Capital Audio Fest Preview 2019

Audio and the industry at large have been distinctly West Coast-centric for many years. Between the huge Los Angeles and T.H.E. shows of years past, Canjam SoCal, and Rocky Mountain Audio Fest – and its accompanying Canjam – the midwest and East Coast have only recently gotten some audio show love.

The pendulum seems to be swinging back the other way though, with AXPONA becoming the largest show in the U.S. and now with Capital Audio Fest promising to be a bigger show than the two California shows, which have shrunk considerably in the last few years. Add in a newly announced Chicago Canjam and the Midwest and East Coast have proven increasingly attractive places to have shows.

InnerFidelity will be present this year, as I’ll be doing show coverage of all things headphones and personal audio. Eric Franklin Shook, Marc Boyle and Jameson Mourafetis and I will be hosting a repeat of RMAF’s Under 40 Dinner at Capital Audio Fest as well, which promises to be an excellent experience.

While the industry at times can seem a monolith, I was thoroughly surprised by the number of young folks – both industry-involved and attendee – who showed up in Denver. A good time was had by all, though the CAF Under-40 Dinner promises something even a little more special, as VPI has generously offered to host a listening after-party. If you’ll be in attendance at CAF be sure to join us for what I can only assume will be an all-vinyl experience.

This is particularly noteworthy for a few reasons, first of which is a collaboration between the local Vinyl District record store and CAF, as well as many manufacturers dedicated to having turntable setups accessible in the lobby. We’ll see how many record-hunters descend onto CAF, but any effort to be friendly to music lovers new and old is good in my book. Secondly, I’ve noticed an increasing number of folks using turntables in personal audio setups – as a fairly strong digital native I’m intrigued by this trend, and I’ve started seeing more and more headphone areas at shows displaying with at least one vinyl rig.

If you have thoughts or opinions on this I’d love to hear them. I’m also looking forward to CAF itself – I’ve never attended, but have long been told about it’s DIY roots and friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere. Some rooms are filled entirely with gear made by local enthusiasts, which is always an opportunity to hear really well-tweaked and unique systems. I’ll be interested to see how, or if, this translates to the headphone area, as this is one of my favorite parts of the small-meets community, where the majority of setups are brought by community members who have often worked tirelessly for years to find that one, just right synergy to make their music shine.

CAF is November 1st-3rd, so keep your eyes on this page once the beginning of next month hits for coverage and photos from the show.

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Capitol AudioFest

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