Audio Advice Music Matters 2018, 40th Anniversary


Audio Advice celebrates forty years in business by pulling out all the stops during their annual Music Matters event.

Words and Photos by Eric Franklin Shook

Music Matters, is an annual celebration of music listening. However this year is an extra special event as Audio Advice not only celebrates their love of music, but also 40 years in business. With nearly twice as many brands as usual on hand to meet with customers and demonstrate some of the most exciting audio gear on the planet, everyone was ready for this year’s event to be bigger than ever. As always, the Music Matters was completely free and open to the public.


The Story

Audio Advice was founded in Raleigh, NC in 1978 by current co-partner Leon Shaw. Over the past few decades, most dealers in the US have simply gone out of business, leaving only a small handful of reputable companies with brick and mortar locations. Founder Leon Shaw truly is one of the most respected and well known people in the audio industry. From dealers, brands, and the audiophile press; all respect Audio Advice’s influence on the industry.

In recent years, Audio Advice has become equal parts brick and mortar retailer, and online E-tailer of many trusted hi-fi brands. Facilitated by experience, their broad expansion into online sales and educational media, the content generated by Audio Advice is geared towards the next generation of two-channel and home theater enthusiasts.

With all of that going for Leon and the rest of the Audio Advice family, here’s to another forty years of Audio Advice success. Cheers!

The Soirée

“Refreshments” — more like dinner — were provided for Audio Advice’s Raleigh showroom by the local BBQ mavens at The Pit Authentic Barbecue (as seen on Food Network).

The man, the myth, the legend — Ivan Halbach.

The Systems

Bowers & Wilkins / Naim Audio

B&W brought their flagship 800 Series speakers, and were paring them with Naim’s newest streamers and a 500 Series audio stack of electronics.

Aerial Acoustics / Transparent

Michael Kelly demonstrated his Aerial Model 7T loudspeakers with Transparent cables.

Klipsch / PrimaLuna

You can’t get any more classic than a pair of Klipschorns paired with tube amplifiers from PrimaLuna.

Analog Planet / Audio Research / Vandersteen

Michael Fremer’s love of vinyl and penchant for story-telling is infectious. His listening sessions have always been quite the draw throughout the history of Music Matters events.

MartinLogan / Mark Levinson / AudioQuest

One of the most popular rooms at the show, MartinLogan demonstrated the immense power of their Neoliths, along with Mark Levinson debuting a new piece of electronics.

JBL Synthesis / Mark Levinson

As always, respect the classics. The JBL L100 Classics were handsomely holding court.

Cambridge Audio / Aerial Acoustics

Still warm to the touch from their Rocky Mountain Audio Fest debut, the new EDGE series of electronics mightily handled a pair of Aerial 6T’s, all-the-while looking dapper as ever.

GoldenEar Technology / Anthem

Anthem with ARC room correction already sounds great, but with GoldenEar Triton Reference loudspeakers on hand, many minds were blown.

Audeze / Focal / HiFiMan / Sony / Chord Electronics

Various state-of-the-art headphones, amplifiers, and sources were on hand from brands all across the globe. Opportunity knocked, and we answered the door. Yes, please.

Rega / Chord Electronics / Bowers & Wilkins

Turntables and DAC’s — two of the fasted growing categories in audio. Bryce Allan was on hand to show attendees some of the very best available on the market today.

For more information about Audio Advice, their products, services, and history; please visit them at