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Old 06-27-2012, 12:59 AM   #1
solarrdadd solarrdadd is offline
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Default Capital Audiofest - July 13 - 15

For folks who are interested in audio events, here's one in the greater Washington, DC/Maryland/Virginia area.

It's called Capital Audiofest 2012 it starts on (lucky us) Friday July 13 and wraps up Sunday, July 15; so it's just a couple of weeks away.

$25 bucks gets you in for the entire weekend. Oh yeah, they hold a swap meet on Sunday so you can bring your gear to sell and/or buy. The swap meet is free to attend, but cost an $25 for a space to sell and no that's not included in the other fee mentioned.

There will also be raffle drawings for gear and other such things. All details at the site to include pictures of the last Audiofest, exhibitors, pricing, room rates, etc.

I intend to go and take lots of pictures, do lots and lots of listening too. It looks like a nice time.

Hope to see some of you guys there, if possible!

Uncle Solarrdadd, bringing Fire to the people.....
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:16 AM   #2
solarrdadd solarrdadd is offline
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could a mod PLEASE, put this in a better thread. i couldn't find anything listing something like this type of event and i suspect it might not get to the folks that it needs to get to in this thread.

Please & Thank You, in advance.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:12 AM   #3
solarrdadd solarrdadd is offline
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I was thus far surprised (unhappily ) that after over 225 views not one comment. I do wish there was a section on this site that was just for events not dealing with one brand, i.e. emofest belongs in the emotiva threads but this event was multiple brands.

I am hopeful that in the future a section will be created for events that can include live shows, seminars, trade shows etc. that would be i believe helpful and informative.

i did go to the show for 2 of the 3 days it was there and i had a blast. i took about almost 3gb's of pictures and video.

what i didn't do was good note taking. i've got lots of pictures but don't necessarily know what every brand is and what should be said about all of them!

so while i'll post pictures there may not be long narratives about them. so please try to enjoy the pictures at a minimum!

the event was nicely done. i had a great time and met lots of folks there. i would start out by saying that this show had lots of vintage gear, most of the setups were almost completely analog, lots of tube amps (almost no solid state amps at all) lots of CD's and a couple of SACD's.

i will tell you this, i have a new found respect for CD's. i learned one thing in this show and that's if you have the right system, good transport, cables, amp, DAC, speakers--CD's can sound amazing! The same was true for digital downloads of all levels, MP3, and the high rez files especially.

i heard it all, really old mono albums and the latest CD's. lots of Jazz, Classical, Blues, Rock, R&B, etc. all of them sounded great on these systems. lots of the gear there was custom built and the designers and builders were on hand to answer questions.

some you might not have heard of before (speaking mostly for self) some we see on this site and in high end audio mags everyday. i will say another thing, i didnt' see any monoprice anything at this show i suspect that when you have the money to buy $47K tube amps, you spend the money on cables that look like they belong with it and compliment the amp based on designer recommendations. that's not a knock at monoprice either; i own plenty of their cables--of course i can't afford that $47K tube amp (and ya need two as its a block) so monoprice folks, don't take it the wrong way!

lots of folks worked together to do each room, cable makers, amp, pre-amp makers, DAC folks, speaker folks, turntable folks, etc. i found it interesting that at this level, almost every room had tube amps of some sort, whole or hybrid but they were there and there in force.

i also saw and heard for the first time in my life speakers that were 100db efficient, there were even speakers there that were 140db. those speakers were thunderous in sound, full range and were in most cases using one watt or less and were being powered by 5 - 20w tube amps; AMAZING!

ok, enough talk for now, here we go with some pictures. i do hope these pictures stay here as i'm using the attachment feature of the site so i hope they don't "go away" or something.



this is the place that the Capital Audiofest was held. nice hotel for this type of event.


i'm going to go in the order that i took the pictures and the rooms i visited from 1st floor to 3rd floor.




nice setup using reel to reel with powerful two channel amps (two of them) sounded good too.



each speaker was bi-amped from the two 2 channel amps, the high from one amp and the low from the other amp for each speaker. look at the size of those pipes!


this next set is a real treat. they represented the only room that had 5 different makers of gear that have gotten together and put what they consider their best gear into this system to make it what they consider the best at the show. there is no denying that it sounded great because it did. i wouldn't say it was the best, but it was on the short list (and it's a very short list )
oh yeah, this is one of those that sets that the note taking thing that i didn't do haunts me as i don't know the names of anything, so just enjoy the pictures!



