Before you even leave the lobby, there it is, bright and shiny. Displaying an arrangement of components and finished DIY products alike.
Right away it’s an intimidating view of the ballroom floor, but a familiar face in Bob Bantz beckons me nearer. Everything is moving well, as it should. Hard to find SACD, Records, DVD-Audio and accessories, you name it, it’s there.
A true fair atmosphere…
Wow, what a demo. Some of the best bass I heard at the show came from Atrevit Acoustics new reference speaker system dubbed Enchantress and I admit, the name fits. A fully active 3.2-way system, with six amplifiers and hybrid filtering built in each, they cover the frequency range. Sonnare Audio was also promoting their high power headphone amplifier The Emotion perfect for driving all headphones regardless of power requirements.
A dealer in full for all things turntable, including VPI, Bob also builds his own line of Moving Coil Step-Up Transformers. To me, Bob’s is quickly become a permanent fixture at shows, as his popularity grows. I blame that on his honesty, which at times can even be cause for a lost sale or two, but as with people who have that honesty problem it usually means two things: 1) they can afford to be, 2) they have an extremely loyal and growing fanbase.
Probably one of the best conversations I eaves dropped at the show was that of Todd Kubon (president of AmCan) and a show attendee asking about the importance of Constant Natural Frequency isolation. Something I’ve heard of before in the architecture of skyscrapers and bridges. It was a great “you had to be there moment”, that I’m sure took place all weekend. Another great local manufacturer to the Chicago area.
Mytek a name I’ve known since the ‘90s, might be more well-known for their professional DACs and A/D Converters, but they also have a growing hi-fi line, which includes their newest MQA enabled Manhattan II DAC/Headphone/Pre on display and for audition here at the show. Chebon Littlefield was encouraging passers-by to hear what MQA could sound like. Impressions were strong.
Rarities, Oddities, and Curiosity Abound
Hipsters, Millenials, Generation Y and The Future of The Hobby
It’s great to see a new generation of audiophile emerge that fetishizes the ways of old. As much as people throw it all off to social aesthetics, I think it’s just how music lovers look and sound these days. Welcome back to the mainstream. REVERB.COM and TWELVE-INCH.com.
The Old Guard
Grandstanding on ceremony, the arenaceous likes of The Absolute Sound were in full force behind the Acoustic Sounds table, peddling their books on the history of hi-end audio, lest we forget.