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RMAF – 2008: The Dow Jones see-saws 1000 points, Iceland faces bankruptcy but
"The show must go on"

After the Top Audio Show in Milan, AMR attended at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) held at Denver from 10th-12th October in the Marriott Denver Tech Hotel and for the first time, also at the Hyatt Regency Convention Centre. With the world economy in turmoil and prophets of doom on every corner, it was shaping up to be an interesting show. But as Queen added on their 1991 Album , "The Show Must Go On".

AMR was invited to the RMAF by its US distributor, Avatar Acoustics. Avatar presented two systems in two rooms, 1017 & 511 .



Special thank to Steve R. Rochlin from Enjoythemusic.com for sharing the photo

The system in room 1017 comprised of:

Digital Sources:

  • AMR CD-77 Compact Disk Processor
  • AMR CD-77 in DAC mode playing lossless audio files via USB from a computer

Analogue Source:

  • AMR PH-77 Phono Equaliser
  • Dr. Feickert "Two" Turntable
       i. Kuzma 4Point arm
       ii. Lyra La Skala cartridge

Amplification:

AMR AM-77 Dual-Mono Amplifier

Speakers:

Acoustics Systems International Tango "Platinum" Speakers

Cabling and Racks:

Acoustic Systems International and Harmonix


Avatar Acoustic’s 2nd System was in 511 and consisted of:

Digital Sources:

  • AMR CD-77 Compact Disk Processor
  • AMR CD-77 in DAC mode playing lossless audio files via USB from a computer

Analogue Source:

  • AMR PH-77 Phono Equaliser
  • Dr. Feickert "One" Turntable
        i. Ortofon cartridge

Amplification:

AMR AM-77 Dual-Mono Amplifier

Speakers:

Rethm’s Sandahna and Margo speakers

Cabling and Racks:

Acoustic Systems International and Rethm

Additionally Avatar operated a "catch them while walk in" station in the Lobby. This used an AMR CD-77 Compact Disk Processor into a Grado Headphone amplifier and a set of Grado Headphones, with the major added benefit of a Relax® Massage Chair!

The Show
The continuing popularity and growth of RMAF continues unabated with some 8 large rooms taken up at the Hyatt Regency. Yet the economic malaise affecting the global economy resulted in attendee numbers somewhat down on last year. AMR felt very encouraged to find that of those who made the effort to attend the show spent quite a considerable amount of time pouring over the equipment in the Avatar Acoustic rooms and listening to the LPs/CDs thy had brought along, which we were only too glad to play for them.

Michael Fremer and friends spent a fairly long time listening to the AMR PH-77 Phono Equaliser with the Dr. Feickert Turntable, and reiterated his interest in auditioning both pieces of equipment.

Robert Harley spent time listening to the CD-77 in CD-direct mode compared to USB-mode using dBPower Amp and Media Center 12. We were interested in his thoughts that computer audio when executed well, in an apples with apples comparison, runs CD-direct close but does not quite match up to CD-direct, matching our own experiences.

Steve Stone of The Absolute Sound also found time to visit and played several pieces of his classical disks. Greg Hong of Soundstage visited our room to reacquaint himself with AMR‘s equipment. We also spend time with Doug Schroeder of Dagogo who played several of his choral music to put AMR’s system through its paces.

Jason Victor Serinus of Stereophile too spent much time pouring over both the digital and analogue source equipment and was very affable indeed.

Chris Connaker of Computer Audiophile found time to drop in and we spent some time taking him through the USB-input feature of the CD-77. He offered us his thoughts on the direction of the computer-audio industry which we found illuminating.

Mike Weaver, the President of qsonix discussed at length the AMR CD-77 and its USB Input, which could be the perfect match of the qsonix dedicated music server.

We also renewed acquaintances with Steven "Greased Lightning" Rochlin (Enjoy The Music) and we were saddened to hear that despite an absolutely unbelievably successful first season, Steven has decided to retire from Formula 3000 racing. AMR would like to thank Steven for promoting AMR on his race car and wish him the best with his new endeavours.

We continue to be amazed by the wave of positive feelings exuded by exhibitors and hotel staff alike. Any problems were dealt with quickly, if not, assistance was always on offer.

There are too many people to thank, however we would like to thank the other exhibitors who exhibited AMR equipment in their own rooms, namely (alphabetical order), High Water Sound, Symposium (in particular after their original CD-Player was destroyed by the shipper in transit), and TRI Marketing.

We met for the first time, Christian Feickert of Feickert Turntables, Joseph and Nina Jacob of Rethm (thank you for providing a small guided tour of Denver!) as they were co-exhibitors in the Avatar rooms. We found Chris, Jacob and Nina to be fabulous company and a joy to spend time with outside of the daily duties of exhibiting.

Chris Harban of Woodsong Audio (which makes some of the most gorgeous, solid wood plinths for many classic turntables including Garrards) was a fine person and absolutely crazy about these “old school” turntables.

We also encounteretd "old" friends – like Doug White of ESL Speakers, Daniel Barnum of Half Note Audio, Allan Perkins of Spiral Groove, Frank Schroeder of Schroder Arms, Al and Marjorie Stiefhl of Red Rock Audio (and organisers of RMAF), Dale Pitcher of Intuitive Audio, Brian Walsh of Essential Audio, Brian "Xionic" Kyle of Extreme Audio products, Chris Owens of Clarity Cable and last but far from least Roy Gregory of HiFi+ (UK).

Near to the Denver Mariott Tech Center, we found several nice restaurants – Blue Ocean Asia Food, Cool River Cafe which had great “cowboy” steaks and Bonefish Grill which was probably the most enjoyable due to its mouth-watering seafood dishes.

Last but not least, we would like to thank Tom Hills of Hudson Audio for giving us a lift to Denver airport – without which, we would have be subjected to a "detour extreme" (around numerous other hotels) on the "Super Shuttle" and potentially missing our flight.

Overall, all of us at AMR are very pleased with the momentum gathered by AMR products and in particular, the AMR CD-77 in the USA.

   
   


     
 
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