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Monday, July 9, 2012

Capital Audiofest 2012 Preview!
DC Area Audio Showcase Scheduled
For July 13-15 in Rockville, MD



by John Gatski

  Washington DC’s only comprehensive audio show, the Capital Audiofest, will get under way Friday, July 13 at the Rockville, Md Crowne Plaza Hotel. The  three-day show is expecting about 2,000 visitors to check out the latest in high-end audio gear. 
  With 25 percent percent more exhibitors than 2011, the show will focus on new high-end audio products from manufacturers and dealers. Companies scheduled to be at the show include: Benchmark Media, Legacy Audio, Paolo Audio, GT Audio Works, Robert Lighton Speakers, David Berning, Wu Audio, Oasis Audio, Silnote Audio, Esoteric Audio, Classic Audio, Deja Vu Audio, Lowther America, Zu Audio, Audio Power Labs, Swap Meet Audio. Other lines represented will include MBL North America, Clearaudio, Polk Audio, Bel Canto, MIT Cables, Mapleshade Recordings, Audience, Audio by Van Alstine, VPI, Bob Carver LLC, Volti Audio, Carnegie Acoustics and many others. (Click here for complete CAF exhibitor listings.) 
  The hotel suite/ballroom displays will feature companies showcasing new products with live demos of speakers, amplifiers, preamplifiers, tape machines turntables D/A converters, as well as numerous software and audio accessories.

Greg Roberts Returns to 2012 CAF

  In recent years, regional audiophile shows have proven successful in hooking up manufacturers with end-users who are potential buyers of their gear. While many companies support the larger expos, such as CES in Las Vegas, the smaller, less expensive, regional venues allow the manufacturers and dealers to focus on a specific geographic region to reach audiophiles who do not go to the big shows. 
   “I like the idea of a small, regional show,” said Rory Rall, Benchmark Media sales manager. “It allows small companies like us to reach customers who may never go to a CES or don’t have a dealer nearby.” Benchmark produces high-end audio converters for professional and audiophiles, as well as converters and mic preamps for the professional and home recordists. The Syracuse, New York, based company sells direct — as well as through brick and mortar and internet audio dealers. Benchmark will be in Suite 111.
  Legacy Audio President Bill Dudleston also likes small audio shows, which can bring out a lot of area audio fans. Legacy manufactures and distributes, via direct sales and select dealers, its upscale, hand-built in-the USA audiophile and home cinema speakers. 
  Dudleston says that he sees serious customers at the smaller audio expos. “You have to support these shows,” he said. “Legacy is excited to be exhibiting at Capital Audiofest for the first time. We’ve heard so many great things about this show, and we can’t wait to attend We’ll be bringing our renowned Whisper XD and Focus SE speakers, as well as our new Signature SE speaker. We’re partnering (in the room) with Sherbourn Technologies.” 
 According to CAF President Gary Gill, the CAF has nearly sold out the Crowne Plaza hotel, especially the big demo rooms; most of the smaller rooms are taken as well.
  In only its third year, Gill noted that the CAF’s success also hinges on fact that the Washington, D.C area (aka the government center) was not as adversely affected by the economic slump as other areas of the US, and the die-hard audio enthusiasts still have money to spend on gear. Thus, the high interest in attending CAF. 


audiophile speaker
Legacy's  New Expression

  The CAF also benefits of being within driving or easy flying distance of several big cities in the East, including nearby Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Cleveland, Cincinnati, etc. “It’s a great location,” Gill added. 
  As in 2011, the CAF will have several gear giveaways during the three-day show, including a Benchmark Dac1 D/A converter. There also will be live entertainment, and plenty of chances for manufacturers, audio fans and the CAF staff to mingle after hours at the hotel bar and restaurant. For those that like to get good audio deals, there will be a swap meet and plenty of new and used music for sale, including LPs, CDs and high-res Blu-rays.
   As a co-sponsor of CAF, the Everything Audio Network will be hosting its hospitality suite again this year, (Suite 111), as well as sharing display space with Benchmark Media. The EAN will demo various high-end audiophile and recording components. The in-room demo gear will include Benchmark Dac1 HDR DAC, Oppo BDP-95 universal player, Pass Labs, INT-50 Class A preamp/amplifier, Legacy Studio HD speakers, AKG K702/Shure SRH1840 headphones and Essential Sound Products newly revamped Essence high-end power products. The recently reviewed Rogue Audio Medusa Digital/Tube hybrid amp will get some demo time, too. You can also check out various recording gear on display, including the TASCAM DVRA-1000 high-resolution PCM/DSD recorder — a great deck for archiving LPs and compiling master high-res downloads. 
  Those stopping by the Everything Audio Network/Benchmark room will be treated to several goodie giveaways each day, including a brand spankin’ new pair of Shure SRH940 headphones, courtesy of our friends at Shure, and various samplers of high-res music. Snacks will be served daily as well. Come on out and see us!


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