this guy was quite the salesmen, he could sell anything; he had the gift! he put on quite the show between album cuts.




this is the first time i've ever seen a turntable with two complete tone arm assemblies; guess you can see new things even at my age! they put on an original pressing of Ella & Louie, played the first track "Can't we be friends?" and my friends, it was analog magic in that room. man i hate being poor!



the speakers were incredible. they have 6 - 10" woofers in them, downfiring and one 8" dual for midrange and tweeter. driving those boys full range those woofers were powerful and that 8" was moving some serious air. that mid was moving in and out like crazy; a thing of beauty! these speakers were designed to be bi-amped given the nature of the low end sides design. these boys could easily suck up some power but spit it out as beautiful sound!

oh yeah, no your not mistaken, that's a coin on the top of that speaker. they put a nickel on top of each speaker on it's side during the entire performance and IT DIDN'T FALL! that shows incredible cabinet making and bracing and remarkable audio engineering on behalf of the speaker maker. yes, i got to move the nickel around to make sure it was real and didn't have any flat sides on it! keeping them honest!



no other speaker maker could do that and that is what made this speaker stand out from all others in this show!

next up was the Legacy room (see i did remember something, oh yeah, the names in the picture, thanks for pointing that out )
those giant boys were amazing both to look at and to listen to. they had two flavors of speakers there, in the big and bigger sizes!



the speakers were nice to see up close for the first time. i was taken aback by their size; they were 6' easy, the big ones were.



aside from amp inputs the speakers each had powered subwoofers built in with dual bass inputs and they were both used on each speaker too. they had some powerful low end being produced.

teaming up with the Legacy folks were folks that some of you Emotiva peoples should know!



did you guess who from the picture above? no, well the picture below should give you a hint!



yep, Sherbourn was in the house and boy did their high end gear look nice. they put out some nice sounds with those Legacy's too!


well, that's all i'm gonna put out for tonight. i'll try to add some new pictures and editorials each night if i can. i'm only gonna put low rez on here because my hi rez shots are all 6mb and larger so, sorry.

uncle Solarrdadd signing off till later.

Last edited by solarrdadd; 07-17-2012 at 01:44 AM. Reason: fixed issue with pictures
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:14 AM   #4
Almadacr Almadacr is offline
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Well i can't see any of the pics
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:16 AM   #5
solarrdadd solarrdadd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Almadacr View Post
Well i can't see any of the pics
i see them all, not sure what to tell you.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:23 AM   #6
solarrdadd solarrdadd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Almadacr View Post
Well i can't see any of the pics
your right, i used my ipad and the pictures went away, i was worried about that attachment feature.

since i dont' have any of those photobucket things i'll have to clean out one of my threads and upload the pictures to the site and reference them from there so they stay.

sorry to everyone about this. i had my doubts about the attachement feature and i was right.

i'll do what i said tomorrow and the pictures will stay.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:45 AM   #7
solarrdadd solarrdadd is offline
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picture issue fixed!
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarrdadd View Post
your right, i used my ipad and the pictures went away, i was worried about that attachment feature.

since i dont' have any of those photobucket things i'll have to clean out one of my threads and upload the pictures to the site and reference them from there so they stay.

sorry to everyone about this. i had my doubts about the attachement feature and i was right.

i'll do what i said tomorrow and the pictures will stay.
They are up .
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:08 PM   #9
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Thanks for the report solarrdadd! I've always wanted to attend one of these events. Hopefully I will, soon. After drooling over the pics you took of those systems, and my forever dreaming to own one, it would be a treat to hear what I've been missing in music.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:19 AM   #10
solarrdadd solarrdadd is offline
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to keep things simple, all of the pictures will be posted in a gallery i created under my name and gallery area called Capital audiofest 2012. what i'll do in this post is put up some of the pictures that i want to or need to make comments about.

like these:



these remind me of star wars for some reason or another! the cabinets were very nicely made though. they sounded great and they could go real low too!



they had a nice setup with plenty of amps and cables; nothing like flash on white cables, huh?

