Photoshopping RMAF Photos

Finally done with preparing the photos for the final floor, floor 5.

Unlike some other show reports [professional photographers like Albert Porter work by making each shot they take perfect when they take it], I hand edit each photograph for lightness, sharpness, color, balance, and then it gets cropped and resized. Takes about 3 minutes per photo.

We do it this way because our photos are posted at a resolution at least 4 times that of other reports, and usually 9X and sometimes 16X. When photos are shunk down to such small sizes, any flaws are rendered more or less invisible. But we want you (and us!) to be able to read the labels on the controls, to see the quality of workmanship, to see the actual TRUE color of something, and all those other little details that matter to the out-of-control audiophile 🙂

Turns out that floor number 5 had the most photos, or would have had I not run out of memory cards and time.

There will be 2300 photos total (including the dailies, which puts the total down around 2150).

The breakdown is as follows:


1: 232 photos
mezzanine: 149 photos
2: 150 photos
4: 459 photos
5: 438 photos
9: 205 photos
10: 277 photos
11: 288 photos

The total looks like 136 rooms + Sanders + 2 at the end of floor five + booths.

I spent about 1/2 my time at this show in our room [9030] as an exhibitor. Usually I spend about 2/3 of my time in the room, but this year I wanted to do more in-depth coverage of RMAF than we have been able to do in the past.

Kara (deHavilland) is right

…the prices of high-end audio gear are indeed getting ridiculous.

Somewhere in all the RMAF stuff I talked about how Kara and I had a talk about the high-price of the high-end. I was somewhat a doubter [and wondered if she was talking to me as an audiophile, as the press, as Audio Federation, or as the Audio Note importer.. Yes, we do sell a lot of high-priced gear here :-)].

Personally [and this is MY rant] I find no fault with the $200K Clearaudio Statement turntable, the $180K Focal Grande Utopia EM speakers, or of the prices of the gear we carry, as long as the company has a range of products and has been around for awhile and the company has a quality reputation [hard to quantify this, but…].

As I go through the show report, and look at some of the prices of equipment from brand new companies and equipment from companies that heretofore produced reasonably priced gear that have been struggling in the marketplace – and see price tags that exceed those of comparable equipment from companies that have been around for years, decades, many decades….

… it just makes me wonder. One of these company’s very first email was a 55% off sale direct from the manufacturer.

Is is just open season on audiophiles now?

First you have the ‘the cheaper it is, the better it sounds’ crowd. Fine. This *is* Bizarro World after all, where everything is its opposite.

But are we really going to see people, and ezines of course to suck their life blood, who believe ‘the newer it is, the better it sounds’. Well, maybe we have had this all along…

Maybe that should be ‘the more unknown it is, the better it sounds’. Yep.

Perhaps we should all just tie-dye some Belden power cords, pick a cool name like, oh, PartyWire, and have unscrupulous dealers sell them for $4K. Everybody who is registered here will be a share holder. We’ll no doubt see lots of faux reviewers posting rave reviews of the stuff. Shills [and the golden-ear-challenged] will post how it improved their system on the forums.


Who buys this stuff? That’s what I want to know.

And exactly when did the entire population of this planet go mad?

1500 photos and counting….

[Yes, I know I posted this also on FaceBook. But I just thought that this status / update needed to be in both places]

The RMAF 2009 Show Report is about 60% – about 2/3 – done with over 1500 photos so far. Trying to keep the show report lively and informative. This is a little difficult.

I can talk about how so-and-so was friendly and knowledgeable, which some reports do, but that starts playing the ‘praise our friends rooms’ game that many zines play, and frankly, just about everyone is friendly and knowledgeable, but I just don’t quite remember all of their names… all 400+ of them.

We tried talking about the sound – but the vast majority of audiophiles have been lied to so long that they wither don’t believe anything they read, or they believe sound quality is all in the ‘ear of the beholder’ and nothing is any better than anything else. Ugh.

So we post facts and try to be helpful, trying to provide an overview of this very large number of products that we are going to be showing several thousand photos of.