New York and the fractured show

If you’re an audiophile, next weekend will be a great time to be in New York.

The New York Audio Show is coming to the Waldorf Astoria. Check out the show info over at the Chester Group‘s site.

But in a bizarre turn, one of New York’s bigger audio retailers is apparently opting out in favor of holding a competing event downtown at its store. Stereo Exchange is billing their extravaganza as “Springtime in New York” and promises top name talent from Totem, Bel Canto, and Sonus Faber. Mr Computer Audiophile, Chris Connaker, will be there as well.

Adding insult to injury, another event is also happening that weekend, this one at Lyric HiFi.

I’m flabbergasted. 3 “shows” — even if two of them are more like open houses. All on the same weekend, in the same city. Yikes. Can’t we all just get along? Please? A humble reviewer begs you!

Look, I think I get it. These two dealers are already in NYC. Renting a room at the Waldorf has got to cost a ton, and as it’s a union town, none of them can save any cash by being all DIY. Why pay to play when they have their better-sounding showrooms just down the street?

But! [insert unhappy face here]

My problem, and one I think is probably shared by more than a few show-goers, is that I’d love to see and hear the stuff at all three. Stereo Exchange is probably the biggest blow to the NY Show as it will actually peel off a lot of top-shelf talent that could be at the show (not that the talent won’t be double- or triple-dipping into each of the shows themselves). On the other hand, Lyric has on display some of the hottest gear on the market, including the brand new Magnepan 20.7, and I particularly want to get my ears on those. But none of these venues are convenient to each other. It’s 5 miles from the Lyric to Stereo Exchange (the Waldorf is in the middle), and those 5 miles in Manhattan will take every bit of a half-hour.

I’m stressing and it’s still a week away!

Is it beer-thirty, yet?


  1. “Aux 33 tours” is a great vinyl store in Montréal who usually rent a big room at Son et Image (Montréal audio show). This year they didn’t for whatever reason ($$$ I suppose) but instead had a small table in a corridor with 2 big LCD TV’s showing pictures of the actual store and offering free round trip from the show to the store. I thought It was a clever idea. Granted, Its for LPs only so no real need to listen to anything, chances are If you take the round trip you already know you’re most probably will be buying something. Yet I thought It was a good alternative and compromise to not being there at all.

    Also, again for whatever reason, Verity Audio wasn’t at this year Son et Image as they usually are which was sad to me since they are my all time favorite speakers brand. And they are from here too (Québec). And they always have a great room too.

    Too bad I was in NYC this past weekend for Easter. Would have loved to do the NY Show. I did quickly enter the Stereo Exchange store though. Was surprised how small It was. Maybe because Its NYC I thought everything was going to be bigger. Wasn’t. Nice gear though.

    Scott, If you plan to do both, nevermind the cabs. Subway all the way baby! Traffic is ridiculous in NYC compared to Montréal. Subway is really fast If a tad hard to understand at first (again, compared to Montréal).

    Have fun M.Lucky!

  2. Although I can understand how each business might think this decision is best for them individually, the net effect is that everyone loses. I recall a similar situation with the comics convention scene in Dallas some years ago. Two promoters insisted in scheduling their conventions opposite each other. After a couple of years, fans simply stopped attending both. It took the con scene a decade to recover. Never a good sign when businesses try to protect their market share rather than grow it.

    • I don’t disagree. I think it’s counter-productive. If a promoter can’t get the locals to sign up, that’s never a good thing. Like I said, I get the move — the shops have all there gear already “in town” and properly set up — why schlep everything down the street at extraordinary cost and run the risk of a suboptimal setup? But you’re right, it detracts from the event — and getting the top-shelf names to come and hang in the shop for the weekend, when “the show” is happening just down the street, is a bit of a slap-in-the-face to the promoters. Pointless and self-destructive in an industry that’s having issues with growth and appeal.

  3. I will be there. Looking forward to it. It will be my first show. I have been to both Lyric and Stereo Exchange several times. I am more interested in the show at the Waldorf.

  4. Particularly interested in your NY reviews of:
    – Maggie 20.7 (curious as to how it will compare to your 3.7’s)
    – Magico S5 if it is there ?
    – Marten Dhango
    – Rhaido C1.1
    – New Revel series monitor and floor standers
    – New Devore x2 floorstanders

    So there’s 3 shows, keep the Cabbies busy………………if your trip is like Axpona I know we’ll get overloaded with mini-reviews, keep it coming tx………….


    • This one is going to be a bit different. Instead of room-by-room, I think it’s gonna go by thirds or something similar.

Comments are closed.