Polk Audio was also in the house with their new flagship LSiM 707 towers and they did not dissapoint in any way.



i was surprised by how well the mid's & highs were captured by this speaker. of course we knew they would have plenty of low end (and they did) these were actually some of the best speakers i heard that i could actually afford ($4K) to buy. they were a few of the "everyman's speakers" for the dollar that were at the show. most of the speakers were well over $8K with plenty easily hitting over $20K



they of course had the cut-away's of the towers and it was nice to see it in person. there was nothing like being able to physically touch these and other speakers to feel the weight, the cabinet body construction, give them the wrap test. that was one of the best thing about the show was the ability to "actually be there" because you just can't get that from the pictures.

polk did have their bookshelf versions there but they were not connected so i didn't get to hear them and i really want to. on the towers they had MIT bi-wire/bi-amp speaker assemblies that connected the speakers to the amps and those things cost $ thousands and i wondered if they were part of what i was hearing (and i liked it) with the problem being you would want to get those things to keep the speakers sounding the way they did and they did sound great too!

next up is Daedalus Audio and representing them, Mr. Lou Hinkley. I remembered Lou because he was very colorful in his conversation and he was extremely helpful to me with questions and answers! he also used a squeezebox touch (which had an incredible aftermarket upgraded power supply that MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE performance wise) downstream of the PC and from there it went out SPDiF to a very nice, expensive DAC!



Lou had a first class system setup and i was very happy to listen to some of his tunes and Lou had some great tunes. information on Lou's gear can be found at DaedalusMusic.com and DaedalusAudio.com too.

Lou and his gear really had their shit together and not only was it beautiful to look it, the sound was amazing. the speakers were 96db and with just a little juice, i'm talking like 5 or so watts, they could produce sound that filled a room up without a sweat!



Daedalus audio's setup had some really nice tubes in their setups and the music was flowing easy!



Lou had all kinds of goodies on the rack and was very inviting to me and my camera!



Lou gave me some good pointers on how to best use the squeezebox touch in my system to get the most out of it. he recommended that i seriously consider getting the aftermarket upgraded powersupply for it. even though it cost between 400- 800 bucks, i could see it was an investment worth seriously considering as the proof was in the pudding!

So, thanks to Lou and the folks at Daedalus for their time and hospitality at the show. hope to see Lou next year!

well, that's it for tonight. tomorrow i'll load more picutes on the gallery and in this thread with words from Uncle Solarrdadd.

later people, ya'll know i'm getting old and need my sleep!
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:12 AM   #11
solarrdadd solarrdadd is offline
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i had a really late night tonight so i won't get to post any pictures tonight; i do expect to have some up in the thread tomorrow; not to worry, i've got plenty from the show!

Uncle Solarrdadd signing off...
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:03 AM   #12
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ok, time for some more photo's!



these folks in the next series of pictures had a really nice setup. they had a service that they came to your place did an audio survey, determined how your room would do as is with audio and what treatments or changes would be recommended to give it the best sound out of the system.

they sold and installed, calibrated, the works!



see that thing sitting on top of the speaker, that's a lasar level and it's part of a system that's computer driven for placement of the speakers on the floor surface, in relation to the walls and to the sweet spot. they could set up a computer generated sweet spot based on information input into their software that gave the best placement for the speakers and the best distance from walls, sweet spot, etc.



look at that turntable, it's nice, ain't it!?!

below is a shot of both speakers, they are beautiful and they sounded amazing during the demo. plenty of low end and the mids were spot on!



the speakers below were very nice, i had an urge for pecans after leaving that room, not sure why!?! the people who represented the room's gear were very nice and they played some nice tunes on those bad boys for me...sounded great too!



they, like most vendors had a wide array of tube amps, power supplies, cables, DAC's (everybody had a sweet DAC, they are back and here to stay in a big way! )



their speakers had four 6" rear facing woofers the reverb of the LF off the walls filled the room nicely, kinda like an audio snuggy!



they had a nice turntable and played some real mellow jazz and some really sweet swing music from the big bands too!



their tube maker was TRON! (calm down Disney!)

