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Vancouver 2015: Wrap

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by Rafe Arnott

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I have a confession to make.

I can’t dance or sing worth a damn (unless I’ve had several pints, then I’m John Travolta and Tori Amos rolled into one gyrating, bearded, hot mess).

So it goes with contributing to Part-Time Audiophile.

I also can’t write, but somehow exposure to high-end audio equipment and the great people who build, design and champion the gear have a similar effect to craft beer on me.

I manage to stagger and jazz-hand myself (PHRASING!) into producing something with the keyboard that is mildly entertaining to people.

The Vancouver Audio Show 2015 was my first time writing about the vinyls, digitals and the ‘philes.

So don’t judge me too harshly until after I’ve stumbled through T.H.E Show in Newport Beach this weekend with the talented Malachi Kenney and produced more reviews that Scot Hull seems willing to publish.

Devialet-1It’s my understanding that Vancouver hasn’t hosted an audio show in many years (10? 15? Ever?), and since it was my first time covering a hi-fi show, it’s difficult for me to compare to it other shows.

I can say that everyone I met who was involved in the room demos and representing there was gracious, kind and absolutely enthused about what they were showing and the show in general.

The vibe was upbeat, fun and loose for the most part with plenty of smiles to go around.

Some of the highlights of the show for me was meeting Audio Note UK gypsy David Cope for the first time (interview here) and reconnecting with Soundhounds‘ Don Thorne and Edward Ku of Element Acoustics.

McIntosh-1The rooms these gentlemen set up were by far the most enjoyable for me (also a big shout out to Yana’s Sergei Shinder) and it was their attitudes toward building cohesive, synergistic systems that focus on making an emotional connection with the listener a priority that struck a chord with me.

Pleasant surprises included the Devialet Phantom room and the black and green monster-McIntosh system streaming Tidal.

Only a few rooms I ventured into lacked great sound or disappointed, which is really saying something when you have dozens and dozens of rooms to choose from to spend your time in.

The show, more than anything, proved to me that that rare bird, the audiophile, is alive and doing very well in Vancouver.

I sincerely hope that the apparent success of this year’s show encourages vendors and retailers to present again in 2016. I can only imagine it getting bigger and better, and that’s a win/win situation for everyone involved and who loves music and outstanding kit to hear it on.

Look for me there next year if it goes down. I promise my writing will have improved.

I can’t promise the same for my dancing or singing.

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1 Comment on Vancouver 2015: Wrap

  1. Great coverage…. Thanks very much for introducing me to more Canadian retailers & products..

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