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RMAF 2019 Show Report -- Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest 2019

RMAF 2019 Show Report

A Change Of RMAF Venue And Attendees
High-end audio show in Denver matures into a true luxury lifestyle event.
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin



  With a change of venue for RMAF 2019 show from the Denver Marriott Tech Center for the past 15 years to the brand new Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center was a glorious breath of fresh air! There's no doubt this has been a long time coming, and the move to the Gaylord was without a doubt a home run. If we brush aside the gripes from both industry and press members months ago who griped about the higher costs, the luxury experience was imho well worth the investment. One of the many surprises not expected by Yours truly was a change of attendees, where it seems there was a more youthful (on average) crowd.

With the Gaylord being a grand venue, the only verbose complaint I heard was from a ~70 year old reviewer who should have chosen a free electric scooter as walking a further distance than usual was a bit of a challenge for him.



Would like to humbly thank Marjorie Baumert, and her incredible staff / volunteers, for making RMAF 2019 the very best Denver show to date! It was great to see the long line of attendees at registration ready to get their show badges.



While I could wax lyrically about the sensational venue, exceptional quality food, etc, as have stayed at quite a few Four Seasons, Ritz, W Hotel, etc all around the world. Everyone I spoke with was extremely positive about the change from the lower-class Marriott. Let us not forget that this is luxury audio and not Motel 6 Big Box Store products. Bathrooms were always clean, there was an abundance of elevators and stairs to navigate the show, and after hours there was live music, a variety of bars, and places to hang out and have fun until the early hours of the morning.



On Friday night during RMAF 2019 there was an under 40 year old get together, and being Colorado there was a certain unmistakable scent within the air (I was told, as was not there, no one saw me there, and you can't prove shit. That's my story and am sticking to it). Times are indeed moving upward and onward within the luxury music / hi-fi enthusiast as we are fortunately reaching a more youthful crowd.

Brought the family with you? There was a water slide, lazy river to float on, mini / putt-putt golf, Cornhole and many other activities to keep your family entertained.



On average, a far more youthful crowd attended RMAF 2019 and they happily explored the wider spaces within the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center. Let us be very thankful that ye' ol' generation of solidarity / isolationist audiophile seems to be giving way towards a younger and more social crowd. Sure there are many old school products we all know and love. Yet there was also an abundance of new high quality desktop / dorm room systems and high style Internet-enabled devices too.

Want proof? Even Sony has gotten into the act with their new 7000 SA-Z1 compact nearfield active speaker Hi-Res Audio system. Turntables and reel-to-reel were heard within many rooms, as were music streamers, yet it seems cassette tape is still an extremely small niche market. Within the Sonus faber room I heard both recorded and live music!



There was far less 'noise' of one exhibit room interfering with another. Sound isolation was far better than that within the Marriott, which in turn lowers the noise floor, and that in turn delivers a subjectively better sounding audio system. There was no shortage of very large conference rooms, and the upper hotel room floors were spread out nicely to benefit both exhibitors and attendees alike. The lovely singer is Meghan Andrews from Blue Coast Records. She graciously accepted Qobuz's invitation to do a few flash jam sessions in different rooms during RMAF 2019.



Of course true lossless Hi-Res Music Qobuz was the official streaming service of RMAF once again. It brings me joy to support those who help support our industry so be sure to subscribe to Qobuz, they truly care about you enjoying the best experience possible with your fave tunes. Let us all give many thanks to David Solomon of Qobuz for his always-enthusiastic love of music and Qobuz for using high quality FLAC and not lower quality lossy compression as found in many other streaming music services.



But what if you could not attend RMAF 2019? Fear not as the Wi-Fi bandwidth was excellent, and many exhibitors and press members were posting pics and info each day on their social media / websites. Once again RMAF 2019 live streamed all seminars (take note AXPONA, HIGH END Munich and all other luxury hi-fi events as you are truly missing out here!).



We all need to thank the videographers for their dedication in producing truly high quality videos (and not lazy low-fi Radio Shack level handheld cam videos). And if you missed the live streams fear not as we have posted seminar videos right here on our site! Enjoy the Music.com pioneered live streaming hi-fi shows, and now with the costs being 1/10th what it was many years ago when we first started, plus bandwidth being far higher, there is absolutely no excuse for not live streaming your event.



As Enjoy the Music.com are once again major sponsors for the Thursday exhibitor / media party and all seminars, it brings me immense delight knowing our efforts are helping inform and educate music lovers all over the globe so they may experience accurate musical delights. Don't forget that September 20th is the 1st Annual Area 51 fun run. They can't stop all of us! :)

Manufacturers and distributors who balked at the higher room rates, you reeeeeeally missed out! The quality of music enthusiasts and ROI was perhaps one of the very best Denver events to date! In fact a few retailers told me they sold out of stock in various popular items. This naturally includes vinyl LPs, tweaks, and a manufacturer of a quite expensive record cleaning system sold out (believe the number he told me was 40+ systems sold!). As I said earlier, sound leakage from one exhibit room to another was very limited to nil, and this produces a higher quality demo for music lovers who made their way to RMAF 2019.



The venue was so extraordinary that on Saturday night David Robinson / Dave & Carol Clark of Positive Feedback, Scot Hull & Marc Phillips of Part-Time Audiophile, and myself herf'ed for many hours (a fancy term for a gathering of people smoking cigars). While we were smoking and chatting it up there was a ~30 minute fireworks show at a local outdoor sports area! The lovely view of the mountains during sunset had many taking pics in awe. They say that before someone dies it is not the things they did that they regret; it is the things not done during their life that brings the most emotional anguish.

I truly regret not taking pics of David, Dave, Carol, Scot, Marc... and many others who were at RMAF 2019. My role during shows has changed from reporting to being more business-minded in gathering gear for reviewers and thanking those who support our efforts. For those who missed exhibiting / attending RMAF 2019, fortunately you need not have life-long regrets as you should start making plans to be at RMAF 2020 at the glorious Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center right now.

All of us at Enjoy the Music.com would like to thank everyone who united together during RMAF 2019. We look forward to seeing you in Denver next year!


As always, in the end what really matters is that you...


Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin




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