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Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2017 Day 3 (Sunday)

amirm

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#1
The third-day was a rather short one for me since the show closes early. But also because I attended an amazing presentation by Avalon as you will see later. It capped a very nice show and a relaxing one. I hope the show was successful for the organizers and it continues.
 

amirm

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As mentioned above, I attended an appointment-only session by Avalon. What caught my eye was attendance of my professional colleague, "Professor" Keith Johnson of the Spectral and Reference Recordings fame. I thought that would be the main point of interest for me. But it worked out a ton better.

The Avalon room was by far the best sounding room among high-end suits at RMAF 2017. While they started with a hotel room, they went to town to properly treat and optimize the room from acoustics point of view. Together with fantastic content and stories from the organizers and Keith on how the music was produced, it made for a great total experience.

Reception was totally friendly and not stuffy and arrogant as many high-end demo rooms tend to me. They were very receptive to our needs and tailored the listening to session to what we wanted to hear.

The gear naturally was Avalon equipment and Spectral with MIT cables. I was told that when you bought the system from them, they would help with site survey, placement and optimization of the system.
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THere is the Professor himself:
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amirm

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#3
Avalon: The starting music was fascinating. It was one of the earliest CDs I bought when I got my player back in early 1980s.

Rickover's Dream by Michael Hedges. https://shz.am/t10844707


Despite its age, it sounded stunning! Superb ambiance and clean bass.

The clear tubes you see around the room are helmholtz resonators helping with upper bass.
 

amirm

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#5
Avalon: I could not look up the next track. I think it was by "Pat McLaughlan" but might be wrong about the last name.

Anyway, it had very nice center soundstage, pleasant strings in left and right channels.
 

amirm

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#7
Avalon speakers and Spectral audio: This was an organ recording Keith had made on his prototype 3-channel recorder that went down to 16 Hz. I want to say this was back in 1964 when Keith was at Stanford University.


The ending was thunderous and remarkable given the history of it. Keith was sitting in the front rows in the audience!
 

amirm

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#8
Avalon acoustics and spectral audio: Liszt: Études D'exécution Transcendante, S. 139: No. 5 In B-Flat Major, "Feux Follets" by Minoru Nojima.


Keith had recorded this one also in the far-field. He wanted this to play softly as a result to simulate what you would hear if you were sitting in the same seat. It was too low of a level for me to appreciate it. But I appreciated what he was trying to do. :)
 

amirm

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#9
Avalon acoustics and spectral audio: Playing With Fire: Shades Of Blue by Dallas Wind Symphony & Jerry Junkin. https://shz.am/t70049455

This was another Keith recording where the trumpets were again far field. He said trumpet players say that you need air in front of the trumpet for the sound to fully develop due to non-linearity of that medium. And that modern recording techniques of sticking a mic at the edge of the horn can't capture that sound:


Boy was he right. The moment the trumpet came to life, it made hair on your arms to stand up! It was incredible.

DonH50 to confirm. :)
 

amirm

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Avalon speakers, Spectral audio: Mars by Dean Peer. https://shz.am/t61419105


Now this is a song that I knew well as it is one of my dynamic demo tracks. But did not know that the Avalon folks helped with its creation. The idea was unique: instead of recording the instruments raw, mixing them, etc., the plan was to just record what the speakers played in the venue. That way the musicians were in charge of volume and level and provided a much more natural presentation as if you were in the audience (same theme as above with Keith).

Well, they got there, hooked everything up and there was a loud hum which made this attempt impossible. The Avalon folks left with a recommendation to find some "high fi" amp instead of the pro gear. Later they hear that a monster Mark Levinson amp was acquired and powered the speakers fine and the recording was born as we hear it!

The sound in this room with this track was superb. Incredible dynamics and detail.
 

amirm

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So there it was. The most enjoyable audio show experience I have ever had! Great music. Room created by people who knew acoustics. Great stories and education about the history of the music. Warm and friendly reception. There is a lesson here for all the high-end companies doing these shows.
 

RayDunzl

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#12
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Shock wave from a trumpet:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14714816

"These shock waves arise from the shock-tube-like effect of the performer's intermittent breath pressure driving the cylindrical duct of the trumpet, and are the result of cumulative nonlinear acoustic propagation inside the trumpet bore. They are, however, very weak, traveling only marginally above the acoustic speed. In the 118-124 peak dB(A) range, they are near the weak limit of shock wave visibility by schlieren optics."

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If there is a lesson here, I think it would be "Do Not Compress".
 
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amirm

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#13
Troy Audio speakers. This was a repeat visit as I mentioned earlier. This time they rolled out the red carpet for me, playing tape, content I wanted, and chat with the president. Really, really nice folks. As I noted the speakers retail for $100,000 (delivery included). They use Altec Lansing/Western Electric drivers and so have an old fashioned sound that was a good match with content created in that era.

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RayDunzl

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#16
When they have audio shows like those, do they have metal detectors @ the front entrance?
Yes, but they let Diana Krall on through.
 

amirm

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Amir, just a simple question: When they have audio shows like those, do they have metal detectors @ the front entrance?
Scanning...
They do not Bob.
 

TitaniumTroy

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#18
Troy Audio, I don't know about those refrigerator size speakers. However the name of the company is just fantastic!

The Wynn co. in Las Vegas started being proactive about security 2 yrs ago, in a pretty serious way.
 

DonH56

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#19
Knew the name would come up sooner or later... So, do little soldiers come marching out when you play Sousa? :)
 
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