Newport 2016: T.H.E. Show preview

Kyron Audio Kronos Dipole loudspeaker

T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach is just days away, and the crew at Part-Time Audiophile will be staggering toward departure gates at airports across North America very soon to invade the Hotel Irvine, and unleash our unique brand of Audiophilia Nervosa on it’s unsuspecting denizens. Publisher Scot Hull is already in the OC as I write this, and remains undeterred by the loss of his luggage.

Enter the Dragon

Last year was my first High End Audio Show in Newport, and also my first meeting with PTA Emeritus Malachi Kenney, who gently threw me into the deep end of audiophile trade shows, and happily watched, and waited (with a beer, and cigarette in hand) to see if I sank or swam. Luckily I managed to keep my head above water, and have an absolute blast while not drowning.

This is another big show, on par with AXPONA to me (maybe even bigger?), and covers a lot of audiophile territory with a huge list of manufacturers, and retailers on hand showing off much of the sweetest, and newest in hi-fi the world has to offer, and like Chicago, and RMAF in Denver, it attracts a lot of great people who not only come to hear, and vibe the latest, and greatest, but to connect with old friends, and enjoy the real star of any of these shows: the people involved in the industry.

Hotel Irvine lobby madness as zombie audiophiles file in to feed.
Food carts people! FOOD CARTS!!!

The gear on hand last year was spectacular, with everyone from Acapella Audio Arts to Zu Audio on hand. I’m looking forward to hearing some familiar kit paired with new sources, and some all-new gear (to me) too.  So far I know I’ve got a date with Meridian Audio to hear their new bleeding-edge, MQA-equipped DAC, as well as a private session with Kyron Audio‘s new Kronos open baffle loudspeaker system paired with the Döhmann Helix turntable (one of my show favorites), as well as the official launch of the Questyle R200i wireless/wired Balanced mono block amps that I heard prototypes of in Chicago, and blew me away.

Döhmann Helix turntable
Delicious Acapella loudspeakers paired with Triangle Arts at Newport 2015..

So, that’s a little window onto what I have planned for this year, so stay tuned for updates, I’ll be posting as quickly as I can to keep you up to date on what’s happening from the Hotel Irvine bar, and lobby as well since that’s were most of the wheeling, and dealing is actually done. Wish me, and my talented fellow PTA scribes luck as we brave concrete stairwells littered with broken bodies, overcrowded elevators packed with sweaty, bug-eyed hi-fi lovers, and mile-long lineups for the bathroom. See you in California my friends…

About Rafe Arnott 389 Articles
Editor of InnerFidelity and AudioStream