AMR Rocks the Rockies" - Abbingdon Music Research at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest - Report

Despite this being our first visit to the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest or "RMAF", if there is one show on the audio calendar to attend, despite those that are based outside of the U.S., this is the Show to attend. From attendees to exhibitors, this is without doubt a Show "organised by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts".

Based at the Denver Mariott Tech Center Hotel a 45 minute car ride from Denver Airport, the RMAF entered its fourth year and according to those that have exhibited before, has gone from strength to strength. This year, there were a total of 141 exhibitors which is a very significant increase on the 20-30 exhibitors that formed the first Show only four years ago. The secret recipe for its rapidly growing reputation? - setting out with one aim only; to draw exhibitors with a genuine and eclectic love to attain the most musically satisfying systems. With this in place, the "punters will come" as we say over here in the U.K.

The Show ran over 3-days from 12-6pm on Friday, 9-6pm on Saturday and 9-4pm on Sunday. Exhibitors were unanimous in confirming that the number of visitors was significant rise year-on-year.
AMR was invited by its U.S. distributor, the husband and wife team of Darren and Bonnie Censullo of Avatar Acoustics to lend a hand in room 1104. The room consisted of:

AMR CD-77 Compact Disk Processor
2 x AM-77 Pre-Main Amplifiers (in Integrated Monoblock Mode)
Acoustic Systems' Tango Loudspeakers
Cabling by Current Cable

Treatment in the room was very effectively achieved by Acoustic Systems' Resonators, Phase Correctors and "Sugar Cubes". The static display comprised of Dynavox's Dynastation, Music First Audio's Transformer Volume Control and Karan's Integrated Amplifier.

Hand on heart, we believe we achieved the most musically satisfying sound out of this room of all previous Shows that we have attended thus far. The only "fly in the ointment" was the lack of grounding for the mains and generally very poor mains quality at what is, a comparatively older hotel. As a result, static and grounding issues manifested on the odd occasion. Not to be thwarted, as a great illustration of the camaraderie that exists at this Show, Christopher Owens, of Clarity Cable offered to set up a makeshift grounding system by running a 10-gauge copper wire from the bathroom copper pipe to the AC receptacle that powered the system.

AMR's CD-77 was also used as primary CD source in 7 other rooms. These rooms, we are proud to say, gathered more than their fair share of praise and we would like to believe the CD-77 played its part in garnering the accolades. The show coverage by Stereophile mentioned favourably the room of Matrix Systems and Red Rock Audio. Other rooms that relied upon AMR's CD-Processor as part of their System included "The Lotus Group" (Feastrex Field Coil Speakers)as well as Highwater Sound and Brian Kyle of Extreme Cables used the CD-77 as source to demonstrate his cables and contact treatments.

The RMAF Show as far as Shows go, offered the most eclectic collection of fanatical music designers/manufacturers as exemplified by a larger than norm collection ranging from valve amplifiers, vinyl front-end systems to single-driver speaker designs. It comes as no surprise therefore that the type of visitor was usually the most ardent music lover. Several examples serve to highlight this observation:
The first was that we found not only did most visitors bring a small number of CDs to listen to, but more than a few visitors actually brought along a few of their records to listen to!

The second example was when we met a visitor from London who commented to us that he had not attended the Heathrow Show this year, yet flew out to Denver to attend the RMAF!

We also noted a handful of visitors that sought out the AMR room to enquire whether their own TDA1541A S2 "Double Crown" chip would be installed by AMR or its US distributor if they so purchased a CD-77. We of course, were more than glad to confirm that if fitted by our US distributor, the standard 5-year warranty would remain unaffected. Try as hard as we could, we were unable to persuade these visitors from parting with their small hoard of TDA1541A S2 chipsets!

New industry friends included:

Christopher Owens of Clarity Cables
Marja & Henk of 6moons (great Audio Nuda disk by the way)
Danny Kaey of the Inner Ear and Positive Feedback
Joe Cohen of The Lotus Group
Dale Pitcher of Amber Wave (who brought along his personal collection of beautiful quartz crystals)
Doug White of ESP loudspeakers
Daniel Barnum of Half Note Audio
Walter Swanbon of Fidelius Audio
Tim Ryan of SimpliFi Audio
Brian Walsh of Essential Audio
Brent Rainwater of Rainwater Audio
Jeff Catalano of High Water Sound
Alan Kafton of "Power Wing" mains conditioners
Harry 'from Portland' and Kara from DeHavilland
Dat Yang from Top Audio

"Old" industry friends that we were proud to catch-up again with were:

Robert Harley of The Absolute Sound
Mr and Mrs Kuichi of Harmonix
Brian Kyle of Extreme Audio Products

Credits for the photographs go to Danny Kaey (US Editor: The Inner Ear and Senior Assistant Editor: Positive-Feedback Online).


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