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Old 07-20-2012, 01:52 AM   #13
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bathroom break over, more pictures!

these little floor standers below were made by paoloaudio.com and boy, did i call this wrong. i heard them playing while the door was open and i thought they were hugh towers, they stand only 28" tall, one 8" full range driver at 93db efficiency, they shocked me when i got to the room and walked in! amazing, all that sound from such a little speaker running off of a 30wpc tube amp running at about 2 watts at the time with what was playing. outrageous!



below was another nice setup and one of the few that had a blu-ray player in their setup so we listend to AIX blu-ray in 96/24 and it sounded great!



the next couple of pictures have one of the most unique setups i saw at the entire show. first off, they were very nice looking speakers.



secondly, they had the only (and first time for me actually seeing this) external crossover. there was nothing in the tower boxes but drivers, bracing and internal airways and fill. you could do true bi-amping with this setup and yes, that's how they had it! you can't see it but the other amp is on the floor behind the rack. first time i actually have ever heard it and it was incredible!



here's another shot of the speaker and the crossover!



too bad they didn't have an open end of the crossover, i would have snapped up a shot of that puppy! DARN!

their amps were made by Border Patrol



the next group of pictures features a pair of speakers i nicknamed, "horse humpers" becasue well only trigger could hit them boys!



the horse humpers are the ones on the far left and right (the pair in the middle are pony humpers) here are the spec's on the one's i got to hear the first day (HH) 15" front facing mid bass woofer, 15" floor facing low bass woofer, a 2" throat, a 4" midrange compression throat driver and a super tweeter. the floor facing woofer hits 20hz without breaking a sweat and the super tweeter can hit 45khz, watch out for your crystal!



the speakers above, the pony humpers were connected on Sunday when i came back and they sounded great too, but the HH's stole the show (and my ability to make kids anymore! ) they had 3 amps as shown. the amp in the middle was a 2 channel amp (connected to the two HH's) that put out 5wpc and the two on the ends are two amps (bi-wired to the two PH's) that put out 130wpc.

here's the funny part, the HH's were playing using the small 2 channel amp and they were using less than one watt all the while rattling the short & curly's off my man junk! the PH's were using the big amps on sunday; thought it would have been the other way around, huh!



above is a close up of the big amp.

their show was kinda going to the dogs! sorry, couldn't help that one!



they too had some very nice gear being sent to those amps driving those speakers.




well, that's all for tonight, i'll try to get some more thrown up here tomorrow.

Uncle Solarrdadd signing off!
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:47 AM   #14
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Unka Solarrdadd here, time for some more pictures and whatnot!

i do love me some exotic cables and this next series of photo had some of them in use for power, interconnects & speakers. the cable company was called "snake river audio" they had quite the line up of cables and the cost were as high as the cables were exotic. the speakers were beautiful and full with great sound covering all there, lows, mids & highs.



the speaker cabinets and drivers were very easy on the eyes. they were solid using the knock test and had good weight to them too. no sharp edges, all corners were smoothed and rounded which made them stand out over most speakers to me.



the gentleman in the picture above is the speaker company rep. he was very proud of their product, as well he should be, they were great!

below is a picture of the cable company rep. Jonny Wilson, who also happened to be the president and CEO of the company. the cables were very nice, had great build quality too. he was all too happy to get in the picture with them!





the speakers were using a very nicely made bi-wire cable (yep, i'm a fan of bi-wiring)



one of the most interesting features was the speaker cables had an interesting shimmer to them that changed when the volume level/power consumption level was raised! it was one of those two conditions that caused the change; i don't actually remember which of the two it was.it was wild




another cool thing was the speakers were 100db efficient and the amp used was a 5wpc tube amp and the speakers were driven to powerful levels with this little amp and we were not even using 1/4 of the amps power; incredible!



you had to be there to see it/hear it to believe the sound this total package was putting out.

the next group of speakers were brought to by zuauidio.com
they are the "Definition MK.IV" speaker



notice the picture below, the speakers had a special paint job that allowed them to kinda change color depending on the lighting and were you were standing as you looked at them. the picture above clearly shows what looks like the speaker on the left being black and the one on the right being blue. the speaker below also appears to be black; but it's not, it's blue.



the rep had quite a nice collection of music LP's there, i did request he play selections from the album of Rush, "moving pictures" sounded great!



here is another shot of the speakers that shows the two toned color; that's to the flash for showing this off. notice as you look at the face of the speaker from right to left it changes from blue to dark blue/black!



i really wish for all of these pictures in this thread that i could have used my hi-rez shots. i used two different cameras one small one set at a low rez (640x480 small) and a DSLR set to high rez (between 6-8mb large). the differences were incredible.

well, that's all for tonight, but don't worry, i still have about 68 more pictures to go!

Crazy Uncle Solarrdadd signing off...
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:46 PM   #15
Barry_NJ Barry_NJ is offline
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Nice report

Thanks for sharing
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