CanJam at RMAF 2012: That's a Wrap!!!
It's hard to believe that 12 days ago I was heading off to RMAF on a beautiful 65 degree day, and today as I type this it's snowing outside. Brrrr! I thought I'd wrap this report up with a few thoughts from the trip.
I had wanted to spend some time listening to some custom IEMs on the ride down. Unfortunately, custom IEMs are just too large to wear under a well fitting helmet, so I had to resort to my standard riding IEM, the Jays Q-Jay. The picture above shows the dash of my Yamaha FJR1300. The upper shelf is an after-market device that allows me to rig up a full-blown headphone system. Left to right: a Zumo GPS system that talks to me when I make a wrong turn; a Rolls 4-channel passive mixer to mash up all the audio; an iRiver iHP400 digital audio player; below it I mounted a JPS Labs O2 headphone amp; and last a Beltronics radar detector that puts out a variety of beeps and bloops to warn me of various dangerous RF emissions.
It's funny how my listening has evolved while riding. At first I didn't want anything to disturb my concentration, but as I became more comfortable on the bike during long distance travel I started to do more listening. Then, as time went on, I became more interested in the ride for its own sake and began listening less and less on the bike. On this trip I listened to music for the first half day or so, and then I pulled out the earphones, put in my ACS hearing protectors, and just enjoyed the countryside. Unfortunately, that means I also couldn't hear the radar detector, and found myself with a performance report from the local Wyoming sheriff. 74 in a 65, my bad.
I took two days for the trip down with a layover in Riverton Wy, where I wrote my "Future of Headphones" post. Breaking up the trip allowed me to get into Denver early enough on Thursday to hang around with the vendors as they set-up for the event.
|I love set-up day. Oddly, its the most relaxed day of a show. This is the time for folks to say "Howdy!" to old friends, and time to get the first feel for what's new. That's not to say it doesn't get frantic at times. Folks end up with missing boxes; people madly trying to get an internet connection to email the home office for something or other that's gone missing.
At just about every show I've ever been to, someone comes up missing a cable. In this community that's rarely a problem as some good soul is always willing to loan a replacement for the duration.
Set-up day is always a demonstration of community teamwork, and the anticipation of wowing attendees with cool stuff.
|For some dumb reason, I never did catch up with Val Kolton for a show report, but I did get a private showing of his new M-100. (I like it, review soon.) Val is a very unusual character, and his headphones always have some cool features not seen elsewhere. This day, he was all jazzed up about the fact that his new cans had a feature even he didn't expect: they can magically stand up all on their own. Ha! Don't think it's something people are really looking for in a headphone, but it was fun watching him demonstrate the effect.|
I didn't snap a pic of Jude Mansilla this time, he was often moving far to fast to capture as he hearded cats at CanJam, but the world of headphones has benefited strongly from his efforts to bring headphones into the audiophile fold. Thanks Jude!
The real hero of the show is Marjorie Baumert. A few years ago she, and all of us, lost her husband Al. He remains with us in spirit however through Marjorie's valiant efforts to keep RMAF moving forward. I chatted with her for a little while, and she expressed how difficult organizing this show can be. I told her I understood; and I commiserated with her about the stress level of coordinating with all the vendors. But we also celebrated the fact that RMAF has become one of, if not the premier audio enthusiast shows in the U.S. We all owe Marjorie a huge debt of gratitude for carrying on Al's vision for a great event. If you ever get the chance, take a moment to thank her, or better yet volunteer some time to helping her with this event. The Colorado Audio Society provides a lot of the volunteers, please contact them if you'd like to help.
Saturday Evening Beer Bash
|Another thank you goes out to Jude for recognizing the importance of beer. He had arraigned for a couple of kegs of barley pop for the crowd.
But the real beermeister of the evening was Todd the Vinyl Junkie (right) who brought two huge coolers of Montana micro-brew to distribute. He had a dozen or so growlers of Big Sky's finest brews and the sampling was spectacular. When the growlers ran out, he broke out the second cooler of caned and bottle ales.
|I worked with Todd at a laser company before hiring him some 20 years ago to be the sales manager at HeadRoom. I must admit to being a little upset when he struck out on his own to found TTVJ and Apex High-Fi Audio. But I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that the guy is pure gold, and represents all the best things about this hobby: a helpful hand, a caring heart, and an enthusiastic soul. In a lot of ways, Todd is carrying on in spirit the work I started twenty years ago. Thanks for being such a good guy, Todd...though I doubt you could do it any other way.|
Here's a little video of Saturday evening at Todd's booth.
That's a Wrap!!!
Well that's all folks! Back to reviewing headphones for me. I had a great time, and thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with the home team. Can't wait for next year, I just hope the weather's good enough to ride the 1400 miles to and fro again.
I'll leave you with the one good picture I took on the ride back.
Hope to see you next year at CanJam@RMAF!!!