 

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 9 The 3rd Floor Large Rooms Part B.

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 9
The 3rd Floor Large Rooms Part B.
Show Report By Rick Becker
After passing through the LTA Headphone Lounge I explored the final hallway of nearly identically sized rooms not too big, and not too small, that have consistently exhibited fine rooms in the past. The Voice That Is, a boutique dealer of very fine audio lines in Philadelphia, works by appointment only. Their room here had a very familiar sound that was as identical as two rooms can be when spaced weeks apart at two different shows. That other room was the Wynn Audio room at the Toronto Audiofest, which featured the Tidal Akira speakers driven by Karan Acoustics amplification in a rig that was far more expensive than the one here.
---> Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 9.

 

 

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 10 The Atrium Rooms Show Report By Rick Becker

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 10
The Atrium Rooms
Show Report By Rick Becker
Legacy Audio had their Aeris XD speakers with their dual air motion tweeter and an internally powered subwoofer as their main display, driven by their iV2 Ultra high current, dual-mono stereo amplifier that puts out 1000 Watts @ 4 Ohms. The Wavelet II Time Domain processor acted as the preamplifier with a built-in DAC, Bohmeer Room Correction, and DSP crossover. The woodwork and optional veneers of Legacy speakers are simply gorgeous. At $23,400 for the speakers with 95.4dB/W/m efficiency, these speakers seem to be an exceptional value. The backdrop not only gave lots of details but concealed whatever else was behind to which all those cables were connected.
---> Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 10.

 

 

Best Of Capital Audiofest 2023

Best Of Capital Audiofest 2023
Capital Audiofest Report / Chronicles Part 11
Show Report By Rick Becker
When a writer or vlogger covers a premium audio / high-end show, they have to make decisions about how they are going to do it. Over the course of three days, the rooms are only open for about 22 hours plus maybe a special listening event in a few rooms on Fridays and Saturdays for the public, plus whatever after-hours private listening sessions a reporter might be able to line up. When shows were ~55 rooms back in the 1990s (at least in Canada) it was a challenge to cover them all. And with shows now approaching 200 rooms the likelihood of covering all the rooms becomes all but impossible. (Put on your high-heel sneakers.) With 120 rooms at Capital Audiofest 2023, that means 11 minutes per room, minus travel time between rooms and time for a couple of pit stops during the day. For me, lunch is typically a Clif bar and Mt. Dew while listening in a good room.
---> Best Of Capital Audiofest 2023.

 

 

 

Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Capital Audiofest 2023 Happy Hour Press Release

Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Capital Audiofest 2023
Enjoy the Music.com, premium audio's celebrated online site since 1995 and a leader in providing over 24 years of industry news, thousands of gear reviews, and more than 280 show reports, is pleased to announce that for the second year in a row, we're sponsoring the Capital Audiofest's Thursday night 'Happy Hour' before the event opens to the public. Scheduled to take place from November 10th through 12th at the Twinbrook Hilton in Rockville (Maryland), vendors and members of the press may join us for complimentary pizza and craft beer on Thursday night. Enjoy the Music.com loves luxurious premium high-end audio, and so we're inviting both exhibitors and members of the press to join us from 6 PM through 8 PM at the Rockville Pike Craft Beer and Fine Wine, which is located next door to the Hilton Hotel. We look forward to seeing you there!
---> Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Capital Audiofest 2023.

 

 

 

More About CAF 2023
CAF opened up many new floors during 2022, and again in 2023, to make room for over 150 exhibitors representing hundreds of premium luxury audio brands from around the world. There may also be over 50 Atrium Marketplace vendors including at least two dozen vinyl/LP sellers, making the show a veritable Record Fair. Qobuz may once again set up a Listening Lounge in the Plaza II Ballroom, for show-goers to sample streaming and turntable set-ups with headphones, and just hang out and chill, with free Wi-Fi.

 

 

Amazing Prizes And Giveaways!
Various giveaways every night and many of the exhibitors will have special Demo times, Show Specials and other promotions.

 

 

Show Schedule
Friday, November 10   10pm to 6pm
Saturday, November 11   10am to 6pm
Sunday, November 12   10am to 4pm

 

 

Where
Hilton Hotel Rockville
Located at the Twinbrook Metro Station
1750 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852

 

 

 

Previous Capital Audiofest Show Reports
Enjoy the Music.com's previous CAF coverage includes Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, CAF / CanMania 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, and 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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