This past weekend I went to the Rocky Mountain Audiofest. RMAF is a tradeshow for audiophiles. Three days of stuff at the Marriott Hotel at the Denver Tech Center. I don’t know the exact count, but there was somewhere between 200 and 400 exhibitors.
If you didn’t know, I have a love-hate relationship with audiophiles. I certainly applaud the efforts to make excellent sound systems. But human perception of sound is a very subjective thing, and good audio equipment is a very technical thing that not everybody can understand. When you combine something subjective with a lack of understanding then you open the doors wide open for pseudo-science and downright fraud.
You could roughly divide up the companies at RMAF into three rough categories: Awesome, Clueless, and Deceitful. From a practical perspective there isn’t much difference between Clueless and Deceitful. It’s much like the difference between involuntary manslaughter and first degree murder. Both result in somebody innocent dying, but the deceitful company does it knowing full well what they are doing.
What surprised me at RMAF is that I expected much more deceitful companies. I expected that maybe 50% of the companies would be in this category. The real number was probably less than 10%. Unfortunately, maybe 80% were clueless and only 10% were awesome. Read the rest of this entry »