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Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2022 Show Report -- CAF 2022 premium luxury audio event coverage.

Capital AudioFest Chronicles 2022
3rd Floor Meeting Rooms, Atrium, Plus The Best Rooms At CAF 2022!
CAF 2022 Show Report By Rick Becker



Kingrex Electric
Not forty feet away from Audio Ultra was Rex of Kingrex Electric of Seattle, WA. Rex is a licensed electrician with audiophile blood in his veins. His stated purpose: "To assist audiophiles and home recording studios to achieve the highest quality electrical infrastructure to support recording and playback." Having recently installed an Audience Hidden Treasures in-wall dedicated line (reviewed here) and learned how to install circuit breakers from YouTube, I was quite intrigued with the "High End" breaker box Rex had on display. He offers several levels and his website is very informative. Like Audio Ultra, Kingrex also does consulting, with the aid of photos and Zoom if you're not local.

We often think our systems end at the wall with the possible addition of an audiophile duplex outlet. But a dedicated line with an audiophile-grade cable takes it back to the breaker box. And this is where Kingrex picks up the ball and takes it that final yard to the public utility feed. There's always something new to learn.




Gingko Audio
Vinh Vu and I go back a decade or more. I helped him out a bit with some testing of his ARCH vibration-absorbing footers, early in their development. I spotted them under Ken Stevens' monster CAT monoblocks and his Magico speakers so I guess that's as good an endorsement as any. Vinh had set up a demonstration of his products using a sensor on a turntable platter and a microphone isolated on the table. The turntable was likely mounted on one of his Cloud 10 Isolation Platforms. The results on the monitor showed a clear reduction (no red) on the left from just the ambient noise in the room as well as from more physical assault of the table below the turntable by tapping on it. Hearing is believing, but the video display was very convincing, too.




Montrose (revisited) Odyssey
I promised I would come back to the Odyssey room and when I finished perusing the floor of the Atrium, I climbed the stairs once again. It was getting near closing but there was a handful of people in the Montrose room. Upon recognizing me,  Klaus Bunge insisted that the person in the prime center seat relinquish it to me. At first, I demurred, but the other guest was quite willing. Klaus dimmed the lights, leaving the room lit with "candles" spread around the soundstage. The needle dropped onto an LP of percussion and electric guitar, eventually becoming recognized as Santana with "Black Magic Woman."

I don't know what the speakers were, but the Symphonic Line amplification brought the music to life and in the cover of candlelight, the emotions poured forth. The experience was about the experience listening in the dark, surrendering to the music. Sure, the Symphonic Line gear is great, and the rig was perfectly set up within the dimensions of the room, but the attention to ambiance and the quality of the music itself delivered the best few moments of the show for me. After a few minutes, I realized it wasn't going to get any better than this, so I got up and motioned for someone else to take my seat. Thank you, Klaus.



My bags had been stowed in my car before check-out so I simply strolled back to the Atrium floor and took the exit to the garage. The Lambo that someone had parked there before I arrived still needed a wash and wax. Eight hours later, after a seafood dinner up in Frederick, I rolled into Rochester, still high on all the great gear at the show.



Rick Becker's Best Rooms @ CAF 2022
Looking back from a distance of two months is quite different from selecting the Best Rooms as I was writing about them. I re-read my review of every room and listened to every recorded segment of my video notes. The video segments in particular trigger vivid recollections of my reaction to the rooms. There were about 92 rooms at the show, I'm told, and my first pass through the list yielded about 45 rooms that were either outstanding, very good, or had some particular component that I felt was highly noteworthy.

I was able to narrow this list down to 21 rooms that I thought were outstanding, cutting a little slack for the music being played, room adjustment factor, and variations in my personal taste. I'm human, after all, and sometimes I like my music to sound one way, and other times I like it another. Even the amount of daylight pouring into my dedicated listening room affects my acoustic preference. A darkened room late at night is another key element for optimum listening in my book, but at shows, the darkness can compromise the photography or trip me into artist mode.

So, if you're looking for a list of the top 10 rooms at the show, I'm not your guy. I'm not that critical. There was a wonderful offering of great gear at this show and not all of it was in the rooms I've listed here. I've added a list of five "Wildcards" that were not among the Best Rooms but that had an outstanding product or experience that I felt should be acknowledged. I invite you to go back to the coverage of these rooms to explore them in a little greater depth. The Capital Audiofest Chronicles start on the 6th Floor and work their way down to the Atrium floor.

Ultimately, you will want to take a deep dive into the net to seek out more details and other reviews. Hopefully, you have found my coverage of some value. The people who put on the show, Gary Gill, and all the presenters have put in a lot of work that seems to have paid off in bumping Capital Audiofest up to the big league. Hopefully, the show has moved this industry forward.

If you think of yourself as an audiophile, you owe it to yourself, at least once in your life, to attend a major audio show. There is no substitute for seeing and hearing the wide variety of products being offered. Or, as Elvis more adamantly put it, "You ain't never caught a rabbit, you ain't no friend of mine."

I'm looking forward to seeing you all again soon in Montreal and Chicago in 2023.


Be well and enjoy your music!



Best Of Capital Audiofest 2022


...And Now, The Best Rooms At CAF 2022
Starting from the top floor, working down.

616  Audio Thesis, Rossofiorentino, Norma, Caprice Audio, and AudioQuest

645  Von Schweikert, VAC, and LampizatOr

650  Linkwitz Lab

523  Voxativ

525  GTAudioworks, Pass Labs, and LampizatOr

538  Songer Audio and Whammerdyne

541  Triangle Art

549  Theoretica Applied Physics and JansZen Audio

555  Fidelity Imports, Cyrus, and Diptyque

321  Audio Thesis, Rossofiorentino, and Thrax

323  High Water Sound, TW Acoustic, Horning, and New Audio Frontiers

Twinbrook Room      United Home Audio, and High End by Oz

Montrose Room        Odyssey

Democracy Room     Command Performance AV, Marten Design, Gryphon, and J. Sikora

Wilson Room             The Voice That Is, Vinnie Rossi, and Tidal

Truman Room           Convergent Audio Technology (CAT), Essential Sound Products, and Magico

Monroe Room            20/20 Evolution Systems, Kharma, and Conrad Johnson

Jackson Room           Bending Wave, Goebel, and Thrax

Eisenhower Room     Acora, JMF, and Cardas

Executive Lounge      Now Listen Here and Vandersteen

Montgomery Room    Legacy Audio and Bel Canto Design



Wildcard Rooms At CAF 2022
651  Scott Walker, Synergistic Research, and Estelon (Educational demonstration of products)

519  Robyatt and Thai-Scandinavian Engineering (Bird of Prey tonearm)

526  M101 Cables, MolaMola, Paradigm, and EcoFlow (System run off-grid)

532  Alma Music & Audio, and MoFi SourcePoint 10 speaker

306  Philharmonic Audio BMR Monitor




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